Thursday, May 15, 2014

Team Chari: April School Holidays

In Zimbabwe kids go to school for three months each term and then have one month off.  It's a system that I have grown to love... but very different than long summer vacations of my youth!

We are so blessed that the kiddo gets to come and spend time with us during the school holidays.  They are periods of fun and connection and growth for all of us.  Previously we have had lots of things planned for the time off and we try to fill the days with as many experiences as possible, kind of "making up for lost time" if that makes sense.  It's fun and exhausting and wonderful.

This time, we made a decision to schedule very little.  Just to enjoy spending time together.  I was so worried we would be bored, but this last weekend I was sad to think that the holiday was over and school was starting again.  I was not the only one, believe me.  The kiddo was moping around, when school started back the dog hid for 2 days and only came out when necessary.  We are all pouting.

This time of connection was really special for us.  We saw so many improvements and such a deepening of our relationship.

I think we played at least 30 games of monopoly-- thanks to Aunt Matty and Uncle Regi we have moved on from Monopoly Jr Dora Edition to the real deal (longer games just what we needed, thanks guys.)  We spent hours playing hide and seek and singing "Let it Go" and "Do you Want to build a Snowman."   

We facetimed friends and family around the world.

We built blanket forts and took naps during the day.

But it was not all perfect.  She tested boundaries.  I still had to work.  Nyasha still had to work.  We had to do chores.  We celebrated mother's day which is gloriously special and a heartbreaking reminder of previous losses for both of us girls.  We had some unstructured days that left us a little lost and broken and melting down (chaos and lack of structure= a nightmare for kiddos from hard places.)  And then of course there is the reality that the holiday times always come to an end and what that means for us all. 

If I had to sum up this holiday time I would say: We invested the time in connecting.
And it was hard, but worth it!

With love from Zimbabwe,

This girl is a Monopoly shark... WATCH OUT!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

All in a Day's Work: Resignation from ROCK of Africa

May 1, 2014:

Hi Friends,

I have some exciting news to share with you all.  I have officially resigned my position as a short term missionary with ROCK of Africa missions.  This is probably a long time coming, since eight years on the mission field can hardly be considered “short term!” However as Nyasha and I have been navigating this first year of marriage, (which makes my time here significantly more permanent) we realized that some changes needed to take place officially with my work. 

In Zimbabwe, I have always worked in and through local churches and this just makes it official that I am submitting to a local church as my covering and supervision. 

My daily work will consist of the same tasks:

  •   Providing skills training and support to staff and caregivers of local orphanages and projects
  • Advocating for increased numbers of local foster and adoptive placements for orphaned children
  • Supporting adoptive and foster parents 
  •  Providing psychosocial support to children in orphanages and community projects 
  •  Creating resources to help equip pastors and community leaders to better  care for orphaned children in their community
All of this work will continue through The Michael Project at Greystone Park Church.  I will also be serving alongside the team at their partnering organization, Hands of Hope.  

The major change that is taking place at this time is in the way that my support is raised and distributed.  Refuge has been accepted as a project of New Horizons Foundation.  My personal support and the funds to cover the cost of the work I am participating in will now go through New Horizons Foundation.  

New Horizons is a 501c3 and all donations will be tax deductible.  If you would like information regarding how to join my support team, please email me!  As always you can make a donation directly to The Michael Project in Zimbabwe to cover the direct costs of caring for orphaned children, although for Americans that will not be tax deductible. 

This is an exciting time and I look forward to sharing this journey with you!

With love from Zimbabwe,


I am so grateful to ROCK of Africa for taking a chance on me all those years ago.  May God continue to bless all the work done in places like this special village.