Monday, May 1, 2017

Visitors, Ministers Retreat, a Visit to Batanai

On the 20th of April Patty and Gary LeDonne  from my home church in Sebastopol, CA arrived to spend 2 1/2 weeks with us.  Unfortunately the night they arrived they spent the night in Harare at my townhouse and they got robbed during the night.  We lost all our cash for our Ministers Retreat.  The robbers had broken in the back door and took all the money out of their backpacks.  Nothing else was lost and no one was hurt so we were happy for that.

Within 2 hours of hearing about the loss in the US a family donated all the money to be replaced so that we could have our ministers retreat. It was such a blessing to us.   Finally after lots of police reports they were able to leave on Friday afternoon and arrived here Friday night at 9 p.m. for dinner.  They were totally exhausted as no one had slept since 2 a.m. when the robbery occurred.

One funny thing that came out of it was that when Major was awaken by Patty to tell him about the robbery he grabbed his shirt and forgot to grab his pants--so he drove to the local police station to get the police in his boxers and didn't realize anything until the 2 policewomen taking the report kept staring at his pants!  Then he realized he had forgot to put his pants on in the terror of the situation!

Saturday the 22nd we had a Gala for HIV testing and Male Cicumcision at a place 2 hours further into the bush from us called Davare.  We have built a school there with our ZRSDP partners so we went to encourage the community.  We had soccer games, netball games for the women, a band, dancing contestants, quizzes and prizes.  We tested 164 people and only 1 positive!  We also did 10 circumcisions. They had so much fun we finally had to leave about 630 pm when it was getting dark.  They didn't want to quit!

I left Patty and Gary home to take it easy and relax for the day as we had a busy week ahead.  We did church at Chidamoyo Sunday morning and night.

Monday and Tuesday I put them to work at the hospital and they enjoyed seeing the changes at the hospital.  Gary and Patty were last here in 2006 and they serve on our Chidamoyo Hospital board in the US.

Early on Wednesday morning the 26th we left for Kariba with 11 of our Ministers for a Ministers Retreat.  Gary and Major and I drove 3 cars the 4 hours to Kariba.   We also took 2 people to help me cook the food for the 3 days.  We had to take a boat 1 hour down Lake Kariba to Rhino Camp.

We had a wonderful retreat with Gary leading sessions on Mark.  We got to go out on game rides every evening and we enjoyed having elephant and hippos near our rooms each day.  The ministers had never been on a boat and never been around animals before so it was a great adventure for them.

On Saturday we travelled back to Chidamoyo and when we arrived about 5 p.m. we were able to present to 5 of the ministers a brand new motorcycle that was provided for them by Natomas Christian Church in Sacramento.  The ministers will now have transport to cover their many churches they help each Sunday thanks to this wonderful donation.  We are so thankful.

Sunday, Patty and Gary and I went to Batanai for church and then went to my rural home at Major's for the night.  They enjoyed visiting with Major, seeing the village and spending a night in the quiet bush.  We enjoyed sadza meals and lots of roasted peanuts!

Today is May 1st and Worker's Day so a holiday at the hospital.  We got to stay at Batanai and come home around lunchtime and relax a little before a busy week of work starting tomorrow.

Dave Gala



Lining up for HIV testing

HIV testing


 Questions for prizes

Major giving out prizes for winning soccer teams


 Ministers on way to Rhino Camp



 Teaching sessions with Gary

 Meal time at Rhino

 Evening campfire time

Out on safari

The group with elephants in the background


 Patty and Gary LeDonne

Elephants playing together

 Giving out the motorcycles

 Major trying out the new motorcycle

The 5 ministers and their new motorcycles

 Kathy and Patty and Gary at Kathy's house at Batanai

Sunset and moon rising at Batanai




Dinner time at Batanai

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a very good and well-organised event. The HIV has become serious issue in the area and conducting the tests would help in identification of the effectee. The pictures are lovely.

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