Please accept my humblest apologies for not writing in so long. I really have no excuse other than lack of Zesa (Zimbabwe electricity seldom available)and the craziness our lives seem to have taken on of late. Electricity has become more of a scarce commodity lately and predictions are that most of Zimbabwe will be without it about 70 percent of the time in the very near future. Currently it seems as though we have it about fifty percent of the time and often times it is during the night when we don't really need it.
Update on our TEP (temporary employment permits). They were denied! So now we have appealed that decision (with the help of the college and PAOZ) and are hoping that decision might be overturned. They are letting us stay in the country while they are looking at our appeal and have given us a twenty-one day extension while we wait. That twenty-one days ends on July 7th so please pray for us that we will be given permission to stay at least until the end of the school year, which ends the end of November. Not sure how things would unfold if our appeal is denied as we are in the midst of the school year and I am scheduled to teach four courses next term including a block course and three regular term courses.
So, I am frantically working to try and put things in order just incase we are forced to leave for Canada on short notice. As you all know from my previous blogs, I am chairing our accreditation team and we are very busy with that process. We have made our submission and the site-visit team will be coming to PACC (Pan Africa Christian College) July 20th through 23rd. We are currently making arrangements for that visit and looking forward to that, hopeful that we will be granted accreditation. We continue to trust that if God wants us here we will be here but it is still stressful playing the waiting game.
Glen has gone to Mozambique with his friend Frick for a week or ten days to do some fishing. Glen has wanted to go there ever since we arrived and so this was a great opportunity for him. Frick and some others have some property in Mozambique, but until very recently it was not particularly safe to go there.
The Norries have returned to Canada, the Wilsons are in South Africa as are the Allens and all three of those couples are also uncertain as to their futures here in Zimbabwe. It is a strange time to be here with being so uncertain of the future.
On the brighter side, the Canadian Ambassador is hosting a Canada Day celebration/reception at her residence on Canada Day and I am so looking forward to that. It is good to connect with other Canadians here in this country...although I do believe we are the only Canadian PAOC missionaries in Zimbabwe currently. Glen may not be back in time to go with me but I will go anyway. There is also a picnic in celebration of Canada Day on this Sunday but I won't go to that. Sundays are filled with visiting various PAOZ churches promoting the college. This Sunday I will be going with our Academic Dean and a couple of our students to Ruwa. Ruwa church is in the rural area and I went there as a guest preacher some time back so look forward to going again, this time to speak on behalf of our college.
We have a couple from the US, assisting with work projects at the college. We got together yesterday afternoon, went to the stone market, which is always a lot of fun and then went out for Chinese food. There is a Chinese restaurant a mere couple of blocks from our place. Glen and I went there once in the early days of our time here and were not impressed. However, the restaurant has changed hands a couple of times since we went there and the food and the service were both absolutely amazing. A place I will definitely drag Glen to in the future.
Charles and Rutendo Mandinyanya (Charles is one of my colleagues) came to the cottage this morning for a visit and tea and cookies. I had just made my mom's ice-box cookies and even sent some home with them for their children - who call them grannie's cookies and love them. The little things we are able to do for the local people seem to mean so much. I often take cookies or banana bread to college for meetings or for tea time. These are all things that are not affordable for the majority of people here in Zimbabwe. The economy does not seem to improve and people continue to struggle. So, we help were we can.
No pictures this time, just a quick update. I do hope that we have good news of our TEPs the next time I blog.
Sending lots of love and blessings to all