And humblest apologies. It has been way too long since I wrote.
It is rainy season here in Zimbabwe and the rains don't seem to stop. Even the local people are ready for the rain to stop. A number of areas in the country are flooding and bridges being washed out. We, here, however, although there has been more than ample rain, have not been subject to flooding. I am more than ready for a steady dose of sunshine.
It is Sunday afternoon...and Glen and I have just returned from a long walk. We have not been able to do that in quite a while because of the rains. However, today is a beautiful sunny day with the temperature at about 26 c.
Time has flown by since I last wrote. In February, I was privileged, along with our principal, Rev. Tawanda Munaki and our Academic Dean, Pastor Tichaona Chiwashira, to attend an APTEA (Association of Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa) conference in Jo'Berg, South Africa. It was an awesome, albeit busy, time of reconnecting with people I had met at the last conference in 2014 and meeting many new people. Our college has now received endorsement within that association. What a huge step for us. That gives us more credibility throughout the continent and already we are anticipating having students in August from a couple of other African countries.
I am inserting a picture of the three of us enjoying a McDonald's break, if you can imagine. We don't have McDonald's in Zimbabwe and neither of the guys had ever been to a McDonald's so we just had to go. Not fancy but a new experience for them and a little taste of home for me. We had finished lunch and here we are all enjoying an apple pie. Made me think of our grandkids and greats as at home we would sometimes take them to McDonald's. This time I took the big 'kids'.
The conference was attended by about 180 teachers and others associated with our theological institutes throughout Africa. Fifty three (53) African countires were represented and it was great to be encouraged and encourage others in what we are doing.
Then, also in February we celebrated Linda's birthday. Linda is our young lady Maka's mom. Again we went to a place that reminds us of Canada and gives them a chance to experience something very different than the norm in their lives. So we went to Kentucky Fried Chicken. We took the birthday cake along with us and the staff at KFC were very gracious and even allowed us to light the candles and sing Happy Birthday. It was fun to see the excitment of our friends. Linda had never had a birthday cake before. Picture inserted here of the frivolity.
It may sound as though all we do is go to fast food places, but that's not really how it is. Mostly we eat at home and cook for ourselves. Although when we have missionary friends here or family, etc. we do enjoy some of the fabulous restaurants in this country. Remember, Zimbabwe used to be a wealthy country and so there are still many upscale restaurants around. At times we wonder how they stay in business but we appreciate the fact that they do.
Our next adventure will be a trip to Kenya as both Glen and I will be attending a PAOC all Africa retreat the end of this month. It will be so good to connect with other Canadian Missionaries working in Africa. Will tell you all about that next blog.
Our niece, Michelle and her husband Rob, are arriving in April to spend a couple of weeks with us. Glen has already booked photo Safaris for us and we are so anticipating the fun we will have together. It is, indeed, such a blessing to us when we have family or friends visiting us from back in Canada. So the invitation is there...anyone wanting to come????
I was honored to be invited to be guest speaker at an investiture for 30 young prefects at the Cornelius Academy Primary School out at the Village of Hope. I was asked to speak to them on Leadership. The service was held in the chapel and it was full to capacity. I was then presented with a beautiful basket of fruit by two of the young ladies being installed as Prefects. I am moved by the generosity knowing that this is a great sacrifice for them.
Our college has special chapel services every Friday, following classes, and special guest speakers are invited. Our Dean of Students is trying to make sure all of us have some input into the spiritual lives of our students and so last Friday was my turn to be guest preacher. I do consider it a privilege to be asked to preach and I do have those opportunities quite frequently at some of the local churches in addition to at our chapel services.
We enjoy opportunities to host our friends at our cottage and Friday evening we had one of my former colleagues and his wife join us for the evening meal and a time of fellowship. They had a new addition to their family while we were back in Canada and so here is a picture of little Emanuel with his mom.
We see our young sponsor lady and her mom on the average of about once a week. Last weekend she appeared on the local television in her role as Queen Holiday. The year will be busy for her as she fulfills that role. Already she has taken part in collecting clothing and the like and distributing them to the less fortunate (which includes almost everyone in this country). That is one of the responsibilities she, Maka, will undertake along with the organization Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, who were the sponsors of the competition through which Maka was crowned queen.
Work continues at Pan Africa Christian College and Glen is so great at doing renovations and fixing things. I so appreciate him being my support in so many ways. And to all of you, words are simply not adequate to express how much we appreciate the support we receive, in so many ways, from all of you. Your prayers are felt all the way across the miles. Your phone calls, your emails and your support of our college in various ways all mean so much. You know who you are. Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! We are blessed beyond measure.
And on that note, I will sign off for now. Sending much love and many blessings to all.