Newsletter (March 15, 2018)

Dear all, Greetings from Lusaka and trust you all are well. It has been two months since we returned to Zambia on 5 January 2018. We would like to briefly share with you what has happened in our lives during this time.

First, January is supposed to be the wettest month of the year but Lusaka got no rain at all. So we had a drought and it was very hot. In a way it was good as since October last year there were cholera outbreaks in Lusaka, especially in the townships where the sanitary conditions are very poor and water is also contaminated. The situation was very serious and more than 70 people died. The reopening of schools and universities was suspended, church services in the affected areas were stopped. The dry weather at least slowed down the spread of cholera and by the end of January things were under control. Gradually things are getting back to normal. Schools and most universities have reopened and churches in the affected areas are allowed to meet again.

Second, rain finally came in February and we have had very heavy rain most days. There was quite a lot of flooding and many roads were damaged by the heavy rain, with lots of potholes formed which made driving difficult and dangerous. Because of the late arrival of the rain, people are saying the crops, especially maize, will not have a good harvest this year, and we may have to import maize from the neighbouring countries.

Third, we attended a funeral in Ndola just a few days after we returned. The lady who passed away was a former TCCA graduate. We knew her and her sister very well. It was good to go to attend the funeral as we managed to meet many people whom we have not met for a long time. However when we came back to Lusaka, we stopped and had lunch with a friend and our car was broken into and we lost most of our belongings which were in the car. We lost our passports, Zara’s employment permit, two notebooks, two phones, some cash and other items which may not be valuable but have sentimental value. Miraculously the passports and employment permit were found by the police accidentally so we went and picked them up, plus Zara’s Sunday School teaching materials, and a few items that the thieves did not want. The police managed to find us because we left our name cards in the bag. Those were our last name cards and we just kept them as souvenirs, but they contained our phone numbers. Since Zara’s phones were not stolen, the police managed to call her. So everything is under God’s control and although we still lost most of our things we are very grateful and thankful for his protection.

Fourth, Timothy is preaching and Zara is teaching children’s Sunday School at the Chinese Church every second Sunday for this year. We also attended their Chinese New Year’s Eve celebration and Timothy was asked to share a short message at the gathering where about 40 people attended. Timothy will also lead a 10-week Christianity Explored course in Mandarin. This is to help the Chinese church to get familiarised with the friendship gospel outreach with their members. Please pray that this Bible study programme will be a beginning of many other outreach programmes to bring many to Christ. The course was supposed to begin in March but is now postponed to August for some good reasons.

Fifth, Timothy is still engaged in several Christian literature and library projects. He is helping both the Covenant College and the Lusaka Ministerial College in organising their libraries. He is configuring a library system for them. The system, Koha, is an open source system (that means it is free) which was first developed in New Zealand but is now used by many libraries all over the world. He has not used that system before so he is also learning how to set it up. He is also continuing to introduce new library books to church members during the Thursday Bible study at church.

Sixth, Zara is helping with hospitality for SIM Zambia and is exploring some community projects with another lady. She has just started teaching Bible weekly to grade 4 pupils in a small community school which mainly caters for orphans and vulnerable children in townships. Their standards will be lower than a normal primary school. Please pray that she can relate well with the children and they can learn God’s words and understand the gospel message.

Zara’s father is fine in Hong Kong. He is doing well for one of his age though he does have health issues here and there. He has good support from his church folks and he is adjusting well to his new phase of life. We are so thankful we could have peace in our hearts when we left him in January.

This year has been exciting with more opportunities coming up that we could do. We are so thankful to the Lord who leads us and guides us. We will return to Hong Kong just for six weeks in the middle of the year, as we do not want to have too many interruptions to our ministries here towards the latter half of the year. We are very thankful and feel more settled too as we do not have to shift from place to place as we did last year.

That possibly is everything worth mentioning. Please continue to pray for us as we need your prayer support. Blessings.

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