Hi, We got back from Mutare a little while ago. Apparently there is a baptism for two people from Epworth and our family from Epworth is coming as they are to be baptized in two weeks, except for the dad he will be a couple of weeks after that. He has stopped smoking for 3 days now. So we will stay here at the church and attend the baptism as well. We were going to go out to Epworth and visit but we can visit with them here instead.
Thursday we arrived in Mutare and met up with Pres. Chadambuka and he had a group of young single adults with him. We went to the orphanage and set out the clothes and shoes and waited for the kids to come from school. They were excited to get some clothes (about 3 + pieces each) and a pair of shoes. There were only two girls so they got a few more things. They were pretty excited. The one little girl tried on a couple of different outfits and wanted her picture taken. We also gave them some hygiene kits for the nuns to give out as needed and we gave each child a school kit. They loved the school kits - you would think it was Christmas morning as they pulled each item out of their bag. It was fun to watch them. We also left a few toys, balls, and a couple of dolls. The nuns also got a pair of shoes each -- I hadn't really planned on that but it worked out great and they loved it. They insisted on giving us some sweet potatoes to bring home - but we gave them to someone else that we met on our ride home.
Thursday afternoon we went to the Zororai Old People's Home in Mutare and were able to meet with the board members as they happened to be having a meeting. We were impressed with their board and the things they are doing to be more self-sufficient. We talked about what they need to do in order for us to put in the request for the motor for their grinding mill - the most important thing is to have a committee formed to take care of it and put aside a little money so that they can repair it is it breaks down. They seem to have that all figured out. Neighboring people will come there to grind and will pay $1 for a 20 ltr. pail. They have an organization called 'Environment Africa' that is helping the with their gardens and they are giving them inputs (seed and fertilizer, etc) for the first year. The Justice of the Peace gives some people food and in return those people come and work in the gardens at the old people's home. The water in Mutare isn't too bad (better than Harare it seems). We left them with some hygiene kits as well and they were most appreciative.
I didn't get any pictures at the Old People's Home.
Early Friday morning we left for the refugee camp with Pres. Chadambuka, Fortune, the public affairs rep. and another fellow who lives at the camp and gave us directions to get there. We never would have got there without him. He has his passport now so he is free to come and go from the camp. Nice fellow. Fortune gave him the first discussion on the way there and he wants the missionaries to teach him more.
We found the member we went to the refugee camp to find. He was surprised, of course, but happy to see us. He says there are two other members there but they have been going to a different church there at the camp. There were two other members before but they have left and gone to South Africa. We talked with him and his wife, a lady that he met there. There are no children. She is not a member but maybe he can teach her. We all squeezed into their small 1 room house and we all sang "Love at Home" with them. (kind of teary for me). That song will have new meaning to me now! Pres. Chadambuka then gave him a blessing. We left him with several Liahonas and Ensign magazines as well as the new Gospel Essentials book and a set of new scriptures. It was a neat experience. Hopefully now he won't feel like no one cares about him. Maybe he will stop sending his letters to church headquarters. He is from D.R. Congo and he spoke mostly french (some English) and Elder Bullock got a chance to use his French.
Friday - Refugee camp pics
Church member and his wife at refugee camp - checking return address on letter he sent to Russell M. Nelson that was sent back to mission.
On the way to the camp we saw a lot of Baobab trees - the ones we saw in Malawi - the ones that kind of look like they are upside down. I will send a picture or two. Apparently these trees survive well because they store a lot of water and use little as they have small leaves. People cut the bark off in long pieces and use it to make rugs. The trees repair themselves but you can see the scars where the bark has been taken. The terrain we drive through was large hills and then it got really dry and dusty as we got closer to the camp.
Baobab tree - see the marks on trunk where they have peeled the bark.There were a lot of goats roaming around and a few pigs. Where there was some irrigation there were some green fields but otherwise it was pretty barren. The people in the camp had garden spots that were surrounded by thorny bushes that they had cut - to keep out the chickens and goats etc.
Elder Bullock standing by Baobab tree.
Rugs made from bank of baobab tree.
Elder Bullock standing by Baobab tree.
Rugs made from bank of baobab tree.
We need to head home so I will send this and then send Kim some pictures for the blog tomorrow and she can post it all then.
O yeah - we went to World Vision and found out where a little girl is that my friend, Florence Davidson, sends money for. She is down by Bulawayo. We are going down there next month and we are trying to arrange to see the girl, hopefully. I think that would be fun to see where she lives and to see how donations help these children. We are going to Bulawayo on Aug. 22nd to help with a service project the stake is doing at a hospital and we will take down some 'new-born kits' for them to give out.
Must run. Love to all, Jim and Nancy
I forgot about this yesterday -
On our way back to Harare on Sat. we stopped on the roadside to buy some wood for our fireplace. Wood is cheaper out in the rural areas. Anyway, we stopped and honked our horn and a lady came running from her hut - with her little boy. They looked rather needy so I pulled out a few clothes and shoes we had left over from the orphanage and gave them some. An older boy came out too (about 8 or 9) and we found a pair of shoes that fit him - also a pair of heavy duty sandals that fit the mother and left a pair for the husband (hopefully they will fit). I didn't have a pair for the little guy but gave her a pair that are too big and she can save them or trade them or whatever. They were pretty excited. She fell on her knees to say thank-you and we told her she didn't need to do that. We also gave her the sweet potatoes that the nuns had given us and a hygiene kit. I think they really needed it all.
We stopped to buy firewood and gave them some clothes, shoes and hygiene kit. She fell on her knees to say thank you
We bought the wood from her too so that should have made her day. When we were in Mutare we bought a big, good axe from Pres. Chadambuka's hardware store and we will need it. We did enjoy a nice fire last night - as we had no power. What's new? We seem to lose power a lot these days and seldom have water. O well - it will just make us appreciate it a lot more when we get home to Canada.
Pres. Chadambuka wanted to stop and buy tomatoes for his wife - they all hope he will buy theirs.
Love, E/S Bullock