The last few days before and since our arrival in Lusaka have been quite a whirlwind! We can hardly believe that we only arrived 4 days ago. It feels like it’s been ages already. ‘What have we been up to’ you ask? Well let me tell you…
On Tuesday (17 January 2023), we packed up our things at our house-sitting gig in Cape Town and headed over to our last stop: The Pitter’s. The Pitter’s lovingly welcomed us back into their home and offered to take us to the airport at the ungodly hour of 3:45 am the following morning. It was a complicated packing process. We had to make best use of the weight and space allowances while our restriction seemed to be the size of our bags. With much juggling, packing, unpacking and repacking, we finally managed to get all 4 bags under 23kgs. We got to bed reasonably early (thanks to Eskom) all set to leave bright and early the next morning.
On arrival at the airport, just after 4:00am, we found all the baggage wrapping stalls still closed. I felt slightly anxious about this because there was a layover in Johannesburg for over 2 hours. Anything could happen in that time. Another challenge was getting the musical instruments donated by St.Mark’s through to Zambia safely. St. Mark’s in Plumstead donated 3 musical instruments for Christ Church Lusaka. An electric piano, a 12-string acoustic guitar and an acoustic bass guitar. It was nerve wracking to hand over our precious cargo at the fragile check-in counter. Once checked in, we just had to sit back and give it all to God because it was now “out of our control”.
Our flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg was just under 2 hours and uneventful. Fortunately they checked our baggage through all the way to Lusaka. This meant that we could make use of the full 2 hour layover relaxing and snacking in the FNB Slow Lounge. The flight from Joburg to Lusaka was just another 2 hours and there we were in Zambia. Quite a different ball-game from our journey last year. We thank God that all our luggage came through safely and we had no trouble bringing the donated instruments through customs.
As we walked through the airport doors into the sunshine, Dave Roberts, Paul Kayumba and Siegfried Ngubane were waiting there to welcome us warmly with big bear hugs. What a pleasant surprise! We knew that Siegfried would be in Lusaka but it was such a blessing to see his familiar loving face all the way from home in Cape Town. We were relieved to be able to hand over the donated musical instruments to Rev. Paul Kayumba and returned with Dave and Siegfried to the SIM Zambia compound.
At the SIM Zambia compound, they accommodated us at the guesthouse in the interim. Here we stay until Monday 23 January, when Dave and Sandy Roberts leave to return to Canada. When they leave, their home will become our home while we are based here in Lusaka.
Once settled into the guesthouse, we met a number of co-workers who also live on the compound. We loved meeting our new neighbours and mission “family”. That evening we were taken out for a lovely steak dinner as a “welcome to SIM” dinner. It was such a treat and we went to bed that night exhausted but with a full stomach and grateful hearts.
SIM By Prayer
The logo of SIM states: “SIM by prayer” and within two days it became evident that they take this very seriously. On Thursday, we joined a discipleship meeting at the home of another missionary couple. The purpose of this meeting is for missionaries involved in discipleship to meet weekly to encourage and pray for one another. Although the participants are all involved in different ministries, all are focussed on discipleship in some form or another. We were so blessed to be a part of this meeting. It was encouraging to be able to read God’s Word and sing together and pray for one another.
On Friday we joined the staff for the weekly staff prayer meeting. Again, we were encouraged to see the SIM staff lift each other up before God in prayer. This staff prayer meeting however was also the farewell party for Dave and Sandy. This meant that we ate lots of good food again while meeting more SIM staff.
This coming week we look forward to the orientation programme with SIM Zambia. We will also be moving in to our new home and we are very excited about getting settled into the new space. We anticipate that there will be more people to meet and new roles to understand. It is all very exciting and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.