Rebecca is really making great strides with the women who are learning to sew and make a business with it. We have two potential business opportunities for them to sew for other businesses and make a profit. They are also looking into ways to market the items they are making. She has introduced them to the basics of quilting. Each woman has made twelve different quilt blocks and are now in the process of putting together their very first sampler quilt. For some of them, this exercise was enough, but for a few, well, they are catching the fever. They have enjoyed the process, working with various shapes, etc. and want to do more. Soon, we will be doing some embroidery. That will be a definite marketing skill they can add to the items they make.
The flu has hit this area hard the last couple months. Rebecca was down and sick in bed for nearly 2 full weeks. It completely stole her energy levels. She made a slow recovery, but is doing fine now. Thankfully, Jeff didn’t get it.
Please keep praying for us. Satan would like to render us ineffective by discouraging us and attacking us. We need to make sure we recognize where it is coming from and that we keep the armor of God on at all times. We need to keep in God’s word and on our knees to keep our eyes focused on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We will be coming home again in June for some time with our grandchildren and our children. We also will continue to do more fundraising for the work that God is doing here in Zimbabwe. Thank you all for partnering with us and being a very important part of our team. With the projects costing as much as they do, there is no way we could do this without the support of each one of you. God has shown us in many ways that this is exactly what He wants us to do with this part of our lives. We are humbled.
A couple prayer concerns is that we can finish up the next 6 weeks in getting the projects completed that we spoke of earlier before the funds run out. It promises to be a tight finish! There are also several new relationships that we’ve begun that need lots of nurturing and prayer. Pray, also that the sewing group will keep motivated while we are gone and keep pursuing markets. Some of them have a difficult time with attention to detail. That will be one big area that could cause defeat if they get lackadaisical and don’t check their work carefully.
I think that covers about everything. Again, we apologize for not writing sooner and more often. Blessings to all of you!
Jeff and Rebecca
Hello to all our friends and family!!
WOW! What a whirlwind of activity over the last three months. First of all, we need to apologize for not having written sooner. We have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger, so to speak.
The much anticipated visit from our team from the States came and went before we knew it. A team of fifteen descended on us in mid-January and were here until mid-February. There were several initiatives that they were involved with, coming and going at different times. We had a great time with them but it went by all too quickly. I think next year, we will be better prepared to host them. Of course, we are open to anyone who would like to come over and visit, or lend your many skills and talents to the work that God is doing here.
Most recently, we have been focusing our efforts on the water system here. We are so blessed to have the new borehole (well) in for almost a year now and that has solved a lot of the water problems. We are now working on a storage system that will feed most of the campus from three 1500 liter tanks that will be on a stand five and a half meters (about 18 feet) in the air. The gravity will push the water all the way up to the solar water heaters we are mounting on the roofs of each dorm (just like the one we put on the kitchen). We were able to purchase the steel needed for the tank stand and start building that. We discovered that one of our faculty members learned to weld from his father and is doing the welding for us. We bought a welder that has come in very handy and is just right for the job we are doing. Our welder, Tawanda, is the computer instructor on campus and is multi-talented. His father visited us and was impressed and very proud of his son.
Tawanda was also able to make burglar bars and install them in the library windows. That is another item we were able to check off our list.
We recently bought another lawn mower and a weed eater. With the summer heat here and the recent rains, they were necessary to help keep ahead of the tall grass that seems to grow too quickly. There is so much ground to cover here, a riding lawn mower is really what we need, but this way, 3 guys are able to work on mowing at the same time.
We have also started work on the second dorm. Water heaters here are called Geezers. I told them that in our country a geezer is an old man and they started calling me geezer. We installed one heater on another men’s dorm and will be putting one on the ladies dorm so all the students will be able to have a warm shower. By the end of May it will be winter here and they will appreciate not having to take a cold shower.
God has blessed us with so many opportunities to encourage students and staff members as well as vendors that we deal with on a daily basis. One incredible time was when I was getting some work done on the car and met a man in the business and started talking with him and found out that he was there looking for a job and so I asked if I could pray with him and he said yes. I got a text two weeks ago telling me he got the job and we praise God with him and promised to keep in touch. Our morning Bible study and prayer time has been a big blessing to us also. God is developing a leader in our group that will be ready to take over when we come home this summer.