Wallingford Christian Assembly

Zambia News - 'End of another year' (December 2017)

Apologies for the delay in posting this update.  It was written more than two weeks ago en route back to UK, but never quite got loaded.


I am writing this blog posting on the plane from Dubai to London on my way home from a further short visit to Zambia, and not relishing the thought of freezing temperatures after the humid heat of Chit.  I have been forcefully reminded of the Lord’s protecting care on my journey.  The flight is greatly delayed – we were nearly ready for take-off this morning when a technical fault was found with the plane and we returned to the gate.  Two hours later, after a second fault was found we all deplaned to await a new aircraft at a much later departure time.  I am reminded of the old chorus,’God is still on the throne and He will remember His own.’

It seems almost strange that Christmas is so near – it certainly didn’t feel like it at Chit.  Of course, out in the bush there is none of the hyp and excesses that are associated with the season in UK.  In fact, the rainy season  started quite early and we have already had some heavy electrical storms, one of which fried our internet (hence no earlier posting). The locals who are all subsistence farmers are busy preparing and planting their fields, hoping for a good crop to provide enough food to see them through the next 12 months.  It is also the season of bugs and beasties, a few of which I have dispatched via my shoe.  As the rains come, so do the flowers.  The scented frangipani are in bloom, as are the beautiful flamboyant trees with their thousands of bright red flowers.   Mangoes are in season and are delicious, far better than their supermarket counterparts back home (mango season is also the fracture season – after all, who can resist that delicious fruit right at the top of the tree…).  On a few occasions  I have seen a hornbill in the trees outside my house.  

I have seen the Lord’s hand at work in many ways during this visit.  I flew up via Solwezi where Tim and Joy Beer met me and took me to Loloma where I spent 3 days holding paediatric clinics and collected my vehicle which I had left there.  I headed to Chit after the Breaking of Bread on the Lord’s Day.  As usual I stayed with Marian Ronald (Canada) who became quite unwell during my visit – my presence meant she was not alone in the house. Subsequently her condition worsened and she was brought through to Chit as an emergency.  We were very concerned about her when she arrived, but after a few days of intravenous fluids she began to pick up, and then steadily progressed towards recovery. She returned to Loloma  two weeks later and, by all accounts, is quite back to her normal self. WE thank the Lord for graciously granting her recovery.

The hospital is busy as usual.  At the end of November we had another visit from the orthopaedic team – this always brings an influx of patients, including several ‘old friends’ of mine (they have been on the paediatric ward previously).  Their surgeries went well and several of them are nearly ready for discharge (pic of Joshua and Mickey).  We also had a couple of children who were given village medicines prior to admission and who were consequently very unwell.  When I came down to Lusaka on my way home, we brought a mother and baby for admission to the main hospital for treatment of hydrocephalus in the baby. I feel so much for these mothers who have only known village life and who are suddenly thrust into the big city often with no friends/relatives there, no one who speaks their language and no support. We try to provide them with money for some supplies and for the journey home, as well as a letter to the Social Worker to seek further support.  I mentioned this particular mother to some of the believers from the Great East Road assembly who may be able to visit her and show some Christian care and sympathy.


The school year finished this weekend, though some grades finished rather earlier, as soon as their exams were complete.  Five of the hostel girls have completed school and have moved away home. This group includes three of those in my Bible study group, although one of these, Christine, is going to be my house-worker, at least for the next twelve months.  I am very pleased about this as it means that we do not lose contact and there is the opportunity to speak more about the things of the Lord.  She is a lovely girl.  Otherwise, the Friday evening Bible studies which Keith Bailey runs for the group as a whole have continued.  The new year will bring some changes with a number of new girls and a new house-mother as Gladys Muyembo who has filled this role for the past couple of years is moving off to school teaching.

Carol, my other local friend, has been accepted in nursing school in Lusaka and will start in eraly January. It will be a huge transition for her as she too will move from village culture to city life.  She knows another girl form Chit who has already started in the same nursing school and accommodation is provided.  Please do pray for her that the Lord will preserve her and that she will grow in the things of the Lord while she is away.  She has contact details for the believers in Great East Road who will be happy to help and encourage her.

Edi is still in the village, although the possibility that he will be able to attend the special school at Mambilima is looking more realistic.  I am awaiting further confirmation as well as a list of basic requirements.  We hope that he will be able to stay at the school throughout the year, coming ‘home’ only once at the end of the school year.  There is special transport provided to Mambilima from Kitwe in the Copperbelt by the Wukwashi wa Nzambi charity project which concentrates on children with special needs.  Please pray that the Lord will guide and direct in all the arrangements; there is still a long way to go before Edi becomes a pupil.

Both the village Gospel work and the English Gospel meeting have stopped for a few weeks over the holidays; they will resume again in the new year DV. The Thursday evening ladies ward visits have also stopped while Shawn in Rhonda Markle take a short break away from Chit. I was able to meet up with them in Lusaka and enjoyed the time we spent together.

We had a number of visitors from N Ireland in November; they were a great help in so many ways. They left just the day after me, leaving the team somewhat depleted.  Joey and Kait Speichinger are on furlough in the US as well, so the company is very select at the moment and  soon the oncall rota will be limited to three people. Please remember them in your prayers.

As I finish this posting, I will take the opportunity to send seasonal greetings and to thank you for your prayer (and practical) support during the year that is ending.  We do not know how long we have before the Lord returns for His own and this day of His grace will end.  While we ‘look for the Saviour’(Phil 3:20), let us ‘abound’ in His work, for our labour is not in vain in Him.