Friday, September 15, 2006

Imire Game Park

I can hardly express how good and pure and fascinating this day has been. Good, because we have met many godly sacrificial people--in Rukweza, Dorowa, and Wedza. Pure, because we have seen the heart of God at work among his people and the orphans who are so sweet and vulnerable. Fascinating, because the African countryside is such a beautiful sight, dotted with thatched huts, mango, lemon, popo, and fig trees, and always the people walking with bundles on their heads or babies on their backs.

We began at Rukweza after a 2-3 hour drive. There is a church and a feeding center where a graceful and gracious young woman named Loveness oversees the 6-days of feeding each week. They fed 117 orphans today, plus a man in a wheelchair whom Alvaro taught to repair shoes. The children and women surrounded our vehicle when we arrived, each one shaking or touching our hands. I could not hide the tears behind my sunglasses, though I tried. After their lunch--we were given a plate of rice and sadza (a thick, flavorless porridge of cornmeal) and a small piece of chicken after all the children had eaten--the little ones sang for us and put on a short humorous play about the importance of education. Apparently, if we make failing grades, we will all end up dead on the side of the road! :)

After Rukweza, we went to Dorowa where I met Assan and his family. Assan began a church under a tree after he became a Christian about 6 years ago and has started a number of other churches since. Assan traveled with us to Wedza to stay with Godwin and his family for a few days.

Godwin has arranged for 11 or 14 or 15 churches (I can't remember which number I heard) to gather in their respective locations in the vicinity so that Lynn can preach to them over the next 3 days. I think Lynn will speak 5 or 6 times tomorrow.

We are now at the beautiful Imire Game Park near Wedza. Getting in was a small adventure because they thought we were to arrive this morning, so they had long since given up on us and closed the gates. The roads are pitch black in the countryside, we had no cell service, and had forgotten the phone number anyway. We honked ineffectively a few times, but the Lord knew our need and sent a young employee peddling along the road on a bicycle. He managed to get us in, and we soon found our cottages--African style thatched huts. We just finished a delicious dinner of Chakalaka soup (spicy!), sweet and sour chicken, and a delicious pudding with authentic rich cream. I was delighted when they said I could email from here. We will be here through Sunday night, Lord willing, so I hope to continue posting. I'm looking forward to seeing the park and it's animals in the daylight--and rather glad I couldn't see them in the dark!

I must tell you this brief story--not a tear-jerker, but one that made us laugh for some time. As we were driving to Wedza in the setting sun, many school children walking miles to their homes for the night, waving often to those who were glad to see a passing vehicle, one little boy turned and excitedly yelled something in Shona at the top of his lungs. Washington, Alice, and Assan laughed heartily.

"Could you understand him?" I asked.

Alice nodded.

"What did he say?"

She looked at Assan next to her then back at me. "White people!" :)

Much love, joy, and peace to you as we are experiencing it here, Caron

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