Hello from Zimbabwe!
If I could sum up Sunday with a single word, I would choose PRESENCE. Presence in the sense of being in the moment and being physically present. Being present with this holy gathering is a blessing for us and encouragement for the Zimbabweans present this weekend.
We are mindful of our supporters who contributed funds and our prayer supporters who continue to cover us and this gathering in prayer. Thank you. We bring your greetings with us and send many thank yous and prayers to you from your Christian family in Zimbabwe.
What is Big Sunday
Big Sunday is the name of the two-day event that ended on Sunday. It was a nine-church event and God's adopted children worshiped with the passion of King David. (2 Samuel6:16) Doug Forret shared the message on Sunday, drawing from the Beatitudes while Jan Crites and Amy Forret shared devotions. During the service, the entire U.S. team prayed individually with several dozen people that came forward asking for prayers. Presence!
Days for Girls
The first Days for Girls training and distribution for several hundred women occurred. This involved some education on a woman's cycle and distribution of hundreds of Days for Girls kits. These kits were gladly received. Girls opened the kits with excitement and shared the wild colors and patterns of fabric with their friends that also received DFG kits. These kits will improve hygiene and health. Additionally, using these kits can reduce lost school time for these young women.
We did training for the women on how to make the Days for Girls kits. It started out with 40, then 50, then 60+ women. When the women realized they were going to learn how to make their own and walk away with their own kit, giggles of joy spread across the room. They were given an overview, handed supplies and they began sewing. They learned how to make them as well as overcome a few pitfalls that were encountered along the way. Equipping!
One woman told a team member that she is excited because she can make them at home and use them to barter! Equipping! One of the pastor’s wives caught on so quickly that instead of just translating, she jumped in and gave the presentation. The pastor’s wives were left with supplies to continue leading other workshops and teaching to more women. Equipping!
Medical and Vision Clinics
Sunday afternoon was even more busy than Saturday with patients being seen at the medical and vision clinics. Each patient received love and attention as they came through the clinic. Presence!
This year we had the privilege of being joined by an optometrist. He's been a big help and very much appreciated. Please pray for Dr. Fundizo. We've already seen several patients with cataracts or glaucoma. That's beyond the care that we can provide in the vision clinic. Dr. Fundizo was able to tell me of an ophthalmology office in a nearby city, where cataract surgery can be found for as low as $300. That seems like a small price for the gift of sight. I'm very encouraged that being here led to conversations on how we may be able to continue some types of eye care even after the U.S. team returns. Presence!
Basic Health Care Not Available
Sadly, even basic health care is often not available in Zimbabwe for reasons that cannot be simplified for an update letter. But, added to that situation, we learned that many prescription and over-the-counter medicines are simply unavailable or priced beyond the reach of people here. Please pray for Zimbabwe's health system.
Update from Earlier in the Week
We enjoyed a nighttime event involving eight churches from the area and the NCBC team. We enjoyed the lively worship and messages. Amy Gregory and Amy McDonald shared their testimonies with the gathering of approximately 350.
In the afternoon we held medical and vision clinics. Many people received medical help and prayer.
Rejoicing in our Luggage
We are rejoicing that all 27 pieces of our luggage arrived.
Pray for our safe return on Sunday, July 14.
Ron Rohrssen, Zimbabwe Team Leader