`Summer´y September 2012 Issue
It has been a few months since our last newsletter and as such some may be wondering what has been happening in the Bulawayo Community where Our Neighbours Ministry has the privilege of being on the ground and able to serve.
I am happy to say that summer is now here, and winter has gone off to another place – you could say I am now out of hibernation!
Volunteers are always a blessing to the Ministry.
We have been blessed with a number of people visiting the Ministry over the last few months and we have realized how much the children appreciate people coming to spend time with them by how much they share about the visitors when you least expect it.
Whilst the Isaiah´s toddlers were drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, one little boy called out to come and see “aeroplane-ka-Elysa” and then each of them copied naming special volunteers.
It doesn´t matter how old a person is, a toddler, a teenager, an adult or an elder – goodbyes are always hard to say. In comfort to those who have been across to visit and gone home, please know you will never be forgotten for your kindness in partnering with us.
Technology has made this much easier to bear, and now with processes like skype and social net-working sites like facebook we never have to feel that far away !
Volunteers are truly special people.
Lighthouse Christian Academy have begun the Third term of 2012 with the children and teachers of Lighthouse Christian Academy all well settled into their new school premises. Additional extra curricula activities have been planned for this final term and we are excited about the inclusion of life skills, music and story telling. Please continue to uplift the children in prayer as education is vital. Thanks to the Edge Team for their recent visit and continual input into the development of this education programme.
HEARTS OF LOVE
This area of Our Neighbours Ministry continues to provide a nutritious meal twice a week to the poor-est of the poor. The meal consists of the staple food “sadza” with a mixed vegetable relish and protein (either sugar beans or meat).
We have seen an increase in the number of adult people attending this bi-weekly meal, and we are yet to determine the attributing fac-tors for this. With the third school term having just begun we have seen the number of children decrease slightly. In those still coming for the meal there is a large number of children being cared for by grandparents who have no income and cannot afford to pay school fees. Schooling in Zimbabwe is not free and costs between U$150 and U$250 per year which includes tuition and levies.
A local church has recently been actively training up Ministry Leaders in Discipleship and the fruit thereof has been the development of a discipleship course amongst the gracious servants of our Soup Kitchen. The course has been running for just over a month and it is envisaged that this will train up the 9 participants for further training of others within the soup kitchen. It is encouraging to see how these folk have grown from being in attendance at the soup kitchen, to preparing the meal for others and now growing spiritually to make other disciples.
TRENANCE COMMUNITY OUTREACH
The outreach in the Trenance Community has been going well and we have seen an increase in the number of people attending the weekly community meeting on Wednesday. A number of families were blessed with blankets which had been donated to bring comfort during the cold winter months from June through to August. We received a double blessing of food for distribution in June and this was welcomed as we were able to contribute to more families in need and did not have to turn folk away for lack of supply.
There still remains a desperate situation in Trenance regarding clean water supplies and we ask you to pray that there will be resolution to this. Previously water-guard sachets have relieved the problem slightly and we would like to be able to continually supply these to this Community. The water crisis is not just relevant to Trenance but to many areas of Matabeleland, please pray for a good season of rainfall which then results in a bountiful harvest for the nation.
In the Trenance community there is a large number of children who do not attend school for lack of funding. A number of children in these circumstances now attend Lighthouse Christian Academy. The children love the community meeting as they get to draw and colour, sing and play games, and on some occasions leave with a lollipop or bag of crisps.
2012/2013 sees the third cultural exchange volunteer come in to assist Our Neighbours Ministry. This is an established programme in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee which engages young adults in Serving and Learning Together through voluntary service for one year. We are grateful for the knowledge they bring and share, and trust through the year that they will gain as much from the beautiful people of Bulawayo, in their experiences serving here in Zimbabwe.
Elise Whitlatch 2010 / 2011
Elyse Sullivan 2011 / 2012
Amanda Koch 2012/ 2013
ISAIAH’S BABY HOME NEWS
6 new babies arrive + 2 girls are each placed into new families=FULL HOUSE (25)
In June and July we received a total of six new children, 4 boys and 2 girls.
All of these children had been abandoned and spent the last couple of months in a local hospital waiting placement. Investigations have failed to locate any relatives or extended families.
In just a few weeks we have begun to see changes in their once saddened faces – broadening into smiles and giggles. As they receive consistent love, care and nutrition you can see incredible changes in these children. And what a wonderful sight this is! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness.
As babies/children are identified for fostering with the intention of adoption there is always great joy however quite often tinged with a little sadness as they leave to become part of a new family. We see the vision of Isaiah´s Umuzi Wothando (Isaiah´s Home of Love) come to pass as children are inter-grated into loving families and communities. Sometimes this is very difficult as nominated care-givers and other people develop special bonds with these children but we are encouraged to trust in God´s perfect plan for each of these children´s lives. As each child grows we see the formation of their individual personalities and we are continually reminded in this that every person is uniquely created.
We praise God for the fostering for adoption of Jessica and Ruvarashe.
Baby Count as at 12~09~12 > 25 Beautiful Blessings from God
Boys :- 15 Mthandazo, Craig, Keith, Tadiwanashe, Kudakwashe, Samuel, Christopher, Anesu, Matthew, Thamsanqa, Mduduzi, Shepherd, Bright, Nkosilathi
Girls :- 10 Nomalanga, Faith, Nobuhle, Blessing, Blessed Dancer, Darlene, Vimbai, Emma, Nomathemba, Lubelihle
Child Development in Play
All children love to play — whether it be inside or outside, in the sand with a plastic bucket, a cup or a spoon, whether it be with a musical toy or just a few blocks of wood, various aspects of play result in the healthy development of a child.
A family who recently visited the Babies Home worked together with our staff to show them how simple it is to set up children´s play which develops their basic motor skills at the same time.