Tuesday, October 12, 2010
this past weekend we went to another funeral. but this one was different from the rest. before now the only funerals we had been to were at our church because the funeral was replacing the Sunday morning service and we didn't know the deceased or the family.
on friday morning one of our friends from Foundations called and told us his 4 year old son had died the night before. on friday, dan went to visit our friend at the house and mourn with him. on saturday we both went to the house for the wake and then to the burial. it goes without saying that it was incredibly sad. i saw my usually smiling friends with somber faces. i watched women wail and need friends next to them to physically hold them up. for the first time i saw shona people sing but not dance. and every grave in the cemetery was of a child from 5 days to 4 years old. it felt strange to be holding my own child in that moment.
this funeral was different than any other funeral i had been to as well. most people in my life who have died were old. every death could be celebrated for the life they had had and their love for the Lord. but this little boy didn't really have a change to get to know Jesus. he didn't get a full life.
most of our friend's family also don't know Jesus. but the gospel was proclaimed at this funeral and i pray that it fell on soft hearts.
at 8:31 AM
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Ministry in Africa is full of joys but also frustrations and roadblocks...and sometimes it seems like the latter predominate. But today, one of my joys:
Amos Mutakiwa is one of my favorite people in Zimbabwe. He goes to our church in Kuwadzana and has a little house in a neighboring community, but spends most of his time on a small farm just outside Harare owned by some relatives of his. He has been interested from the very beginning in what this crazy white guy was saying about farming God's way, and for the past eight months he has been a faithful farmer in our outreach. This means, of course, that he has a group of farmers he has been teaching and mentoring over these months. A few weeks ago I went to visit him with Joseph and Vivian.
...and we were not disappointed in the least. His trainees were as knowledgeable about FfF as he was (a very good sign!) and his pre-rainy-season demo plots were superb. In the photo above he is holding a measuring wire that is a cut above what we are recommending--made to last, and definitely doesn't stretch (can be a problem with measuring ropes). Now the question is--how will his rain-fed crops fare? Unfortunately the relatives he is working for don't necessarily approve of FfF...they think any kind of farming without a plow is doomed to fail. But more unfortunately, that family fails to harvest much more than a fourth of what is possible with FfF. So, Amos is doing what he can. He will grow a small portion of maize the way he believes is best, while following the demands of others on the bulk of the land. We hope and pray that his diligence will prove the merits of FfF to his family, so that next year they can fully experience the benefits. Way to hang in there, Mr. Mutakiwa.
at 8:20 AM