Zimbabwe 2018 Day 4 & 5

Sunday October 28, Day 5

 We attended the church service at the Old Mutare Mission church.  The service was 2 1/2 hours long.  The choir had been to a chorale competition for church choirs and won first place out of almost 200 participating choirs.  The music was beautiful.  The sermon was in Shona, and interpreters helped us to understand.  Two young ladies had just returned from a conference on empowering women, and spoke to the congregation briefly about it.  There was a lot of singing, and dancing, and everyone actively participated.  It was a blessing!


 After the service, we were invited to lunch, along with a family that had just joined the church.  The church treated us to a sandwich, cake and a soda.  The hospitality is amazing here.  


 In the afternoon we went to Fairfield.  We set up one of the solar cookers we had purchased and brought with us.  We started with heating water, and it worked well.  We are going to cook potatoes and try making bread later in the week.  The cooker attracted several people who were curious  what it was.


 Jeff and Steve met with the two maintenance men to discuss possible projects for the week.  I played with children during this time.  There were several students from Africa University known as the “Fairfield buddies” who had come to play with the children.  They played group games and brought the children chips (French fries) and an orange soda.  Several of the children came over to me and were content to hold my hand or lean against me.  Two young boys discovered my phone and quickly discovered a tennis game I had and started to play.  


 Monday October 29, Day 5

 At breakfast we saw Rogers, a second year student a time Africa University who has a scholarship from the WV United Methodist church Conference.  He just happened to be wearing a WVU shirt he had been given by a mission team In Kenya.  An awesome young man with a touching story.  He is studying agriculture and plans to return to Kenya to farm.
 We then met with the Vice Chancellor of Africa University.  The University is adding courses with a plan to eventually add a medical school.  Students attend from all over Africa.
 Next we met with the hospital administrator of Old Mutare mission hospital.  She faces incredible challenges.  There are frequent power outages lasting as long as three days.  There are several problems with water supply.  With the current inflation in the country and the shortages it is difficult to find food to feed the patients.  When we met with the nursing matron we discovered that I have as much or more medical supplies with me than they have in the whole hospital.  I plan to donate a otoscope, ophthalmoscope and pulse oximeter given to me by my nurse practitioner co-worker Tammy Crookshanks.  I will be able to give them 2 stethoscopes, a blood pressure cuff, thermometer, blood sugar meter with lancing device, strips and lancets, gloves, alcohol swabs, and hand sanitizer.  It is so sad that they have so little supplies.
 In the afternoon we went to Old Mutare to shop for supplies for several projects.  On the way I saw two primates along the road…I am unsure what type….but it was amazing!!  The car barely made it up the hill, so the first place we stopped was an auto repair shop.  Luckily it was a simple fix with a new spark plug.
 We treated Cecillia to lunch.  The guys went to hardware stores looking for the supplies needed for their work, but there were many things they could not find.  Cecillia and I purchased some medicine for one of the children, then went to grocery stores.  The first store had no bread, flour or cooking oil.  Right now these staples are difficult to find, and everything is very expensive.  A snickers candy bar was $3.19.  A box of tissues was $7.15.  We were able to find some flour at the next store,  but still no cooking oil.  Both of us purchased a small bag of flour, since the limit was one.  We purchased baby formula, and Cecillia had to plead with the store manager to buy several cans…since the limit was one.  The check-out lines were very long.   There is a gasoline shortage and many gas lines.  Several gas stations are out of fuel.
 Please pray that we can find supplies to do repairs needed.   Pray for the economic crisis to resolve.  Please pray that we can be Jesus’ hands and feet.  

