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Issue 36: October 1995

John Valentine reports A week before I was due to go to England, we still hadn't resolved the situation regarding our desperate shortage of water, and under no circumstances would Chegutu give us water without having an allocation from the Government, so on the Friday after picking up Bryn and Sue Vaughan, I returned to the Provincial Water Engineer's office, only to be told that he was away until the following Tuesday, and I was due to fly to Britain on the Wednesday. I eventually went in to see his secretary, and also met the young assistant who had been very sympathetic to us at the beginning and, while complaining to him that no allocation had been given, an older man came into the office. I was explaining how that if we received no water, we would have to close our schools down and also that there was a health hazard. This young assistant then asked me if I had ever met the Provincial Water Engineer. I hadn't. I had only spoken to him on the phone, and then he introduced me to the older man who had come into the office as Mr Chitora, the Provincial Water Engineer. He then agreed that they would give us a letter for the 10 million litres of water which we had applied for, but that it could only be sent down the river to the Chegutu weir. After that we would have to make our own arrangements to move it. This weir is about 15 kilometres from the farm. I then mentioned the fact of the water pipe and the possibility of getting it through there, and he refused this. While he was out of the office, I asked the assistant who was now drawing up a letter, who the pipe belonged to. I was informed that it did belong to the Ministry of Land and Water. Just then, Mr Chitori, the Water Engineer, returned and agreed that there should be a note put on the end of the letter to the fact that we would be able to draw out water from the airbase pipeline. Praise the Lord! He went out again and then returned, asking who had drawn up the quantity for the allocation. I told him his assistant had done this for us and he went out again. Meanwhile, his secretary said how he was quite annoyed with having to do this and would, no doubt cut down the allocation from the 10 million litres applied for, I told her that I felt he would increase them, to which she laughed. Then he returned and gave us a let­ ter. As I read the letter I was amazed. The letter was agreeing that we should have an allocation of 25 million litres, and that this water would be treated at the Chegutu works and that we would have the authority to draw off this water from the airbase pipeline. Hallelujah! The Lord has answered in a tremendous way, far beyond what we could ask or think. This water is cleaned and also under tremendous pressure, so that we can now pipe the water around the farm and not have to use a tractor to do it. To fill a bowser of water had been taking us something like 2 hours. Now we can fill up a bowser in about five minutes. Praise God! We have now bought the piping. One and a quarter kilometres of 63 mm piping which will take the water through to the middle of the main farm, then we have put nearly half a kilometre of piping onto the other side of the farm to take the water in there. We are thrilled at the goodness and the love of God towards us. Amen. Armed with the letter from the Ministry, we returned to the engineer at Chegutu on the Tuesday. I was flying to Britain on the Wednesday. The engineer we saw was absolutely amazed at the letter and the allocation we had been given. His comment was, "How on earth did you get the Chief Engineer to sign a letter like this?" How on earth! Praise God, I realised it hadn't been done on earth, but had been done in heaven. Amen. We asked him how we should connect or if they would have to connect to the pipe. His answer was that if we had a letter like that then we could do it ourselves. Amen.

John & Martha write After three months of pleasant cooler weather, the daytime temperatures are now rising to well over 30°C. Some people are beginning to predict we might get the rains earlier than usual because of the heat. We are grateful to the Lord that the boreholes are still giving water and the pipes are installed to carry the town water to a storage tank near the dairy and chickens. We are painfully aware of our lack of correspondence during the past few months, for which we apologise. Apart from being a very long term of 15 weeks due to elections in April and the ALL-Africa Games in September, we have both been unwell. In May I was told I had diabetes (blood sugar was 27) and the doctor thought I would need insulin injections. I was stabilised with tablets and diet and now my blood sugar is normal, and I am on a diet only (no tablets). I am feeling well and I thank the Lord for His goodness to me. Many have prayed and I know the Lord has answered. Martha has been quite exhausted, and her blood pressure is up so we are trusting the Lord to minister to her too. Although it is now holiday-time, Ameva is hiving with activity. There are over 30 people here from the UK. They are building houses for the people in the compound and the first of the teachers' houses has been started at the school. The team have also been involved in the local outreach. Regrettably the planned visit to Chipinge and Bikita had to be cancelled as the churches there had some other visitors, but several of the team went with John Valentine to Binga. The team has been blessed and challenged by their visit and we too have ben­ efited and been encouraged. After a long delay, the container arrived this week (it proved quite difficult to get Customs clearance this time) and Martha and I arrived back from Harare to find our kitchen full of boxes with various items for the school. May we again thank everyone who has given to the school. We need the library now to house the books. We plan to start phase 3 of the building as soon as possible. This involves a library, Fashion and Fabric rooms and work­ sf1ops. Not only is it another phase in the building, but it will be a new phase for the school. Our permit expires on 31 December and I have already applied to the Education Authority for an extension to my contract. The education authorities were very helpful and supportive, and when I went to head office, I was given 2 more years straight away. The Education Officer did, however, say that Immigration could be difficult now I am approaching 5 years' residency. He recommended as soon as the 5 years are up, I apply for permanent residency. I have taken his letter with the 2-year exten­sion to Immigration, and now have to wait to see. We know the Lord is in control and we are abandoned to His will. If the Lord is opening the way for us to become permanent residents, we are prepared for that, if not - He knows what is best - may we not just settle down into a work, however vital, that work may seem to be, but may we know the new­ ness and freshness of the Lord's love and purpose in our lives. We value your prayers, and we pray for you all that we may all know a consciousness of His hand controlling and directing our lives.

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