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Issue 31: February 1994

It is an exciting yet hectic time as we do land preparation for the crops which we will plant, maize, soyus, sun hemp, grasses for fodderand possibly groundnuts (peanuts). Meanwhile John Hussy is cartingin baled hay to stack undercover so that we will have ''bedding'' for the chickens and calves when the rains arrive. I am also busy making pillars and a platform so that we can mounta windmill on a borehole which will provide clear water to our compound. During the rains, the borehole is in the middle of the dam, so it is only now that we have access to install the windmill. It is not often that we ask the Lord to hold the rain back but we could do with another week before He allows it to fall here!Amen. All in all we have beenreally encouraged with the progressthis term. The farming side is looking more viable, especially with the extra water the new dam is providing. The Secondary School is progressing well as you will see from John Shaw's report. The Bible School will increase with the new intake and the new dormitories coming into operation. The church in Chegutu is now packed and we will have to provide more repairssoon. The outreach is proving profitable, with groups being established on the outlying farms. Praise God! The Word of God is growing, increasing, multiplying and will prevail. Hallelujah! As regards the Primary Schoolit has been quite a difficult year for the school, but we praise God He has provided. Inflation has meant that the book and stationary grant we have got from the Government has depreciated considerably, and we have had a real struggleespecially in this last term to make ends meet. We are thankful for your support. It is so wonderful tos ee these children grow up hearing the Gospel. On a Fridayat assembly, we have a time when the children can perform a play, say a poem or sing a song. It is a time when a lot of children say a memoryverse they have learnt, or sing a chorus. I reallyenjoy these times and it refreshes me to hear what they are learning at Sunday School or in the classroom. MARTIN & MARIAN WILLIAMS - ZIMBABWE The first term of 1993 passed without too many incidents, and we have managed to keep all 19 of the students so far. Partway through the term Rashiwell Shunabamini, who had all but finished his course some years ago at Ameva, asked if he could return and completethis year. We advised him to do so on the basis that he would stayfor the rest of 1993 and graduate with the four other 2nd year students we have at present. Rashiwell has been making himself useful hanging doors on the new dormitory blocks and doing general carpentry work, ''working his passage", so to speak. Some of the students are quite changed from when they first arrived, we trust, for the better. Sadly, there have been the usual absences for attending funerals of near and not-so-near relatives. Many times, one does notreally know what these people have died of. Sadly, we are left to draw our own conclusions as to the causes ... The work goes on of seeking toinstruct these young men in the things of God: but in the end it is God who does the work.We try to meet the needs as they arise, for example, during the second term I felt from the Lord to give some teaching on stewardship, touching on money, time, the Gospel,etc. On the matterof money, a student will happily set off on a journey costing $20 to answer the call of a relative who has promised them $10, or even just written to say, "I have something for you." I was very pleased to receive 2 or 3 bicycles which I have been able to give to ex-Ameva students, who are now pastoring. It was most comical teaching one of them to ride - this was done by my nephew who was visiting. Oswell, the Pastor,would insist on carrying a dozeneggs with him on his pioneer journey toChegutu bus stop.Thank you to those who have had a hand in collecting bikes. The freezer is also very welcome and still working, though I think I shallhave to requestanother, as the one sent is already full and taking the load of our own domesticone. We used to store five dozen loaves, the students' meat and margarine in ours, leaving little room for our own items: Next year we may well have 40-50 students here and we shall need a large refrigerator and another freezer. As I write,the applications are comingin for 1994, 6 or 7 a day at present. Will webe here to see another year though? I do hope so, as our hearts are here, but our permission to stay expires on 31st December, 1993. Please remember our situation before the Lord. We have put in our preliminary request for a further two years. NEWS FROM JOHN & MARTHASHAW AMEVA FARM - ZIMBABWE Our love and greetings from Zimbabwe. The rainy seasonhas started and now everywhere is so green in markedcontrast to the months of dry parched surroundings. Prior to the rains it was so hot with temperatures reaching 39 degrees C (over 100 degrees F) in the shade. It was a relief to see the rain and of course after the high temperatures there have been terrific thunderstorms. Already this season 23 people have been killed by lightning in Zimbabwe. School term has just finished, much to the relief of staff and pupils alike. It is unfortunate that the pupils have to take the public exams at the hottest time of the year, sometimes having three papers in one day.The three African teachers have given excellent support this year and we are pleased they are continuing with us next year. Three more staff will be joining us in January. Hopefully one of these will be a young Christian man who has already been teacher-in-charge of a secondary school in the ruralareas. He will act as my deputyand will be ableto take on some of my duties. Two of our best first-form pupils are leaving as their parents are moving to new areas. I would mention here that I would like to have two graduate teachers from the UK to join us in January 1995. I especially need an English specialist and the other would preferably be able to teach science, but other subjects would be considered. (Something for you to pray about!) The school is situated in a very large field and some of it has been ploughed for the farm workers to plant their maize.It is quite a scene to look out and see the builders working in the foreground and the women planting in the distance. It must be the quietest building site in Zimbabwe as the builders have been so co-operative and have never disturbed any of the lessons. We are hoping two more classrooms and the administration block will be completed before school opens in the middle of January. We look back with thankfulness to the Lord for His help during the year. It has not always been easy and there have been disappointments. We learnt, with sadness, two days ago, that one of the second-year girls, aged 16, who lives in Chegutu,is pregnant and will not be coming back to school. Martha and I visited her along with one of the African teachers. The young man's family are vehemently opposed to them marrying, and I saw the power whichthe older sistershave in family matters like this. We came away challenged and aware of how littlewe understand of the African culture, but also aware that the need of the human heart is the same everywhere. On the positive side, there has been much to encourage, with many pupils progressing well both academically and spiritually. We are holding another youth weekend at the farm next weekend, when we expect a good numberto attend. Some of you will know that our permit expires on 31st December 1993. I reapplied and the Education Authority have acceptedme for two more years and I have submitted this to Immigration who make the final decisions.

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