News from Zambia

Missionary Newsletter January 2008

Dear friends,

Another couple of months has passed since I wrote to you last, I hope you all had a good Christmas and can still remember your new years resolutions!

I was fortunate enough to take a short break to see friends in Cape Town in early December. I was able to see Andre and Rina’s newest arrival, baby Andre, only three weeks old! It was good to visit the shops too. Despite being the second city of Zambia, Kitwe has no equivalent of Marks & Spencers or C & A, and I was able to do a bit of Christmas shopping which was more like home in the UK.

Having said that, Christmas has not been the traditional turkey and Christmas pudding this year. Adrian, the EEPS volunteer from Cornwall, and I had Christmas lunch with Pete and Cheryl Smith and their 2 boys. We made our own pizzas and had fresh pineapple for pudding! Despite being simple, my Christmas celebrations have been lengthy, I received several cards yesterday (21st January) and have had two other batches of presents and cards this month too – including a very enjoyable packet of maltesers!

My thanks also go out to Adrian, and another volunteer Mike, who helped make Christmas a more enjoyable time for the women from Ipusukilo when we took them all out for a Christmas lunch. This was the first time any of the group had been out for a meal, and it was a very happy occasion with lots of singing and dancing and laughter.

Christmas lunch for the Ipusukilo group
Christmas lunch for the Ipusukilo group

It is a joy and a privilege to be counted as a friend by these very special women. Please pray for their protection from disease, and their ability to provide for their dependant children to increase.

Another great joy this year was to have a visit from my daughter Carol, and her boyfriend John. They spent a relaxing (if damp) time both here with me in Kitwe and in Livingstone visiting Victoria Falls. Carol also managed to get an invitation to accompany me to a traditional Bemba kitchen party, something I think she will remember for quite a while. It is quite different from a hen night. The bride to be has to have each present she receives explained to her so she understands how to use it in the kitchen!

The “committee” dance to the front during the kitchen party celebrations
The “committee” dance to the front during the kitchen party celebrations

The giver then has to dance to African drum rhythms until given permission to stop! Needless to say Carol and I, being the only Europeans, had to show our prowess for quite some time! Despite the happy atmosphere and lots food, music and dancing the bride is not allowed to smile throughout the whole proceedings which usually take 3 – 4 hours.

As you think of Zambia and Mindolo, Items for prayer this time include

  • The safe arrival of the new participants. A number are coming from Kenya, and the troubles may disrupt travel arrangements.
  • Gods hand to direct the educational programmes of Mindolo as they change to meet the changing demands of Africa.
  • Wisdom and insight to know how to best help the people I meet who are in great need.
  • Continued good health, so far, I have managed to avoid malaria, and I am sure your prayers have helped.

My very best wishes to you all for 2008,