Newsletter (April 19, 2012)

Dear all, The Spiritual Life Conference was very good. Our speaker was a former missionary in Zambia from 1970 to 1985, and then for ten years the international personnel director of SIM International. Her talks were very insightful and challenging. The venue was at a lodge not far from Lusaka, about three hours’ drive from Ndola. It was a very nice and relaxing place and we enjoyed our time there very much. We were also very pleased to meet four other missionaries from New Zealand. They were all from Kasempa/Mukinge Hospital, and this is our first time to meet them. Our longest-serving missionary is retiring in May when she will return to UK. She spent 44 years in Zambia, mostly in Mukinge Hospital. We will miss her dearly, and we hope she could put some of her life history in writing so that we will be encouraged. Life must have been hard in the early days, especially during the 1970s when the copper price dropped so much and led to the collapse of the Zambian economy. Although the poverty level is still high, things have improved, especially in the past few years and hopefully more people can move above the poverty line in the coming years.

We all had to share briefly about our ministry, and after listening to the sharing from our fellow missionaries, we realised that we all were facing similar problems, though not on the same scale. There were some patterns which we could identify and understand very well. Our former director mentioned that perhaps that is the reason why God put us here. If there are no problems whatsoever then definitely we do not need to be here at all. So please continue to remember us in prayers.

Both the SIM New Zealand and Zambia offices have approved the extension of our terms for another six months. So we will go on home assignment at the end of January 2013. After that if we decide to return to Zambia, we will come back as long-term missionaries and it will be a three-year term for us. Please continue to pray for our future, and that God will give us clear guidance if he wants us to return to serve in Zambia.

TCCA has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with SATS (South Africa Theological Seminary). There will be partnership between the two institutions to offer postgraduate programmes in Zambia through TCCA. The qualifications (MTh and PhD) will be awarded by SATS. We hope to start the master’s programme in December.  It will have a new integrated approach and its details are in the final stage of design. There are quite a lot of logistical issues for us to work out before its launch.  Zara will be even busier later this year as she will need to look after the enrolments for this new programme as well.

We are leaving for Slovenia tomorrow and we hope we will have a restful holiday and come back energised and refreshed. Please pray for travel safety, and that we can make all the connections. When we return from holiday we will have some very busy time in late May and June. With Christian love.

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