Happy Spring! In the Northern hemisphere anyway. Here in Zim, it’s fall. It’s hard to get my brain to think April is fall. April brings tulips, cherry blossoms, and weeping willows showing their green before all the other trees. This is the thoughts I have when I see April on the calendar. When I see it out the window, I see the corn (mealies) with full ears and the stalks starting to brown, the evenings are a little cooler and I am seeing more people wearing jackets (jersies) and hats in the mornings.
It’s also time for the kids to be on a break from school here. They usually go for 3 months at a time and then have one month off. They also start their new school year in January – which makes sense in a lot of ways. Who wouldn’t love having December off and marking that as the end of the school year?!
School here has been challenging for the past few years – COVID has kept the kids out of the classroom for quite a while. The government (public) schools are now attending in person, but 3 days one week and 2 days the next week & the students are split up into two groups and they attend opposite schedules. This is to keep the number of kids in the classes down for social distancing. This gives us quite a bit of room for prayer – please pray for the kids, as they have come off of minimal attendance in person and now it’s just half time. It’s difficult for retention of material, focus, and the ability to remain on grade level. Another thing to pray for is the teachers. Pray for commitment level, hope, regular paychecks, the vision to see their work as important and impacting a generation. Hope is hard to maintain with many of the situations here. Lack of: rain, jobs, food, money, medical care & the ability to even afford it, believing that one person matters and can make a difference. To the natural eye, it seems like a bleak picture. But God. So what have we been up to in the midst of all of this?
January brought us in to the new year by helping 15 kids (not sponsored on any programs) get back to school by providing funds to buy books, uniforms, school fees, transportation fees to get to school (no school bus here). Some of the students are doing lessons/homework online. Which means on their family cell phone. Most homes do not have a laptop, some have a small tablet. Can you imagine doing your homework on a phone?? No phone, no school work. This translates to falling behind in school. Once they do have access to a phone or tablet, they need data to be able to access their assignments. We also help with purchasing data so they can get their school work done – there is no free wifi here.
There are an additional group of students – young adults – who are enrolled in a leadership academy out of South Africa. He helps this group stay on track as well. This group was nominated and recognized for their leadership potential. We see a lot of potential everywhere we look, but there is not a lot to nurture/foster them. We are very thankful this opportunity exists. The students attend online for now, but we are praying they will be able to travel to South Africa and join the rest of their classmates at Reaching a Generation Leadership Academy (https://ragla.org/) for the periodic in person portion.
February was a busy and eventful month! I headed back to the states as we gained a new son-in-law and grandson! Rachel and David were married on February 22, 2022!
While I was traveling, Mike was busy with some details in a few building that are going up around the country. He has made a few trips out to the Kwekwe campus, as their new church building as getting started. The boarding house is also under construction in Sauerstown. This building will allow the School of Ministry students to come and attend in person without having to find lodging. These students come from all 20 campuses throughout the country. The boarding house will have a kitchen, laundry, living room, dining room, showers, toilets, and sleeping quarters for both the men and the women. There is also a room for the matron of the house to stay in. It is coming along nicely – thanks to the builders and everyone else who attended a work day to fill in the foundation so the slab could be poured. We did not need to do any extra workouts on that day!!! Buckets and empty cement bags were filled with rocks, broken bricks, dirt and sand; then passed hand to hand down a human chain to dump them into the base of the foundation. This fills up the middle portions and allows for less cement to be used for the slab.
March brought the first first missions teams to Zim in quite a while. We had the honor of meeting and spending time with Tom McLane from Convoy of Hope as he got a first hand look at the programs Convoy is helping with here in Zim. We were also blessed to spend time with Don and Marsha Champion as they came to review the projects they are pioneering and helping with as their non-profit Champion for Africa. One of these projects will keep me very busy in the near future. We are anticipating the arrival of a mobile clinic! Please pray for this to come to pass physically, as well as the resources to keep it going on a monthly basis, the staff to assist, my registration with the Zimbabwe Nursing Council to be approved, and the wisdom/direction as we venture out to areas that do not have access to medical care. Zimbabwe trains up amazing medical personnel, but most of them leave the country in pursuit of a good paying job. As a result, the hospitals are understaffed, the staff that remains is overworked and lacks resources. With the mobile clinic, we hope to take some of the PCP type care burden off of the hospitals.
Thanks so much to our current prayer financial partners for allowing us to stay here. None of this happens without prayer and finances. We are always in need of regular monthly support, one time gifts, annual gifts, etc. The needs are many, and we pray for wisdom, direction and guidance as God gives us new direction in 2022.
We love you guys & hope to see you all in Zim soon!
The easiest and quickest way to help is through the DONATE link at the top of this page. www.mikepier.org Other methods listed below. Thanks again for your love and support. We can only do what we do with you prayers and support.
FOR TAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFTS:
World Outreach Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
(designate for our account)