Newsletter (May 5, 2011)

Dear all, Very warm greetings to all of you from Ndola. We returned to Zambia safely last Friday, having spent five weeks of rest and holiday mostly in Hong Kong. We would very much have liked to send you some news during our stay in Hong Kong, but unfortunately we did not have good access to the internet. The place we stayed had been vacant most of the time so there was no connection in the house. There was no other viable alternative, except going to the public library, but they have a time limitation placed on the use of computer terminals there.

March and April in Hong Kong should be warm and very humid, with relative humidity above 90 percent most of the time. Instead we had one of the driest months on record, and it was unexpectedly cold in March. It gradually got warmer towards the end of April, and it was hot just before we returned to Zambia. Even though the temperature was not too high, all public buses, trains and shopping centres had their air conditioners turned on. We were no longer used to such constant change of hot/cold air in and out of buildings, etc. anymore, and as a result Zara had cold and flu once we arrived and again just before we left.

We had a good time with our families. Timothy’s two eldest brothers also came back from America, so Mum was very happy to see her four sons around. His sister was not around this time otherwise we would have had our first big reunion since 2004. Mum just turned 93 in March and still enjoys relatively good health. The public health system has improved so much in Hong Kong that people in general are living much longer and life expectancy in Hong Kong is the second longest in the world, after Japan. We noticed that there are many more older people in the streets than before. Zara’s parents are also very well. We went with them to Eastern China for five days. China has all changed and everywhere one can find very well built residential buildings. There are also multilane highways and fast trains.

One of our purposes for going to Hong Kong was to visit Chinese doctors (those who practice traditional Chinese medicine). We did visit them and had very bitter herbal medicine more or less daily. It is difficult to tell if the treatments were effective, as Chinese medicine normally works slowly. It takes a more holistic approach than western medication. However, according to the doctors we did make some progress which is good to know.

We also had some opportunities to share our experience in our home church and with friends. Timothy spoke twice, once in a youth meeting (where many adults also attended), and another one in a senior Sunday school combined meeting. We thank God for giving us the opportunities to witness his grace and faithfulness to so many people. Timothy talked about Zambia, our ministries, TCCA and some of our thoughts about our ministries. He also shared the grace of God and how God answers prayers from so many of you. Hong Kong in many ways is a well-off society, and many people, especially the younger generations, would have no idea of how people in the majority world live. Many people that we talked to were shocked to learn that people could be so short-lived, so poor, so affected by HIV/AIDS. It seems that our sharing was quite appreciated and we are very thankful and grateful that some brothers and sisters donated many English books to us. Some also donated money for our ministry to TCCA. It was not our intention at all to ask for monetary support, but we thank them and the Lord for his provisions. We pray that we can use them wisely in furthering his works in Zambia.

We also talked to various friends about our time in Zambia. They asked many questions and we tried our best to answer them. Some friends we have not met for a very long time and it was good to be able to catch up with them. We ourselves are very much uplifted by their encouragement. Timothy’s eldest brother and his wife are also a huge blessing to us. They also have a missionary heart and are very excited to hear what we have been doing so far.

We had a very smooth journey flying back. We slept very well on the plane and had no problem transferring in Johannesburg and clearing customs in Ndola. Since we have come back, there are two or three encouraging items of news but perhaps we will leave them till next time. With Christian love.

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