Newsletter (September 3, 2009)

Dear all, We finally managed to visit the Cantonese-speaking people here.  Providentially we met them again in the supermarket on the day we were supposed to go to their place.  This was good because we could then follow them back.  In Zambia, asking people for directions to their houses is very difficult because most streets do not have signs, so even if people tell you the street name it is very difficult to find them.  Most places have no house number so all that you can get is for people to tell you a landmark which most people know and then something like “the third turn to the left and then the second turn to your right and our house is the fourth one down the road on the right and has a red gate.”  And then most of the side streets are in very bad shape ….  So we followed them and surprisingly their house was quite easy to find and the roads were mostly good.  There are about ten of them there, mostly related to each other.  These people operate a copper smelter and they live onsite and, according to them, there is another group of Cantonese-speaking people living just opposite to them.  We talked mostly to the owner and his wife and they seem to be happy for us to visit them.

Dr Fan from Kitwe came to Ndola and brought two new Chinese doctors to our house two weeks ago.  One of them is a neurosurgeon and another is an anaesthetist.  They all come from the same city in Henan Province, China.  The two Chinese doctors came again last Saturday to use Skype to call home.  We don’t know if they are interested in Christianity, but please pray that we will have the opportunities to witness to them and to the Cantonese people.

Books for the reading scheme have arrived and we will now work on the details and logistics of how to send the books out to the young people to read.  A missionary family is going back to America and they have given us some books which may be used in the scheme as well.  This family has been here for two years and they have had many difficult times while they were here.  That’s why they are going back for good even though they planned to come long term.  Please pray for them as they are facing a lot of uncertainties back home.  They have sold their house, resigned from their work so they have nothing to fall back on.  They have five adopted children, three of them Africans, and the husband needs to find a job quickly and a place to stay.

We will be very busy later this week and next.  We are having our annual reviews this Thursday and our director, deputy director, and other people will come to visit and talk to us.  Another SIM Zambia colleague is taking this opportunity to visit some of us in the field and she will stay with us for a few days.  Then next week Sean Marston from SIM New Zealand is coming to visit us and will be staying with us for three days.  TCCA is supposed to have a staff retreat next week but most of the people are away for one reason or another, so we are not sure if it will be postponed.

We did send our referendum votes back, but we do not know if the votes will have reached Wellington before the deadline.  Letters take quite a while to go to Zambia from New Zealand, and vice versa, and we don’t think they gave us enough time to do that.  Anyway, our two votes won’t make a lot of difference, since the result was overwhelmingly “No”.  We hope the government will listen and change the anti-smacking law.

As we mentioned before, the postal system of Zambia is slow but very reliable.  There is no street delivery of mail, so everyone has to use a post box.  Nevertheless some people send letters to us just using our street address and the post office seems to know we are affiliated to TCCA and delivers the letters to TCCA’s post box.  Perhaps there is only one Mr and Mrs Woo in Ndola, so everyone in Ndola Post Office knows who we are.  With Christian love.

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