Thinking of all of you and looking forward to seeing many as we return to Canada very soon. Our flights are booked for December 3rd.
I write this to all at this time with mixed feelings...not knowing what the future looks like for us here in Zimbabwe. As I have shared in previous blogs, I have been asked to remain at the college for at least the next two years. That is the desire expressed by both PACC (our college) and PAOZ (Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe) under whom the college operates. However, Zimbabwe Immigration have the final say. And processes take time and everything seems to move very slowly in this country.
So, having said that, this is where things are at for us at this time. PACC and PAOZ had requested a two year extension for us for our TEP (Temporary Work permit). We have been advised that we can not get an extension but have to begin the process of applying for a TEP all over again as though we have never been in this country. Albeit we have lived here in Zimbabwe for more than two years. Most of our missionary friends have experienced similar difficulties with most being denied TEPs.
We need to be in Canada in order to apply as we now need to, once again, get Police clearances and supply all our relevant documentation once again. That process will take time...anywhere from two to four months. With all of this we know it will be end of July, 2016 before we return to Zimbabwe.
(Update)...It is now October 29th. Yesterday I went to immigration and we did manage to get a 30 day extension from the date our current TEP expires so we are now good to be in Zimbabwe until December 9th. Our flights home to Canada are on December 3rd...so we are thrilled. We thank God for every small miracle and trust him to work out the greater details as well. That means I will be able to complete the courses I am teaching this term, oversee my exams and be here for graduation.
The closer it gets to our return to Canada the more excited we are getting. It will be good to be home! We know we will miss Zimbabwe but we remain hopeful that we will get our TEP and return in 2016.
Below I am attaching a couple of pictures of Maka. As we somehow lost all the ones we had previously, Maka and her mom came to our home and Maka put on a private show for us in our front yard. She is such a delightful child and I am constantly reminded of how much we miss our family, grandchildren and great grand children back in Canada and the US.
Time is passing quickly and we are making preparations for our departure. This coming week I will be hosting our APTEA team as we review the report that has granted us conditional endorsement and determine 'next steps'.
Then on Saturday we are hosting our faculty and spouses to a Braai. I'm sure the month plus that we have left will fly by. Perhaps before I send this off, I will include some pictures of our Braai.
Two days of 'work' meetings have come and gone. Busy time with hosting the entire team all day...but great fun even though it was a work day. Amidst the fun we accomplished a lot. Trying to squeeze as much as possible in before we leave for Canada. The latest is that I have agreed to, along with another of the PACC faculty, conduct an internal audit for the past four years. Hopefully we will do that in the next couple of weeks.
Glen just got another delivery trip for clients of our friends in Bulawayo. Gives him a break from the routine of repairing desks and chairs for the college. I think he has now replaced seats and backs on over 100 chairs and refurbished a couple of dozen desks. He doesn't mind but needs the break of doing some of the things he thoroughly enjoys. I so thank God that he is supportive and chooses to be with me as I respond to God's calling to come to Zimbabwe.
We have decided to try to fit in as many of the 'touristy' things as we can while we are here. Towards that end we travelled with our friends, the Norries, on Saturday to the Great Zimbabwe. Great Zimbabwe is the remains of an ancient city and one of the places many local people tell us is a must.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and touring around the old ruins. Here are a couple of pictures for you and just a bit of history.
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city in the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mitirikwe and the town of Masvingo. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the country's late iron age.
Great Zimbabwe has the largest collection of ruins in Africa South of the Sahara.
Well, my computer battery is dying and we do not have Zesa so I will close for now. Might try to send one more blog before we leave on December 3rd for Canada.
With much love and many blessings to all