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."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stop 4 of 25: Smiles in the mountains

Thank you for your prayers for Fibion & his fmaily (see yesterday's post to catch up). I spoke with him today and the funeral will be held next week.

As we chatted, we were reflecting on a place we like to go -- way up in the Matopo Mountains of Zimbabwe. A place to retreat and get away from the crazy busyness of our world. It's a place called Shumba Shaba.

Throughout this mountain range are little collections of shops. They are called Growth Points -- intentional development to try and bring about economic growth. Some of these places have schools. In partnership with Farming God's Way (blogged about this earlier in the journey), one area at the bottom of the mountain range is helping improve farming and sending kids back to school with school fees. Pretty cool!

The local church, Matopo BIC, is partnering with Forgotten Voices, Farming God's Way, and a local Rotary Club in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to help provide seed and school fees for folks that are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Each homestead (like this one below) has a unique need and partnerships like this help the families receive the specific service they need, while also recognizing their desire and right to lead the way in determining what's best.

Ryan, from 2004, with kids that live near the local Growth Point in the Matopo Mountains.

NOW: Forgotten Voices is helping this partnership send 30 kids to school. 30 children that have a champion in their community, but need a little help from you and me to continue finding their voice at school.

PRAY: Continue to pray for the partnership, as it grows becuase of God's faithfulness to allow it to grow in impact, as well as the growing pressures with more and more kids losing parents daily. Pray for the adults taking in the kids -- for patience, trust, and hope in God.

NEXT: Pray for your involvement in supporting the work of Forgotten Voices. Costs have gone up 400% in this neighborhood, driving up school fees and hurting our chances to continue doing all we are doing now. The stresses on us in this part of Zimbabwe are tremendous. We need an additional $3,000 before year end to cover the costs we expect in January for this project.

Consider giving at and being a voice for this community. Please continue praying for our ministry and all that interact with these kids. Pray for the children. Thanks!

Journey continues: Tomorrow, journey with me to a land up north of Zimbabwe for our first stop in Zambia. We'll visit projects in greater Ndola, Zambia that Forgotten Voices launched with local churches in 2009.


PS I know that I've heard from some of you about wanting to know more details about where these projects are and specific stories about these locations. Due to on-going political tension in these particular regions, I have chosen not to do so. But, be assured. The specific stories of kids are coming! :) Tomorrow, as we travel to a freer land -- Zambia. Later, you'll meet more kids from Zimbabwe with specific details about who they are and where they live. Thanks for understanding, as we operate in difficult political challenges in some parts of the region. Many thanks!

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