Wednesday, May 23, 2007
My sincere apologies for the brevity of the posts from this trip. I know how many of you use this to help you pray for our travels. The internet has been spotty throughout and slow always.
I'm writing to you from the South African Airways lounge in Johannesburg, South Africa. The internet here is pretty quick, so I hope to post some pictures with this post.
I've now left Stephen in Bulawayo and am preparing to make the 18 hr flight through Senegal and onto Washington, DC. I'll then take 2 short flights to Kentucky, where I'll be reunited with my amazing fiancee, Katie, and others from the Forgotten Voices team. We have a fundraiser there this weekend. I hope to get a bite to eat, as airline food can sometimes make your stomach ache after you've been up there for so long.
Stephen will spend the day getting familiar with Bulawayo on his own and then proceeding out to The Rock church again to meet with Warren and James. Tomorrow, he'll rise VERY early in the morning to visit Mtshabezi for more home visits in the local villages. His internet access isn't going to be great the next few days, but I hope to help him by posting daily once I get back to the USA.
OK. On to the good stuf...
OWEN, Age 31, Nurse in London
I've written about Owen briefly today and late last week. But now that I have a computer, working internet, and the ability to post photos...
Owen, now 31, lives in London with his wife and 1 year old child We met outside a Pest Control business along Fife Street in Bulawayo, owned by a mutual friend of ours . Owen was in town visiting children he supports in the rural areas and checking in on his family, who still live around the Bulawayo area.
So, why am I blogging about Owen amidst all the amazing people I've met this trip?
Owen was once in Form 2, our equivalent of grade 10, at the Matopos Primary School. His family had no money for him to continue schooling. A smart guy, with a huge heart, his future was in the balance. Our mutual friend agreed to support Owen throughout the rest of his school days.
Little did our friend know how amazing this gift was. Because of a relatively small investment in USA terms ($200/year), Owen completed school and then went on to do his university studies. He is now a Nurse in London, UK and recently bought his first home. Owen now supports children he just recently met, after committing to give back to the community where he grew up.
Owen is a perfect example of what Forgotten Voices is trying to accomplish: equipping church leaders to empower orphans in southern Africa. As we waiting to fly from Zimbabwe to South Africa, we talked about Zimbabwe, his future, his family's future, and the future of the children he is assisting. He asked me to tell his story so you know how much a little can transform a life... from hopelessness to hope.
I am sad to leave Zimbabwe. It is now my home. I always feel like I'm leaving a huge part of my heart behind when I leave this place. The work going on here in partnership with Forgotten Voices continues, as local leaders continue the good works. Our God has sustained them and helped them survive another day. Praise be to God.
Written by Ryan - ForgottenVoices.org at 5/23/2007 08:26:00 AM