Zimbabwe: Rev K D Macleod is at present in Ingwenya in his capacity as Theological Tutor. He is teaching the Church’s two divinity students there, Mr S Khumalo, of the Bulawayo congregation, and Mr M Myloi, who was the evangelist at Mbuma Hospital. They have been joined by an independent student, Mr N Banda from Blantyre, Malawi. He is an evangelist there and has been in touch with the Church for several years. While Mr Macleod’s primary task is to instruct the students, he takes services each Sabbath, and also prayer meetings, which is a great help when the Ingwenya and Bulawayo charges are both vacant.
Mr Jacob van Praag and his wife Nella are now back home in Australia as he has completed his contract. “The last days at Ingwenya were sad days in many ways”, he says in an e-mail message. “Saying goodbye is never easy.” Among the last jobs he was involved in was the building of the new girls’ dormitory. He writes, “The dormitory is completely finished and the lockers provided by an institution in Inverness were brought in. There were sufficient for every girl in the dormitory to have her own locker; so it looks very attractive indeed.” In attending to various other jobs at Ingwenya, Lutsha and Mbuma, Mr van Praag was glad to have the technical assistance of Mr Murdo Morrison, Lewis, while on a visit to the Mission.
At the John Tallach Secondary School, under the headship of Mr B Ncube, assisted by Miss Norma MacLean, the end-of-session examinations are in progress at the time of writing, before the close of the school year in the first week of December. Miss Katie Mary MacAulay expects to go on furlough at the end of November, so it is a great relief to hear that Miss Rhoda Mackay has now been granted a work permit and will (DV) once more join the staff of the school when the new session starts in January.
At Mbuma it was with great regret that they said goodbye to Miss Margaret Macaskill, Matron of the Hospital, who has returned to Scotland after 18 years of diligent, loyal service at the Mission. The shortage of nursing staff at the hospital is a great problem and it continues unresolved at present but, in the kindness of the Most High, Dr Jeanette Benschop and her staff are enabled to continue the work. The help of Miss Jessie Coote, who arrived there in August, is much appreciated.
Mr Teus Benschop, along with Miss Katie Mary MacAulay and other helpers, has been revising the Ndebele translation of the Bible. He reports, “At present we are revising the Epistle to the Romans. We are now more or less halfway through that book. This also means we are a little more than halfway through the New Testament now, which is an encouraging thought. A preliminary edition of the revision of the Gospel of John has been handed out, and very useful information has been received from those who have read it through. Currently another edition of the Book of Acts has been printed and distributed.”
Kenya: It is a tremendous help to Mr Hugh MacKenzie, Sengera Mission Administrator, that the Rev K M Watkins is now settled there as Mission Superintendent. During his first three months, Mr Watkins was four weeks in Kericho doing language study; and two weeks in Zimbabwe for a Presbytery meeting, but he missed only two Sabbaths from the Sengera pulpit. “The services continue to be well attended”, he reports. “In the morning it can be up to 300; in the afternoon up to 200. . . . For the most part, the congregation is attentive and there is an atmosphere of reverence. If only we had evidences of the Holy Spirit’s power awakening and converting sinners!” He has also begun afternoon Bible Classes with the Mission workers: with the women on Wednesdays and with the men on Thursdays. They use the education room (which was the lounge in the former administrator’s house). “With the Lord’s blessing,” he says, “I hope that these meetings with such key members of the congregation (and the community) will prove a real factor in strengthening the cause of the Redeemer here in Sengera.”
Translation work is necessary in three areas, says Mr Watkins: a new version of the Ekegusii Bible, a completed and corrected Metrical Psalter, and sound Christian literature. “I feel that these matters call for a high priority”, he says. “Future resources, human and financial, will be needed.”