Newsletter (July 18, 2019)

Dear all, Greetings from Zambia and trust you all are well. We arrived back in Lusaka safely on 1 July. In spite of the late departure of our flight to Bangkok, we were very thankful we managed to make our connections in both Bangkok and Nairobi and our luggage also arrived safely. The weather is very good as it is the cool dry season here, so it is a welcome relief from the stuffy humid heat in Hong Kong.

Our time in Dunedin went very quickly. We managed to clear most of the stuff that we kept in storage for so long and kept just a bare minimum. We seem not to be used to the cold in Dunedin any more, but we enjoy the warm fellowship of all of you. It is so good to reconnect with old friends and come to know many new friends whom we have not met before.

It was such a pleasure to be able to share a little bit of what we have been doing in Zambia and we hope you might have a glimpse of our life in this part of the world. We also enjoyed listening to the reports of different ministry groups of the church. It was so encouraging to hear the good work of you all!

Our time in Hong Kong had its highs and lows. Zara’s dad is in relatively good health, considering his age. We were very surprised to know two doctors originally from Hong Kong who used to work in Dunedin Hospital were around in early April. They are now in Sydney and we were so happy to meet them and their families separately. They are very fine Christians and very interested in what we are doing.

The Hong Kong political situation and the society in general were very bad while we were there in April and especially June. Even now there are still many protests and demonstrations going on and the police are very brutal and violent dealing with the protestors, many of them are very peaceful. The society is even more polarised than before, and many churches are also affected. Humanly speaking we are not optimistic, and the situation does not seem to calm down any time soon. Yet we keep praying, trusting that it is in the good hands of our merciful Lord.

We have been busy since we came back. There are lots of things to unpack and put back to the original place, as we moved most things to one room and left the other room vacant so that other people could stay there.

Zara started going to the Kafwa Drop In Centre right away to give weekly mathematics tuition to Grade 7 pupils.

Timothy preached last Sunday and will again in two weeks’ time at the Chinese Church, and Zara is also teaching the Sunday School. The Chinese Church used to meet at a very central place owned by the Southern Baptist Mission, but the Mission wants to take the place back for their own use. So the church is meeting temporarily at the big compound where we stay. It is meeting in a rondavel (an African-style hut with a thatched roof) next to the main house. The church is still trying to improve the layout of the facilities each Sunday while they are seeking for a permanent place and it looks like it may take long to find a place suitable.

Our missionary couple at the SIM Zambia office has gone back for home assignment, and Timothy was asked if he could help out with finances for July and August. As a result, he spends some time in the office after weekly morning prayers and again at the end of the month to close the accounts.

There have been friends going through Lusaka in the past two weeks and it was a joy to catch up with them. We came to know more folks in the local church we are attending here too.

As we said before we left Dunedin, there would be power cuts (’load-shedding’ it is called here) when we return because of the drought in the summer and very low hydro lake levels. At the moment it is four hours a day with a three-day cycle. The good thing is that the power company sticks to the schedule for load-shedding so we can plan ahead and do what is necessary before the power goes off. We are very thankful that we have been coping well so far. Hopefully we will not have longer load-shedding hours towards the end of the year.

Please continue to pray for us as we are getting back to our normal work schedule. Please pray for Timothy’s application for the residence permit. It has taken a long time for Immigration to approve it and please pray that it will be approved very soon. We thank God for his protection and your prayers surely will be much appreciated. Blessings.

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