Thursday, 13 April 2017

Hi again to all our family and friends back in Canada and the US.

Well, were to begin is the question?  Firstly, let me once again thank all of you for your support in whatever form that takes.  We so appreciate your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for us as we serve here in this country in which the economy continues to weaken.  Just today, I heard that businesses are now beginning to refuse to take cash payments and accepting only 'swipe'.  Not sure how that will unfold, and whether that only relates to the Zimbabwe currency what with the introduction of the Zimbabwe Bond Notes.  I do know, however, that the banks virtually have no money.  So, we continue to pray for our adopted country and thank you for your prayers for the people here in Zimbabwe and for the country.

So much has happened since my last blog, and we are now in the process of submitting an application for renewal of our temporary work permits.  As I believe I have said before, it is our intention to be here full time until December, 2017.  Then, God willing, I will return at least once a year, probably for a three month stint, until we (PACC) complete our accreditation process.  As I head up that committee, I believe it would be prudent to see it through to completion.  I will continue to work with the team through Skype, and email, etc.,  Technology does allow us to do things that a few years ago were impossible and I thank God for that.

Glen and I have just returned from a week in Kenya where we were privileged to attend a PAOC missionary all Africa retreat.  We were at a place called Turtle Bay which is on the Indian Ocean.  The pictures I have inserted here was one I took of the sunrise as I walked along the beach early morning.  It was awesome to meet with missionaries, about 100 in total, from many countries throughout Africa and to compare our experiences, both the blessings and the challenges.

It was a time of reconnecting with friends and meeting new friends.  It felt good to realize that we were not alone...even though we are the only ones in Zimbabwe.  It was truly a time to recharge and then return to our respective African homes ready to face new challenges.  One of those challenges is getting work permits.  We have learned, through the sharing of our stories and exsperiences, that it is becoming more and more difficult in many countries on the African Continent to get work permits.  Please pray for us that we don't encounter difficulties in that area.

Yesterday we had a time of fellowship and shared a meal with missionaries/workers from the US.  One couple, Jim and Becky Petersen are here in Zimbabwe on a stopover waiting to get clearance to go into Namibia.  They are lifelong missionaries who have served on the African continent, in many different countries for over fifty years.  Their work permits have just been denied so they are going into Namibia on visitor's permits and trusting God will open the doors for where He wants them to be.
We have gotten together with them a couple of times.  This is a picture of Glen and I with the Petersens.  As you can see we still get to go out to local restaurants.  That always presents some conflicting emotions for me as I realize we are privileged in the midst of the poverty of so many who struggle even to buy a loaf of bread.  But we still do treat ourselves to such times.

The other couple Jeff and Rebecca Smith, not in the picture, are working at our college doing renovations. They will be returning to the US the beginning of June and are hoping then to come back to Zimbabwe in November.

The Norries and the Allens, friends I have spoken of often in previous blogs, will all be returning to Zimbabwe in May.  The Norries for a month and the Allens are hoping (and praying) for work permits.

Our niece, Michelle and her husband Rob, are arriving next week and we are so looking forward to their visit and the opportunity to share our life here in Zimbabwe with them.  Glen has planned out an agenda and he has become quite a good guide.

Classes have ended until beginning of May and I will be taking a break while Rob and Michelle are here, so currently trying to get ahead of the game and prepare for my next classes.

I will be joining my CASC (Canadian Association for Spiritual Care) colleagues from across Canada in a fun run/walk on April 28th.  That is an annualfund raising  event that takes place at our CASC Conference this year being held in Saskatoon and I have tried to participateeach year even though I am in Zimbabwe.  

It is always good to touch base with so many of you and Skype makes that relatively easy.  So to those of you on Skype who would like to talk with us/me, send me your Skype address and I will watch for you on line. Those conversations/visits are treasured moments for me.

 This picture shows some of the beauty of this country which demonstrates the conflict.  In many ways the country is in ruins, certainly economically, and it seems appropriate to say there is such beauty among the ashes or ruins.

I pray that God will restore Zimbabwe.

Enough said for this time so until next month.
Love and Blessings to you all.

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