Friday, November 30, 2007

Abundant Rain

We recently received a report that the rains have been falling abundantly in the Bulawayo area and that they have been able to do the plowing for crops to be planted. We don't know how much rain has been received, but every little bit is progress towards the Zimbabweans have water to drink!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

First well in Bulawayo!

Latest report from Bulawayo:
"The money has been given to the person who will be drilling the well in Bulawayo. The well will be located at Luveve. The actual drilling will not start for another week due to the fact that the company is drilling wells for other organizations as well. It seems that a number of charities outside of Zimbabwe are responding to the need which is great since there are more than a million and a half people living in Bulawayo alone. Even if a hundred wells were drilled, it still wouldn't meet the need."

While it is a good report that other wells are being drilled, we must not forget that last statement "even if a hundred wells were drilled, it wouldn't meet the need." Let's try for at least one hundred! We might make a dent in the problem!

First Well in Harare!

Here we go!
Latest report from Harare:
"The well that will be drilled in Harare should be starting within the next week. They have surveyed the land, and the water is about 50 meters down. They are very excited that this is happening! We are presently trying to acquire cement so that the caretaker's room can be constructed. This will be necessary to administrate the water and to watch over the tent that will be set up. The tent has been picked up from So. Africa as well as the generator."

Our friends have said that they do not have words to express how much they appreciate all the sacrifices the people in the U.S. are making to help them during this difficult time. They have asked us to communicate their love and greetings to all.

As soon as the construction starts on the wells, setting up tent etc., they will be taking pictures and sending them to us.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Life in Zimbabwe

Curious about life in Zimbabwe? Here are some statistics reflecting the harsh realities of daily life:

*3500 people die each week of AIDS related illness

*25% of the children are orphans

*34 = life expectancy for women (lowest in the world) WHO

*37 = life expectancy for men (lowest in the world) WHO

*4.1 million Zimbabweans will not have sufficient food between Dec 07- March 08

*Highest inflation in the world. Official rate is over 100,000%. Independent analysts suggest that it might be closer to 250,000%

*>80% unemployment rate

*Faster declining economy that any nation at war (World Bank)

*Example of Inflation: Price of bread

January 2007 = 1600 Zim dollars

November 2007 = 400,000-600,000 Zim dollars

Thank you to Rachel Tucker for researching and providing these statistics.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Background

In 2004, I saw a picture that changed my life forever. The picture was taken by Bob Raber on a previous trip to Africa. It was 2 little dirty children probably about 1-2 years old and a little girl about three years old sitting on a dirty old step, just a shirt on, but tattered and torn. The instant that I saw that photo, the child on the step looked familiar because at that time, our daughter Miranda was 3 years old. I saw the same curiosity, vibrancy, and endless possibility in that as I did in my own daughter. But, what ripped my heart was when I thought of Miranda's life--enjoying preschool, her own room full of too many books and toys, realistically endless possibilities, and then I considered that little childs life. I knew in that instant that I HAD to go to Africa, not that I would save anyone or even see that little , but I knew that I HAD to go.

So, in May of 2004, off we went to Uganda, East Africa to visit the school that we had been helping to fund and build there (sponsoring kids, helping with construction costs for classrooms, etc) for several years. The trip was wonderful and life changing at the same time. Seeing the reality of the way that people have to live in poverty, so far beyond anything I'd seen here in the US was mind-wrenching. When you see these new things and experiences, it's almost as if your whole paradigm or structure of thought, is torn apart to be able to adjust to these new realities, and then it has to be put back together again in such a way that you can hold all of what you've seen and experienced inside your heart and head. It's quite a difficult process.

For several months after our return, I struggled with this question....why me? Why did I get to be born in America, the land of plenty, when others are born to places where most babies die? Why did my 3 year old get to have a room full of books, toys, clothes and was learning to read, while some of the 3 year olds that we saw there had no clothes, were lethargic and had tummies distended because of having no food in them, and their toys consist of stacking shards of glass onto an old rusty can or drawing with a stick in the dirt. Why?

I felt as if my struggle was resolved in this one moment of revelation--I realized that I have been put here in America because I have been presented with the unique opportunity of gathering the wealth of those who would like to give to a charitable cause and distributing it among the impoverished children of the world. I don't know what form that will take, whether it be grants, private donors, or a combination, but I do strongly feel that this is my purpose, the reason that I was lucky enough to be born into the land of opportunity, but to visit other nations: to see the need and help fill it!

I hope this gives you more information about that age old question: why?

Why are we starting this project? To fill the need.

Why should you give? Because you can fill the need in a way that is different from anyone else.

With great hope for a brighter future for many,