‘Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.’ Romans 13:1

Zambian elections

Zambia is on the cusp of an election. There are adverts, flags, posters and printed fabrics (chitenge) baring the faces of the two most popular candidates. Zambia has been a very peaceful nation, with independence being gained with very little bloodshed in 1964. But, with the added pressure of COVID hitting the country for its third wave, there are some hints of potential unrest to come. 

Two flags advertising the two main political parties.

As Zambia is our borrowed home while we serve here at PIZ, we have been watching on with interest in the months and weeks leading up to the election. In times like this, that verse in Romans has been brought to mind, as we have no say in the outcome of 12 August’s election.

As a ‘Christian country’ (it was declared that by a previous president), there has been a push on social media to pray for the election process and it is our prayer that people will be satisfied with the outcome announced later in August.

PIZ

Due to the COVID situation, all of the academic institutions have been closed and have gone online. Due to a smaller intake, this has been possible for this year’s PIZ class. While internet connectivity and load shedding (power cuts) have been a bit disruptive, there has been a really encouraging attendance for the online lessons. The lecturers provide the students with the lessons and required work beforehand and then there is an opportunity for discussion as a group using Zoom. While it is not as good as meeting in person, it has been a really helpful alternative.

Family life

As with PIZ, the boys’ school has closed and lessons have moved to online work instead. They had six months of online learning last year, so the boys have adjusted well to the change of pace. As with lots of parents around the world, it has been a challenge shifting gear to being teacher as well as mum, but we have all appreciated the later start times, particularly in the cold season. It can get down to single figures overnight during June and July, so getting up when the sun is up is much better than the 5:30 wake-ups in the dark! There is no central heating in the houses here because it warms up beautifully in the day, but it is chilly first thing! 

The term finishes on 6 August and then the boys have a four week break before term starts again in September. In that time, my sister Suzie will be arriving to begin a short-term trip teaching at the boys’ school for a year. We are all really looking forward to seeing her as it will be so lovely having a family member so close. We are also really thankful for her willingness to come and serve at Amano Christian School.

The trench for the foundations for the veranda.

We would normally try to get off site and have a bit of a break during the longer holidays but we think that we may stay put this time because of the potential unrest during the elections. This means that Andy has decided to undertake a building project. Our house has been built on a slight slope which results in an indoor water feature when the heavy rains come! To stop the house from flooding for four months a year, we have decided to put a veranda around two sides of the house. This has meant lots of views of YouTube videos, chatting to local builders and a large trench being dug outside the house. We will keep you posted with how the construction goes in the coming months! 

COVID

As COVID continues to dominate the news worldwide, Zambia is experiencing its third wave. This has been much more destructive, as the Delta variant has spread more readily and many more people have lost family members due to this deadly disease. We have managed to get our first vaccine (which was the cause for much celebration) and we are hoping that there will be supplies for the second dose in September. There has been a greater uptake of the vaccine this time due to the more obvious presence of the disease. That being said, there is a lot of scepticism around the vaccine, with conspiracy theories spreading like wildfire on social media. There is a lot of really helpful and clear information being produced by the mainstream media and the government, but we have been amazed at the damaging information being shared elsewhere. 

Prayer points

Please pray for God’s peace to reign during the election period.
Give thanks for the students being able to access online lesson discussions.
Give thanks for Suzie being willing to come to serve at the boys’ school.
Pray for the COVID situation, that the numbers will decrease and that factual information will be shared. Give thanks for us being able to have our first vaccination.

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