JOHN VALENTINE, ZIMBABAWE PROJECT
Its now 5.30am and the sun is just coming up. Today we will begin to plant 15 acres of cotton with the help from out friend, Mr Martin Tracy, a neighbouring Christian farmer. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks since he told us to get the field ready and he would come and help us plant. There was a problem getting an allocation of fertilizer and seed, but the lord overruled. A pinion inside the tractor steering box snapped, the hydraulics wouldn’t work and then one of the lifting bars cracked. The tractor is so old that everything on it seems to need replacing. I thank God, however, that we have a tractor and other essential equipment coming on its way from the UK. We would also like to thank those who God use so wonderfully to make it possible. We have heard that the container carrying these goods has arrived in Durban, South Africa, and we will now be railed up to Harare, Zimbabwe. We are awaiting its arrival with great expectancy, as you can imagine. Ron and Anna White from Lither-Land, with their little girl Katie, and myself arrived here on 10th October. My own wife Celia and my children, Paul and Grace did not travel with us. Celia was advised by her doctor, due to a threatened miscarriage, not travel for a time. Evan in this I can see the Lord’s hand, in that 10 of us have been having to use the one bathroom, and the water situation is rather precarious. If there is a good plumber with time to spare, please contact me! Gina Porter and Ann Burns returned home on 22nd October and after having been here to greet us and help us settle in. It was quite an experience for them as at one time they found themselves preaching at an open-air in the marketplace to about 150 people. They also took many meetings at compound churches, together with women’s meetings, as being invaluable help in the house. The chickens are now giving us about 75 dozen eggs a day which we sell down the local market and our biggest producer in the area has dropped his price 25 cents a dozen below ours. This is causing a little concern. The cotton planting is now finished after 1 ½ days and we have moved on to transplanting 5,000 tomato plants from the nursery beds. Last night some of them which had been re-planted looked forlorn and dead laying in pools of water. This morning it was wonderful to see them raising up and beginning to stand. It spoke to me wonderfully of our resurrection out of death through baptism into new fruitful life in Christ. Amen! The students are still looking after three compound churches, in which the ladies’ meetings are thriving. Each Thursday afternoon Rossalind, Anna and sue have a meeting with them, then they teach something practical like sewing, reading, writing, or cooking. It has been a tremendous blessing to them and last week two women testified to how much they appreciated this help and concern. Ron White and Dave Latham have been very busy leading evangelistic teams down into the market and into several schools, as well as teaching in the Bible School. The opportunities are limitless. We have also been asked to take responsibility for another church which we are considering prayerfully. We will soon be advertising for students for the nest year and would value your prayers that the lord will bring forth the right men. A white Roman Catholic priest came yesterday asking can he send one of his lay workers to the right school. It will cost about £30 for a ten-week term, so if anyone would like to sponsor a student who cannot afford this, please write to David Latham who is acting as registrar. We have also started construction work for students’ accommodation and dividing the existing buildings for family dwellings. Eric and Rossalind Taylor, who have now moved into their own cottage. This is a welcome move as they are expecting their first child in May. Colin Davies from Epson returned home in October after being a great help and blessing here over the past 9 months. We thank you for continued support and prayers in the past nine months. We thank you for your continued support and prayers in these formative days. We believe that God will send men out from here to preach His Gospel throughout Africa. Amen!