‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it’ Psalm 24:1.

Conference and graduation

The academic year at PIZ culminates in a conference and graduation ceremony for the students. This year we had three speakers from Zambia and one form the UK who joined via Zoom. It was an encouragement to hear God’s word being explained clearly and a great way for the students to end the year of study. On the graduation day, the students were encouraged and challenged to put into practise all that they had been taught, but that was not where it ended. One of the things that stuck with us was a message from the PIZ Chairman of the Board. He challenged local churches to take ownership of PIZ, to encourage men and women to come to learn, and to consider financially supporting the work of the college. We hope and pray that this call to the churches will bear fruit and that we will see churches sending students to study at PIZ.

The students have returned to their home churches across Zambia with some heading back to be involved in ministry. It is our prayer that the skills that they have been taught at PIZ will stay with them and that they will be bold in teaching and explaining the Bible well. 

PIZ

While the term has ended, the work doesn’t! Planning for next year starts as soon as the students leave. The course continues to develop and change to ensure that the needs of the students are met in the content that it is taught. The bulk of the teaching is carried out by Chris Hawthorne (the Principal), Henry Makonde (the Vice-Principal) and Andy. Some local pastors and previous students join throughout the year to assist with teaching as well. All of this requires planning, so Andy will spend some time contacting guest lecturers and planning timetables.

The teaching team (with help from alumni across Zambia) have started the interview process for next year’s intake. Andy has met with four prospective students and has been very encouraged by meeting with them. While it is never clear until the end of the first week of term how many students there will be, it is a great start! It is often hard to truly assess people’s motives for coming to PIZ and, as such, it is our prayer that next year’s students will come with willing hearts, ready to learn more about handling God’s word faithfully.

Family life

It has been great having Rachel’s sister Suzie teaching at the boys’ school (pictured with Haydn at the top of this page). The boys have enjoyed having their aunty around and having her as their teacher. The schools have remained open for this term and we are praying that this continues next year. The school year finishes in December so they will move up a grade in January. 

We continue to really appreciate the beauty of God’s creation here in Zambia. The space around us is such a blessing and we all really appreciate being able to spend time outdoors. We have even harvested some bananas from our own garden!

We have planned a trip to South Africa for Christmas, which was in order to spend time with Andy’s mum and dad at his sister Julia’s house. As with all plans these days, this has changed. South Africa has been placed on the UK’s red list yet again. We still plan to visit Andy’s sister and her family but we are sad that we can’t see Andy’s parents. One thing that COVID has taught us over the last few years is that we must hold plans lightly. We are relieved that it appears we can still travel to Cape Town as we are in need of some time out.

Visit to the UK

As with everyone in the whole world (!) it has been hard for us to make concrete plans for any sort of travel. While God has been faithful and has really sustained us in our time here, we are keenly aware of the length of time it has been since we have been back home. We are tentatively planning to come back for a visit of around three months to connect with family, friends and church families across the country. We haven’t decided on a date yet as COVID keeps on scuppering our plans! Technology has been brilliant and many folk can now use Zoom (out of necessity!) which has made the distance seem a lot smaller. Praise God for that silver lining!

Prayer points

Give thanks for the 2021 students and please pray for them as they return to their home churches.
As we look towards the class of 2022, pray for the new intake and the financial support that this entails.
Pray for our South Africa trip – that it will be really clear whether to go or not.
Please pray with us for wisdom in making travel plans for a trip back to the UK.
Please continue to pray for the COVID situation here in Zambia – for God’s continued mercy.

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