January 29, 2012

The Other Half

Over the past 3 months, I, Dontie, have been trying to find my place in this ministry here at Karanda.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a multitude of opportunities! But with two small boys and a house to run, food to cook, and finding time for my own spiritual walk, time in a day gets quickly swallowed up.  I am also one who doesn’t just jump in.  I want to find something I can really commit to and still have boundaries.  It seems that everyone on this campus either works at the hospital or teaches in some capacity or another.  Forming friendships has to be on the “off” hours and that runs into meal time and bedtime.  This is a very relationship oriented culture, but it takes rubbing shoulders to be able to form those relationships.  There are several casual friendships that I have formed with ladies who sell vegetables or who help around the guesthouse, but nothing yet that could be deep or influential.    

However, tonight, I was priveleged to join a group of women who began the Beth Moore study on the book of James.  I have been looking forward to this night for a couple weeks now, and I was thrilled to see how large of a group was involved.  We had missionary ladies (both single and married), nurses, the pastor's wife, nursing school teachers, among others.  To my pleasant surprise, the majority of the group was Shona ladies!  It was a blessing to begin a journey together knowing that we start on a common plane each with areas of struggle and desires to grow closer to God.  This wa a first for real fellowship (apart from the other missionaries) and heart rejoiced.

Someone's ministry (in the U.S.) provided the workbooks and the DVD study for us - a study halfway around the world that will impact lives just like the ones sitting in the chairs in the audience on the DVD.  Thank you for this gift (whoever you are)!  Thank you for the opportunity to form relationships at a deeper level than daily greetings and superficial small talk.  I am excited to see what ways God will open for me to minister, not just as a mother and wife of a doctor, but as a woman whom God has gifted and has called as well!

January 18, 2012

Zimbabwe is...

…“A cattle country so drive with caution!”  This was a phrase we became familiar with as we drove to and from Harare this past weekend.  It is common in Africa to have extra passengers whenever making a trip.  When news gets around that someone with a car is going into town, the car can fill up pretty quickly.  This time, we enjoyed the company of one of the nursing school instructors on both trips, and he explained many things as we drove along. 

 There are herds of cattle along many of the roads, dirt and paved, in Zimbabwe.  He told us that when taking the driving test here, it is asked, “What is Zimbabwe?”  The correct response is, “A cattle country, so drive with caution.”  There are so many things to watch for as we drive, not just cattle or other drivers.  There are many people who walk along the road or sell vegetables and other goods to travelers.  A driver’s eyes have to always be on the lookout for anyone or anything that could dart out in front of the car.  On the dirt road leading to the hospital, we have chickens and cows, goats and guinea fowl to contend with.  It all makes for an adventurous drive.  This is Africa!

Our river in front of the hospital.  It is usually not low enough to cross this time of year.

We love seeing the change in scenery as we drive up in elevation from Karanda to Harare.  The climb is about 2,000 feet.  We go from rural land with thorn bushes and elephant grass, to rich farmland.  As we get closer to Harare we begin to see orchards that line the road and huge farms.  One thing we love about Zimbabwe is the rugged mountains and stone outcroppings as far as the eye can see.  As the rains have come to most of Zimbabwe, things have turned so green and the land is just beautiful.  We hope we can experience more of Zimbabwe’s beauty and what she has to offer.  We love Africa  

A gorgeous rainbow blessed us here at Karanda!

January 9, 2012

A Dishpan of Water

In light of our frequent water cut-offs we wanted to see what creative ideas you have as readers.  How many ways (using the same water) can you think of to use one dishpan of water?  Get those creative juices running!

We are in the midst of our rainy season with very little rain.  Here at Karanda, they have a season of intense rains from mid-October through about March.  Then there is no rain until the following October.  So it is vital that we get these good rains during this season, because they sustain us through the rest of the year.  We have had maybe 6 strong rains this season and though it is nice and green, the farmers are very concerned.  Also because of the lack of rain, we have had abnormally hot weather.  It has been in the triple digits on and off for the last several weeks.  As you consider how far one dishpan of water can stretch, please pray that God would send us this rain we so desperately need.  Then we will wait in expectation as we are instructed in Psalm 5:3, “In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”