We had an interesting day. We sorted clothes this morning that we are going to take to the rurals tomorrow. Deppes will go with us - it will be an 'experience' for them! We were here early waiting for a fellow who was suppose to come and do some work in the garden so he could earn some money that he needed badly. (He had come in yesterday and we agreed to this). He didn't arrive until noon as he walked here (from miles away) as he had no money for transport. His wife is almost 8 months pregnant with very high blood pressure. They won't treat her at the clinic until they pay $50. Once they pay the money they will take care of her, deliver her baby etc. and give her a 6 week checkup. She supposedly has fainted a couple of times in the past couple of days.
When he got here to go to work and we talked to him we felt concerned for his wife and told him we would take him home and wanted to see his place and go to the clinic with them. They live in an area that isn't very nice (worse than Epworth, I think). We got the wife and 3 yr. old child and went to the clinic. They deliver the babies right there. We paid the $50 for her so she could get care --- with the husband, Emanuel's promise that he would come and work it off. He is
a good guy and he has done a little work here at the garden in the past so we feel like it will be okay.
Emanuel saw some cardboard boxes that we have here and ask if we needed them. He said that he hasn't been able to pay his $30/month rent and his landlord has ask him to move out but said he could erect something in the yard to live in and pay $10/month. He wants to put up some poles and use cardboard for walls. I wanted to just cry for the little family. The landlord has someone else that wants the room who has money. Anyway, we paid the $30 and he will work it off. We feel okay about it so I think it was the right thing to do. I lay in bed last night and thought that he can clean up the weeds, etc. around the edges of the garden area and in the trees so that it will look nice when Elder Holland visits. I also gave him $5.00 of our own money and told him to use it for transport. His reply was that he would spend $1 for transport
tomorrow to come and start doing the job, $1 for some cooking oil (they have some maize and vegetables but no oil) and $1 for some firewood to cook on.
I thought I was getting used to seeing things here and not be too effected but today I shed a few tears after we left this family. So sad and yet there are thousands in the same circumstances.
This afternoon we met with a couple of people from "Prisoner Fellowship of Zimbabwe". They will make arrangements for us to visit a couple of prisons in September and invited us to their Children's Day on Oct. 31st (children of prisoners). There are 17000 prisoners in 64 prisons and 29 satellite prisons in the country. A lot are there because they have no money to pay bribes or to pay a lawyer and they don't even understand enough to help themselves. There are some children there because mothers are pregnant when they go in or have small children and no one to care for them at home. Earlier in the year a lot died due to lack of food but the Red Cross got involved and things have improved. Anyway - I guess we will get a first hand look.
I don't know what we can do but perhaps we can look at doing an initiate that might help a little.
The 2 security fellows are here from SLC checking things out. They wanted to see our flats today as there is concern about safety in Africa after Elder Nelson's experience. Apparently they have had to pull missionaries out of Nigeria and close the Temple there about a month ago because of a lot of kidnappings. They seemed to think our flats were pretty much okay and made a couple of suggestions - one that we should perhaps lock our bedroom doors at night. There is a bathroom in the bedrooms so that wouldn't be a problem.
Tonight we are going to Merci's restaurant with Deppes and Taylors and we also invited the security men to come along. Merci is having a 3 course meal and some music entertainment on an African instrument. We think it will be interesting and hopefully the food will be good. The
meal is $10 each and $2 for entertainment - sounds like a pretty good deal!
Yesterday we went with Wellington to the Celebration Centre, where Elder Holland will be speaking when he come to Harare on the 28th. They have a 'lovely' keyboard hooked into the sound system that I will use for the music for the choir and congregation. I must admit I am
rather nervous but will continue to practice and just pretend that I am playing for church in Airdrie and not for over 3000. Can you believe this? I wish my talented son-in-law, Andrew was here to do it!!!!! I was hoping Sis. Deppe would be a better pianist than me and could do it but..... I guess I will just pray a lot and, of course, practice, practice, practice.
Love to all.