Sunday, July 27, 2008
I had such a good time and I am loving the team already. It is such an encouragment to have them here, I am sensing a difference in my heart already!!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I was in a morning prayer meeting for the health domain, which I attend to pray for the future of health care in Zimbabwe, which I feel is pivotal for a bright future for the kids that we work with and I heard Dr. Wazara, a man I have grown a great respect for speaking of an urgent situation.
He told us that a foreign embassy had funded a program and come to him for help directing it. They wanted to perform surgeries on babies with hernias, a condition that can be fatal or cause infertility. They were to perform 300 surgeries and help families from all over Zimbabwe.
So far Dr. Wazara has received 70% of the funding and supplies. They are to begin the surgeries today and the families have traveled from all over the country to get to Harare for the surgeries. This travel is very expensive for families whose salaries rarely cover living expenses.
The embassy called yesterday to say that they are pulling out at the moment because of the political situation here. The hospital is in an uproar because all of the people are here waiting. The hospital staff is on strike…everyone expect the surgeons (who are providing their services free of charge) and the nurses. They want to move forward, however there is a lack of funding.
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5) I believe that some of these children that will be helped through these surgeries will go on to impact Zimbabwe and the world in a very big way. There is opposition, but God will make a way. I think he will use us, from so far away to help these kids become who he intends them to be.
What they need is the money to pay the nurses a stipend, money to feed the people working and the children in the hospital and money for stitches. The nurses were promised a stipend of $10 us per day. That will be $3,000 us for the entire program and $1,000 for food and $1,000 for the rest of the medical supplies.
I am calling for action.
We need your help. I know that some of you will want to sponsor a major part of this project, but even if you would like to sponsor one nurse for one day, it will make a difference!! I believe we can raise this money in a day. Ask your friends; ask your family ask your doctors. $5,000 is all that is needed to correct hernias of 300 babies. We need you money and we need you prayers.
I believe that we will move and the people of Zim will see that their hope is not in foreign embassy’s but in the Kingdom of God. That He can and will move on behalf of his people regardless of political climates!
If you would like to help financially, please email me at email@example.com and I will get you details on how to donate, or go to www.rockofafrica.org and click donate now. Type in Refuge: Medical Aid in the box! Please email me either way so that I can pass the info on to Dr. Wazara immediately!
No longer should where you live determine whether you live. ~Bono
Monday, July 14, 2008
I have really been thinking about the importance of the relationship between a person and their mentor.
I have been blessed to have some AMAZING women mentor me, and sometimes it surprises me to hear the girls that consider me a mentor.
I wanted to share an experience with you that I consider and early birthday present!
Asher Williams in an 18 year old girl that lives in Harare and has a huge heart for the Lord and a heart for orphans. I consider her an answer to the prayer of my heart for the past couple of years to have God send me a person that I could raise up to lead Refuge when it is time for me to let go. She is almost done with high school and unlike most of her friends has a real desire to stay in Zimbabwe. She is considering doing correspondence courses for a degree and has been working in the local orphanages with me.
We were sitting in church last night and Pastor Tom was preaching from 2nd Timothy and she passed me a note that said "Timothy and Paul are like me and you."
As I started to read the words that Paul wrote to Timothy, I could imagine myself as an old woman (not really that hard to do these days... I am turning 29 in a couple of days and everywhere I go the youth hold up 3 fingers on one and and make an o with their other to point out that I am almost 30...which in my opinion is still VERY young, however they seem to think I am quite old) writing those words to Asher.
Paul loved God and loved Timothy very much. It takes a very special kind of love to mentor someone. I am learning that, and in that understanding I am coming to appreciate the women who have mentored me in the past and those who still continue to mentor me now.
I have such a great life... when I read these words, written by Paul close to my heart:
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1 Tim 1:12-14
Indeed I do give thanks!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Today I went to Gweru to check on Farai and his Aunt, who he has been living with for the past few months. Although I have been feeling a little down and discouraged lately, mainly because things with immigration don’t look so great, I was really looking forward to getting out of Harare, onto the road, to do what I do.
It would have been really nice to write a little paragraph right here about how today was the first day of my time in Zimbabwe that I actually did some work legally with that ever important work permit in my passport, but instead I am going to tell you to keep praying. On Monday, Immigration gave me 21 more days to stay in the country, which although it doesn’t sound like much, it is a miracle.
I felt as if I came alive as Ngone and I jumped into back of a pick-up truck in Harare and headed for Gweru (about two hundred and something k’s). The wind was blowing in my hair, and I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I spent the entire morning talking to God about how great He is. Without a doubt, I know that this is what I was born to do. It still amazes me, that this person was inside of me, but she was there all along!
