This morning Bigboy, our wheelchair expert, and his wife, Susan, came in to learn about the church. We ask him what had prompted him to ask us if he could come in and talk to us about the church. He said that he has decided he needs to attend a church and he has seen missionaries doing service work in the community and is interested in learning more. He told us that he used to drink a lot at nights and his wife and children were worried about him. He decided 6 months ago to quit. He called his wife and ask her to pray for him because he was not going to drink anymore. When he was late coming home she would call and ask if he was drinking but he never did take another drink after his initial decision.
Bigboy also told us that in 2004 he had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. He told us how he was/is in the business of helping people with wheelchairs after they have strokes, etc. and suddenly he was unable to move his left side. He prayed to God and told Him that his livelihood was helping people and he needed to be able to walk. The next day when he woke up he could move his arm and he could stand up. The Doctor couldn’t believe it. His one side is not quite perfect but he is able to carry on. He works with a wheelchair organization and assembles and fits chairs to all sort of disabled people. He goes around the African countries training technicians to be able to do the same.
We taught them the first discussion. It went well. We thought he lived in Harare but he lives about 60 Km. out but is not too far from Bindura and there are two branches there. He has a vehicle so that helps. We arranged to go to their place on Saturday and meet their children (2 teenagers) and we will review or teach them more.
Jim is busy typing up contracts for the projects that we are working on. Mostly it is fill in the blanks and of course, give some details but it is a bit frustrating. They have to be approved in SA by the church lawyer before they can be signed.
February 26, 2010
O man!! A lot of people here have some sad stories. Lawrence, our policeman investigator, came in to see us. His parents died when he was 14 yrs. old. From that time he has taken care of himself and his younger sister. He quit school and got a job gardening so he could support them and he paid school fees for her so she could stay in school. He managed to do his school at night. He got a job with the police about a year ago and because he has some accounting education they have him working in the office. He really wants to go to school and get a degree in accounting but.........how can he? He is now 27 and his sister is 21 and she is married with a baby boy. The husband is not working and they live with his parents. Lawrence was planning to get married (saving labola) in April, however, his girlfriend, Doreen, is 3 months pregnant. Her parents found out and ‘chased her away’ and she is now with Lawrence. The $200 he had saved towards the labola had to go to the clinic so that Doreen can have maternity care and delivery of the baby. He has a ‘stand’ (small plot of land) that he bought about 6 years ago. If he does not start to build on it by June he will lose it. He needs $240 so he can just even have water and meter run onto the land and that would be enough to keep it. As a policeman he is paid $150/month. His rent is $60 and utilities about $20. The rest goes for food, transport, etc. It just isn’t enough but the gov’t. is not paying more than that. Teachers here also get about $150/month. Some teachers are on strike right now, trying to get more money but unfortunately it is the children who suffer as they are not getting their schooling. It is hard to hear these sad stories AND there are a LOT of them. We wish we could fix things and help everyone but we just can’t. There are a lot of child-run families because of death (due to AIDS a good share of the time).
Mayfields had a wonderful young man come in and apply for a PEF loan for school. He is supporting 3 or 4 younger siblings and wants/needs to go to school so badly but has to work to feed the family. I don’t think they could make it work for him because to get a loan you have to be a returned missionary and he could not serve a mission because he has to support the family. Perhaps they can get an ‘exception’. I’m not sure what has happened with it.
Anyway – sorry, enough of the sadness of Zimbabwe! The auditor is back again this morning to finish off. The SA fellow from the church left this morning early. The audit is going well and they only had 3 or 4 questions for me and I was able to find what they needed. I’m relieved that it all seems in order!!
The electricity is off a lot lately but we are coping. They run the generator here at the mission office when it goes off so work carries on as usual here. At the flat we try not to run the generator too much as it is noisy and we don’t want to irritate the neighbours. We use it to pump the water from the tank for our shower (love having our tank!!!!) and we use it to quickly cook something and then we shut it down. We are doing fine!! Mayfields have moved into the flat next door as of yesterday. It will be nice having them there – nice and close for playing a card game or getting together for a movie night (if we have power!)
I must get back to work. We need to start preparations for our district training assignment a week from tomorrow in Gweru. The topic is ‘the temple’. Elder & Sister Taylor left a nice file of information so that will be very helpful. We just need to come up with a plan/presentation that will take approximately an hour.
Love to all, The Bullocks
I have posted 2 other letters below as well! Kim