May 2018: Greetings from Zimbabwe As I look around I am overwhelmed by what I see: greenery and flowers everywhere. “What a mighty God we serve!” For a number of years now we had been experiencing drought in Zimbabwe. Everywhere you looked was dry and bare, but this year our Good Lord has blessed us with plenty of rains. Thanks to the Almighty for covering our fears of running out of water. The city dams were running empty. Now water rationing has been lifted. While we are happy about the blessing of rains, a lot of destruction also happened: roads and bridges were washed away, some houses were destroyed, people relocated to higher ground and crops destroyed in some areas. Hence my work was affected too, because without proper roads I can’t reach some places with dirt roads, so I was only managing to visit those places which I can reach on tarmac roads. We continue receiving resources from well-wishers for orphans and vulnerable children in our circuits. Among them are school materials, clothes and food. We have also started educating orphans and vulnerable children on health and life issues, for example, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, hygiene, respect, alcohol awareness among other things. A role play is sometimes done at the end of a lesson. When we arrive at a place, we start with devotions conducted by the minister of that circuit or by one of the caregivers. Then we have a talk or games with the children, depending on the age group and the children love these moments. We have noticed that children feel more free to contribute when we are with them than when the local community volunteers are there. We had been wondering why this was so, until a certain incident on a recent visit to a place that I won’t name to protect the identity of the child. We had given a talk on teenage pregnancy and afterwards an orphan girl asked us what she should do if her legal guardian tells her that it is her turn to provide something for supper or otherwise go to bed without food. We said she should report to the caregiver, but she said she is afraid it will reach the ears of her guardian and also it will leak and the whole community will know about it. Since then we have organised a training and refresher course for both new and old caregivers, with the issue of confidentiality among the topics. The National Director of Matthew Rusike Children’s Homes sometimes brings her team from Harare to assist with the holding of workshops for caregivers. Although in our African culture it’s customary for extended families and the community to care for orphans and vulnerable children, it’s becoming very difficult to help as the resources are overextended. So a lot of orphans are out of school because the guardian will have seen that he or she has catered for his or her own children first. The Matthew Rusike Children’s Home Bulawayo Management Committee has decided to help establish vegetable gardens. This will be as an income generating project and also to provide nutritious food for orphans in the communities. We thank God for all you dear friends who are helping us financially and in prayer. Please continue to pray for us that God can use us effectively in this ministry. Thank you for your prayers and we in turn pray for you. Pray for the education of children currently dropping out of school because of financial reasons. Pray for protection for children against abuse of all forms, protection against diseases, exploitation and violence.