Friday, 20 March 2015

Greetings once again to all my friends and family in Canada and the US.
We are well into March and approaching spring time for all of you back home.  As for us, we are enjoying bananas picked from the tree in our back yard. Rainy season is over and so now it is Fall and early winter.  Of course, no snow, but cools off at night.
March, here in Zimbabwe, finds us with much happening at our College, including final exams which will be here before I know it.  Exam days are March 30th and 31st. The month will be busy as I will be guest preaching at churches here in Harare, Bulawayo and the outlying areas.  The college is planning some extensive promotions to increase our enrollment.  Thirteen of us, students and faculty, will be traveling to Bulawayo this weekend.  While there we will be hosting a 'Career Days" promoting our college on the Saturday and then on the Sunday we will be guest preaching at various churches.  I prepared a power-point presentation which we used this past year at churches right here in Harare in our promotions and as it was well received, we will be using that again, along with our newly printed brochures, etc., So much of what is just common place at home in Canada is relatively new here and even having laptops, overhead projectors and all the needed technological equipment is not something one takes for granted here. 
Sometimes it seems as though I am repeating things I have previously shared but perhaps that's because now that I have been here for 1 1/2 years, I have been around for six terms at our college and of course mid-terms and finals happen each and every term.  So, having said that I do hope that all of you rejoice with me as I continue to do what God has called me here to do.
I think I mentioned in my last report that we will be going on PAOC retreat in Livingston, Zambia and so look forward to reconnecting and/or meeting other missionaries here in Africa.  Next blog will include details of all the fun we will have while there.

This past Sunday I preached at Pastor Alex's church which is out in the high density area of Ruwa.  They have a congregation of between 100-150 people.  The service was pretty well entirely in Shona  and so I had to have an interpreter.  I have been at a number of churches where there was an interpreter but I had not previously been the speaker at any of those  (at least, not since I was in Cameroon a number of years back) so that was another new experience for me.  I so appreciated the young lady who served as my interpreter.  Here is a picture of the two of us outside the church.  Also inserting a picture of Pastor Alex and me outside his church.

Probably will be repeating that experience of having an interpreter in Bulawayo where the language of the local people is Ndebele.

I have just recently taken on tutoring Makanaka (our little sponsor child).  She is in grade six and her teacher informs me she is struggling in both math and computers.  We will try and arrange for her to come to our place one afternoon a week and hopefully help her to prepare for grade seven.  Grade seven is a pivotal point in a child's education here in Zimbabwe and so we want to do whatever we can to make sure she, Maka, has every opportunity.  Here is Maka at our house as she arrived after school for her tutoring lessons.

Last week I went to Maka's school.  The school had arranged an afternoon dedicated to prayer for all students.  Lately there have been a number of Kombie accidents with some students from Maka's school being killed and/or injured.  The Kombies which are van/taxis often carry more than twice the number of students they should and that and speed both contribute to accidents.  Before the prayer time, I met with Maka's teacher and was privileged to look at her work and talk with her teacher.  Wow; it has been a lot of years since I have done that type of thing.  I believe I did that a couple of times with Starla when she invited me along to Matheau's parents/teachers days.  That was a few years back!

Maka came again yesterday after school and we worked on her English and then she practiced her computer skills.  At her school they only have a few computers and her class alone has 44 students so they don't get much computer practice time.  Linda, Maka's mom, joined us for supper when she finished work and afterwards we enjoyed a game of Mexican Train.

Not sure if this blog sounds confusing or not but this is about the third time I have sat down to write  so I keep going back to update.

Both Glen and I now have our Zimbabwe Driver's licenses.  They do not have an expiry date so if and when we come back at some future time, they are still good.  Had an interesting experience when we went to apply for our licenses.  The government official in the license bureau (a lady) and I got chatting and she informed me that she had just finished her Master's and was beginning to work on her Doctoral Studies.  Anyway to make a long story short, she has asked me if I would be willing to assist her and read/critique her work.  She will actually be going to South Africa for 'Intensives' or block courses.  So now I have one person working on a Masters and two working on their Doctoral Studies all of whom I am assisting.  When I left Canada I was supervising a student from Edmonton and it worked well to do that through email and Skype so perhaps it will work well in reverse as I assist those from here even once I return home to Canada.

One final picture of the surrounding beautiful flowering trees that we are privileged to enjoy everyday.

With much love and blessings to all

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