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 Zimbabwe Adventure/April 2003

Greetings from South Africa

                                                                                               

  Wait on the slide shoe, it is 465k

      I have just returned from taking another load of food  to Zimbabwe! This was the third load taken in. This time we got to go! We drove to Harare during the Easter holiday weekend arriving on Zimbabwe's Independence Day celebration. We had been told if we went through the border we would NOT be allowed to take the food in  Zimbabwe to the people. But because many of YOU prayed for and with us.. We had an absolute miracle the  First, once we were there, the customs official guard  told me I had to have an import permit and needed to  pay 150 Zim dollars.  All the bureaus de change had  been closed since November. I explained we could not  change Rand to Zim dollars.and the guard just said,  "Send someone to go out and find it". Of course it is against the law if you buy black market money and you will be arrested. But Moses went out amongst the people and found a guard who GAVE him the 150 for free.PTL.  We returned and gave it to the guard and he said SORRY  now you have to pay an additional 12,000 !!!!!  He  never said whether he wanted Zim dollars or Rand. Gee I just looked at Moses and said WE DON'T HAVE IT. What do we do? And while we were discussing it amongst us.all of the sudden the guard in customs said...HERE! AND STAMPED OUR GATE PASS AND SAID JUST GO ON THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!! WE DID NOT HAVE TO PAY A DIME!  We both walked to the car, and Moses turned to me and  said I DON'T KNOW WHAT JUST HAPPENED BUT I AM NOT SAYING A WORD.I SAID, ME EITHER!!! TILL WE GET OUT OF HERE AND OVER THE BORDER..but we both knew GOD had given us such a MIRACLE!!! Thanks so much for praying! We had already been at customs for 5 hours, and Moses said the week before when he went to Zim, he just got up to the customs official at 4:30 PM when the guard just closed the door and said he was leaving. Moses said he confronted the guard and said, the border is supposed to be open till 10 PM. The guard just walked away, refusing to stamp his passport and Moses just had to spend the night there till the next day when the border opened. I truly did not know what to expect.  So we feel we really had GOD go BEFORE US AND WITH US! Today I just broke down and wept when I heard the news. They have gone on strike for three days in Zim. everything is closed. The petrol has gone up 200  percent - three times higher then it was.450 Zim dollars a liter. We had taken 3 jerry cans with us with 75 liters of fuel. But even with that, we did not have enough to get back to the border once we were in Harare. Thank the Lord Pastor Patrick and Ester were able to get us one can filled. All the petrol stations were closed and no petrol available all the way from the border to Harare, but while we were there, several gas stations got some in, however the cars where lined up in block after block after block in ques. Many had been left for several days in line with no one in the car so as to not lose their place in line. Driving from the border to Harare was so eerie as there were NO cars on the road, only a few buses every so often. We  literally drove for hours on empty highways - no petrol  - no cars! Pastor Ester said, Mealy meal was also not available.

         We were so glad we took 300 bags with us to give to the church. Plus we took Rice, cooking oil, cartons of milk, and cases of tined beans. Our car was jammed packed. We did not even take suitcases with us - rather back packs or duffle bags so as to give more room for food. WHAT A PLEASURE....to be God's hands of compassion. Ester rejoiced for the cooking oil.  The population is around 11 million and the news says
 over 7 million are with out food. Now with the work shut down - things are very hard. I called Ester and  she said things seem to be very peaceful - thank the  LORD!  We had such a privilege while driving back to  Johannesburg. We went through blockade after blockade of policeman.when all of the sudden they told us that  they needed OUR assistance. They had NO vehicles due to NO petrol, and wanted us to take them to another  location. So we did, and were able to share about the  Lord and give them KNOW YOUR FUTURE TRACTS. They expressed their deep concern over the growing political problems..and we assured them that we were praying for their country, its people and their government.

