Thursday, 1 December 2016

Greetings from the beautiful country of Zimbabwe to all our family and friends.
The rains havew finally arrived.  Although much more is needed, the grass has turned green seemingly ovwernight.  A variety of trees bloom in every season here and here is a sample of what we are seeing right now.

Wow!  November has come and gone.  Glen is here in Zimbabwe with me now, having arrived November 7th.  It is good to be back together.

November has been a very busy month with final exams; and then along with that of course, comes the necessity to mark them and the accompanying papers.  Graduation was Friday and Saturday, November 25th and 26th.  Friday was our grad banquet and Saturday the graduation exercises.  It was a privelege for me to bring the charge to the grads and have opportunity to challenge them as they go out into ministry.

Our college is in transition (I think I said that before) but it is actually now taking place.  Our principal, our academic dean and our dean of students are all transitioning out and for the upcoming year we will have acting principal, academic dean and dean of students. This change has been talked about for the past few years, in fact talks were happening towards that end when I first arrived here in 2013.  But now it is actually coming to fruition.  Our college actually closes on December 2nd for the December break and as it closes the changes officially take place.  I will still be a member of the BOA and head up the Acreditation team.  Besides that I am now going to serve on the Academic committee.  That committee will work closely with the acting Academic Dean to establish the programs, courses and the like.  Promises to be a busy year and we are looking forward to some positive outcomes.

Monday, November 28th, Glen and I hosted an appreciation luncheon and fellowship time at our college for the outgoing faculty.  It was a fun time as we combined a roast type afternoon with all staff being invited to share a funny experience or a special memory of time with the three outgoing staff members and/ or their wives.  Laughter was abundant and it was good to celebrate together, even though Glen and I didn't understand much of what was shared as it was in Shona.  However, we got caught up in the mood of the sharing and could not help but laugh along, the mood was contagious.   Here is a picture of me and my colleagues who are now moving on.  As you can see the picture was tken at our graduation.  I will miss all three of the guys as we worked together for the past three yers.  Having said that I do look forward to what the future holds for our college.

Meetings are being held this Thursday at our cottage with the new team taking the reigns.

Things are still moving forward with our library as we continue the task of cataloguing and shelving the over 2,500 books we have received via donations.  It is a huge task and my unrealistic expectations had hoped to have them all shelved before the end of this term.  So, we'll just keep plugging along and they will get done.  Tomorrow, I'm becoming a student along with  Rebecca (worker at our college from the US) as our librarian is going to teach us the library computer program so that we can continue to catalogue and shelve books while the college is closed for December break.  Praying and trusting that perhaps my old brain can still learn some new things!  We'll see how that goes.

The Sunday before Glen came to Zimbabwe I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of special people from our home church in Penticton.  Don and Joy, it was such a pleasure to speak to both of you for even a few minutes.  We are also able to connect via Skype with those of you who utilize that method of communicating.  If you do and would like to connect with us via Skype let me know and we can arrange to do that periodically.

The rainy season is here and finally we have been getting some much needed rain over the last couple of days, although it is sunny right now.

Please continue to pray for the country of  Zimbabwe and the people.  The challenges are great and the latest is the fear throughout the country as the Bond Currency/Bond Notes are being reintroduced.  The local people remember well the financial disaster of 2008-2009 and the fear is that the country is headed, once again, in that direction with hyperinflation.

On a very positive note, we trust that God is in charge.

We actually found a place that has a 'turkey project' and we have ordered a turkey for Christmas.  Missionary friends, Larry and Rhonda Allen, from the Assemblies of God in the US are arriving next week and so we will have an early Christmas celebration with them.  Rhonda is bringing the cranberries.  We are excited to have them come back to Zimbabwe.  They will only be here for a short time but it will be good.

We are also anticipating having some of our family visit us in the coming year.  It is such a joy to have visitors, family and friends, come to visit us and see what we do and how we live here in this country.
Signing off now realizing that it is now, as I'm finishing this, December.  Will try to write again before Christmas.   Oh, talking of Christmas, one of the grounds people at the college has promised to get me a Christmas tree.  I'll look forward to that as might very well be a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and I'm not sure where I'll get decorations.  Might have to make a few...or perhaps Makanaka will make me some.

So, farewell for now dearly beloved.

Marj (and Glen)

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