Newsletter (August 20, 2009)

Dear all, Term 2 of TCCA ended on 7 August and we will have a month’s break during which Timothy needs only to work in the morning.  We can take some rest for about three weeks and then by September we will be busy again.  The two visiting lecturers went back to America two weeks ago and we had a very good time with them.  They all speak highly of TCCA and the students and they can see students here are really trying to learn and absorb from the lectures as much as they could.  Also, during lectures, they could discuss pastoral issues with students, in addition to the academic information that they taught.  They could not do this back home, so they value this aspect of teaching a lot and the students find them very helpful.  They are all very keen to come back to teach again and we certainly hope that they will be able to do so.

From the visiting lecturers that came recently, we also learnt many things from them.  Most of them are very warm and sincere and though we have not met before we got along really well and we could feel their warmth and kindness to us.  We all come from very different backgrounds but after an evening’s sharing and fellowship we know and understand each other much better.  We feel sad to see them go and we do hope we will be able to meet them again in the near future.  We also hope we can learn from them and be warm and sincere when interacting with people.

One visiting lecturer in particular told us he hoped to see us again when he returns.  We could feel his genuineness when he said this, and he said he would pray for us as we need to start thinking what God wants us to do when our two year term finishes in May next year.  Please also pray for us as we seek our Lord’s guidance regarding our future.  SIM Zambia and TCCA are all very positive for us to stay for a longer period.  Sean Marston from SIM NZ will visit us in early September and we will certainly talk to him about this.  There are many options and scenarios that we could think of, so we need your prayers as we come before Him to seek His will for us.

Our good friend Ba John is in charge of Youth for Christ Zambia.  He recently organised a retreat for youth leaders and they met in Ndola.  He asked Timothy to give a talk on libraries and books.  In the end Timothy chose to talk on the importance of reading and he asked the youth if they are interested to participate in a reading scheme.  Everyone was interested so he is going to compile a reading list and get the books in and start doing it as soon as possible.  The logistics need to be worked out though as the youth all come from different parts of Zambia.

One of our graduates invited us to attend his induction service in Mufulira, a town 70km northwest of Ndola.  The road from Ndola more or less follows the border with Congo and ten fifteen years ago this was a notorious road which no one dared to use.  Some people called it the road to Jericho as bandits from Congo would come and roam around the area and it was very dangerous and unsafe.  Now the situation has greatly improved but the condition of the road was very bad with lots of potholes.  Five of us from TCCA went and Rev Dr Chizelu, our lecturer and dean of students, was the preacher and officiated at the induction.

This was our first time in attending a Zambian induction service and what an occasion it was!  It was a very joyful occasion and people from many churches came to attend.  Some came from Ndola, Kitwe and Lusaka.  The pastor’s mother came from Kafue, a place farther away than Lusaka.  The church was established in 1963 but this was the first pastor that they have called.  So people were obviously excited and moved by the occasion.  There was lots of singing and dancing and towards the end of the service people brought lots of gifts for the pastor’s family.

You would be amazed to see what people brought—coffee table, bicycle, duvets, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and many other household items.  To us it was very similar to a wedding ceremony.  The service was long, started at 10am and finished at nearly 3pm, and we had lunch then.  Later on people told us that an induction service is a big thing here and what we have witnessed actually is only a small scale version.  Anyway, perhaps because we represent TCCA and we are “whites”, somehow we were upgraded and had the honour of being seated on the stage.  The service was later shown on a local TV news programme and people reported that they saw glimpses of us in the background.

We went to Lusaka last Friday to deliver some documents to our director.  We took the opportunity to do some shopping and had a Chinese meal in a restaurant.  We returned to Ndola the next day.  On Monday Zara felt unwell and went to the clinic and discovered that she had malaria again.  This is happening a bit too often and we are worried as to why we have had malaria so frequently recently.  Please continue to pray for our health.  With Christian love.

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