Saturday, 8 March 2014

Hello to all you beautiful people back in Canada and the US.

As seems to be my habit, I begin to write and then wind up writing more a week or so later before I finally send off the blog.  When I began this blog, I had an unexpected day off from teaching. There was a huge pastor's conference being held at the college. Problem was no one told me about it, so I went off to the college to find out that all my students were otherwise engaged as they were all assigned duties in preparation for the conference.  No big deal, just an extra day off.  But of course that meant making up that day on what would otherwise have truly been my day off.  Things are different here and it just takes rolling with whatever is. 'Tis Africa, they say!!
Our friends, Frik and Lizette arrived from Bulawayo to spend a couple of days with us.  It was great to see them.  They are busy making plans to go to Canada to visit with their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.  Their son and his family live in Armstrong in British Columbia, not all that far from us, and we have visited with them in their home.  So, Frik and Lizette came to Harare to get their visitor's visas to enable them to go to Canada.  It is their intention to spend a few months visiting in Canada and the US.
As I have now updated what I wrote previously, I will continue on with catch-up.  A couple of weeks has passed since I initially began this blog.  It is now March 8th and much has happened since I began to write. Mid-term exams have been written by my students and marked.  We hosted the faculty and spouses from the Bible college at a Braai (BBQ)on February 15th, 2014.(I believe I mentioned in my last blog that we were going to do that.)  Such fun!! The weather co-operated nicely, in spite of it being rainy season and we managed to use the Bishop's gazebo (with his permission of course).  Bishop was not around as he has two residences.  He lives in Mutare when he is not in Harare.  The gazebo nicely accommodated all 18 of us. Our little cottage would certainly not have done that.  What a great way to celebrate valentines day with eight other couples.  (No kids).  We enjoyed hamburgers, potatoe salad, beans, green salad and all the fixin's. A regular Canadian BBQ.  I'm including a couple of pictures of the fun time.  
Shortly after that we hosted our Assemblies of God friends, the Allens and the Wilsons from different parts of the US, to supper and a fun evening of playing Mexican train.  The Allans are soon having to leave the country for a period of time to take care of some details at home in the States.

You might remember, I spoke of Grace and King who work on the property here at 22 Glen Clova.  They work for Bishop and we have gotten to know them and consider them friends.  Anyway, there have been some changes and King, who was the gardener, is no longer working on the property so we'll have to wait and see what transpires next there and who comes to replace him.  The property(PAOC owned) is fairly large and definitely needs someone to take care of it.
I recently spent a week in Kenya where along with our Principal and our Academic Dean from PACC (Pan African Christian College), we attended an APTEA (Association for Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa) conference.  There were about 140 or so of us there from many different African Countries.  Then after two days of conferences with that association we had a full day of TELTAC meetings (some more teacher's meetings but I don't have handy exactly what TELTAC stands for and no response to my phone inquiry to Joseph).  Will fill that detail in next blog, if I remember.  The next step for our college is to begin the process of moving towards Accreditation.  Our lofty goal is to have that process completed and be able to combine that celebration with graduation in November, 2014.   

After all our meetings, I spent a couple of days in Nairobi with my friend Janice Foss.  Janice came, along with Valerie Penny, last November to Harare for our graduation and they spent some time with us.  It was great to see Janice again and also to connect with many others from PAOC, some of whom I had only met via email, Skype or telephone. The PAOC have offices and missionary residences on property there in Nairobi and it was indeed special to gather with others for fellowship, an evening of prayer and meals together.

Bruce (our principal) Joseph, (our Academic Dean) and I all had the opportunity to accompany Helen McMinn to launch a new Transformational Church Leadership program.  Helen, who has served in Africa for over thirty years, heads up this program through Pan African Christian University.  The program is a different concept of distance education in that the leaders/teachers go out to the people rather than having the people come to the University. The program is a three year diploma program and certainly is beneficial for helping train local people for ministry and other church leadership roles.

Janice and I toured a pottery factory where a young lady made me a pair of earrings while I watched.  I was going to include a picture of her doing just that, but my computer is acting up...actually it is the internet acting up and that is not unusual for Zimbabwe, so I'll try to send this off as it is.  Pictures to follow.

While I was in Kenya, Glen went to Bulawayo to go fishing with his friend Frik.  They said they caught some fish but I didn't see any of them brought into our kitchen!

Glen is busy refurbishing the desks and chairs for the college classrooms.  They are looking great and it is certainly keeping him busy.  I'm thinking I might have him build me a podium for my classroom as the ones that we have, besides being old and tattered are too high for me.  (Imagine that)! 

Gay and Elizabeth Norrie, Directors from the Village of Hope, just arrived back from Canada a couple of nights ago.  They spent three months in Canada and it is good to have them back here in Zimbabwe.  The Norries, the Allans, the Wilsons and the Pettingers will get together this coming Friday...just before the Allans leave to return to the US on business there.

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