Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back from Zimbabwe

Well here's a very small selection of pictures from the 1500 or so that were taken during our fantastic trip to Zimbabwe. The twelve of us really were so blessed by the people we met and the way God used us. We estimate that we spoke to in the region of 2,500 - 3,000 children, young people and adults in schools, on the football field and in churches. Of those, I would say that some 250 accepted prayed an honest prayer in their hearts to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

I had many new experiences, some great, some not so great. In the "great" column goes, sleeping under an incredible star filled sky, having four young people become Christian at the end of one of my talks, bathing and washing our clothes in a warm river. In the "not so great" column goes eating mouse, eating goat intestines and getting used to a culture which is always on time (give or take a bit - like an hour or even two).

We bonded so well as a team and my life has been enriched and enhanced by the people I spent time with. God used the skills and gifts that he has given each of us to do amazing things.

Zimbabwe is a country in desperate need of our prayers, as you will no doubt have seen in the news lately, it is subject to an evil and brutal dictatorship which is crippling an otherwise resource rich nation. But the people of Zimbabwe, as I am sure is the case in many African nations, have a faith which puts ours in the west, to shame. Against great hardships, they pray and give to others in a very humbling way.

This is how I felt on leaving the UK - "I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power..."

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Again and again we all felt we could not do what God was asking of us, such as taking a seminar on purity with 50 twenty year old, out of work, young men, or taking a 4 hour church service, or leading a youth cell group in the dark and rain, with an interpreter and 5 minutes notice to prepare, but again and again we saw that we couldn't, but God can. We were given so much energy and enthusiasm despite the char-roasted mouse diet.

Thank you so much for your prayers. God blessed us richly.


Heather said...

Hey Russ, Thanks for sharing a bit of your trip. I'm so glad that you had an amazing time and that God showed you in new ways about how amazing He is! We'll look forward to hearing more when we see you next.

Love Heather

PS. Must look out that recipe for mouse curry... :-)

Megan Lilley said...

That's so awesome! I'm so excited about how you guys'Zimbabwe trip went! Praise the Lord! He's so cool!
Have a great few last days at Winter School!
In Him,

Jenny said...

Sounds fantastic, can't wait to see the rest of the pictures.

Love you,


Rachel Cech said...

hey friend, long time no talk! i'm so jealous about your trip... or would be jealous if envy wasn't a sin;) the trip was, after all, for the Lord! he he. so it sounds like you are moving right allong with your life. CONGRATS on snagging Jenny!!!! she is definately a keeper. I just spoke with her on Tuesday for the first time since capernwray (sad) so i thought it should be your turn. anyway, i realize this is supposed to be only a "comment" so i will refrain from posting a novel. but give me your email address man!

Rachel Cech said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lindsayshane said...

Hi Russell,
Glad to hear that the trip went well and that you are home safely! I loved seeing your pics and reading about some of the things you did while there. So, how would you rate the mouse feast?! My brother ate some while in Malawi and didn't like the taste too much!
Take care, ttyl.

anca said...

Hi there,
wow it sounds like an amazing time!!!! I did pray for you and your team and God did work in a wonderful way, Praise His Name forever!!!!
I pray that you continue in learning what he has for you and doing His most holy will for your life.