       While driving down the highway we had to stop and put  in more fuel from our jerry can. There was a transport  truck parked off in the sand and 2 men were eating  watermelon. I asked them did they have water to drink  They said NO that they had been without food for over a  week and had found watermelon by the side of the road.
 They said they had no food in Bulawayo where they had  come from. I grabbed a gallon of water out of our car and quickly took it to them, shared Jesus, gave them tracts and prayed with them, and gave them our remaining food we had taken on the trip with us. My heart so broke for those two men. I was just there for a few days - they are there for a lifetime. I pray God has His way quickly in Zimbabwe. Driving down the highway, I had to stop the car and get out. I laid face down on the dirt beside the road and just wept for the people of Zimbabwe. Then the rest of the team got out and we all prayed for Zimbabwe together. GOD HAVE YOUR WAY IN THAT COUNTRY, Too, I felt so honored to be the quest speaker on Easter Sunday morning at ETERNAL LIFE MINISTRIES (FCF Church), and Jonte and Sondra sang beautifully. We had such rich fellowship with our brothers and sisters there. They treated us like such honored quests. Pastor Augustine and Pricilla (also FCF Pastors) who have 42 churches in Malawi were there also at the 3-day conference ministering. It was such a blessing to see them and eat with them.
           On our way out of the country, we drove right up to the  border and were shocked that this time there were hardly any cars at all, and no trucks. We got through the border in less then 15 minutes and this was a holiday weekend! One thing that really struck me was a guard there was yelling with his hand pointed to a small box on the ground. As I got closer he kept yelling the same thing over and over. FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE.and pointed down to a small box. Moses said we have to go and step in that box and disinfect our shoes. So we did, but sometimes I don't think we really realize the hardness of the way so many of our sisters and brothers live. Pastor Ester told me that in order to get food at different times she has to stand in long ques when something is available. One woman will call her and say you can get this at such and such a store.and she runs there to stand in a queue...then perhaps a day or two later something will come into another store and someone will call and she will have to drop everything and run to another store and stand in a queue to get that item..IT IS HARD VERY HARD for our precious brothers and sisters! And there are over 1 million orphans in Zimbabwe whose parents have died from AIDS. Pastor Ester has taken in some in her own house and feeds others. Some mealy meal we took up there went to those orphans.

        All in all we had such a blessed trip! I could write so  much more ~ but most importantly it was truly God's  timetable to be there. We had no idea the whole country  would shut down for 3 days and all stores and factories  closed. We thank the Lord YOU helped send us as your  hands and feet to encourage our brothers and sister's in the Lord.  We now plan, Lord willing and God helping us, to go up about once a month into Zimbabwe and help make a  difference in taking food and supplies to the people of
 Zimbabwe until such a time, as they are once again self-sufficient. Another BIG issue is, Pastor Ester said even the people in their church do not all have Bibles. This is a real need so we will try to send  funds to help them buy Bibles - if you wish to sponsor Bibles for their congregation we will be happy to  forward funds to them. They will be in the Shona  language and we need about 100 - 200 Bibles at $2 each Again thank you so much for praying, and helping us to go. My love to each one of you. We will forward
pictures of the trip on Saturday after they are scanned in. We are still hoping to get a digital camera that we can attach to our computer, which will allow us to get pictures to you much quicker. They run about 550 USA dollars here.

        We will once again need sponsors for petrol which ran us $200 USA dollars round trip to Zimbabwe, we need to get a Trailer (we got a quote of $1000 USA) so we can
 take more food in, and a Rack ( $200 USA) to put on top of the Bakkie (truck) and we also need to get the windows tinted ($175)  to block the sun from coming  into the car - which burst some of our milk cartons. We had to get third party insurance in order to go in, and trip ticks and on and on. they even charged us a CARBON TAX at the border in order to enter Zimbabwe, then they charged a tax to cross the bridge over and then back
again. Anything for money! CARBON TAX.you should see those trucks they drive..black smoke goes  everywhere...!!!!

        One last thing, when we got home, Moses called his wife  in Zambia to let her know he was all right and gotten home safely and she said all was well. However, the  next day he received a fax saying his brother's wife had died suddenly. She had lived in a rural area with no  hospitals. Now he has to go all the way back to Zambia to attend the funeral. When I saw him last night he said he had cried the whole day.his heart was so broken, she was not saved, and he said she was such a good woman and helped the whole family. Such a loss. I fixed him a big dinner, bought a bunch of food and things to send with him to Zambia, paid for his ticket to go by bus and he leaves tomorrow night. Please pray for him, his heart is really broken. And pray the rest of the family will be comforted. Apparently his own sister was also in the hospital for malaria somewhere in Zambia. Malaria seems to be a big problem everywhere I go - that and of course AIDS. I take my malaria pills every day - but it still takes God to keep you from those nasty little mosquitoes!  When I returned from Zimbabwe in checking my emails a dear dear friend said her boyfriend has suddenly died in his sleep at 25 years old or a heart attack. How tragic at such a young age. Please pray also for her and his family. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we can work while it is yet DAY for the NIGHT cometh when no man can work. (Jesus said, John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work).  I am racing toward the mark, the high calling, doing as much as I can while I  can.

         Yesterday, we were also able to sponsor a DAKE's Bible for Sara and George LaGrange, they are starting a new prison ministry here in SA  - as they will be going into 3 prisons, and Sara said where they are moving, there is also a half way house where ministry is needed. I am sure they will be eternally grateful for your support and the study Bible!  Always remember what John Wesley said,

        Do all the GOOD you can
        By all the Means you can
        In all the Ways you can
        In all the Places you can
        At all the times you can
        To all the people you can
        As long as ever you can..

        Kind Regards to all of you precious ones, Your "feet and hands" in Africa,
        God Bless You In JESUS Name!
        Your Sis, Serving JESUS CHRIST -LORD OF LORDS & KING OF
        KINGS!  Sondra Berry Young  <*}}}>< 

 

 


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