What an amazing few weeks we have had. God has shown His face in so many places.
Our appeal for food assistance for the most needy in our community, made to the New Covenant Church in South Africa, was answered by a visit from a delightful family, Wessie, Somien and Tian. We introduced them to some of the families in the area around Morning Star. On their return to SA they wrote to say that they would be able to help us with approx 25 food packs a month. Diamond had been busy making a list of the most vulnerable Families and his numbers were growing. What a dilemma to see so many people in need and to have to ‘choose’ the most desperate.
Within a week our first delivery from the SA church was delivered by another lovely couple, Peter and Jenni, who spent the night with us and then helped deliver food packs to several families. The first home we visited was Emily Dube, who had, the day before, sent me two handmade mats which we were able to bless Wessie with.
Emily was so surprised to see us and then overwhelmed when we blessed her with the food. Emily has very bad arthritis in her knees so moving around isn’t too easy for her, but not much seems to slow her down. She entertained us with stories that Diamond translated and then Peter prayed for her and her 2 grandchildren.
Then we were off to the next home, where we were greeted in much the same way - disbelief that they were being blessed and then such gratitude. We were only able to deliver a few packages that day, as distance and time were our limitations. However, we had a call from Nkosi Sampindi, the YL leader in Bulawayo, asking if he and a couple of other leaders could come out to the farm for some rest and quiet time. They arrived on Monday (actually Sunday evening, but they got their car stuck in the mud just before the ranch and spent their first night in the car until first light when they sent out a couple of scouts for help!) and settled in before I asked them if they would like to join us for some food deliveries on the Tuesday. They were very keen, so we spent the best part of the day visiting and praying with the rest of the families.
In the evening we had dinner round the outside fire and talked about what the day had meant to us. Each of us had a ‘special moment’ but it all boiled down to how WE had been so blessed and humbled and enriched by being used to bless these few needy families. Nkosi shared that he had thought the time out on Morning Star would be a time for himself – to be able to have some ‘time out’ - but he realized that the reason he had come out was to do just what they had done, because it had turned his eyes away from himself again and back to God. We are His hands and His feet, without Him we can do nothing of great merit. What we do for the least of His people we do for Him. How we were blessed.
I think my special moment was when the man of 88 prayed for ‘us’ and the SA Church folk who had the heart to send the food to him! So humbling, so humbling.
Over the weekend we had Chris’ brother and his 17year old daughter, Angie, visit. Angie is very involved in a youth group in town, and is Headgirl of the Christian School she attends. ‘What can our group DO, Aunty Norma?’, she has often asked, so I was ready this time and took her to Dobi School (featured in our last Newsletter) and showed her how with a little muscle and a few nails and screws we could upgrade the actual buildings. Dobi is where the pre-primary classroom was so vandalized recently, and the actual school itself is very run down. We delivered food to one family on the way, so she was able to see how desperate their situation is. Mind you, the old grandfather was cheeky enough to ask Angie to become his second wife! I had to decline on Angie’s part! She phoned us when she got back to town to say that her youth leader was very excited when she told them what she had seen and what was needed. If we can get the paint, screws, etc, he would love to bring a work group out for a couple of weekends! So the next mission will be to see what we can find in Bulawayo shops that will serve our needs.
The previous weekend Sindi and Patson had organized a YL camp at a venue some 20 miles from us and asked if we could assist with transport. No problem, we thought, until we discovered there were 18 young people to be transported plus their baggage in our old ranch pick-up, with lots of rattles and shakes developed over our roads!
Happy to see the ‘taxi’ arrive!
But, with no other options, we very carefully loaded and tried to balance people and bags. Sindi, Patson and the two children came in front with me and off we set on probably one of the worst roads in Zimbabwe! To my horror about 5 miles down the road I was asked to pull over to pick up another 6 people! Fortunately everyone was singing and praising so the pick-up bounced along joyfully! We finally reached the camp venue 2 hours later and I then returned home until the return journey on the Sunday. The return trip had an extra 4 people which would have been the last straw so we had to do a ‘shuttle’ trip back! We loaded half the kids and drove about 10 miles along the road, dropped them off with instructions to ‘walk fast’ and then collected the other half! We caught up with the first half and ‘swapped’ groups who then had their ‘turn’ to walk! What a great bunch of kids! I was amazed at how much ground they managed to cover by foot! And the camp was amazing as well, I believe!
I am not sure who received the first newsletter we sent out about the schools in the area as our email programme was playing up. I know some people received it several times, but feel sure that not everyone got it. If you did not get it and would like to receive it, please let us know.
We are at presently setting up a non-profit company in the USA to enable you to send any donations/sponsorships that you feel led to for the developing projects referred to in the Green Islands vision. If you feel comfortable sending direct to our personal account you are welcome to do so. I will be keeping an account of all money sent for the various projects and will send reports to anyone who donates. Let us know and we will send you the account details.
Please keep praying for Zimbabwe and also that ‘Morning Star’ ranch would be an increasing source of God’s light for the impoverished community around us. Prayers for internet connection to finally happen here on the ranch would also be appreciated!
May our precious Lord Jesus bless you for your support and prayers.
In His Name,
Chris & Norma Ferguson
PS If you would like a copy of the Green Islands vision, please let us know.