Warm greetings from us here in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I hope this newsletter finds you well.
Things are going well overall for us here at Our Neighbours Ministry. I am looking forward to sharing some of this with you in this newsletter. I would like to focus this time on Lighthouse Christian Academy and North End Home, but also share many ‘new snippets’ with you.
LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Lighthouse Christian Academy (LCA) has started at their new location, an 8 bedroom home in North End. They are so excited! Edge Foundation Australia, our lovely and generous partners for LCA, purchased this house for the school to operate from.
We now have 23 students at LCA. For those who aren’t aware, LCA assists children from very vulnerable circumstances who have missed significant periods of their schooling. We use a home based schooling curriculum that enables them to start from the exact level that they are at, regardless of their age, and get a great education.
Last term we had 13 students join us, predominantly from one of the ‘squatter camp’ communities that we assist. All of these students have been assessed as to their academic levels and have settled quite well into LCA, with a few expected little issues along the way. I love the vision of LCA, to provide good quality education to children in desperately vulnerable circumstances, to love and care for them holistically as children and to share with them about our God. We see lives being transformed! And with this new premises we will be able to grow our capacity at LCA to about 50 students.
NORTH END HOME
I also wanted to share with you about the 6 great boys who live at the North End Home with Florence. What better way to start than to share a message from them to you:
To everyone who has been supporting us, we as the Northend Boys say “thank you very much”, may God bless you and remember you in His Kingdom. To everyone who is supporting us we pray, asking that God will remember you in everything you do, so that you may be able to see His blessing wherever you go. We humbly thank you all, and ask that you may know that we love you all.
As the Northend Boys, we would like to remind you of some of the many ways in which we have been blessed by you, namely clothing, paying our rent and utility bills, for the wonderful house, complete with furnishings, we live in. Supplying our food, enabling us to attend school (at Lighthouse Christian Academy), our gifts of bicycles and so forth. We want to also thank the many people who leave their families and indeed their countries for a season just to come and spend time with us and get to know us better, we sincerely appreciate that.
Northend Boys Family.
I’m so proud of these boys that we first started assisting when their situations meant they had ended up living on the streets and it’s great to grow in relationship with them, to see them thrive, to see them as leading students at Lighthouse Christian Academy and to hear lovely feedback from the community about them and their characters, etc. I add my thanks to theirs to you also.
Now here’s some ‘news snippets’ for you to kept this newsletter from being too long:
- We have very good news (tinged with sadness) that Ruvarashe and Jessica from Isaiah’s Babies Home have been fostered to be adopted during the last 1.5 months.
- We are expecting another 3 babies to be coming to us at Isaiah’s any day now.
- Currently our sponsorship program for the little ones at Isaiah’s is 42% covered. This leaves much room for anyone else who’d like to sponsor, or to seek sponsors on our behalf for these precious little ones.
- Also for your information, our monthly budget of approximately US $21,000 for all of Our Neighbours Ministry is 63% covered currently by regular donors and sponsors who have committed to a monthly or yearly contribution (though due to increasing costs of living and other higher living costs that occurred after dollarization in Zimbabwe, which were expected to decrease but haven’t, we need to put through staff salary increases very soon and reassess this monthly budget also soon). For information on of this please email myself or Belinda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Charmaine Nortier will be leaving us after 4 years in our Administration team. We greatly thank her for all she has done and pray for her in this new season (starting a new job for a period and seeking God’s direction going forward).
- Laurie and Jenny Humphrey’s new temporary employment permit request was rejected. Currently they are prayerfully considering a few options. They do have a desire to continue to serve in Zimbabwe and are seeking where God is leading re this both now and in the future. We greatly thank them for all they have done for Our Neighbours Ministry (as well as serving numerous other ministries) and pray from them at this time, for God’s guidance and peace.
- We were really blessed to have Andy Fry come and give further training and love to the Imvelenhle Empowerment group and provide some staff training as well.
- Agnes is one of the widows who lives in the squatter camp in Trenance whom we assist through Hearts of Love Ministries. She is 76 years old and lived alone until quite recently when her daughter moved to stay with her after losing her job (this is the only child that we are aware that she has). Agnes, like most people in Trenance, try to do odd jobs, however because of her age and ailing health she really struggles in terms of income and food. Agnes suffers with hypertension and for sometime has been complaining of a sore shoulder, both of which she takes medication for. We try to visit her home in Trenance on a regular basis as a lot of the time she is lonely and our visits are a delight to her. She loves to hear about the Word of God and encourages us on every visit to read from the Scriptures. Agnes is one of the people Hearts of Love assists long-term with food, clothing and medical requirements.
- I read the below quite in Helen Mottee’s CD cover and I thought it was wise and thought provoking (thanks Helen for your beautiful performance at our meeting in Port Macquarie);
“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the sermon on the mount … the world has achieved brilliance, without wisdom, power, without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear gains and ethical infants” General Omar N Bradley
- The ‘Bantum” (bakkie or ute depending on which country you are reading this from), that I drive and Hearts of Love use for outreach, helping people with transport etc etc, needs an overhaul if anyone would like to assists with us.
So, thank you SO MUCH for the part of Our Neighbours Ministry and our lives that you are, and for your friendship and support etc. I hope this newsletter gives you a glimpse of what you are a part of.