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John Ashcroft

August 1983


Getting to Ameva took a while as I travelled overland from Egypt. I arrived in Chegutu by bus

late at night so rolled out my sleeping back on a bench near the police station – much to the

amusement of people arriving for work while I was still asleep. A call to the farm announced my arrival and the start of many wonderful experiences including:

  • Eggs - dozens and dozens of them. My abiding memory is perhaps coming back from selling eggs to the shifts leaving the cotton factory on payday and counting the piles of crumpled banknotes on the dining table. Some blessings are very tangible.

  • Snakes – going into the roof space with Stan to deal with a black mamba. I was happy to leave the title of Nimrod the mighty hunter to him as he also dealt with various cobras and puff adders.

  • The Gibsons and their wonderful ministry of hospitality – enabling all to experience both rest and belonging underpins true fellowship.

  • Starting a school – it was humbling that children would walk far for the opportunity of learning that I felt poorly equipped to provide. Yet good things grow from small beginnings.

But perhaps above all I remember the ways in which John, Celia and others modelled lives of

faith, love and wisdom: faith that inspired action, love that was generous, and wisdom that was

practical and earthy in navigating the challenges and surprises that life can bring.



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