One on One Meetings
The rest of my time with Themba was spent in meeting individually with Cornelious, Soneni and Similo, and with both the volunteers together.
I found our two volunteers, Lynn and Skha, delightful young people who love the Lord, the children and their work. They are a great addition to the Themba ministry.
More home visits
Similo and I visited again in the homes, and this time with my own Ntombienhle (a 23 year old girl in a child headed household, re-writing her exams), the Auker’s Percival and his mother, and another caregiver grandmother (with her sister and another blind daughter).
Each of these were wonderful in their own way, and so encouraging to see how God is working and using us to bring about change in the lives of these precious children.
Overall impressions and other details
My visit was especially pleasant and easy since I stayed in inexpensive but comfortable Airbnb’s. This is a definite change from former visits and a new thing to Bulawayo. They were so clean and comfortable, convenient and pleasant – and very affordable. I highly recommend this!
There was no problems with internet (both Airbnb’s had wifi, though a small bandwidth – so convenient). This was a change from former trips.
No problems with water or electricity shortages! Again, amazing improvement. This is a good sign for the country. I also noticed more tourism – always good for the country.
I found a sense of hope since the political changes of last year. A dark and heavy cloud of despair had lifted and, although there was impatience with the slow progress and remaining financial problems, there was hope for the future in the air. It was so refreshing
I had a sense of maturity in the ministry. The way the meeting with the graduates was planned and executed, the new office facilities and the way the volunteers were working in their own space, as well as offices for each of the team lent to this feeling. There was something intangible about this feeling that I don’t know that I can put my finger on, but it was very pleasing to me. I was very encouraged by this.
Financial problems continue in the country. While I was there, Cornelious went to the bank to get cash and only received $35 in $1 coins in Zimbabwe bank notes. That is all they are allowed to receive from the bank per week. I don’t really understand this and couldn’t get a good explanation from anyone.
The Zimbabwe bank note is losing value all the time. 4 months ago the Zim note was trading 1:1 on the street. This past month the exchange rate was 1.35:1. This does not bode well for the country and the future of the Zim dollar.
The biggest problem we have right now is the lack of employment for our graduates. This was a situation that Priscilla and Holden MacRae noted, and Holden talked with Cornelious about this. They are of one heart here, so perhaps it is something we will be able to address in the future. Please pray for this situation.
Overall, I was very encouraged with the ministry and where we are situated right now. The Team is growing and continually maturing, the children are being well cared for and they are succeeding more and more, both spiritually and in their school work. The Team is doing a great job and I am very grateful for the blessings that our Lord is pouring down on our precious children and caregivers, even in the continuing difficult conditions present in Zimbabwe