This has been a REALLY busy week so far. Sunday we went to Kadoma. Two of our missionaries that have been serving here finished their missions and returned home to Kadoma this past Wednesday. The 2nd counsellor in the branch presidency was released and one of the newly returned missionaries was put in that position. It was fun for Elder Bullock to be able to call him. The elder certainly wasn't expecting that. He will do a good job. The other elder was put in as Young Men's President. We were really pleased to see that the Branch president is putting them to work right away. These young returned missionaries are such assets here and are the ones who will be the great leaders.
I gave my talk in church and the two elders both talked. That didn't leave time for Elder Bullock to give his talk so he just said a few words and will save his talk for another day. We heard back from the elders here in Harare that Lawrence, our investigator, was at church and they have an appointment with him for tonight to teach. He had no transport money so he walked to church.
Monday we had a meeting with the committee at the Kadymadare Mill. We invited the MP to join us as we needed his help to solve a problem there. I think I told you about it before -- how one man, the chairman/also a village head, insisted on only charging $.50 instead of one dollar. At the beginning of the meeting Elder Bullock read 'their' original proposal to us requesting the mill and how they were planning to make the project work for them. He explained that they were not living up to what they had proposed and agreed upon.
The MP then took over and talked for quite a while, some in English and a lot in Shona. He explained to them how a business has to run in order to be successful and make some profit. He also explained very well how the committee should work and the role of the chairman. It was agreed that they would start charging the dollar. We then ask how soon they planned to do that. The Chairman wanted to wait until March 1st and one other agreed with him. I suggested starting in 1 week (this coming Monday) so that they could start making some profit sooner. A member of the committee agreed and we told him he needed to make the proposal and it was seconded. We then suggested that there were two proposals and as a committee they should vote on it. The outcome was 7 to 2 in favor of starting to charge sooner. It was really a good meeting and I think the members felt somewhat empowered when they realized they didn't have to feel intimidated by the chairman/village chief. They realized they all had an equal say
and vote on things. We were pleased how things came out and are grateful to Mr. Zhanda, the MP, for helping us. He is really a good man. One thing I keep meaning to tell you is that whenever we have these kind of meetings they always begin and end with prayer. Quite different than America.
Monday afternoon we went with Bigboy (a wheelchair contact that we have talked to a few times) and met with a lady who is over all of Zimbabwe and represents disabled people and groups. They are the ones who we can partner with and they can bring the chairs into the country duty-free. It was a good meeting and we are hoping to get the wheelchair project underway.
When we got back to the office, Pauline was waiting for us. She is the mom we helped several months ago with the tiny baby, Edson, who almost died. We took formula out for the baby and food for the family so that the mom could eat and be able to nurse the baby. Edson is now about 8 months old but looks like he is only 2 months. He apparently has some symptoms of Downs Syndrome (I could see it in his face) and he also has some heart problems. However, he is one lucky baby as he was leaving the next morning with a Doctor who is taking him to Italy for 3 months where he will get some heart surgery etc. free of charge. Pauline was needing help for her 8 yr. old who she said was very sick, had a rash, and was losing strength. She had him at the hospital the day before and they gave him some tablets and said to bring him back to get his temperature taken. However, the combie (transport) would not take him. We drove her home and put her and the boy in the back of the truck (just in case he had something we don't want to get) and took them to the hospital. The husband, Ed, came too. We had to wait for quite a while as the doctors decided to go for lunch just as we arrived. While we were waiting we gave some balloons to the children in the waiting room and that seemed to cheer them up! Anyway, the boy has measles and a problem in his chest and a high temperature. They gave him a couple of injections and sent him home with instructions to go to a different hospital in the morning that would admit measle patients and also he would get a chest x-ray. We haven't heard any more yet. That all took about 5 hrs. and we got home about 8:30 after returning them to their home.
Pediatrics waiting room at Harare Hospital - we gave out balloons to the kids while we were waiting with Paulene and Ed
Tuesday we spent most of the day helping Reeve, CC and Lolly and a good group of youth, finish sorting the goods in the containers that arrived last Friday. It has been a big job but it is now organized. I went with Reeve to take a truckload of medical supplies to a Dr. who has helped us the other day with the boy that had terrible rashes all over his head. The dr. wasn't there but we left the things - She will be delighted to have them.
We were tired at the end of the day. Reeve, CC and Lolly left this morning for Australia for some golf tournaments etc. They will be back in a month. We will miss them. They are fun to have around. We will continue our squash playing though and we now have President and Sister Dube joining us in the mornings and learning squash. Fun!
President Bullock has gone right now to a meeting with President Dube to meet with some government minister to explain what the church and LDS Charities does.
Today we are hoping to work on our training session that we are to do in Masvingo on Saturday. We have an hour allotted to us to train on lesson preparation as they feel that too many just read the lessons from the books when they teach (& they do that a lot here). We are
feeling a little nervous about this as we don't feel like we have a lot of expertise in the area, however, we do have "Teaching No Greater Call" and I have printed off some talks from church leaders. We will make a plan and pray a lot!! I better get busy working on it.
One more picture:
We are grateful to you all for your love and support. We have a great family that we are proud of and also wonderful friends! Thank you!!
Love, The Bullocks