Monthly Archives: November 2016

Healing Rain and Thanksgiving

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is this week.  It obviously is not a holiday here, and we probably won’t do much on the exact day, but is serves to remind us that Christmas is rapidly coming also.  It’s hard to think about those holidays when it is so hot!  By now, if I were at home, I would have been listening to Christmas music for many weeks already, as I make handmade gifts for family and friends.  As it is, I only have a fraction of the Christmas albums that I own loaded in my music on computer, so I don’t want to listen to them too early and (heaven forbid) get tired of them before Christmas gets here.

About a week ago on Friday at about 3:30 in the afternoon, we felt the first drops of rain. This time it lasted more than just a few minutes.  We were praying that it would rain all the rest of Friday and through the night. And it did! Praise God!  Beautiful, wet, refreshing, cooling, healing rain!  I awoke several times in the night to hear the rain gushing off the roof into the puddle by the sidewalk.  At one point, towards daybreak, I got out of bed and stood at the living room window, just to watch it. We are truly thankful for what is the first real rainfall of the rainy season, and pray for many more of those rains to come. And now, little more than a week later, and having had a few more rains since that one, the grass is turning green again, the poinsettia bushes in the yard are leafing out, mangoes are getting close to being ripe on the trees, and I’m starting to see the tiniest avocados beginning to form.

Of course we were abruptly reminded that we live in Zimbabwe as often when it rains like that, we lose electricity.  Friday evening it left without warning.  One minute you’re sitting in the lighted room reading a book and the next you are sitting in complete darkness, not even able to see the book in your hands.  And then we laugh and say to each other, “Welcome to Zimbabwe!”  The electric was out for a couple hours, but it did come back on before we retired for the night, but went out again sometime during the night and came back on after my first cup of coffee early on Saturday morning.  It’s the difference between heating water for coffee on the gas stove (the old fashioned way), or heating it in the electric pot.

We had exterminators on the campus last week, spraying for termites, and providing rat and mice killer for all the homes on campus.  Jeff put some of the “food balls” up in the attic in the house here.  The next day I heard what sounded like some rather large mice (OK, maybe rats, I don’t want to think about it) playing a game of soccer up above our bedroom.  Like they were rolling the stuff around and chasing after it.  My hope was that they would eat the stuff.  Well, they must have, because it’s been strangely quiet since then.  That stuff works pretty well.

That pretty much brings you up to date.  Blessings to all of you on this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day!  Eat some turkey and dressing for us! And pumpkin pie for dessert.

Jeff and Rebecca

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This is the day. . .

November 8, 2016

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

One of my favorite times here is when I can sit on the shaded front porch in the cooling afternoon when there is a nice breeze and do some hand stitching or reading. It is there when I can listen to some good old Gospel music, tap a foot and sew the binding on my most recent wall hanging project. There is a story behind the Gospel music even.  Many years ago, our friend Judy’s dad was at Fairlawn Nursing facility.  We had gotten in the habit of going with her to take her dad to the Hymn Sings on Sunday evenings.  When we first started going, I knew very few of the hymns, and usually didn’t want to go, but went anyway, because I knew that’s what my friends wanted to do.  Gradually, as the years went by, Jeff was asked to lead it from time to time, and I helped him pick out some of the songs . . . always my favorite few.  As time went on, I learned to love the messages the songs spoke of.  Of Jesus’ unfailing love for us, of our longing to spend time with Him, and looking forward to Heaven in the hereafter, for all of eternity. At the same time I was watching Gaither Homecoming videos and listening to the various individuals and groups that sang because of Bill and Gloria Gaither’s ministry.  So I fell in love with the old hymns.  I eventually collected a large amount of CD’s and that is my favorite “go to” music now. Recently, I stumbled on a CD set that was originally recorded by some of the voices I heard on the radio that my dad listened to.  Country Gospel. It could be called “Twangy” at best, but some of my Gospel hymns anyway. So, while I still listen to my old favorite Country and folk singers, like The Statler Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis (who have all recorded Spiritual records) and Gordon Lightfoot, my first choice of music is the old hymns and contemporary music.

I was invited to a “baby welcome” on Saturday.  Like a baby shower, only after the baby has arrived.  Quite different than you would experience in the States.  The event was supposed to be from 1:00-4:00.  I went with my neighbors who suggested that we plan on going at 1:30.  Because time here is practically non-existent, nothing starts when it’s supposed to.  So we were “fashionably late”, but we were still very early.  There were only a few others there when we got there.  At first I felt bad for the new mother that only a few of us showed up.  Well, nothing happened while we were passing the baby around and time went on until about 2:30 when they decided to start the party.  More women had showed by then.  The “MC” opened with a word of prayer, then another led us in three worship songs, two in Shona language and one in English, none of which I was familiar with.  We took turns introducing ourselves, telling where we are from and where we live now. There were only a handful of us who didn’t speak Shona, so there was an interpreter, who kept looking as me as if I were the only one.  Being the only white person in the room, I guess she thought I was the only one who didn’t understand what was being said.  Anyway, after the singing, Mrs. MC gave a short Bible reading and preached about the importance of children and raising them up properly. As the new mother opened her gifts, she had to try to feel what was in the gift by feeling and squeezing it.  That was kind of fun. . . everything became a “romper”. As she opened the gifts, whoever gave the gift was encouraged to give her a bit of advice about taking care of the new little guy.  She got some good suggestions. Finally, at 3:30 they served some snacks.  But there was no cake in sight.  I thought that was odd.  While that was going on, the MC was a seller of dresses, so she had a few suitcases of dresses out on the veranda, and several women were “shopping”.  As the 4 of us worked our way to the door at about 4:15, the mother’s sister arrived with a cake. So we stayed for a bit longer and got some cake.  The whole afternoon was an experience like none other. Very interesting.

Rebecca and I have been rereading a book called “Radical” by David Platt.  We have been talking about the great commission and reevaluating the command to make disciples.  God has been dealing with us as we pray more for the individuals that He brings us in contact with, realizing that each are divine appointments.  We have watched as He brings back His word to our minds and given us what each person needs.  The most exciting thing is the promise of Christ to be with us even until the end of the age.  If we want to be next to Jesus we need to get into the battle because that is where He is.  We understand that this is going to make the evil one step up his attacks and because of the armor of Christ we are prepared and rejoice and run to Jesus.

With the elections on Tuesday, we pray thanking God that He is in control, and that whoever wins this election, that it will be God’s will.  However He chooses to use the next president, we can be assured that it will be what He allows. His ultimate plan will be played out.  In the Gospel of John, chapter 16, vs 33, Jesus tells His disciples “That you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”  Personally, we will be glad just to have elections over. Exercise your right to vote!  We did!

God bless you all richly this week.

Jeff and Rebecca

 

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