Sunday, March 16, 2008


This one and one more--but don't hold me to it. Hopefully the pictures and comments have given you at least a glimpse of the great things we experienced last month in Zimbabwe. By the way, pray for this country. They have national elections on 3/27 that will largely determine their future directions.

Our return to Harare (capital) on Thursday from Mudzi (our ministry outpost) was quite an eventful one. Trying to find gasoline was a huge chore. I believe I mentioned earlier that gas is often bought on the black market because it has become so scarce and expensive. Our hosts finally rounded up some near the border of Mozambique. So after a couple of hours delay we were on our way. But we had to make a couple more stops to negotiate for more gas.

We made a planned stop halfway back to Harare at an orphanage that Crusade has begun a relationship with. We all thought we would take a short journey off the main highway and be there. About 90 minutes later we arrived. What a trip! None of the roads were paved. At some points our vehicles had to come to a complete stop to maneuver around huge potholes and gulleys. We also had to drive across a stream that had me wondering if we were going to end up bailing out of the van.

Unfortunately, when we arrived, it was already dark. And we were rushed. So we didn't get to accomplish what we hoped to. We were welcomed by all the children and enjoyed a performance of a tribal dance from the boys and girls. It was high energy.

The orphanage was operated out of a modest home (my guess around 1400 sq. ft). They housed 70 orphans, 40 of which were HIV positive. On one of the bedroom floors 25 of the boys slept jammed up to one another. Their most recent orphan, six months old, was received after being discovered in a toilet hole. This experience was an eye-opener for us all.
We arrived back in Harare very late but thankfully our final night's lodging was a nice bed in a guest house. But the shower on Friday morning was freezing. Reminded me of an Oconee State Park stream.
The family who owns the guest house also operates an orphanage on the property. This orphanage seemed to be more proficiently operated. We helped serve breakfast on Friday morning before leaving for the airport.

The typical breakfast was a generous serving of some type of grain--not sure if it was rice or one of the more native grains. No untensils--they grab it up with their hands.

I love their vision as can be seen by this sign at the orphanage.

Then it was back to the airport for our "brief" flight back home.

In my final blog I will share some of the team's favorite pictures.

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