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Issue 35: May 1995

John & Celia Valentine writes Greetings from a very hot and dry Ameva. It is hard to believe that we are now into Decemberwith temperatures reaching 100°F in the shade and no sign of rain. We do covet your prayers at this time because another drought would be devastating for the whole country, which is just recovering from the drought of 1992-93. We have 75 acres ofmaize planted; this is coming under very severe stress now and will probably die if we don't receive any substantial rain in the next week. However, we have sought the Lord and do believe He will answer our prayers. (for most of the people their crops have failedso there will be hunger again in Zimbabwe) On Sunday 11th December 1994 we are going down toSouth Africa to visit some friends of ours, but also to have Niel checked out (some years ago he had open heart surgery), we have conflicting opinions about this here. However in Pretoria, where we are going, they have the necessary equipment to check his heart properly. Soagain, we do covet your prayersat this Lime. Niel hasn'tsuffered any serious setbacks and has competed in most of the sports al school; in fact, he has done very well in the school team for swimming, rugby and hockey. Yesterday al the Speech night he was made a Prefect for his senior yearat the Junior school. We do thank God for keeping him so well over the years. Talking about the family, Grace our eldest daughter is in England visiting our relatives. She has had a particularly long holiday having finished her exams in early November; she returned to school on the 17th of January. She is with my sister at present and will have a holiday in Spain with her and will also have a weekend in Paris with Celia's sister. So, she will be quite a traveller when she returns. Paul bas finished his first year in secondary school at Jameson in Kadoma. He is the only while boy in his dormitory and was made fag to the deputy head boy. So he has quite an eventful year and seems to have settled down very well. Abigail has also done guile well at school and has been in the school swimming team with Niel. We do thank God for keeping them andhelping them through their education up to this point. Amen. Celia had two months leave and for the last month went back to school which has just culminated in the speech day. It was an exciting day andBill Cummins, a dear friend of ours, gave the address and Pat, his wife, gave the prizes out. The mothers and fathers joined in the celebrations as each child received a prize. Amen. We graduated 19 students from the Bible School. They have gone to various positions in the ministry around the country. We are now arranging interviews on Saturday 10th December for the next intakefor January 1995. We have about 100 applications, and we will need to whittle this down to 20-30 which we will accept. Pleasepray that we will get the right men who are willing to lay down their lives for the Lord as there is tremendous need in the country with HIV infection runningat something like 4()% Agriculture is the largest employer of people in the country. On the farms there are large compounds sometimes with up to 2000 people living together in quite basic conditions. There is a lot of sin and ignorance in these communities, so we believe that the Lord willuse us to train and provide Pasters who will be willing to minister the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and Lo tryand turn the tide while there is time.

John & Martha Shaw write The benefits of the early rains in October recede daily as so far this month there has been no rain. The build-up of heat bas been tremendous. Not only are the crops witling, but everyone, Africans included, is finding it very exhausting. The pupils were taking their exams with temperatures of 100 degrees F in the shade. It is bad enough marking the exams in that heat, never mind writing the paper!

This term has been a long stint (nearly 14 weeks withouta break)and we finish the term without first Open Day/ Prizegiving onFriday 2ndDecember. That day will be tinged with sadness as we say goodbye to Form 4 who were the original students of the Study Group. Rosie Street and Sarah Waller have been helping this termat the school and they are producing a play for the Open Day. We grateful to all those who have helped in the school on short-term bases while it has been established. Next year, with our numbers in­ creasing to 250, we will be allowedenough teachers to cover the whole timetable. This will bring greater continuity forthe children.

The buildings continue to progress and two sciencelaboratories arc up to roof level. We hope to get the roof on in time for using the labs in January. We have also been able to negotiate the electricity to be brought to the school. We will supply some of the labour to keep the cost within our capabilities. We had a quote hut when we went to confirm this we were told it was out of date and the new quotehad risen by 50%.

John Valentine persuaded the electricity authorities lo let us providesomeof the labour, which then made the cost affordable. The work will start on the electricity very soon. All this has been made possible bythe loving generosity of individuals in the UK. We thank theLord for His faithfulness and thank those who have given.

The boreholepacked upon us about four weeks ago and wehave had to resort to carrying water daily from the farm. Aftersalesservice is not so good here, hence we are still waiting for the engineers lo come to repair the borehole. Once the electricity is installed at the school, an electric pump for this borehole will be a priority.

One has to be ready here for unexpected situations. I was invited a few weeks ago to speak at a meeting arranged by the churches in Chegutu to pray for the new mayor. When I arrived on the platform all seats allocated for the councillors were empty. It was a little embarrassing addressing some remarks to the mayor as he was the only one representing the council. (I saw him a few days later in the building societyofficeand he was all smiles and said he enjoyed the sermon.) In his speech, he said the councillors didn't come because there was no beer. The council really needs our prayers!

An outbreak of Newcastle disease which wiped out a flock of 7000 chickens on a nearby farm has meant we have not been able to do theoutreach on the farms for 3 weeks. We trust the local Christians will continue themselves and will be strengthened in their faith. So far, no chickens have been lost at Ameva.

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