Lots of activities going on!

We had a big day of celebration to say goodbye to our Lake Union Crew friends on Monday 25th of January.  After 6 hard weeks the building was completed.  We have to do some of the finishing up inside to have it functioning, but the building is in!  

We started the day with special devotions to thank the team and their hard work.  We then moved to the building with staff, patients and pregnant women and dedicated the building to the Lord.  There was much dancing, singing, ululating as we dedicated the building to be used by all the future pregnant women of the community.  Major's headman said "he was so disappointed his wife couldn't have more babies and be able to use the building!"

Then there was a special lunch a celebration to thank the 15 local volunteers who worked alongside of the Lake Union Crew volunteers for the 6 weeks.  Their cook for the week, Tamara cooked a wonderful goat with sadza, rice, and vegetables.  They made smores for dessert.  They received certificates for the help and we had a great time eating and celebrating together.

The Lake Union Crew left the next day (the 26th) a day early--as they finished earlier than expected.  It was so great having them and suddenly my house was very quiet!  We thank them for their dedication and help in this wonderful project that will benefit pregnant women for years to come.  I think people might just get pregnant to enjoy the new Chidamoyo Hotel!

On the 28th, Major, his son Michael and Dr. Munodawafa and I went for 3 days of rest and relaxation at Rhino Camp on Lake Kariba.  Michael had been one of our busy drivers for the group and so we took him as a thank you.  Major spent the 3 days fishing and caught 2 cool boxes of fish to bring home.  He was so happy!  The rest of us enjoyed the bush, the animals and some cool and rainy days.

We brought Shantel home from the hospital in Harare, Friday this week, and she was happy to be discharged!  She had quite a big scar across her chest, but she is not having pain and she can wear "skinny clothes now!"  We are so thankful for answered prayers and we will continue to watch her and make sure her liver resolves too which is also very large.  They removed her spleen which was 30 kms long! Thanks for all your prayers for her!

We received very sad news after the funeral of my "Pa" Jim Minnis on the 23rd of January.  His wife "Ma", JoAnne, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the day before his funeral.  She went in a day after the funeral for a biopsy which confirmed pancreatic cancer with metastasis  to the liver.  She has been given 6 weeks to live!  We were all so shocked and sad, but happy she was well enough to take care of Pa for all those years, and that he went first.  We are so sad for her and her family.  Major and I have decided to make a quick trip to the US--leaving here on the 18th of February and returning on the 8th of March.  We want to be with her and help  do some of her care through this difficult time.

She is not able to eat and is nauseated, but so far has little pain and is sleeping well.  She is weak from not eating.  Just be in prayer for her and her family after all they have gone through with Pa's death just recently and now have to deal with this.  She is ready to be reunited with Jim and continues to witness to many people with her strong faith.  Thanks for your prayers and pray for us as we are gone and for the hospital.

Week 6 volunteers local and Seattle with drivers

 Celebrating inside the Waiting Mothers Shelter

 Greeting line to thank the volunteers

Seattle volunteers thanking the local volunteers--inside new building

Tamar and cooks feeding at the lunch

Volunteers getting their certificates

Making amores--a first for the volunteers!

The new Waiting Mothers shelter--completed outside

Lunch for the volunteers

 All of us at Rhino Camp with Stephen our guide

The three guys on an ant hill--Kings of the Hill!

New baby with mom

On the boat with Funnyboy--the captain--going across Lake Kariba

Baby hippo with Mom and Dad

View from our car on leaving Kariba

 Shantel showing off her scar and new "flat" tummy

Jim and JoAnne Minnis with granddaughter LaurenRachel and Major


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