Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Day is Here

Friends - Today is the day! Stephen Bozzo & I depart later today at 5:20PM EST out of Dulles in Washington, D.C. bound for Johannesburg and then on to Zimbabwe on Monday morning.  We arrive at 10:25 local time Monday and are speaking at Noon at the local Rotary. I told Stephen, "nothing like diving in."

I'll be gone from May 12-24 and Stephen will stay there until he returns on June 4th.

Needless to say, we are excited and anxious (and exhausted) all at the same time.  I'm up working on our new website, which will launch later this month (get excited!!!!) and finalizing some plans for the trip.  Stephen is also up in NYC packing (rookie).

Goals for the trip:
  • Start a new project at The Rock - 25 new orphans; discuss a whole host of new projects there
  • Begin initial planning with the Free Methodist Church for a preschool in Bulawayo that will generate enough school fees to send all the orphans at the church to school (about 35).
  • Starting a Project Management Training Program with the Christian Leadership Resource Centre that will train 800 pastors
  • Check in on Mtshabezi AIDS Clinic & Hospital
  • Begin discussions with Victor Nakah about ways that FVI can work with seminaries to expand operations
  • Above all - I'd like to come out with projects that communities develop, that will work and you all will be excited about funding.
  • Stephen will be taking pictures of various people along the way and documenting their stories... getting an idea of what life is like in Africa each day. He's an artist and has a natural gift for it... I'm sure he'll love it!
If all goes well - we could have projects in our pipeline that will send another 1,000 kids to school at least. It could be way more. I'm eager to see what the leaders have come up with in their final stages of planning before we arrive.

All of that in 9 days. It'll be busy. But a couple of things of note:

  1. A lot of this is by faith.  Forgotten Voices is at an interesting stage right now.  A lot of people are excited about what we are doing, but we still don't have enough money to cover our pressing needs right now.  God is faithful.  We still have about $5,000 that should be raised while I'm away.  I encourage all of you to think about giving.  I don't want to be a broken record, but I would really appreciate any gift you can offer...especially if you haven't done that before. 
  2. This will be Stephen's first time to Africa, which I am VERY excited about. There is nothing like coming your first time... it gets in your blood.
  3. I'm probably most excited about a standing game of Go Fish with a 2 year old boy I know in Johannesburg. He wins EVERY TIME and this trip will mark the end of his reign.
In all seriousness, we covet your prayers. There is SOOOO much to do in such a short period of time. We'll connect more tomorrow. For now, I gotta finish my stuff and go to sleep! 18 hr flights seem long, but they are dreadfully long if you are sick. And I do NOT want to be sick.

Peace, love and hope for all.

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