Fourteen days until I fly to Houston, then DC, then Johannesburg via Dakar, then Harare. Many friends and family members have asked to be kept in touch with my progress toward the trip, so I thought a blog might be just the thing. And I hope to have occassional Internet access while traveling so that I can post updates.
So, here's the latest: I leave September 10th and return September 29th. Praise God I'm flying the international portion not only on the same flight as my companions, Paula and Lynn, but seated in front of them. I have my airline tickets, immunizations, a bag of travel goodies from my prayer sisters Carla and Jobie, a converter, and a few thrift shop finds I can wear and leave in Zimbabwe. I also have antimalarial medicine on my bathroom countertop, a suitcase full of World Bible School materials, a promise from my SW brother Doyle Corder to fill an MP3 player with "perfect songs" at my request, four new notebooks for writing, and a very understanding husband.
Bob has been terrific about my recent scattered thought patterns. Getting ready for a trip like this is a challenge; getting ready to leave your "post" for three weeks will threaten to send you to the edge and back. You moms know what I'm talking about.
Once in Africa, the Leveretts and I will be traveling with Washington and Alice, a Zimbabwean Christian couple who will drive and translate for us. We'll spend a couple of nights in the capital city of Harare, where W & A live, then head off to visit churches and feeding centers near Wedza and Mutare. During part of our time, we will be staying at game lodges because they are safer than other accomodations might be. We will also stay in the home of brother Campion. Adjustments have been made to the schedule to allow me to visit some of the feeding centers Alvaro Dos Santos operates, though, of course, Alvaro is in the USA at present. Honestly, I'm in a fog about most of our itinerary--the people and places are so unfamiliar that I am entrusting everything to the Lord and praising him that Alice, Paula, and Campion have things taken care of.
We're not quite sure what conditions to expect. I've emailed before about the state of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. Fuel, electricity, etc., are hard to come by. We understand candles are in order a number of hours each day. The weather should be moderate this time of year--Zimbabwe is just coming out of winter.
About two weeks into the trip, we will fly to Cape Town, South Africa where we will spend 5 days visiting with missionaries and with Roger and Martha Dickson of International Christian Press. Then home.
I solicit your prayers; I know many of you have been praying already. Some of you have contributed generously to this trip, and I am humbled. In whatever way you are joining me on this journey, I thank you and praise God for you.