Preparations (February 7, 2008)

Here are the recent developments in our preparation to go to Zambia.

We will be leaving Dunedin on 22 April and stopping over in Hong Kong for two weeks, mainly to see our parents (and do some last-minute shopping).  Timothy’s mum will turn 90 in March and we will celebrate with her when we are there.  We will fly to Lusaka, Zambia from Hong Kong on 6 May, arriving on the next day and spend at least a week there for orientation, before going to Ndola.

We have arranged travel and medical insurance to cover our stay in Zambia.  We have completed most of the vaccinations required.  There are still two or three to do just before we go.

Although language learning is not required of us, we decided to learn Bemba, the main dialect spoken in Ndola.  We thought it would help us to build a better relationship with the people we meet.

We have read several books—biographies of missionaries in Zambia and cross-cultural connections.  They provide very good insights on God’s provision and help, and good understanding on how to relate with people from a different culture.

We have been allocated a house which is next door to the Theological College.  It has been vacated by John and Elizabeth Evans, an American missionary couple who have been teaching at the College for the past 11 years.  They left for Namibia in January and will possibly move to Kenya next year.  We have got a street map for Ndola and we could find where the College is located, and so from Google Earth we can see quite clearly the College and the house.

We have been in contact with the Evanses and they very kindly told us many things about the house and about practical living in Ndola.  The house is an older, well-built one with three bedrooms.  They recommended that we employ someone to look after the house and the yard.  They also recommended we keep a dog, which will be a totally new experience.  The house is conveniently located to shops, post office and medical clinics. 

Thank you very much for all your prayers.  We could see God’s hand in many things that we have been doing and we can experience His grace and help in many things that we have done.

Things to do in the coming weeks: drawing up a will, getting ready to sell the house which we hope to put on the market in several weeks’ time, attending an orientation weekend in Auckland from 29 February to 2 March, sorting out things to bring to Africa or keep in storage, reading several books including African friends and money matters, Biblical Christianity in an African perspective and several articles from the African Bible commentary.

Please continue praying for us and ask God to give us a humble and serving heart as we prepare to serve Him in Ndola, and that we can adjust to life in Zambia quickly and will not feel stress by the different ways of doing things in Africa.  Please also pray for a smooth and quick sale of our house.

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