Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Zim alphabet D,E,F

A...All is well, B...Bat safely removed. (see photo) C....Clearly its

Definitely better weather here than in the UK! Though the children (and teachers) who have been off school probably won't agree... The children here are back in full swing at school, although many of them have not been able to go as they can't afford the uniform, or the books, or the school fees and levies. I asked a lad who approached me as to whether I had any writing books at home, how many he needed to take to his new secondary school and he said 32!! He is desperate to go but his Gogo (grandmother) who looks after him can't afford the uniform or books that he needs.  His mum has gone to South Africa, a common story here. He is just one of many!!

E is for exciting news.. Hopefully the new Early Childhood Development centre will open next week. We have been busy visiting the families in the shacks that live nearest to the church building and collecting names of 4 year olds. We have a planning meeting next Monday and then its all systems go!! The school will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the mornings during term times. So that's retirement out of the window then!!

Dave playing ball with the children after church.
More exciting news is that the first of the houses at St Peters has been completed and the occupants are a man of 93 and his wife. The first house they have ever owned! We were there at church where Dave was preaching a few weeks ago and were amazed to find 33 children in the Sunday School too.

Hows this for cabbages!
Following a few heavy downpours the vegetables in Lewis plot are looking very well. (Many thanks for the prayers for rain but keep going as we still need more!) and Dave is beginning to supply the new supermarket near us regularly. It is called Food Lovers Market which is very Dave don't you think?
Tomatoes with maize in the background at 1BD
The 1BD plot is also progressing, though not ready to harvest yet. It has caused quite a stir in the community and they keep talking about what the white man is doing. Not exactly what we want!! F is for Fence thieves too! X arrived at the site one morning to find that the top two strands of barbed wire running the entire length of the site had been stolen. $200 dollars worth! The new wire has been daubed with paint and is now connected to the second strand. You learn from such mistakes!
F is for Finishing.. I have written this over a two day period as I keep getting interrupted, so I just wanted to add that this morning we were up at 4.30 to go to help pick beans at Lewis'. We picked 80 kg (that's176lbs, for the oldies who still work in old money) with the help of X and 3 others. The word that comes to mind is FOOL and now I'm Flipping stiff!
It is very satisfying, though and Lewis can't believe that he is now a producer of top quality vegetables. Now I'm falling asleep so until next time.....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, 4 January 2013

ABC of Zim

A  is for arrived safely! We had a good journey. Thanks to John Gwynne who delivered us to Heathrow, SAA who flew us safely and the ever faithful X who picked us up at the airport! What a great time we had in England, but it just flew by too quickly and here we are again suffering in the heat!!!! Actually it rained here the night we were travelling. Yippee!! So it was ideal for planting those tomatoes and cabbages, yesterday, that Dave was telling you about.
B is for bonjour. It was very sad to say goodbye to so many family and friends but it was also extremely encouraging to us to know that so many read the drivel I write on the blog and that so many people are praying for us. Bags and bags of thanks to all those who sent us off with gifts of money, so generously given to the work out here. We will keep you up to date with progress... B is also for the bat that has taken up residence in our living room and which I will have to send packing at some time, when I can pluck up the courage and find some gloves!
C is for Christmas, gone but not forgotten. We have such great memories and a few photos to remind us. What a wonderful church  and family we belong to! Worshipping in English with such quality musicians was such a blessing. We now face the big challenge of making things sustainable here, if its at all possible. C is for communication... On opening the blog (having got the Internet re-connected as we were cut off because we weren't here to pay the monthly bill)I found that the last one I wrote 3 days before we left Zim didn't send so Ive sent it with this one. The January sale 2 for 1! How good is that?

Counting down again

Praising under canvas
I know I said the previous post would be the last before returning to the UK, but I couldn't resist just updating you on this last week in Zim!
Last Sunday was a special one for the New Frontiers churches here in Bulawayo, as we had a combined service at the New Creation site in town. Scott Marques was down from Harare and gave a very relevant message about being content in God.
It was so encouraging to see everyone together and that TLZ was the largest group there!
After the meeting we all ate together of spit roasted pork and beef, sadza and cabbage, prepared by the ladies of TLZ- fantastic!
TLZ guys in the foreground, including Ezra in pink with Martha!!
There were then games for adults and a 'jumping castle' for the children. It was a great social occassion especially for those from the rural and semi rural areas. It was also a sad day for the city church as it was the last day in Zim for Claire and Phil Biggs and their girls Hannah and Sophie, who have had to return to Birmingham to start life anew.

The girls working hard while Taps waits for food!!
On Wednesday we had a lovely surprise as our life group had organised a secret party for us to say goodbye! they brought loads of

food with them and a big chocolate cake. It was so thoughtful of them and we were totally overwhelmed... One of the highlights of the year, I think!