Saturday, 22 December 2018

Greetings once again from Zimbabwe (and Canada)

I know I have not sent out a blog for some time and for that I apologize. 
So, this blog will be a  combination of time in Zimbabwe and time since my return to Canada.

From Zimbabwe: (sometime in November)  I'm not even sure of what day I actually started to write this but will leave it in the blog as it gives you info as to what my life is like there.

This morning started out early with joining our principal for an early morning meeting, at 8:00am with the Ministry of Higher Education here in Harare.  Our meeting was to discuss the re-instate of our degree program here at PACC.  Previously we operated a degree program through PAC U in Kenya.  the program, for various reasons, was discontinued in 2013 and so now we are working towards reinstating offering degree level courses here at PACC (Pan Africa Christian college).  We are looking at different options as to how we actually go about doing that without it costing us an arm and a leg...which we don't have.  It is quite a detailed process and we have been working towards the desired end result being that we will once again offer a degree program.

Although our ultimate goal for PACC is to become fully accredited with both the Ministry of Higher Education and APTEA, we realize that the process will take us a number of years to achieve.  As I have shared previously, we received endorsement with APTEA in 2017.  That was an awesome achievement and the highest level we can achieve until such a time as we, at PACC, are able to operate independently and offer our own degree program.  Currently we are in process of applying for affiliation meaning the degree courses we offer will actually be those of the the University with whom we will be affiliated.  So, the journey continues!

Towards that end, I am offering a second level teacher education program which will run the first two weeks in November.  That accreditation has been my ultimate goal during my time here at PACC and probably at the conclusion of that I will end my work time here in Zimbabwe.  Our projected date for full accreditation is November, 2020  ("The Good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise,")  as my grandfather used to say. Not exactly sure what that meant but it sounds good.

My exams are finished and marked for the two block courses I taught and so now what remains is to mark all the papers and then submit my reports to the registrar.

My time is indeed full while I am here and exactly one month today I will be leaving Zimbabwe and flying to Houston, Texas to spend a few days with my son and his family before flying home to British Columbia.

Wow!!! It is now two weeks (or more) since I visited my blog and wrote to all.  I have now been home in BC for a few days, reconnecting with home and husband.  I keep pinching myself to see if my life is real or whether it is all a dream from which I will soon awaken.  If it is a dream, I don't want to wake up as I am so blessed.  Yes, indeed there are challenges, but amidst it all, I am so grateful for health and the opportunity to reach out and serve others.  Truly, it is in giving that we reeceive!

December 22nd, 2018

So, now to update from the above report from Zimbabwe.  All papers and exams got marked and all paperwork handed in in a timely manner.  Then we held our second level teacher training course, also in November, with 12 participants.  We had 6 teachers from the Assemblies of God and 6 from PACC (our college).  It was such fun and a time of joint learning where we all learned from each other. 
Inserted here is a picture of the group minus one person who could not be in attendance on the final day.


This second picture is of the participants from our college.  Notice we all had matching golf shirts with our PACC logo on them.  This is a first and one of the promotional things we are doing at our college.  In the future we will have all our students wearing our logo t's or golf shirts for college events and promotions.


I was privileged to have been able to take the course on-line while I was in Canada and then to be able to take it back and lead my colleagues through the course.  This was the first time this particular course had been offered in a group formate and so we were actually field-testing the course.  It was a great success and now I look forward to seeing what opportunities unfold in the future.

Here is another picture just to show you that all is not work and we have fun as well.  This is our Dean of Students and yours truly just horsing around. In the background is a poster displaying our college mission, vision and values statement.



On a more serious note...one of my very best students, a young man who suffered from cancer and yet came diligently to classes every day, passed away recently.  I was priveleged to visit with his wife, Sensi, and their two year old son, in their home and provide some counselling to this young widow in her time of grief. It is always difficult to loose a loved one and Sensi will certainly struggle, not only with grief but also with a culture that is very different than what we experience here in Canada, where equality between the sexes is still not the predominant culture. Sensi is a teacher at the Village of Hope.  I have inserted here a picture of mother and child and would ask that you please hold them in prayer.

 
We, Glen and I,  have had opportunities to get together with some of our family and friends as we are here at home in BC.  The turkey will be on at our house this Christmas and Glen's sister and her husband will join us for the day.

Early in the New Year we will make a flying trip to Edmonton to visit a very dear friend of ours who suffered massive strokes and is in University Hospital.  Then on January 15th we are flying to |New Zealand where we will tour and reconnect with relatives whom we have not seen in a good number of years.  Glen thought after travelling so much doing mission work, it was time to take a holiday.  I agreed and told him to go ahead and book it.  And so he did!!!!  It will indeed be different, travelling just for the fun of it. 

Having said that, I do miss Zimbabwe and all my colleagues there.  I am, however, still working with them from a distance.  Isn't technology a great thing? 

I had better sign off for now and hit send before I procraste any longer.

Wishing all a Very Merry Christmas (note I am not into the 'Happy Holiday' thing as to me Christmas is all about us celebrating once again the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.)  So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.  May you be richly blessed in 2019.

Until next time

Marj 

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