Stay tuned, Zimbabwe Updates only 9 days away…

This entry is part 12 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

While I am in Zimbabwe I am going to be posting here daily (as long as I have internet access/power) .? I will be posting to the Zimbabwe 2007 series that I started when I first announced my participation in this project.? If you’d like you can also subscribe to the series.

What am I going to be writing about?? At this point I really can’t say.? All I can promise you is that I’ll be chronicling my experiences and thoughts on what I am experiencing.? Kind of broad isn’t it? :)

“Fill the bags”

This entry is part 11 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

We’ve just published a “needs list” of items that the Village of Hope could use and what we’d like to be able to take when our team goes in June (just under a month to go!).? Thanks to special arrangements with British Airways, we are able to take two extra bags per team member and each bag can be up to 50lbs.? That means we can take 400lbs worth of stuff on top of our own luggage.? It’s a great opportunity to be able to take things to Zimbabwe for much, much cheaper than it would cost to ship (at least $450/50lbs from Hanover) the same items separately.

We are hoping that we’ll be able to take most of the needs on the list – if any of my readers are able to contribute somehow it would be greatly appreciated!

Walkathon, Retreat, and Countdown

This entry is part 10 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Time for another update about my Zimbabwe trip. Between the Fundraisers for Zimbabwe 2007, the 50 Days of Prayer and Fasting that I’ve been participating in (which includes writing and publishing the devotional that my church is using) and my normal day job – I’ve been kept extremely busy and have barely had time to maintain all the websites I manage/own let alone put posts up. Yet, it’s really no excuse, I guess the creative part of my brain is just exhausted by the time the night rolls around and I haven’t been able to muster up the energy to put words down. I haven’t even twittered!

Anyway, tonight I’m finally taking some time to write up another installment in my Zimbabwe 2007 series.

Walk-athon Fundraiser

This was held on Saturday April 28th and all participants walked 10km (The number of average steps in 10km = number of kilometers to go to Zimbabwe). We collected pledges for each km or for the total distance. At last count there was close to $1200 collected for the project!

Event Update (getting closer to Zimbabwe)

This entry is part 9 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Just thought I’d give a little bit of an update as to what’s happened in the past few weeks with the Zimbabwe 2007 Project that I’m a part of.

Day at the Sugar Bush Fundraiser [04/07/2007]

The unexpected snowy weather for this time of year turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it really contributed to the success of the day. The snow certainly gave a more appropriate backdrop to the whole experience of being in the sugar-bush.

When I arrived at the Schaab’s barn I quickly attended to my pre-arranged pancake duty. It was while making my extra special “flap-jacks” (all I did was coat the pan with oil, pour the mix, and flip) that I realized how many people were attending this fundraiser event. We were kept pretty busy making the pancakes and there were times that we couldn’t keep up with the number of people arriving!

All in all the day was a fun day – and thanks to all the volunteers and the generosity of the people attending we made just over $2,000 between the sale of Maple Syrup and the tickets for the day.

The dreaded needle…

This entry is part 3 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Well today I got my (hopefully only round) first round of shots in preparation for traveling to Zimbabwe. Even though the actual journey is still nearly 4 months away I want to make sure I get any necessary medical stuff out of the way. Did I tell you I hate needles yet? Well then, let me tell you, I HATE NEEDLES. But I was surprised, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. At least not as much as getting bloodwork done. When I visited the lab due to doctor’s orders to get my blood checked out for who knows what, I didn’t think they were going to take THAT much blood! Did I tell you I hate needles yet? Yeah I hate needles. I nearly passed out when they stuck that instrument of torture into my veins…at least the kind nurse found my vein on the first try! (clump, the sound of my body passing out and hitting the floor).

What am I getting myself into?

This entry is part 2 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

I believe it was back in May of last year that one of the men in my church first approached me expressing his desire to go on a short term missions trip in the future and wanting to present a questionarre to the men’s group to see if there were any others who had an interest. Little did I know the way events would unfold and how not only is this missions trip actually happening, but I’m one of the ones going!

Why Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe became the point of destination for the men in our church because it is a natural fit with the partnership our church has established with Gord and Anita Cooledge who run a Village of Hope in Harare. The purpose of this project is to make available the varying gifts and abilities of the men who go, the resources we are able to take with us, and the willingness to serve wherever there is a need to aid in the work that the Cooledges are doing in building this community to help children orphaned by AIDS.

Why did I decide to go?

The closer we get to departure date, the more I start thinking that very question! Just kidding – well not entirely – I am nervous – nevertheless I”m committed to going and am looking forward to the experience. Here are some of the reasons why I decided to go in the first place…

  1. Inspired by what others have done.
  2. In the months leading up to the actual opportunity being presented our men’s group had a few different speakers who had been on Short Term Missions trips and shared of the impact their experience had on their life. As they shared there was no doubt that something changed in their life as a result of the selfless act of stepping out of their comfort zone in order to help those less fortunate than themselves.
    I’ve also been inspired by Barry Mutrie, who is the man leading our team. As Barry entered into retirement (from being a teacher) he wanted to do something with his life that would make a difference. I’ve been inspired by the transformation occurring in Barry even before going on a STM! It’s hard not to catch the passion and vision that Barry communicates!

  3. Broken by the impact of AIDS
  4. As we’ve communicated with the Cooledges, our adopted missionary family and have become aware of the impact AIDS has had on Zimbabwe, and particularly the children there, it has moved my heart and created a desire to be involved in helping in some way. Certainly, I can write a check but I’ve always been the kind of person that would much rather help in “hands on” work and this is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up to help out with the village.

  5. To expand my horizons
  6. One of the stronger motivations for me making the decision to go to Zimbabwe is a desire to do something radically outside of my comfort zone and to put me in a place where I need to be dependent on God. That’s not to say that I don’t depend on God, or that I’ve not been stretched in my life, but the sheer magnitude of this experience is way beyond something I’ve ever done in my life. Not only is there the hurdle of getting there, but there is also the challenge for me to overcome my nervousness due to my hearing impairment and the resulting communication difficulties that will pose to me.
    Another aspect of expanding my horizons is this whole desire to gain a perspective of what life is like outside of our Western Culture.

  7. The whisper of the Holy Spirit
  8. The clincher for me signing my name up to participate in the project is of course the result of spending some time in prayer regarding the opportunity. In that quiet way God often speaks He gave me direction to go and be a part of this endeavour.

Certainly it is also the love of Christ that compels me to go and I’m looking forward to opportunities to express God’s love when in Zimbabwe. I’m excited about being a part of bringing hope to the people of Zimbabwe and particularly the children!