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October 2011

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support over these last few weeks, we have had many trials, we depend on your prayer support and of course God’s answers to prayers. All is well with the children and thank God for their continued good health.
The rains have been late this year and the wells have dried up early, we may not see water in the wells until January. It became hard for us as the vehicle was off the road for a couple of months; we rely on the car when the wells dry up because we have to drive two miles each way to the Sekaji river for water, for cooking, drinking, bathing, and washing clothes. We take the children down to the river to bath, all the clothes for washing on the stones on the river bank. One day last week we had one 20 litre container between 40 people and children. God answers our prayers both here and in the U.K., we managed to get the car repaired and back  in action, we still have trouble with car’s electrics but we can use it to get to the river. We collect 10×20 litres containers a trip, sometimes three times a day, so thank you all for your practical support and prayers. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING!

Work has begun on the new dormitory building, it’s 100 foot long by 14 foot wide and will house 40 children. The foundation is of granite stone from the river and  large, heavy red bricks 12″x6″x6″ baked in local kilns, the roof will be constructed from iron sheets. The problem we have with the existing houses is that they were constructed of soft brick and straw with mud and sand for mortar and inside plaster on the walls; they have to be repaired frequently. The termites are eating it all faster than we can replace. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE COMPLETION OF THIS WORK

The spiritual work still going well, Joyce is now going through the life of David in the ladies’ Bible study and has seen an increase in the attendance. It has been very encouraging .

The Sunday School work is going well. At the summer camp Joyce saw over 3,000 children and many came to faith in the Lord. Two Saturdays ago we held a children’s Gospel meeting in our own chapel, we had a visiting evangelist puppeteer from Atlantic City U.S.A. it was very good, after he left more kids came in, there were about 150 kids. Joyce took over
for about one hour and half, they did not want go home and 19 made a profession of faith  one boy and eighteen girls, Joyce and another lady counselled them and we will follow through these next few weeks. The head master from Sekaji Christian Mission school was there and said “he was amazed at the good behaviour and attendance”.

Joyce has two meetings this Sunday one in the morning and a youth meeting in the afternoon. PLEASE PRAY THE LORD BLESS THESE MEETINGS!

Lastly pineapples! As the rains are late this year the harvest is slow but as the rains are more frequent now we hope for a blessed harvest. PLEASE PRAY FOR A BUMPER HARVEST .

Every blessing to all our brothers and sisters in the Lord,

YOURS IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST,BERNARD , JOYCE AND ALL THE CHILDREN AT IKELENGE

September 2011

Hello friends from a very hot Zambia. We are waiting for the rains which should be here any time now. Even the local people are struggling in the heat.  I have now settled down from my U.K.trip, I enjoyed it very much, thank you all for your Christian hospitality.

We have the car back in the garage now, after the mechanic’s inspection he found all r/hand ball joints have shot. We started up the engine, to hear an enormous clatter and banging, we tried the clutch and could not engage any of the gears-the clutch plate or pressure plate is broken. All these things were renewed three months ago, they were Chinese spares not Toyota parts. At least the vehicle is in from the bush after being there for three days and nights. Please pray concerning our poor car.

Good news!!! we sold our first load of pineapples,(2000) fruits and drew cash K / 2,000,000, or in sterling £ 260-00,the harvest has been slow this year due to a long dry spell. Please pray and give thanks for this blessing.

The wells are drying up in the area we are very low now. Our nearest supply is two miles away. We normally load our car with 20 litre plastic containers to collect water from the river but because the car is broken are unable to do this. We take the washing down to the river to wash the clothes, and in the past when the wells have been dry, we have taken the children to bath in the river. Please pray for water supply(RAIN).

We must start work on the foundations for the new dormitory building, as the old ones need so many repairs. It has been decided to replace them as they are only the standard village house of unburnt brick and grass roof. The termites are eating through the bricks and the roofs need replacing with new grass, but the grass is running short due to farming. We hope build a 30 metre long building to house 40 children using granite stone from the river , burnt bricks and tin roof. We have to start the footings now  as the rains need to harden them off, then we will build on this foundation in the coming dry season. Please pray for this building project.

We do value prayers always,

Every blessing, Bernard and Joyce.

Update

Bernard has been back to the UK recently. He should be back in Zambia by now.

His main concerns for prayer were:

1.The up-coming Presidential election in Zambia, that the one elected would continue to allow freedom to worship and evangelize.

2. That there would be real spiritual fruit in the youth, the young ones are receptive to the Gospel but the teenagers turn away.That the Lord would work in the hearts of the men he is in contact with.

3. That Joyce and Bernard would continue to know the Lord’s strength, help and protection as they care for the children.

 

Prayer Letter January 2011

Dear Friends, another year has passed, we thank you for your prayer support throughout the year. We have had difficulties and trials, but the LORD has heard you and answered positively.

Things have got harder for the poor in Zambia; the world recession has hit us even here in the bush. The number of poor families has risen and the malnourished kids and orphans always seem to be at the lowest end of the pecking order, but we have received some gifts and we thank God for all He lays upon the hearts of many brothers and sisters to help these poor kids and families, so we that have been able to get by this past year.

All the children have been well, apart from the usual tummy bug and colds,we have had help from local mission nurses on odd occasion. Some of the children returned to their village homes in the bush and often pay us a return visit. So, all in all it’s been a good year, praise the LORD.

Please pray God would do a work of revival out here, we don’t see many children coming to faith. There are many claims here and there, but for the amount of Sunday schools and churches it is very sparse and claims are unreliable. There arevery few youths attending churches, they seem to fall away after leaving Sunday School. The number of young school girls becoming pregnant is increasing and no one seems to be affected or show little concern, this is adding to the number of orphans and social problems here.

