Thursday, 28 April 2016

Hi out there to all you beautiful people.
It has been a long time since I blogged.  It seems as though much has happened and yet at the same time there is nothing earth shattering as far as our return to Zimbabwe goes and thus I have not blogged. We are still waiting our TEP (temporary employment permit).

As I write this blog, I am listening to Richard Chimbetete &D28.  Richard and his band are well known in Zimbabwe and listening to them makes me yearn to be back in Zimbabwe. (Even though I am enjoying being home in Canada and spending time with family and friends).  Richard is also closely connected with the Village of Hope community and has become a good friend.

And I know it has been way too long since I had blogged and so here goes to update all of you.  The months have flown by since we arrived home to Canada in December of 2015.  We have been busy traveling from Manitoba through to Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and have thrown Texas in for good measure as we visited our son Geoffrey and his family there.  What a blessing to spend time with so many of our loved ones throughout the country.

I attended a CASC (Canadian Association for Spiritual Care) conference in Vancouver and was privileged to make a presentation at the conference in which I was able to share our Zimbabwe experience.  It was great to connect with so many friends and colleagues, people from all across Canada ,with whom I have worked and shared special friendships in so many ways.  I thank all of you for your support of our mission as well.

The Village of Hope orphanage and school for the underprivileged has a fund raiser from the sale of jewelry created from stones found on the grounds there.  The stones are tumbles and beautiful jewelry is created by a local artisan from Zimbabwe. Then to make a long story short (as the saying goes) we bring the jewelry back to Canada with us and sale it with the money going directly back to the village.  I have had so many opportunities to display the jewelry and share stories of both the Village of Hope and our College. I have been overwhelmed at the generosity and support of so many of you. Thank you; thank you; thank you.

I have stayed connected with my colleagues at our college in Zimbabwe through Skype and so the work continues.  Our library books (made available to us through generosity of both AOG and PAOC) will arrive at PACC on May 22nd.  I would love to have been there to be part of the celebration at receiving this wonderful gift but I will settle for knowing it will benefit our students beyond measure.
A digital library of approximately 1500 full text titles of books relevant to theological and biblical studies has also been made available to us and so I have been making USB copies to provide for our library at PACC.  some of those I have sent on with our friends and fellow missionaries, Gaye and Elizabeth Norrie, who are heading to Zimbabwe this Saturday.  I will then take copies with me, as well, when I return.  Indeed, we are richly blessed. On behalf of our college and so many people in Zimbabwe, I extend a huge thank you to all who are helping in so many ways.  Although the economic situation and the political situation keep getting worse in the country, we do what we can to help.  Indeed, sometimes it is overwhelming and I can only imagine what it is like for our friends and colleagues who live with that reality everyday of their lives.  And so we pray for God's intervention.

On a happier note, we have just returned from Mexico where we attended my niece Anessa's wedding.  Oh yes, it was Collin's wedding as well.  So often it seems we give all the attention to the bride and the groom gets rather sidelined.  Sorry, Collin!!  (Picture of Bride and Groom).  The wedding was on the beach.  It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple!

We had a fabulous week; got burned from too much sun and throughly enjoyed the break from routine.  One of the highlights for Glen and me was a very successful fishing trip, catching a 36 pound Wahoo...which we cooked up and served as an appetizer at the wedding reception.  Here's a picture of our fish! (and Glen).

Such fun!  Then we also enjoyed a golf game with the bride and groom a couple of days after the wedding.
While home in Canada I am once again a District approved counselor for the South Okanagan and so keeping busy with that and guest preaching at our home church and a couple of neighboring churches.

We expect the next few months to be busy with having family and friends visit us at our home here in the Sunny Okanagan.  We look forward to being at home and hosting those who come.  That will all be fodder for the next blog.

Well, that is a snapshot of what's happening for us (or the case of our work permits) but it really is a time to wait and see...and pray!  We're doing lot's of that and we know God holds our future in His hands and will work out the details.

Love and blessings to all
Marj (and Glen)