Newsletter (May 21, 2009)

Dear all, We read that Dunedin is snowing and bitterly cold.  Hope all of you can keep warm and won’t catch colds and get sick.  We also read in the ROC that some of the church members have various illness and we pray that our Lord will grant healing mercy and they will be recovered very soon.  The world’s climate has changed a lot and we are seeing much more extreme weather throughout the world.  In this part of the world we have seen heavy rain and flooding earlier in the year, and after we announced rain has stopped at the end of April, we did have some thunderstorms and rains in May which is really unusual.  Because of the late rain, some maize crops were ruined and we don’t know if it will affect the availability of mealie meal later on.  On the other hand copper prices have gone up and if it stays steady above US$5,000 per tonne then the investors will come back and start mining again.

Term 2 of TCCA began on 11 May, and several final year students have gone away to do their internship.  They will be back at the third term.  About the library system upgrade project, we have heard back unofficially that SIM Canada has raised about US$10,000 for TCCA.  This is indeed very good news and we thank God for his provision.  However, for the project to proceed, we need more money.  SIM Zambia has forwarded our project to SIM International for funding under the priority list.  We will know in June if additional funding will be given to us.  Please continue to pray for this as we really want the project to start as soon as possible.

Recently we have had a student doing attachment in the library.  He has just completed his second year in the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Zambia.  He is a teacher and, after talking to him, we have come to know that most schools in Zambia have no library at all.  There is no national library in Zambia and public libraries are virtually non existent.  In Ndola there is one public library and one needs to pay quite a high annual membership fee before one can use the library and it has a very poor collection.  Opposite TCCA is a big technical college and we thought it must have a big library.  We are wrong and, according to the student, the library is smaller than the TCCA library and it is not even staffed by professional librarians.

Many older people told us that the reading culture of the population has more or less disappeared and the younger generation now does not read books at all.  Whenever we go to visit people, the TV is always turned on and everyone in the house is watching it, and they don’t even turn it off or turn the volume down while visitors are around.  To us this is very distracting but at least you know what people will normally do when they are at home.  This is indeed a big worry and the teachers in TCCA are discussing ways to inculcate a reading habit among the students here.

We don’t know if you have heard the news that Dr James Hudson Taylor III has recently passed away in Hong Kong.  He was the great grandson of Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China who founded the China Inland Mission (now OMF).  He (the great grandson) was a man greatly used by God and most of his time was spent in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  He was born in China and started his missionary career in Taiwan in 1955 and from 1980–91 he became the first descendent of Hudson Taylor to become the director general of OMF.  From 1991 he moved to Hong Kong and set up MSI, an organisation which sends out professionals in many fields to serve the people in China.

He spoke fluent Mandarin and wrote perfect Chinese.  All his life he loved God and faithfully served Him.  He committed his life to China and the Chinese people.  He once said, “I was born in China, grew up in China and I am ready to die in China.”  “If I had a thousand lives, without reserve I would live them all for Jesus.”  Soon after surgery for liver cancer in 2005, he wrote while in the hospital:

“Leone [his wife] and I together with many inpatients in our recovery deeply appreciate all of you; family, colleagues and friends for your prayers.  We have truly experienced the power of prayer, and know that we are indeed lifted up and surrounded by the love of Christian community.  One night, as I was meditating on the word from apostle Paul’s testimony when he speaks of ‘Press on,’ I wondered, ‘What could Paul press on to while he was captive in prison?’  Then it dawned on me what Paul urged us on to:

“1. Press on to know him more deeply

“2. Press on to testify of Jesus’ love

“3. Press on till he returns, the hope of glory.

“Paul leaves behind for us a precious example to follow!”

We hope this brief note about Dr Taylor may encourage us all to press on.  With Christian love.

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