Newsletter (Mar 4, 2010)

Dear all, We have been experiencing very heavy rain in the past two weeks.  For several days it rained nonstop more or less.  Apart from January which was a bit drier than normal, we had much more than the average in November, December and February.  The rain made worse the already bad roads, with many new and deep potholes appearing everywhere, and made most of the unpaved roads impassable to cars like ours.

The heavy rain also made malaria rife in many places, including TCCA.  One of our lecturers contracted cerebral malaria, the most dangerous kind which can easily kill.  He was admitted to Ndola Central Hospital and was given quinine.  Quinine has been the most effective drug to treat critical cases of malaria for the past two hundred years but it has serious side effects.  He is fine now but the side effects still linger on and it takes time to get rid of them.  The type of malaria that is found in Zambia and in most African countries can lead to cerebral malaria if a patient does not treat it in time, so the best way is to take medication as soon as malaria is diagnosed.  Unfortunately sometimes people do not have money to buy antimalarial medication and by the time they get it, it is too late.  Zara also had another bout of malaria last week but her symptoms were mild, although she is still a bit tired even today.

The TCCA building project is progressing, although very slowly.  We have just started bricklaying and finally we could see something rising vertically.  However the rain does not make this job any easier but still we have made some progress these past weeks.  One of our main donors gives us funds in Euros and with the drop in the Euro against the greenback, our tight budget is becoming even tighter.  Earlier the donor told us they would give us a matching grant if we could raise some money within Zambia, but up till now we have received nothing locally, which is very disappointing.

The library project also has made some progress.  The library software with some accessories have arrived but was held up by customs in Lusaka.  Hopefully it will be released to us soon.  We should be able to get new computers and the server from Lusaka soon.  The only snag so far is to find someone to lay the network for us in TCCA.  The quotation that we obtained from Lusaka was too expensive so we are trying to find someone who can do the job locally.  Please pray that we will be able to find some reliable person to do the job for us.

Please also start praying for new students for next year.  We have nine new students this year and this is not enough.  Please pray that God will provide us with at least 15 new students next year.  Humanly speaking this is extremely hard, but we trust that God will and can provide.  One of the main difficulties preventing students to come to TCCA is cost.  The cost of studying in TCCA is not cheap, ranging from US$2,500 for a single male to US$4,300 for a married couple with two children (estimated figures only).  Out of this, roughly a third will be returning to the students as monthly rations.  Students in general are not good at budgeting; that’s why we have this system of monthly rations, otherwise they may spend everything within a month.  If we get more students, fees will be lower, so the more students we get the lower the fees will be.  One practical way for you to help TCCA is to sponsor a student in full or in part.  Perhaps you could pray about this and see if God is directing you to help TCCA this way.

Please also pray for teaching staff.  We desperately need new teaching staff, with the retirement of Drs Rich and Kathy Stuebing, both founding members of TCCA and who have served faithfully in Zambia for 40 years.  Teaching staff must have a master’s degree as a minimum and if you know someone is keen and led by God and willing to serve in this part of the world, do let them know and get in contact with us.

Our sister Janice Reid has written to us and asked if we could write an article for Faith in Focus.  We did and it will be published in the April or May issue.  Hope you will enjoy reading it and find the information helpful.  With Christian love.

Back to Tim and Zara’s home page