I was born in 1944 in Manchester UK, At 16 yrs I met Jesus and was born again at a youth camp I trained as a nurse and midwife, In 1968 when a qualified midwife I was led to apply to the London Bible college, then in March a clear call to serve in Africa and thus after 2 years college and 1 year church work in London's east end, in 1971 I moved to the eastern highlands of Rhodesia to nurse at Rusitu mission hospital. After 6 months I became sister in charge and also taught in the Bible School.
The Zimbabwe "Liberation" war began 1972/3 and was quite intense in the Eastern Highlands with the proximity of Mozambique. God was faithful and kept us but there were many tragic stories later. When I returned to Rhodesia 1977 after a 1 year furlough the missionaries were moved from the mission
While at Rusitu I had been allowed to help found Intercessors for Rhodesia. When I returned from furlough I was asked by the leader of IFB to be “full time” with Intercessors in Rhodesia..It was still war time and we were called to different towns and rural areas where people realized that God was answering prayer and we encouraged and helped establish prayer groups.
1980 the Lord showed clearly from His Word to bring a national into leadership of IFZ, I had been resisting a request from UK from a Christian Youth organization
I had no desire to leave Rhodesia/ and it was only obedience and the Word of God that I agreed.Then for a few years I was more involved on the prayer side of British Youth for Christ being already a Board member.
But my heart and prayers were still in Zimbabwe and 1990, the Lord was showing me clearly that I should return but this time in HIV ministry somehow. After almost a year I responded.
I was to spend 6 months initially with Family Aids Caring Trust, a Christian response to AIDS founded 1988. But just before this I realized my focus was to be Orphans, and the Lord directed me to Nehemiah for His answer for the orphans in Zimbabwe .I had a three week holiday and spent the time with Nehemiah praying and listening to the Lord. It was from Nehemiah 3 he gave His strategy for the orphans in Zimbabwe. To rebuild broken protection walls through the local Christians in each place.
“G” was a total orphan, we met him when he was about to enter form 6 and his mother had just died. He had one disabled sister and there was no one to pay his school fees. The first time we met him he declared that he was going to get a PhD!!
He did well in his “A” levels in his school in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and so gained entrance to the University of Zimbabwe in the capital city of Harare in order to read economics.
He successfully graduated and obtained a job in the Government Ministry of Trade and Industry, and travelled to many countries. While working he studied simultaneously for two masters degrees, (in which he was very successful) as well as working to pay his way.
When he gained his degrees he became a lecturer and started studying for his PhD which he is now just about to complete!!
He is now married with three children of his own and is himself supporting another orphan student at University as well as giving much advice to other young people with similar backgrounds.
Since the global financial crisis we have had to cut much of the educational help to the children See here what can happen in supporting just one child who has no other means to education, and in Zimbabwe the school fall out rate is really increasing. - THANK YOU
A report today from a senior church leader with whom we work in Masvingo of many vulnerable families being visited by volunteers from the local churches>
One such family has 6 orphans living with their old granny-Anyone else in the family who could help has passed away! I asked the pastor how it would be if these Christians were not visiting- “it would be drastic“he said. The girls especially are very vulnerable and there is a mentally ill man in the neighbourhood who stalks them if they are out. The fact that people are visiting regularly and know what is happening, acts like a protection barrier. One of them was actually abused and because of awareness teaching the volunteer and girl knew where to go and not keep quiet.
The man was under local psychiatric care but would roam the streets and the local girls were afraid. Now he has been taken into Prison. And we trust will receive some help while there.
In the Masvingo area there are 15 churches involved in the outworking of the ZOE vision, visiting orphans in their family homes. The Christian volunteers are true volunteers. They see their visiting ministry as part of their church ministry with no expectation of remuneration or perks, just like with the worship group, or children’s church, or counseling etc.
However as we are looking at more excellent advocacy and healing and closure in these situations this would entail some legal costs as well as the factor that often the perpetrator is a close relative –uncle or step father etc who may well be providing shelter or school fees and so if the child is taken out of the painful situation or the perpetrator is taken into custody , then alternate support is sought for, which does cost..
You will see some faces to this story later this week..photos were late arriving but wanted to tell you the story.. praise God for the army of volunteers and we encourage the local churches to give but imagine what your help could add to these children’s lives>> Thank you! -
"the child grew strong"
Thoko( not the child’s real name) stays with her grandmother and grandfather. ZOE has helped her since she was 6 months old and is now in grade 1 at six years of age. She is currently in good health although she has a recurring problem with her tonsils.
Her mom discovered that she was HIV positive when she was pregnant with “Thoko”
Upon telling her husband of her status, he then left her, and as a result of the frustration and stress,she never took any of the medication given her and she gave birth to a baby that was HIV positive too.
Only when mom was very sick did she receive counseling that enabled her to access treatment via an OI clinic. (OI stands for Opportunistic Infections- the polite name for HIV clinic).Unfortunately the mom died before she started taking her medication.
ZOE, working through the churches, then stepped in and gave the child at 6 months old, milk and Cotrimoxazole. Home visits were made at least twice a week from the time of the mother’s death in which spiritual and emotional support was given. The church was also encouraged to help the family with food and clothing.
This child has managed to survive because she accessed treatment, and through the faithful care of local church
There is LIFE..!
