Thursday, 29 March 2018

Greetings Family and Friends

Well, I thought I would send out a blog to all of you to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I trust the true meaning of Christmas will be part of your celebrations as once again we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We are home in British Columbia now and already I am making preparations to return to Zimbabwe in March.  But...time now to enjoy our canadian home and catch up with some much needed family and friend time.  We have just returned from a whirlwind trip to Alberta...seeing our children, grandchildren, greatgranchildren and as many friends as we could possibly fit into a few days.  Now back home in time to prepare for Christmas.  We will get together with Bette and Brian (sister and brother-in-law).  As well my brother Dick and our son Sternie have plans to join us.  Looking so forward to having a real Canadian Turkey Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

As most of you are aware, Zimbabwe was going through significant change in the couple of weeks just before we left to return to Canada.  Many of you sent emails to us expressing your concern for our safety.  We appreciate all of you so much.  We actually feel the prayers sent our way.  The transition of government was very peaceful without a shot being fired and no violence whatsoever.  The military took control and the atmosphere in the contry changed.  When we arrived in Zimbabwe nearly four and one half years ago, there was a palitable feeling of  hopelessness throughout the entire country.  With the transition came a total change and hope was in the air.  There were great celebrations in the streets and everywhere people were dancing, waving flags and cheering.  what an awesome time to be in witness history making right befoe our eyes. 

Note!!  Just realized I had started to blog after I returned to Canada and this was still sitting in my 'draft' so sending it off just as it is.  It, of course, goes before the one I just sent.

Will try to update more completely and send more pictures next time around.

March 29th, 2018
A great big hello and my wish for a Blessed Easter Season to all of you.

We have moved from 2017 to 2018 since I last sent out a blog.  That was back in November, 2017  and now already it is March, 2018.  Enroute to Harare, Zimbabwe, I spent some delightful time with my niece, Tamara, in Toronto.  So enjoyed my time with her and it gave me a break in flight time.  Now, I am back in Zimbabwe, without Glen this time. Our good friends, Larry and Rhonda, from AOG, picked me up at the airport and we are managing to get together periodically to catchup.  Finally, they got their TEP (Temporary Work Permit) so now know they can be here for at least the next year.  It has been a real struggle but so happly for them that finally it has happened.

Life here is hectic and I am finding myself almost overwhelmingly busy.  I am only here for one month and already it is back in the swing of things with getting caught up, involved in various meetings, etc., working towards accreditation and preparing to teach.  I will be teaching two block courses and facilitating a Teacher Training Course.  The block courses run Monday to Friday for one week each during which time students will cover an entire semester course.  I sent out pre-course assignments and if completed that will ease the heaviness of the courses for my students.

The Teacher Training Course is offered to teachers from both PACC (our college) and AOG (Assemblies of God) college.  We have done this twice previously and it is a great opportunity to meet and work with our friends from AOG.  APTEA (Association for Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa) which is the organization we are working towards being granted accreditation with, requires all teachers to be certified through their teacher training course.  We are working towards that end.  I completed the course first time around and so now facilitate it for others.

It is the Easter season and Rev. Zowa from the Village of Hope, where the jewellry that many of you have purchased has come from, was our guest preacher at our Special Chapel which happens every Wednesday.  He is a powerful preacher and had an awesome message on the power of the Cross.

It is good to be back at this home where it is such a contrast from our home in British Columbia where at times I find myself wondering what I might fill the days with, to here wondering if I will ever complete the tasks before me.   A good friend of mine, Stan Spence, who passed away little more than a year ago, once told me I needed to find a balance in my life.  He even gave me a sticker for my filing cabinet that said "Bookkeepers are balanced".  At that stage of my life I worked in accounting.  Anyway, thanks Stan, I still think of you whenever my life seems to get out of balance and I need that reminder.

The time home in Canada was filled with family time and visits to family and friends.  We have had an unusual amount of snow in our area of Canada this winter.  I'm inserting a picture here to show you how Glen and I 'endured' the snow.  Although eventurally, I'm sure Glen got sick of plowing ans shoveling everyday.

This guy took up residence in our back year.  He's left now just like Frosty, but perhaps he'll come back again next year.

Indeed, there was not time to see everyone I would have wished to see, but phone calls added to the opportunities to connect.  When I'm in Canada I miss all our 'family' in Zimbabwe and when I'm in Zimbabwe I miss all of you. 

In Canada I have been appointed as Co-ordinator for BC-Yukon District Pastoral Counsellors and look forward to finding out what all that entails.  I will be attending our CASC conference in Deerhurst, Ontario upon my return to Canada.  Life is full of excitement and chanllenges and I look so forward to what God has in store for me at the next turn.

On Friday April 6th, Pastor Jason Wiebe from Elim Church in Keremeos is coming to visit our college.  His church, although very small, have been very supportive of our college and last year provided scholarships for a number of our students.  The board from that church decided their pastor needed to see firsthand, life at our college and in Zimbabwe so they are sending him.  I am excited to have him here for a couple of weeks and would love to have a mission team from our home church at Bethel in Penticton come to assist with some renovations or the like.  That's for down the road and the conversation is already happening.  That's a first step (after prayer, of course).

The weather here has been very rainy and it's not supposed to be rainy season.  I guess just like in Canada, the weather is unpredicable and when we think we have it all figured out, the weather patterns change.

There is probably so much more I could share but I would like to send this out as it has been so long between blogs.  Trust my ramblings give you some idea of my life here in beautiful Zimbabwe.

Sending lots of love to all.