07 January 2013

News from Zambia - 2 January 2013

2 January 2013

Greetings from Luanshya!

During the past few weeks we have been inundated with the phrase "Compliments of the Season." It appears that many Zambians have been infected with "political correctness syndrome" and have opted for the less specific greeting rather than "Happy Christmas" (the British way of saying "Merry Christmas"). Then there are the "Xmas" greetings that we have received. I told a few people that saying "Xmas" for Christmas would be like saying "Happy X-day" instead of "Happy Birthday." Sadly, the world seems to be going more secular year after year. We are doing our best to slow that trend here in Luanshya!

On 18 December we organised the annual "Carols by Candlelight" for Luanshya. I lead the service, but forgot that a coupe of the carols had different tunes for the British so we sang some of them twice - once in American and once in British. We enjoyed the service and collected several toys for children in hospital that were delivered on Christmas Eve. The nurses and parents thanked us for bringing a bit of joy into the lives of these little ones.

On Christmas morning we celebrated the birth of the Messiah in church - as is our custom - with a short musical presentation by the Sunday School children. I read the "Christmas Story" from Luke chapter 2 then preached about what Christmas really meant to the world. It is more than gifts, parties and music. It is about a fulfilled promise, a blessed hope and an opportunity to remind us to worship our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. After the church service the Lighthouse "kids" came home for a Christmas dinner, a film ("It's a Wonderful Life") and we gave each of the older three a box to prepare them for going off to vocational training college. Andrew (our youngest ward) and Sherry have been working on three older laptop computers (cannibalizing a couple and installing software) for the kids to take with them. It was a complete surprise and they are all thrilled. Nancy exclaimed, "Now I really look like a college student!"

Yesterday (New Year's Day) the kids all came home for dinner - the last time before leaving for school. It was interesting to watch their faces as they realised that the family was about to be divided. Even though they will not be living next door, they are only a 30-minute drive away. We have arranged for each of them to have a monthly allowance to buy food and other essentials because the campus housing is self-catering. They have been cooking for themselves for the past two years in preparation for this day, but the reality is kicking in. On Friday morning we will deliver them to the campus. Our Friday evening dinner will now be just Andrew and us. Quite a change for both the students leaving and for us remaining.

We would specifically ask you to pray for Nancy, Dickson and Shadreck. Even though the vocational college is Christian in scope and philosophy, there are always temptations that can lead them astray. Also pray for Andrew as he moves into our home for his last year of high school. He will be taking over "Colin's Room" until he completes his final exams in a year. Finally, pray for us! We have been caring for these three youngsters for 12 years. Not having them around will take some adjusting on our part. We know that God gave them to us to raise and we deeply appreciate all who helped to make that possible. This is the next step in their lives and we are excited to see them grow...

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

Patrick & Sherry Coleman
P O Box 90010

Off:   260 212 512359/512539
Res: 260 212 510033
Cell (P): 260 966 780113
Cell (S): 260 966 780112