I had trouble adding photos to my entry last week, so I hope to be able to do it this time after my blog entry.
A comment on Zimbabwe. We have traveled to Zimbabwe over the years that we have been here. Zambia and Zimbabwe used to be Northern and Southern Rhodesia with all of Zambia’s copper wealth creating the fine city of Harare. To leave Zambia and cross the border was a breath of fresh air. I remember seeing nicely cut lawns in the city park of Bulawayo and just feeling so good about an African nation being able to keep it together. The war and sanctions created homegrown industries that were thriving until just recently. Mugabe was given the advice from the Mozambique president: “Don’t lose your white people”. Well Mugabe panicked when the voters looked like they might dump him and in an attempt to stir up things he allowed armed gangs of “war veterans” to take over the white owned farms. Well needless to say this did not help anyone in Zimbabwe except Mugabe and his cronies who have inherited the confiscated wealth of generations of work. To cross over into Zimbabwe during those times became a test of nerves as each road block could be manned by police or self serving gangs of “war veterans”. We and most other people stopped crossing.
We have taken two trips over in the last month and a half. The attitude that I encountered was an acknowledgement of the disaster Mugabe has made of things and a general attempt by almost everyone we came into contact with to try to make peace with visitors. I even left my traveling documents at the counter of the customs agent in Victoria Falls and they dispatched someone in a vehicle to find me and let me know the documents were waiting for me. What does it mean? I’ll hold off until another post to comment further.
I made a great trip to Siavonga with our 4 pastors and the man that wants to go and start a church there. We made the trip stopping at my favorite goat meat stop. None of the guys had ever seen lake Kiriba. We met up with a relative of the wife of Oliver who had let us know we might be able to use their school for church services. Well she took us up a road climbing out of Siavonga and at the top of the hill overlooking the city and the lake was her almost finished school. It was almost finished and had one of the best views of the lake below. How could he have church there we said, everyone would just be admiring the scenery instead of listening to the preaching. Hopefully I will be able to attach a photo.
I am experiencing some memories of being a working pastor in Seattle. Some people in church have started a small school at church with my blessing. Joan and I volunteer as English teachers. Joan, loving every minute of it, is teaching grammar while I am teaching literature and composition. I have been making copies of stories from “Chicken Soup” that we read together, circle unknown words, look them up in dictionaries provided by the Wickenburg church, recording the definitions as we prepare to write about the story. We have two classes of 24 students each. So Joan and I teach two class periods, but I cannot believe how much I feel like I am working a job, although I am thoroughly enjoying the rewards that go with the experience.
Finally, we are beginning the real work of turning our Tembo play into a movie. I’ll keep you posted.