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."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 8th Update from Zimbabwe

It was an incredible experience to wake up to the sunrise over the top of the ridge, and to hear the sounds of the animals and little villages coming to life. The beauty of this place is breathtaking.

Today was supposed to be an easy day, but turned out to be as busy as most others since I have been here, with meetings with several groups that we are supporting or hope to support in the future. The Christian Leadership Center is a resource primarily for pastors and lay persons of all denominations. It is a critically needed service, but woefully inadequate. The entire library is smaller than the books normally held by a single pastor in the US, and all 11 computers in the center are old and broken beyond repair.

The lunch meeting with the Ebenezer Trust was the most interesting of the day. We met with Peter Cunningham and Lance and Elizabeth Edwards. It is an impressive program that is focused on teaching people farming skills and launching them in their own business as a farmer. It is two years long, and currently serves 44 students, 75% of them are orphans. It would appear to be the capstone in a continuum of service to orphans in rural areas - a transition to self sufficiency. The combination of farming techniques, business and leadership skills, and faith is a powerful combination to change lives and entire communities.

Later in the day I was reminded again that the reality of death is never far away. When visiting James at the Rock church on the way home, we discovered that his wife’s sister had died the previous day and that he had to drive into Bulawayo to pick up the body and perform the funeral. She was 33, about the average life expectancy for a woman in Zimbabwe. Later in conversation with the Bishop’s office of the BIC church we learned that the Bishop was performing a funeral today and another one tomorrow. What was particularly tragic was that during the funeral there was a car accident on the way to the cemetery, and three of the persons attending the funeral were killed. The result was that in a two day period the Bishop had a total of 5 funerals.

Steve Proctor

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