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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 15  : "Leaving" (14/04/2015)


‘The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forward and even for evermore.’ Psalm 121 v 8


This was the verse that the Lord gave me on Friday 20 March, the beginning of my last week in Zambia.  It was hard to believe that the time had gone so quickly.  How good to be able to rest on His promises, knowing that He overrules in all the affairs of life, and to trustingly follow Him wherever He leads!


My last days at Chitokoloki were busy –though there were no really sick children until the moment I was set to depart, there were plenty of loose ends to tie up and good-byes to say. My parting shot was to intubate a sick child who presented for admission via OPD and stopped breathing the moment she arrived on the ward.  Sadly, however, she failed to respond to further resuscitation efforts and passed away shortly after I left.  I was able to make final visits to Patson (the elderly gentleman in the village who subsequently also passed away….), Eddie, the young man with cerebral palsy, and Kezia and family.  Other short-termers hope to continue visits to the first two, but Kezia and family will head for home until June when they plan to return for more therapy.


On the Thursday night my housemates cooked a delicious parting dinner for me – it was a fun time too.  I was glad that most of my packing had been completed the night before and was safely stowed at the Baileys home (DV I will be house-sitting for them when I return to Chitokoloki in June).  The remainder was soon completed.  On Thursday night too I managed to make my final visit to the ladies wards with Rhodah, one of the local sisters. Rhonda Markle was heading off to Lusaka by road early the following morning so was not able to join us.

The plane was back in service for the short flight to Loloma, the first stage of my journey to Lusaka and my return flight to UK.  I stayed with Marian Ronald (Canada) and enjoyed the opportunity to renew fellowship with Tim and Joy Beer and family, as well as Paul and Eunice Poidevin who are based in Kabompo but were in Loloma for further work on the revision of the Luvale New Testament (this is a huge ongoing task to translate accurately, preserving the sense of the text, into meaningful Luvale).  Tim’s brother, Andrew, was also out for a visit. He and his younger daughter, Alice, returned to UK just after me.  I hadn’t seen Andrew for years - funny how one has to travel so far to meet up with folk who live relatively locally in the UK!

Loloma seemed much less busy than Chit so I was able to enjoy a somewhat more relaxed week before I returned to UK.  I was at the hospital in out-patients each morning and there were several families who had been waiting to see me.  There were some developmental issues as well as cerebral palsy as well as a number of more general paediatric issues that needed an opinion and plan of management.  A lady I had seen at Chit also came to Loloma for her follow-up appointment.  I was also responsible for the medical staff teaching session early on the Wednesday morning – I spoke on basic child development and I hope that the staff found it helpful.

I spent the remainder of Wednesday over in Kabompo with Don and Elva Brooks (Canada and NZ).  Elva is involved with a number of families who have children with developmental difficulties and wanted me to see some of them.  The first visit was to the Mukwatu family who have two lads, noe in his mid-teens and another around 10 years of age both with quite severe cerebral palsy.  It is a tremendous burden for the family to manage their care in their village home, but they do so admirably.  Elva has been able to help in sourcing specialist wheelchairs for both boys as well as standing frames (though the older lad is very reluctant to use his for the present).  I met these boys during my first visit to Chit back in 2007 when their parents brought them for assessment and further management and thereafter they were apparently lost to follow-up.   I had seen them during my visit in summer 2014 and it was good to see them again.   Then another mother and child came to the Brooks house for assessment. The little boy also had cerebral palsy and developmental delay.  We discovered that he really enjoyed ‘drawing’ – he loved my pen and worked really hard to copy scribbles, lines and circles.  It was an encouragement to his mother to see such interest.  Another visitor was a young widow and eight of her nine children. She is in fellowship in a small village assembly across the Kabompo river and Don and Elva have been helping her with housing.  During the afternoon I went to the local secondary school with Don and Elva for the Scripture Union group.  A good number of teenagers attended and listened well to the story of Daniel.  As I was waiting for Elva afterwards, one of the teachers came up to speak with me – he was the father of one of my former patients at Chit

On the Lord’s day I was at the assembly gatherings at Loloma – Gospel preaching, Breaking of Bread and ministry, all in Luvale.  Quite a marathon, although we did sing a few hymns in Lunda!

During the last day of my visit it was nice to have the company of the team of Seed Sowers who had been out in Namibia for 10 days or so. There is no assembly testimony in that country and it has been the exercise of several Zambian believers as well as missionary brethren to see a work for the Lord begun there.  It was very interesting to hear their informal reports.  We were all able to accompany Tim Beer in one of his regular visits to the ‘kashina kaji’ – the older people for whom the mission seek to provide basic housing and care.

On Friday morning (27 March) I set off early for the flight to Lusaka and thence to Johannesburg and UK.  The Lord undertook and there were no hitches at any stage.  I arrived safely at Heathrow early in the morning on Saturday 28th March. Home going was made extra special by the prospect of a visit from my good friends Samuel & Elizabeth Simonyi-Gindele and family from Angola who were passing through UK en route for furlough in Canada.  It was lovely to see them again.

As I write this posting their visit is past, as is Easter and the conference at Bicester where I found the ministry very challenging.  DV I am due to return to Zambia on 28 May and the time remaining will go by all too quickly.  I greatly value your prayers that all will be done to His glory whether at home in UK or over in Zambia when I return.

Tim Beer and ‘kashina kaji’


Scripture Union group with Elva Brooks and RJ



















Part of Luvale NT revision team: Paul Poidevin and Marian Ronald with Zambian brethren