December Newsletter December 21, 2017
Merry Christmas to you!! Happy New Year, too!!
The cold winds are blowing, the snow is flying, Christmas trees are all lit up. Tinsel and garlands are sparkling in the colorful lights. NOT! Well, at least not here in Zimbabwe. It’s more like, the summer rains are falling, the grass is green and growing, in need of mowing. The flowers are blooming, and it is hot!!! Still we are ready for it to be Christmas, my favorite time of year. I’ve been baking cookies, and other treats for friends here.
Things are really moving along here! I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with Bibles! Oh my!!! Many, many of you participated in my “Bible Jars” project this summer. The two pastors at our church each have a group of children that they visit and mentor each week, telling Bible stories, singing songs, reciting Scripture, etc. There are about 110 students that are being impacted through these groups. The children have been praying for full Bibles. My project was to get as many people at home to collect spare change to donate towards buying Bibles here to distribute. We collected over $1100.00 to purchase Bibles to distribute to the children and young adults in the area. At first, I was told we could get Bibles here for $10.00 each, wholesale. Later on, with the situation here in Zimbabwe, I was told they had gone up to $17.00 each. Imagine my disappointment that the number of Bibles we could purchase was drastically reduced. But, as Jeff is always using in his Gideon talks, “God has a plan for His Word”. (Isaiah 55: 10-11) Pastor Morgan took us to a bookstore located at a big church in Harare. With our US dollars and buying in bulk, we were able to purchase ESV full Bibles for as little as $3.00 each. We were ecstatic!! Can you imagine? We bought 100 Bibles on our first trip there. When we later went with Pastor Morgan to visit his “kids” and hand out the Bibles, we were able to bless the entire staff at the school and even bless students and staff at another related school in a different neighborhood. The children and teachers were so happy! We were so happy! I’m sure God was very happy!! We went back to purchase another 200 Bibles. We then went with Pastor Dube to the group of children that he ministers to. The timing was perfect, as it was their Christmas party day. We handed out Bibles to all the older children, grades 3-7. This was an answer to their prayers. They were so delighted! Before the day was over, everyone had a filling lunch and all the children received goodie bags for Christmas. ‘Twas truly a wonderful day! We have had other requests for Bibles that we were able to grant. Also we brought several Bibles from our Church in Archbold that were used as graduation gifts for new pastors and other students. One of our maintenance guys led devotions one morning and his Bible was so worn out and when he was offered a nice hard covered NIV he was moved to tears. What a blessing to give God’s word to so many that are so anxious to get it and treasure it! Thank you all for giving such joy! God’s Word will accomplish what He sent it out to do. Praise Him!
The work on the dorm is coming along nicely. December is a month off for the staff. (Not maint.) We are employing some of the staff to help us get the work done sooner. They are working very hard and the unity is wonderful to watch and be a part of. It is our goal to get it completed on this trip. So many things are happening at once and we can clearly see the hand of God in it all. We have a field of corn planted (maize) and it will be used to feed families and students on campus. They grind it to make mealie and cook it to make sazda which is their main food, maybe twice a day.
We are so grateful for your prayers for us and for Zimbabwe these last couple months. God is on the move and we have seen His hand in all of this. When things began to happen we looked on and prayed. The Saturday before the former President stepped down there was a march through down town Harare and we thought, because of our western mindset, there would be trouble. The Zimbabwe people are a peaceful people and God was present. There were tens of thousands of people on the march and not one act of violence. Not one window broken, not one business broken into, not one person hurt or arrested. God is doing a new thing here and I believe He will use Zimbabwe as an example for the USA and the world.
We are missing our families and friends during this Christmas season, as you can well imagine. We will be celebrating Christmas Day with our neighboring family.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We certainly wouldn’t be here if not for the generosity of so many.
Love and blessings to you all!
Jeff and Rebecca