Newsletter (May 17, 2012)

Dear all, We came back from Slovenia on Sunday 13 May. We have had a most enjoyable holiday and rest. Everything was very smooth and we could make all the connections without any problem. We are indeed thankful to our gracious God. We had to transit in Dubai and the airport was full of people, and everyone wants to buy something for home.

Slovenia is a small, yet beautiful, country with mountains, lakes and sea. Slovenians are very friendly and hospitable and most of them could speak English, especially the younger generation. We also spent four days in Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is extremely beautiful with many heritage buildings. The Danube is certainly not blue now, but a cruise in the evening looking at the lights of the buildings and the castle should be good. Coming from Zambia, we were struck by how fortunate it is for children to live in Slovenia. There are lots of shops selling children’s clothing and toys. Parents take them to parks, zoos, etc. There are lots of children’s books in bookshops and libraries. We were also struck by the reading culture of the country. Only two million people speak and read Slovenian but there are many books published in that language, with many bookshops around. The last bookshop that we visited has seven floors, mostly books in Slovenian, with English books as well.

We attended two Sunday services. One was in Bled, Slovenia. We saw the listing in the tourist brochure and found one called the Evangelical Church. So we searched for it and managed to arrive on time. Not many people around, perhaps 20 altogether, as it was a long weekend and most people were away. Everything was in Slovenian but someone who was fluent in English interpreted for us. The pastor is a tentmaker who works as a locomotive driver. We had coffee after the service and had fellowship with the pastor with the help of our interpreter. It is good to meet Christians overseas, especially in Slovenia which is one of the most secular nations in Europe but, according to the pastor, about 10 per cent of the population are Protestants. The following Sunday we attended an English language church in Budapest, which was big with 200–300 people. It seems that there are many English-speaking Christians in Budapest as there are four or five English language churches. We were very happy to be there and the pastor’s preaching was very helpful and challenging. The congregation was very international and we spoke to several Africans, some Americans and a Hungarian lady who planned to do some translation work with the Wycliffe. We were told that Budapest is the regional capital of Christian mission agencies serving in East Europe and there are many missionaries coming and going.

We went back to work right away on Monday and felt refreshed despite the demanding workload. Lots of things happened during our absence which we would like to tell you in our next newsletter. We heard from Louise that some of you are unwell and we do pray that all of you are better by now. Hope this winter will not be severe for you. With Christian love.

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