Woke at 4:45 this morning for a trip to the airport, hoping to catch our luggage as it came off the 5:30 am flight. No electricity, so I cleaned up by flashlight, though I heard roosters crowing shortly after 5.
Praise God, we got 4 of our 5 missing bags, including the one with seminar materials. Poor Adrian is still out his clothes, but he's thrilled to have fresh contacts and solution! Maybe his suitcase will be in on Sunday . . .
Seminar went great today. The messages are fresh and true and challenging, so while they seem to be generally accepted, they are creating a lot of great dialogue. Tomorrow Paula and I will have special time set aside with the women, though I've used our mealtimes under the trees to pursue conversations on the subject.
Some of you know of Kennedy who walked away from his faith some years back. Today he rededicated himself to the Lord with a lengthy confession to his peers in ministry leadership. There was great rejoicing.
We continued to meet up with many past acquaintences and friends today and enjoyed building upon those relationships. Likewise, we're making new friends, among them Zoling and Peter and (another) Pamela. We're all a bit worn out at this point, however.
It's time to repack for the Wedza area, sorting our gifts and deciding how otherwise to travel lightly. We will leave for that rural region and the Imire Game Park after the seminar ends around 1 pm tomorrow, which--knowing what Africa time means--we'll be lucky to get out of Harare by 4 pm. :)
Last year I was given great license by the Imire management to post messages from their office computer after hours. Hope they're as accomodating this year, or I may not be able to write until Wednesday.
As we were driving back to the Mhlanga's home tonight, I rode alone with Jerry, Brian, and Adrian so I took the opportunity to ask for their reactions to Africa on this, their first visits. Like me, they are struck by how much the people are the same as us with their hearts and concerns and even many habits. The guys are overwhelmed by compassion and the oddly simultaneous admiration of these resourceful, strong, and gracious people. Africa impacts and changes her visitors. You cannot lay a foot in this land without some shift in your perspective on people, wealth, blessings, and suffering.
And I think that's a good thing.