I have fostered twins, now 17 going on 18 ,and last week Joanna swallowed a needle and 3 pins..the doctor was going to operate immediately to remove the newdle stuck in the throat but a very sensitive operation, so much so that when he saw she was breathing satisfactorily ,though the throat was painful,they would wait till next day when there would be more back up! Well praise God she didnt have that surgery -the needle had moved slightly the next day, and now she is out and home with only the needle left now and in the lowel large intestine and they trust it will be out by xray next week.
God is so faithful-for J it would have been extra vulnerable. Monday morning I prayed through isaiah 61 for joanna - lunch time 'good news" "release" "joy for heaviness" we took her home!!no surgery PTL
Part of the ZOE envisioning team
This team of Faithful church leaders and longstanding volunteer area leaders visit and revisit 68 areas between them in the course of a year encouraging the churches in those areas who are running with the ministry the Lord Gave in 1992 to care for orphans by mobilising Christians interdenominationally in each locality. In other areas there is need to revive the ministry Church leaders change and people can grow weary and so the need to encourage and remind of the vision and the scriptures that declare the Mandate for God's people to care for orphans and widows. Then also we meet with the church volunteers to encourage them and train
You see here part of the team of 12 as we met together in Harare in February this year to encourage one another in the vision and plan for the task ahead of us this year-2013. This team is vital for the ministry to the orphans through the churches . until last year there were just two of us carrying out this task and thus we failed to visit each area as often as needed.. it was a real Moses and Jethro situation- we were crazy trying it alone..and Praise God for these faithful brothers and sisters with whom we have walked for many Years.
Cost:-During the year is Minimal as we seek to stay with our hosts- thus simply transport,
Transport and accomodation for the workshops is c.$100 per person
The coordinators' manuals $10
Excitement in the air..A text message from Masvingo that the compost, made from their own household waste, is now ready!!
Last time they had planted cow peas this next time they will try vegetables and we trust will get the thrill of seeing that they can grow very successfully even though they cannot afford the fertilizer in the stores!
Mr Ncube, our driver, is a very experienced gardener and very keen to share his skills with others and so this is his project, and he is very committed to see success and to provide food for the orphans and their guardians
Photos to come later!!
The hunger is serious .No one is helping our orphans . Floods destroyed our crops and Houses.(Mtoko)
There is no food and no one giving out anything. We only trust in God. Pray for us please. (Beit Bridge)
Thank you for your concern . Here in Mt Darwin hunger is hot especially January – March. No one is helping plus there is sun. Let us pray that God can give us rain.(Karanda –Mount Darwin)
Cell phone text is the best method for communication in Zimbabwe. I have just texted all our area coordinators throughout the nation-“how is the hunger? Is there food? If not is anyone supplying your orphan families? If so then who?” A comment I read from one of our senators- a Christian – his hobby is “following rainfall patterns, which in Matabeleland is almost non existent.” Jean
Boy -headed household
THE STORY OF SIMBA OF ZVISHAVANE.
Simba is a boy aged 13yrs the elder in family of three. The family comes from Masvingo province. Simba is a very bright boy; he remembers getting school prizes for his academic excellence from Grade 1.His father who was a Teacher passed away in 2005. He says he suspected the cause of death to be HIV/AIDS. After the father’s death everything became difficult to the young boy. They were sent back to the village where he dropped out of school and started heading cattle. A relative to him back to Zvishavane. The church found out his plight and his now being visited by the volunteers. But the young boy says he has no hope for the future because he not going to school. On his journey of life drawing he did put lots of big stones blocking his Destiny.
I hope once we set up a Children’s Club some of Simba’s Psychosocial needs will be met.
The large proportion of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe is still due to HIV and Aids , leaving a continued increase in orphans But moreover maternal mortality has increased especially in rural areas where trained maternal health care professionals are rare. Complications from childbirth, such as obstetric fistula, are also on the rise in rural provinces.Last year, the government waived fees for women to deliver in public hospitals, but the policy doesn't extend to treatment for complications.In April 2012 it was stated that the maternal mortality rate in Zimbabwe had increased from 725 deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2007 to 960 deaths for every 100,000 live births.Poor access to water and proper sanitation has exacerbated weak maternal health care. Women travel distances of more than two kilometers (1.2 miles) carrying water buckets on their heads, some pregnant and some with babies strapped on their backs,The distance to health centers also prevents women from obtaining maternal care. Ideally they should be 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and below, but it's much more. Then also many cannot afford hospital care.We Pray for the Churches to advocate locally and nationally and Christians to step into the role of the village midwives who have disappeared in the past few years.The large proportion of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe is still due to HIV and Aids , leaving a continued increase in orphans But moreover maternal mortality has increased especially in rural areas where trained maternal health care professionals are rare. Complications from childbirth, such as obstetric fistula, are also on the rise in rural provinces.Last year, the government waived fees for women to deliver in public hospitals, but the policy doesn't extend to treatment for complications.In April 2012 it was stated that the maternal mortality rate in Zimbabwe had increased from 725 deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2007 to 960 deaths for every 100,000 live births.Poor access to water and proper sanitation has exacerbated weak maternal health care. Women travel distances of more than two kilometers (1.2 miles) carrying water buckets on their heads, some pregnant and some with babies strapped on their backs,The distance to health centers also prevents women from obtaining maternal care. Ideally they should be 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and below, but it's much more. Then also many cannot afford hospital care.We Pray for the Churches to advocate locally and nationally and Christians to step into the role of the village midwives who have disappeared in the past few years.
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