Christmas this year was very quiet as usual, the opposite to what you see in the Western world. I gave the message on Christmas morning service and again on the next day (we don’t have Boxing day). After the service I was asked to drive to Kalene Mission Hospital to collect a young mother and her dead baby, I brought them back to Ikelenge. The babe was buried that afternoon.We had four deaths that week, death is a part of usual life in this place.

If you could see and hear the children laughing and playing without toys and luxury food for feasting it’s good to see them

just naturally content you wonder at it. We gave the children new clothes on Christmas morning before going to church, when we returned we gave them a plastic bag each within had an orange, a banana, a bag of crisps and lollipop, they were thrilled and excited, we had a combined Sunday school and orphan village party in the afternoon, we cooked boiled rice and local beans then home-made doughnuts and orange squash, the singing was a pure delight.

Thanks to all who sent Christmas cards, they help brighten up the place during these gloomy wet days, the rains are very heavy, the road is not too bad at  present, we hope and pray it will like that throughout the next three months.

So dear friends, please pray as you are led in thanksgiving and supplications, you are all in our prayers, in the ladies prayer and bible study on Mondays and in our

daily morning devotions time,

Every blessing for the new year to all our friends,

Yours in the LORD JESUS CHRIST,

Bernard and Joyce

October 2010 News

First we thank all at Witton for the lovely parcels you sent us everything is very good and as the road will not be repaired this year we will surely need the items you all sent us; it was a very sensible mixture of food stuffs, according to our needs. Some of the road has been repaired but that is at the furthest end from our base, so we keep on praying and trusting in the LORD.

It’s been a couple of months of mixed blessings. Last Saturday I held the first men’s Bible study at, 13.00 hours in the Workshop at Fisher’s farm, ten attended; I felt I had to lay a strong foundation as these men go to various churches. I started with Genesis: 1.1, to show that all scripture is GOD inspired, and points to JESUS CHRIST. We had a blessed time and I have been handing out Bibles to men and women who can read English. It was a strange blessing to think that an ignoramus like me was evangelising on the family home ground of the first missionaries the Fisher family.

I want use some of the sermons from Witton and others, as we don’t get preachers out here only “speakers,” we need good expository preaching. Please pray for this work it’s very important that we get these local men spreading the “WORD,” they can do much better than any white Westerner, and the English Bible is a better translation than the Lunda one as  many words cannot be fully translated into Lunda; besides this all the cities of Zambia speak English.

A very sad story now, concerning one year old Sophia. Joyce’s niece, Sophia’s mother was working in Lusaka at a Catholic Convent for orphans I think. The baby was sick with malaria, taken to hospital, and given medicine. She was sent home but was very poorly and suffering from thrush in the mouth, I obtained some Nystatin from Esther Townsend and applied this every few hours. We took her to hospital; they admitted her because of Malaria and Gastro- enteritis and set up an Intravenous Infusion. She died three days later.

I drove down to collect her little body together with her two aunties and grandmother, people were wailing and crying; we got back to our village and there were hundreds of mourners and many women crying; I’ve never seen anything like it before. Joyce asked me to drive to Mwinilunga  to collect Sophia’s mum who had travelled 16 hours on a bus from Lusaka.  I arrive at Mwinilunga at about 22.00 hours the bus had just docked, her mum was very glad to see me, she did not know her baby was dead. I loaded her luggage onto the car and began the 65 kilometres home, once in the bush I told her that her baby had died about five hours ago; it was horrible. Sophia was buried the next morning. Things carried on as usual afterwards. It was my first close encounter with death here.

Well dear brothers and sisters I hope to write more later this week for various prayer requests.

Every blessing,

Yours in the LORD JESUS CHRIST,

Bernard and Joyce.

Prayer Letter July 2010

Hello dear praying friends,

Things are moving now! The road is being repaired and they seem to be moving fast, we had over one thousand pineapples ready for picking; Joyce has taken them down to Ndola in the Copper belt; she went on a hired lorry with Gift our son and her brother Rogger, this is cause for praise.

I’ve handed out many NKJ Bibles to English speaking local church elders and deacons, they are very pleased to have these Bibles as the Lunda Bible is very shallow and has neither maps, concordance nor centre reference margin. The Bibles Castlefields Chapel sent are ideal and a true Godsend, they see things more clearly and are able to share with their individual churches, the Bibles help to improver their English too.

I’ve been having some good conversations  with these men on scripture and doctrine, we need good old expository preaching in this area.  All this is cause for praise and thanksgiving. Please pray that this work of the LORD will continue.

It’s also been good to be able to do the secular work, fabricating , welding, teaching youngsters

and having opportunities for biblical conversations. I can truly say “Oh LORD how great thou art!”

We have a good water supply at present and the veggie garden is coming on well.

Please could any one send seeds for root vegetables such as parsnips, swedes, turnips, carrots; we are able to  get cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes, I want introduce the children to these good root vegetables. We now have access to manure, which is a great advantage as the soil here is very poor.

The children’s work is going very well, I thank the LORD I’m able give a gospel message most evenings, it always includes repentance; and the Lord’s work of salvation, they understand that they cannot save themselves. They are very clear on these major points, I don’t spend a lot time on singing choruses, the gospel message is the focus.

Joyce is going with our Sunday school to the annual camp, this is three days and nights in the bush, teaching and singing, may God bless their time and keep them safe.

So dear friends, there is much to pray for in thanksgiving and supplications: Philippians 4 verse 6, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Thank you all for your support and prayers,

Yours in the LORD JESUS CHRIST,

Bernard and Joyce.