Friday, 14 February 2014

What a day!

Well. That was horrifying.

Rewind one hour- I had just driven out of the church parking lot headed onto the main road when I heard a loud car horn honking frantically. I saw a van coming at a high speed so I stopped- and he started waving his hands. I realized he obviously had no brakes and he was careening toward a bar with about 20 people outside and/or walking on the road next to it.

One man realized only too late that he was directly in the line of fire and he was hit. Hard.
Hard enough that I watched him fly about 10 feet. I almost vomited... but my "deal with this crisis" mode kicked in and I got out of the car and ran across the street. Amazingly, I have been reading these books a woman from my church in the U.S. sent me on how to deal with any medical emergency when there's no doctor around. Providence.

I found about 30 people crowded around him and everyone was just shouting. He was clearly drunk- and probably didn't feel as much as he would have sober which was good for him because his calf was snapped in two. Two. I saw where the bone was and his foot and ankle were no longer attached to his body by anything but skin. He also had severe cuts and dents in the back of his head and was bleeding at an alarming rate. I watch all these medical shows but real blood, actually flowing, is a frightening colour.

Everyone was shouting and of course- this was Chitulika village so they were speaking Bemba and I was panicking- so I said, multiple times, he needs to go to the hospital- he is badly hurt- he needs to go to the hospital... but no one was listening. Hospital is the same in English and Bemba so they probably thought I was just commenting. Finally I shouted, really loudly, "I AM TAKING HIM TO THE HOSPITAL". The crazy screaming white lady got peoples attention. They got the hint because I was wagging my car keys around and pointing at my car across the road.

The driver of the vehicle who hit him grabbed my arm and said "Get the car." He was the only person who spoke English. Providence. I ran and got the car, calling Sydney to meet us at the hospital. I got my chitenge and put it on the man's head trying to explain to put pressure on the wound but he was wasted drunk and not understanding a thing. 5 men tried to get him in the car on top of my tray of eggs and bottles of water, so I had to rearrange things and help them gently put him in the car. Blood everywhere. His wife and mother both came shouting and screaming and pushing into the car, pushing the man out of the way so they could ride too. I couldn't even tell them to stop jolting his body around it was a lost cause. I made the driver come with us (thanks to Sydney who warned me not to leave the scene without him) and off we went. We pulled into the hospital, but they then decided they wanted to go to the police station. I argued the best I could... but to no avail. We LEFT the hospital with a badly injured man and went to the police station to file a report, while this guy bled out in the back seat of my car.

20 minutes later... we went to the hospital. It took another 10 minutes for someone to find him a wheelchair. Finally Sydney went in and got the chair, and wheeled the guy in, while his wife tried to support his dangling foot.  A nurse was waiting for us (watching everyone struggle to get him inside) and came out reprimanding us saying with an attitude "The person you've chosen to support his leg is just... ugh" as if she was disgusted by our medical skills. It took everything in my power not to ask why she, who is a medical practitioner, stood and watched instead of doing her JOB.

Anyway, we left him there- he was being stitched up then sent into surgery for his leg. It wasn't til we were leaving that I felt like throwing up or crying, or both.... it was also at that point I thought about disease, the car has his blood in it, I had checked his wounds bare handed and Sydney actually carried him at the hospital.

Lessons learned:
I never ever want to have to be treated for a major injury here. It will be part of my prayers daily.
You never know when someone is going to be in need- act. It could save a life.
Life... is so fragile. This man was drinking his day away celebrating Friday not realizing those wasted breaths could have been his last.
I NEED to learn BEMBA. All I could think about while we drove to the hospital was how I wanted to witness to these people and I couldn't. I can only pray my actions spoke of Christ's love. I saw where is wife came from, their house faces the church. so no doubt they know who we are... maybe they will stop in when they've had time to think.

What a day.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Finished Roof!

It is amazing how busy we have become and how fast time is flying! I find it hard to believe we are already in February.

The church building project is progressing well. We encountered some setbacks, as is usual in projects like these. There were some hidden costs to finish the roof, both with needing more roofing sheets than we thought but also with needing to buy cement and cinder blocks, which we didn't account for, to raise the walls higher to meet the roof. Over all, God has been gracious and we have been able to meet these costs but it means that we will now NOT have the money to do the floor as we originally had included.

God seems to have opened the hearts of the people at church and at the Annual General Meeting for the members, the deacon in charge of finances reported that our tithes and offerings have basically skyrocketed, and therefore we should hopefully be able to complete the building sooner (aka, not have it continue to drag on for years). The floor should cost us 2,000 USD, which we hope to be able to raise in a few months. After that is less major items such as doors, windows, security bars for the windows and doors, plastering and paint. However we do have to think about chairs, a new pulpit (ours is barely standing!) curtains &curtain rods, hymnals, tables and chairs for Sunday school and literacy class and those other things. We also have a long standing issue of having NOTHING in the kitchen. We need dishes, cups, silverware, pots and pans, shelves,cabinets, a sink, (a stove and fridge is LONG long term, unfortunately). We'd also like to get a copy machine for the church office. 


