Friday, July 22, 2011

Major leaving with family members
Elephant going through trash cans where we were




Ben cooking our steaks while hippo rests on our lawn!




We found a croc resting in the sun on the shoreline






Hippo walking



Hippo Island off the shore of our house




Ben and Karen Pennington in front of Kariba Dam



Major left on the 2nd of July to fly to the US for 3 ½ weeks and he is on the run. Lori left on the 9th of July for a 6 months furlough and we are on the run without both of them. Maybe the run will make me lose more weight-ha!


We were happy to hear that Jimmy and Bre’s wedding went well that he officiated at on July 10th and that Major is busy speaking to groups and organizations.

We were so shocked to learn that as our alumni reunion braii was starting on Friday night (the 15th) at Cedar Ridge church in Renton, WA they received the sad news that the minister of that church, Darrell Duff died suddenly on the operating table during a minor knee surgery. What a shock it was to all the people there and the party had to end very suddenly. We were so thankful for the church in hosting this event and are so sorrowful at their lost. Please pray for Linda, the widow, and for the church during this difficult time. Darrell was an active part of supporting our ministry at Chidamoyo and had been here once and was planning his second trip with more church members in 2012. This is Lori’s home church—so we are thankful she was home to be there. Please pray for her.


This past week I was happy to have friends from Masvingo (9 hours SE of me) visiting with me. Ben and Karen Pennington from IN who came to Zimbabwe in 1976 and we met then and have been friends since. We constantly use their house and hospitality when we bring visitors to see the Zimbabwe Ruins and to and from our road trips to South Africa. We try and meet in Harare every 3 or so months to have dinner and fellowship. I was happy to have them for 2 days at Chidamoyo and put them to work preparing pills for our next ART outreach clinic. Then on Wednesday morning we left for Kariba and had 4 nights at a wonderful house right on the lake. A friend who works in Harare has a company owned house that we have rented before and after our 4 days here we would love to make this an annual retreat!


Our first afternoon there we had a big hippo lying in the sun on our back lawn. The next we had 10 hippo basking in the sun on an island right off our back yard for the whole day. We just pulled our chairs down near the water and read in the sun—enjoying the view. One walked right near me to go up to our lawn and spend the day napping there!


The first night after we finished cooking on the braii (BBQ) we had an elephant in front of us chewing on a tree and another one that came around the side of the house. I ran up to the second story and the elephant’s eye was level with my balcony and I could have reached out and touched him! That was one big elephant! I was yelling down to Ben to watch out as he was cleaning the grill about 10 feet away and unaware, but he doesn’t hear well so I yelled to his wife who finally warned him! That gave us some excitement to talk about that night.


We were thankful for our relaxing time away. Also it was not as cold in Kariba—only 2 layers of clothing—verses 3-4+ at Chidamoyo and more in Masvingo this time of the year. We are thankful for the warmer weather we got to enjoy and it will give us encouragement to get through the 6 more weeks of winter ahead!

Ben and Karen left Monday morning for Masvingo and I hope to be at their house next month when we have our annual church conference near them.

We have been happy to hear news and talk to people on Skype and see pictures on U-tube of our "Benefit of Hope" that was hosted by Friends of Chidamoyo in Seattle on Saturday the 16th. They have raised over $55,000 so far and more is coming in! Thank you Cheri and Larry Gail and all that helped. This will be such a blessing and a big help to our work here!


This week has been very busy at work. One doctor was gone until Tuesday night and the other left Wednesday night for his days off until Monday. Thursday we had 81 people for CD4 day and managed to start 28 people on ART on Thursday and Friday!


This evening I ended the week with a woman who ended up in my office by accident. She was very sick and was being sent home—so I sat down and took her history. She lives in Harare and she just delivered a baby 2 weeks ago. She has been sick since she was 6 months pregnant with a cough and fever and was found to be HIV positive. She had X-rays and sputum’s done in Harare, which they said were fine but continued to get worse. She heard about Chidamoyo from other people in Harare and so she had her sister bring her here for help. She had been told to sell whatever she had and get to Chidamoyo where they can help you! I took her X-ray which showed a very bad TB and I am sure she will be sputum positive. We admitted here, put her on the right ART medication and pray she got here in time to live. Amazing that people have to go from an urban central hospital for the whole country to a rural hospital like us to get proper care. We pray God has lead her here in time to get better and live!


Major leaves the US on Wednesday and back here on Thursday afternoon! We pray for travel mercies—especially that 15 hour flight from NYC to Joburg! Am I excited or what?

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