Wallingford Christian Assembly


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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 16  : "Back to Chitokoloki" (13/06/2015)


I have now been back at Chitokoloki for one week and it is time to resume my blog postings.  My nine weeks at home simply flew by – they were very full with visitors at home, travels to W Cork (oh so beautiful!) to see friends, to Alton making papier mache equipment and to Sheffield (in connection with the paediatric neurodisability MSc in the UK, assembly conference, paediatric epilepsy teaching etc etc.  I left UK on 28 May travelling with Emirates via Dubai (a new route for me) and arrived in Lusaka on the afternoon of 29 May after a good journey.  The first flight was very quiet and I had three seats to myself; the second was busier but there was the chance to share something of the Gospel with the man sitting next to me who described himself as a ‘God-ist’ who believed that all gods were the same apart from the name and there were therefore many ways to one heaven.   A deception of Satan so that men feel comfortable and fail to seek the One Who is the Way, theTruth and the Life.

I spent 5 days in Lusaka staying with my good friend Phoebe Musonda and was able to enjoy warm fellowship with the believers gathered to the Lord’s Name in the assembly at Great East Road, both on the Lord’s Day and at the Tuesday evening Bible study. I had hoped to sort my Zambian driving licence while I was in town but the bureaucracy proved insurmountable – I realised that my disappointment was allowed of the Lord in His purpose  and that I must accept it as such.  I was able to do a mammoth grocery shop however to boost the supplies at home here for the next 3 months (I was glad that the little plane for the travel up country was not too full!).  I also enjoyed meeting Jason and Anna Speichinger  and their two children for the first time – the last members of the Speichinger family I had to meet.  They are now living in Lusaka as Jason is working for Flying Mission.

It is good to be back at Chitokoloki.  I arrived here on 3 June to a warm welcome from missionaries and hospital staff.  I am house-sitting for Keith and Gayle Bailey this time (they are away home in Canada for the summer) and so have moved from the edge to the centre of town.  It is a lovely little house, very homely and well-equipped (lots of recipe books to keep me happy!!), and with wonderful views over the river from the lounge, study and bedroom (yes, I can lie in bed and look out across the Zambezi!).  I have inherited the family cat who keeps me under 24h surveillance through the kitchen window.  There is a vegetable garden which should produce lettuce very soon and there are pawpaws ripening on the trees (to keep up my vitamin C levels).  

It took the remainder of Wednesday to unpack and establish myself, so I didn’t get to the hospital till the Thursday morning.  The team is smaller than usual. Dr David McAdam and his wide are at home in NI for the summer so we have a number of visiting surgeons coming out to hold the fort. Currently we have Dr Paul Osteen from Houston Texas, a very experienced general surgeon who has worked a lot in the developing world.  Christian Gagnon and Emma Wichers are also away, though will be returning shortly dv.  Thursday and Friday nights, I was back to my usual routine of visiting the womens wards with Rhonda Markle and the Bible study with the girls in the hostel which the Baileys normally oversee.

The paediatric ward is busy and there are a number of complicated and sick patients to keep me well occupied.  There are also a number of well (and impish) orthopaedic patients who leap around on their plastered legs even though they are supposed to be non-weightbearing!!  One of my spina bifida patients from last summer has attended for review the past two days and it was good to be able to give them Gospel tracts before they left.

On the Lord’s Day I met with the believers in the assembly here in the morning and then went out to the Village Gospel meeting with Shawn and Rhonda Markle in the afternoon, then to the English Gospel meeting in the evening.  The numbers attending the latter were smaller than when I left in March, but the Gospel was clearly and faithfully preached by Shawn. Later the Lords Day evening gathering was at my house.  In the afternoon I was standing making cheese scones when I heard a very loud buzzing outside. I looked up to see a huge swarm of what looked like wasps circling just outside the window – was I not glad for the mosquito mesh!  They came in their hundreds and settled under the eaves and on a pipe just near the kitchen window – a large mobile black patch!!  They were still there the next morning when I showed my workers and there is still a bit of buzzing now!!

I am grateful to the Lord for bringing me back here and giving the opportunity to witness to Him among these people without the light of the Gospel.  I really value your prayers to this end that by His grace my life here will bring glory to Him Who gave His life that we might live.



Dr Paul Osteen and local children


View from my windows across the Zambezi river