Wednesday, February 13, 2008

READY FOR ZIMBABWE

Tomorrow our team heads out to Zimbabwe. In addition to eight of our church members, our team of eleven includes Gary Walton, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist, and Marvin and Cyndi Bozard, who will be our hosts. Marvin and Cyndi switch time between her home in Michigan and his home in SC. When in SC, they faithfully attend Chapin Baptist.

We will land in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Saturday morning, recoup for the rest of the day, and worship in some of the local churches on Sunday. Gary and I most likely will be preaching. On Sunday afternoon we will travel for several hours to our main ministry post in the city of Mudzu.

Gary and I will be teaching for several days in a pastor's conference that will include around 40 local pastors. The rest of the team will be doing lots of hands-on ministry in the community--minor construction, painting, children's minsitry, etc. Most likely, we will also be part of an evangelistic effort that involves showing the Jesus film. Time will also be invested in the local schools and orphanages.

Our team is excited. We had a packing party last night. We are packing our clothes in one suitcase and packing our second piece with items many have donated for the trip--clothes, toys, books, etc.

I know Thursday will be a memorable day as we present the pastors with the new bicycles we have purchased for them. It is my understanding that the gift will be a surprise for them. We cannot comprehend the magnitude of this gesture compared to the lifestyles that we live in America. Without bikes, walking is the primary means of transportation. It is not unusual at all for many of the pastors to have to walk 10-15 miles into the nearest town for food and supplies. Can you imagine the difference that bicycles will make? Thank you, Chapin Baptist, for your generosity.

In the last year or so, people by the thousands have fled the country because of dire economic conditions. Inflation rates are reported to be around 150,000 percent. My mind can't fathom what that means. Jobs are scarce and food supplies are not affordable. So, when many are fleeing, we will be coming in to offer love and hope. Above all, we want the people of Zimbabwe to know that there is hope in Jesus Christ.

Pray for us. Pray for God's protection, pray that God will use us, and pray that our lives will be transformed. Pray that each of us will remain healthy and that our team will bond into a strong force for the kingdom.

I do not anticipate being able to communicate via blog/email while there. But I look forward to sharing what God has done when I return.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

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