                        FINISHED ROOF!!!!

These things seem to be so many but God has not ceased to shower us with blessings, and we believe he has a plan for us here and he will provide what we need in His way and His perfect timing.

The building project of our house is moving, slowly but surely. The owner was here to sort out a few issues. It turns out the house is too far from the main water line, therefore they will need to put in a tank underground and have the water pumped into the house from that reservoir. Although it means taking more time, this is actually a blessing in disguise! Insead of having water only during designated hours like the rest of the area, we will have water flowing 24/7. Most likely pressure will also be better. Praising God for that! (And profusely seeking forgiveness for my impatience.) We are told power should be put in by next week- they had to apply for a permit to put up another power pole because the other power lines were to far from the house. Also, the carpenter currently finishing the church roof will immediately be going to the new house to install ceilings and shelving and cabinets(I hope) in the kitchen. The owner is scheduled to come next week to put security bars on the windows and doors.

We will move in as soon as there are security bars, water and power. After that he will be painting, putting tile down and installing the water heaters while we are there. Keep praying!

Many of you read on facebook that we had a member who was struck with malaria- and a very bad case at that. He was rushed to the hospital in the night by a church member, and after “seemingly” recovering, he took another turn for the worse. He was experiencing inability to move his legs and hands, and severe temperature changes and body pains.

His wife lives hours away due to her job, and rushed to be with him (about 6 hours- by taxi!) in the hospital. We are thankful to God to announce that he is back home and back to work! He is still suffering from extreme exhaustion (malaria depletes/destroys red blood cells) and he is also suffering from memory loss and confusion. The doctors told him it was spreading to the brain, which inevitably causes coma and death- so he got to the hospital just in time. We are so thankful for God's providence in his life.

The church has not had a functioning ladies ministry for over a year. We have been doing the book study in the interim waiting for elections to be held. We finally did hold those elections in January. I was elected as chairwoman, Mrs. Sichone as secretary and Mrs. Mulenga (a deacons wife) as treasurer. Please pray for us as we seek to bring this ministry back to life! I have been working on a year calander and hope to have a planning meeting next Friday where we finalize plans. Among the many events planned so far are practical demonstrations of skills (gardening, baking, sewing etc), an Evangelistic Tea Party for the community, and a home management/ budgeting seminar which I will lead. Pray for all these endeavors!

Literacy class is going well, we see more pupils each week. The kids are REALLY enjoying the new materials, and they are a great help to us! We are so grateful to Grace Covenant Baptist Church and especially Holly Teale for organizing and spending hours preparing these materials for us. Your efforts as a church are not in vain- we are eternally grateful! 

                                                                 Jane Sichone teaching
                                                              Lonear Mwaba teaching

We are seeing a need for more teachers as the numbers grow, and most especially as the kids are on so many different levels ( In a class of four 5th graders, you will have kids at grade one level, grade 2 level etc.... ) We will be separating them by ability rather than grade and seeking to catch them up with their peers at school. 


I have also “volunteered” or at least mentioned that I'd be willing to teach the Youth Bible Class on Sunday morning. Our Sunday school program only takes kids through grade 8, and then after that they just automatically go to Adult Bible Class, which is most of the times way above their heads. Because of this, some of the kids from the community leave church after grade 8. We don't want to lose them at this critical time. We have about 10-12 “youths” in that age category who we want to cater to. Sydney will bring the idea before the leadership and we will go from there. The issues will still be materials for that class.

Last week I created a facebook page as well as a website for the church so that we can get the word out about our congregation way out here in Mpika, and also so that people all over Zambia, in the US and UK who have supported us and pray for us can be more fully involved in our work here. The links are

We have been waiting for two of our packages for over two months (our Christmas presents from family) and we've never had anything take more than 4 weeks so you can imagine the worry! We are so thankful one arrived two days ago!! The other was sent first and seems to have never been scanned in at Lusaka (holiday rush) so we are praying that God will intervene and we will receive that one as well. We are praying it doesn't get "lost in the system"- Please pray with us!


Reading a letter from my neice

 The cat's ultimately got a little present too!

  Handing notes for Sydney to read.

  Showing off some of my treats!

I must admit today was one of those days where I pretty much felt like if we lived out of boxes in this house for ONE more day I was going to just lose it. We are now in month 6 in a house we were never supposed to have been in in the first place... and I don't want to count te months our belongings have been in boxes. I went digging for a sweatshirt yesterday and it had that musty "I've been in storage for a year" smell. I'll have a lot of laundry to do when we move that's for sure. I have prayed, and I am content with what God sees fit to give us day by day... patiently waiting on Him! (That's not to say that I wont cry tears of absolute overwhelming joy the day we move out of here :) )