Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Home again

We have had a pretty full diary since our return to Scotland. We have settled into the furlough flat in Leith, a lively and cosmopolitan part of the city. It has been modernised and gentrified in areas over the past ten years or so but fortunately has not lost its own special atmosphere.

We have been overhauled follicularly, medically and dentally and given the all clear. Our booster vaccinations are all that remain. We have caught up with Kirsten and Stuart; and Catriona is able to live with us as a day pupil for most of the time. It is good to be able to do again the normal things parents do for their children here. We hope to see Gregor after this weekend. Sartorially, too, we have ditched the more dowdy items from our 'salaula' and 'mish' box wardrobes in preparation for the wedding. Kirsten, our elder daughter, and Stuart are to be married on 12 June in St Andrews.

These past two weeks have been taken up with deputation work in the Presbyteries of St Andrews and Stirling, preaching at Sunday services and speaking to various Church groups at different times and places through the week. It has been good too to visit hospitals and schools and see the latest developments in health and education. The new St Andrews Community Hospital is a striking and beautifully equipped modern complex, with excellent and committed staff to go with it.

We have enjoyed visiting old friends in the various churches that support our work and raising awareness of the work and needs of the church, school and hospital at Mwandi. We have travelled from St Andrews in the east to Balfron in the west and have been struck by the warmth of the welcome and the hospitality and kindness we have received from the congregations we have visited.

Although it has been cold we have been fortunate that it has been dry with little rain and even some sun. Spring is a good time to be at home with the lengthening days, the daffodils, anenomes and bluebells in the woods and above the gean, haw blossom and the budding leaves. There are still patches of snow on the Ochils and new grass and lambs in the fields. All signs of grace in the springtime and the renewing of the roots of life.

*salaula (lit: choose, take your pick): Second-hand clothes sent to Africa from Europe and sold everywhere in Zambia. Salaula clothes about 95% of the nation.


  1. I can tell by your post that you are pleased to be back in Scotland. We hope that you have a relaxing and refreshing time there.

    Jim & Lorraine K.

  2. Congratulations to Kirsten and Stuart, that is wonderful news! And may you enjoy your stay in Scotland.
    Love - Fie

  3. Keith & Ida,
    We are so sorry to have missed your gracious and inspiring company in Mwandi during our recent visit May 14 - 21. Mike Jette, Reverend Anne Hilborn, Ray McCorkle and I were able to catch up with many in Mwandi to renew our friendships (for Mike and me), make new friends and witness incredible progress in many areas of ministry. The good Lord is certainly blessing the hands and feet of so many - especially Rury in his agriculture and fishery projects (WOW!)and Pastor Percy with his new Mission School. It was a joy to again sit on the porch of Simba house in the early mornings as the mist rose from the Zambezi River and to enjoy the hospitality and great cooking of Irene and Florence. We also enjoyed meeting Baby Lucy, Ru & Fred's precious new addition.
    We were fortunate to participate with the Outreach Foundation of the Presbyterian Church during the previous week to visit many churches and ministries in Lusaka and Siavonga.
    I wish you a restful and fulfilling furlough to energize you both in your calling and humble service to the Lord!

    With love, Eric deNeve