Monday, March 3, 2008


On Monday morning we began our primary ministry assignments. Gary Walton and I went a few miles from the hotel to a community facility where we led a conference for local pastors. Gary and I alternated sessions and dealt with topics like "How to Prepare a Sermon" and "10 Things That Will Keep Your Church from Growing." What began as a group of about 30, by the end of the week we ended up with around 80 (including pastors and their spouses and key lay leaders). My camera didn't do too good of a job with these shots but here are a couple.

I told you the shots were bad; but hopefully you got a little taste of the pastor's conference. The rest of the group travelled about fifteen minutes from the hotel to the local primary and secondary school. Gary and I later in the week got to visit the school to see firsthand what the rest of the team was telling us. What an eye-opening experience. The team helped paint classrooms and spend time with the children singing, telling stories, sharing testimonies, and just hanging out. I'll try to capture with photos a mixture of our team in action as well as some pictures of poverty.

Here is a picture of one of the classes meeting outdoors because there is simply not enough classroom space for everyone.
The children will use many creative means to make their own backpacks. Here is a young girl using a flour sack as her book bag. Many of the children in the school are HIV positive. It's one of the many challenges that overhangs every Zimbabwean family. The week before we arrived, there are a cholera outbreak in the community that killed more than 90 people. Red Cross personnel were in the area educating residents on how to protect themselves from the disease.

Take a look at the common facial expressions of the Zimbabwean children. Yes, they laughed and smiled; but this was what we generally saw. A pictures paints a thousand words, doesn't it?

The kids loved getting their pictures made and then seeing the photo on the camera. For many, it may have been the first time they actually saw a picture of themselves. Anyone with a camera could expect a deluge of kids surrounding you. John Cooke was one of our roving photographers. You can see what happened when he pulled out his camera. Ask John what happened when he tried to take a picture of a police officer.

You think our local classrooms have too many children and are getting in ill-repair. This was the typical classroom--filled with children. Some classrooms had only two or three benches in them. Many of the kids had to sit on the floor.

More later. I hope I'm not overdoing it. There is so much I want to tell you and show you.

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