Newsletter (November 26, 2009)

Dear all, Again we have been very busy for the past two weeks.  Last week we attended the funeral of a baby girl who just turned eight months on the day she died.  She had AIDS and died of other complications.  It was a very sad occasion, especially for an innocent child who inherited this deadly virus from her parents.  As soon as we heard that the girl has died, we went to her home and offered our condolences to the parents.  We sat on the floor with the others.  Sometimes someone would read a Bible passage, sometimes we might sing a hymn or pray together.  Most of the time people would just sit there, mourning together with the family.  We asked our good friend what we should bring there.  He suggested that we bring a 25kg bag of mealie meal, as the family would need to provide food to friends and relatives who would come from afar to their home, and the family might not have the resources to buy food for them.

The next day we went to the cemetery and it was indeed a heartbreaking sight.  We were there at around 10am and there were so many funerals going on at the same time (more than ten).  Four to five small graves for babies had already been dug and, during the time that we were there, three different babies were buried.  We had a short service and after that we went back to the family home (funeral home) to sit for a while and then we went home.  You can imagine there must be many people, young and old, who die and are buried everyday in Ndola alone.  Many people would be grieving for the loss of their love ones everyday.  Because of that, our college principal offers a course, “Grief, Death and Dying”, every year to teach students how to deal with these issues for themselves and how to help others to face such problems.

We have organised a fundraising project for TCCA and we will be selling Bibles, books, cards, bookmarks, games and some Christian gift items on Saturday the 27th.  The idea evolved many months ago when some friends suggested that Timothy should set up a bookshop at TCCA.  He has been helping the students getting Bibles and books at very good prices and they believed that a bookshop to outsiders can help generate money for TCCA.  We abandoned this idea eventually as it involved too many things that we are not familiar with.  However, we came up this idea of a fundraising event so as to help Christians here get good Christian material and hopefully to generate some money for TCCA.  Many people are interested to come and buy but most of them do not have money to buy much.  All the proceeds of the sale will be for TCCA, so we pray that we will be able to sell all of the materials on Saturday.

Rain has finally come and we have had very heavy rain for several days.  This year the rain pattern is very different from last year.  Last year most rain in November came at night or late afternoon, but this year we have rain even in the morning, and not so much at night, and it is much heavier.  We have been having some load shedding for the past few weeks.  The greatest problem was that it came very randomly and caught people unexpectedly.  According to the newspaper Zambia is facing a huge increase in power demand towards the end of next year, and there will be massive load shedding then.  Unfortunately there will be no relief in sight until at least 2012.

Zara is still very busy working at the registry.  The next few days will be crucial for her as next Saturday will be the graduation day and she needs to get all the certificates and transcripts ready for the big occasion.  Please pray for extra strength as she is quite tired and exhausted recently.  Please also continue to pray for new students next year.  At the moment we have only four first year students confirmed to be coming, plus three students returning to do further study.  We have 12 students graduating, so the student numbers will be further reduced next year if no more new students are coming to study.

Please also pray for the TCCA building project.  Originally it was planned to have a 10-unit, 2-floor building built by early next year, so that we could generate some income and keep the fees down.  However, the project has hit some snags and a budget blowout.  Please pray that God will remove those obstacles and provide adequate funding for the College, so that the project will be able to be completed as soon as possible.  With Christian love.

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