 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”  Proverbs 3:27

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Zimbabwe Mission Day 2

Day 2
On Friday October 26 we awakened in the Bronte hotel in Hurare, ate breakfast and prepared to be picked up by the combi driver at 9 am.  The driver did not arrive until noon!!  It was a 3 1/2 hour ride from Hurare to Old Mutare, with no stops.  Our driver needed to return to Old Mutare as quickly as possible in order to pick up children from school.  On the drive we saw cows meandering across the road, goats grazing.  Many children of all ages were walking home from school in their school uniforms.  There were roadside stands selling carrots, watermelons, bananas, peaches,  apples and tomatoes.  The landscape is dry right now, but there are trees that are green.   We saw very large cacti and some trees with beautiful purple or red  blooms.  It’s a frequent surprise and shock since everyone drives on the left side of the road, and the stearing  wheel is on the right.  Since Jeff was riding in the front left I kept wanting to tell him to get on the correct side of the road!!
We finally arrived in Old Mutare and started by stopping to visit Cecillia in the office.  She is the administrator of Fairfield Children’s home.  She had purchased ginger beer for us, a nonalcoholic drink that Jeff and Steve have enjoyed in past years. We walked around so I could see the hospital, waiting mothers homes, Fairfield children’s home, and other buildings on the Old Mutare United Methodist mission site.  
Since it it gets dark around 6 pm, we joined another mission team from Indiana on a small bus to travel the mile to our lodging at Africa University.  We are staying in the Ubuntu center, housing designed for visitors.  The accommodations are very nice.  It looks like an American hotel.  We had dinner in the center dining room with the Indiana mission team.  The Indiana church conference has sponsored scholarships for 24 students at Africa University.  They are here to connect with those students.  We still haven’t been able to have a hot shower here…but we have clean running water and we are blessed.  We were very jet lagged at this point and went to bed early.
Day 3
We had breakfast at the university dining hall.  Scrambled eggs, bread and porridge…which seemed like cream of wheat.
Cecillia picked us up to go to Fairfield.  
Jeff and Steve spent much of the day working on a 1949 Ford tractor.  The tractor has not been in working order, and when the guys visited in 2017 they took the carburetor back to the states.  A man from Mineral Wells, Mark Sampson, rebuilt the carburetor and we brought it back this year.  The guys discovered that there are other problems with the tractor, and will continue to try to get it fixed.
I started my day by helping Cecillia in her garden.  Corn, tomatoes, onions, greens, okra, peppers were all planted.  She also has 3 chickens and several rabbits to help feed her family.  I met her daughter and grandchildren.  Camilla ran to me when I first went into the house and gave me a big hug.
I was able to do check ups on most of the children in 4 houses today.  They all seem healthy and are running and playing.  I love their names… things like Blessing, Rejoice, Faith, Overcome.  I let each child and adult listen to my heart and their own hearts…  I loved the frequent looks of wide eyed wonder and the smiles.  One of the greatest joys was being able to give Nyasia, one of the mothers, a new blood sugar meter and blood pressure cuff.  She has diabetes and hypertension.  If she goes to the hospital it costs her $4.00 to have her blood pressure checked, and $8.00 to check her blood sugar.  She was so thankful and appreciative.  
We walked the mile back from Fairfield to Africa University.  There’s a type of succulent here, also aloe that grows wild and I see 1-2 foot in diameter. We saw 2 creatures we thought might  be chameleons.  We stopped at the home of Larry and Jane Kies for a short visit.  He teaches agronomy and she teaches English at the University.  He loaned me a songbook in Shona , the native language, to take to church tomorrow.  When he picked up the book a 2-3 inch tree frog jumped out.  He was startled… I am thankful it did not hop out on me!!!
After dinner we enjoyed a concert of several choirs at soloists at the University, a short distance from where we stay.  Such praise and excitement for Jesus!  Dancing and shouting!  The theme was to let Jesus be in the drivers Seat of our lives.  That message resonanates all over the world.  God is good.  I will take so much more home from the blessings I receive this week than I could ever give these beautiful people.  I am welcomed with hugs and hospitality everywhere I go.
“There I see no passion to be found playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”.  Nelson Mandella
“And now abide faith, hope and love, these three.  But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

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