Today we worshiped with four congregations in two different locations. At one time we met in a school, the other in a building that Southwest funded a few years ago. They have a precious custom--after their services, they exit the building to form a circle for a closing prayer, but they do it in a unique way. The first person out the door shakes the hand of the second person who comes to stand beside her. The third person shakes both hands before standing beside the other two, and so on it goes until every person has shaken the hand of every other person--man, woman, and child. When the process is completed, they have a circle and everyone has been greeted.
A beautiful young woman named Pamela told us a wonderful story. A few months ago she and her husband and children had been starving and homeless. They had very little to eat, and no mealy-meal, the staple of Zimbabwe also known as sadza. Pamela had lost several pounds. They decided to fast 1/2 of every day for a week. Really fast--praying instead of complaining or worrying. On the last day they had not one morsel of food to eat. Pamela knows the Scriptures well, and knew that if God could feed the birds of the air, he could feed her family. The next morning was Sunday. She arose, built a fire, and boiled water--all without any food, mind you.
Then someone came to her. "Go to the church," they said. "There is mealy-meal there."
Brothers and sisters, God provided that food through the Southwest church! He saved that family and answered their prayers long before they lost everything. And through your generosity we have also begun to help a few of the very many who need assistance. School tuition for a deaf-mute girl to board in Harare. Medicine for epileptics and asthmatics and a man with meningitis. Glasses for a legally blind brother and sister. A thatched roof for a widow who lost her home in a fire. There are many more needs and many people still to meet, but God-willing, we will continue to be faithful with the funds some of you have provided.
This afternoon, we were blessed with a much-needed time of refreshing. The Leveretts, Alice, and I were treated to a ride through the game park. Washington went in search of fuel for our vehicle. While on the ride through the park, we saw elephants, warthogs, hippos, giraffes, blazeboks, elands, sable, zebras, sesseby, waterbucks, enclosed lions and hyenaes (it is a populated area, after all) and black rhinos. Imire Game Park is a black rhino conservatory. Behind our thatched cottages (and outside the fence) we've seen a small herd of wildebeasts, ostriches, and sessebys on more than one occassion. Truly awesome.
I must close now. I don't know when I'll be able to write next--we'll be heading off to another location tomorrow. We may be unable to communicate, however I will do so if the Lord wills. Many blessings and much love. We miss you.