Newsletter (March 19, 2015)

Dear all, Sorry for the long silence. We are extremely short staffed at the moment. Many times when we started writing, there were distractions and things that we had to do. Then there were times when we were just tired.

We have temporarily lost another missionary couple. They were asked to go to Liberia urgently in January as there are critical needs that they could help with. There is some urgent building construction work at the hospital that needs to be done, so SIM Zambia agreed to loan them to Liberia for six months. In Zambia they live within our mission property and they are looking after our hospitality work, managing the guest house and building construction. We have taken up some of their responsibilities while they are away. Please pray for the safety of our people in Liberia. Ebola seems to be under control there, with very few new cases recently, but we still need to pray for them and the SIM missionaries in Liberia. We also need strength and wisdom to deal with the affairs of the mission. There are always unexpected things happening.

Our director has been away practically all of February and March for various meetings and conferences, so there are very few people around in the office. Sometimes only we were around. During this time there were a number of urgent matters that needed to be dealt with, so Timothy has been very busy for a while.

We have had lots of rain in January and February, and basically it rains nearly every day. After the first week of March the rain has stopped, but we need more rain for the crops, so we hope we will still have some rain later this month.

The economy does not seem to be too well right now. Copper prices have dropped because of a lack of demand. Coupled with a strong US dollar and some political uncertainty, the kwacha has dropped a lot in February and March. We notice the prices of most things in the supermarket have gone up a lot, so it will be hard on most people.

We went to Ndola in February for a few days as Timothy was asked to go to TCCA and gave some advice about the library. We are pleased to be able to return to Ndola again and we did meet some old friends. It so happened it was Chinese New Year during that time and one of our Chinese friends invited us to have lunch with her on Chinese New Year’s Day. It was good to be able to meet with her again.

Timothy has been preaching in the Chinese Church once a month from January. Zara has started teaching Sunday School at church. She is sharing the teaching with two or three other teachers to a group of five-year-old children. Please pray for her for added strength and wisdom as she has never taught this age group before.

Our term of service will finish at the end of 2015. We have booked our tickets home and we will arrive back in New Zealand on New Year’s Day 2016. Last time our home assignment was a bit too short, so this time we are planning to have a four-month break. We are looking forward to being home soon.

Please continue to pray for us and our ministries in Zambia. Sometimes we feel discouraged, and we need your prayer support. With Christian love.

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