Newsletter (February 3, 2011)

Dear all, It has been a long while since we last wrote to all of you. We should have sent our news to you two weeks ago but we missed the deadline. Then we had to go to Lusaka to attend a workshop last week. We told ourselves that we have to send you some news this week, otherwise people may think we have big problems here.

We took a short break and spent five days in Cape Town from 25 to 29 December. We did not do much, just wanted to take a rest. Cape Town was full of people, especially in the beaches, with long traffic jams. It seems that everyone had flocked there and reminded us of the crowds in Hong Kong! We did enjoy our stay there, although the last two days were extremely windy, somewhat like Wellington we would imagine.

The new school year began in the second week of January. At that time we had five new students. In the next two weeks it was very hectic for Zara as there were still several cases to follow up, and in the end four more students came. So altogether we have nine first-year students (eight men and one woman) this year which is very good indeed. These nine students will replace the nine that graduated, so we still have 28 students. The encouraging news is that the decline in student numbers has halted and we hope we will see some increase next year. Actually more new students could have come, but somehow they didn’t for different reasons; the main reason is still financial. Of the new students, most of them are from the region, but one is from Chipata, which is way out in the east, with another one from Chavuma, which is way out in the north-west.

Timothy is still very busy with the library project, working in most evenings and Saturdays. The library is using the new system for borrowing and lending of books. It seems to be going well without much problem. Some work still needs to be done with the servers and the progress is a bit slow in this regard, as the person doing this work has to do it in the evening and he needs to travel from Kitwe to Ndola.

We went to Lusaka last week to attend a multicultural workshop organised by SIM Zambia. We attended one two years ago and this time we had Zambians attending as well which we think is very helpful, as we can learn more from our national brothers and sisters. They also said that it was good for them to attend this workshop as they could know more about the cultures of the various missionaries that were present. At one time during the workshop, we had people from nine different countries, and that shows how multicultural our team is. It was also good to catch up with many people whom we have not met for more than a year, and met some new faces as well.

Today is Chinese New Year day and the owner of the Chinese restaurant invited us to attend a gathering tomorrow evening. We hope we will meet many Chinese friends then. On Sunday we will go to Kitwe to see Dr Fan, as we haven’t seen him for many months. We may even be able to see Middle Fan that day as the compound where she stays is not too far away. Young Fan has returned to China for Chinese New Year and he will return to Lusaka, Zambia, later this month or next. He said he might bring his wife and their young son here as well.

Please continue to pray for us so that we will find grace and comfort from our Lord, and that we may experience his love and find joy and peace in Him in our daily living interacting with people. Please also pray that we will be encouraged as we serve in this land. With Christian love.

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