When we got to Gweru, the real work started. I haven’t seen Farai in a couple of months, because it was not safe for me to travel. Gweru is a political hotbed, it is very MDC driven and during these tumultuous election times, it wasn’t safe for his family or for me to try to make why way to their home to see them. (Even on this trip, we had all of our meetings in town, rather than their home in the high density as Farai’s Aunt Bereta thought it would be safer for everyone involved.)
I met with the school administrator for a private high school, who knowing Farai’s situation was please to take him on as a student, and even said that he himself would mentor Farai. He was so kind and generous and went on and on about how important my work is and how he was sure that this was a divine appointment, and that he looked forward to working with more of my kids in the future. That was so nice to hear! Normally I feel like I am BEGGING someone to educate these boys, but this man considered it an honor. What a joy to come across a man who realizes that his role as an educator is a very high calling. He will Farai’s English teacher.
Please pray for Farai, next Monday, the kids will start writing their exams. Because Farai has been in school previously, the school is going to allow his to write exams as an assessment of what grade level he should go into. Farai is turning 19 on the 21 of July and is very behind, so we are praying that he will test well enough to earn a spot in Form 4. (That would make him a senior in high school.)
After all of the school stuff was out of the way, and all of our counseling sessions were over Ngone and I sat to process what had taken place. (I am hoping that Ngone, who used to be a teacher will want to be trained as a counselor for families like Farai’s). I asked him what he thought and he said, “I didn’t realize how difficult your job is”. I laughed as I ordered a ridiculously expensive pizza for us to eat before we made our journey. (The prices here are rising at an ever increasing rate of inflation. A pizza that was 220 Billion in the morning was now 1 Trillion).
After we ate we had to stop at a hotel to use the bathroom because there was no water anywhere else so all of the toilets were closed. When we went in to the hotel I noticed pictures all over the walls, pictures telling the history of Zimbabwe. From the liberation struggle, to independence, there were pictures of all of the men who worked so hard to see Rhodesia become Zimbabwe. It was so interesting to see the pictures of these young men, so full of hope for their country! There were many pictures of a young Robert Mugabe. I wonder if he ever imagined that after 28 years a woman’s salary would be equal to half as much as one child’s school fees?
I walked into the bar of the hotel looking at the pictures and I saw Nkomo’s autobiography. Joshua Nkomo is one of Zimbabwe’s heroes and he is often called the Father of Zimbabwe. I have never read his book, as it is not that easy to find! I asked the price and it was way more than I would spend on it so I turned to walk away. When I turned a man in a wheelchair said hello to me. I greeted him and realized that he was a senator! He is the owner of the hotel and invited us to sit with him. We spent hours chatting about Zimbabwe, about our individual stories of how we have come to love this place so much. I realized as we sat together, that we are both fighting a battle in Zimbabwe, that we both have opposition, and that for both of us, the only way we will win is on our knees.
After I heard so much about the history of Zimbabwe, which I felt honored that he would spend so much time with me, I was able to speak life into his life. I pulled out my Bible and shared with him all of the verses that have been speaking to me about the situation in Zimbabwe. I wrote them all down for him so that he and his wife can be reading them and praying for their country.
He felt that it wasn’t safe for me to travel at night and gave us a suite in the hotel! He pulled down a copy of Nkomo’s autobiography and autographed it for me and told me to take it as a gift. He said that he didn’t believe that it was a coincidence that a missionary was sent to him that night and went on and on about how much he appreciated me. I felt so honored to get to share the Word with him, so humbled to sit in the presence of a man that has been in this battle since the 60’s, and so loved by God when I see in just a small way how he creates these amazing divine appointments.
I am going to bed feeling so encouraged. Yesterday I was wondering if I was running someone else’s race, if I was in the wrong place, outside of the calling on my life… today my heart feel’s wildly alive, trusting that I am doing exactly what I was born to do!
Please pray for this nation, pray for Zimbabweans, pray for my kids, and pray for me. Sometimes the opposition is overwhelming, but in moments like this I trust that anything I am going to do for God is going to be opposed, but that He who is in me is greater, strong enough to walk me through any opposition, if I am willing to feel some pain, but persevere. I know that He goes ahead of me, preparing the way!
P.S. Like all of our kids, Farai needs a sponsor. If you are interested in sponsoring Farai’s educational needs or the needs of any of our other families, please contact me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org His aunt is doing a great job of taking care of him, and after 2 years on the street I can tell you that it is so nice to see him looking like a kid! We only place our kids in homes where they will be loved and provided for (which is sometimes harder than it sounds!) Please let me know if you felt called to sponsor one of these homes!