It began during the Fellowship conference at Rora in 1990 / 1991. At the conference it was announced that a work party was being arranged through Tear Fund to build a second dam on the farm at Ameva. John Valentine had spoken to Ray to see if he would lead the team since he had worked with Tear Fund in the past. Ray knew that I had a desire to be involved in some way with the ministry at Ameva and had in fact been talking about it earlier that year. It was no surprise that after John had spoken to Ray he came hot foot over to my caravan to ask me to join the team.
At the time I was responsible for running a factory of around 100 workers and only had 2 weeks annual leave. I was unsure if that would be sufficient time for a meaningful contribution to be made, so I was wrestling with making a decision.
That evening in the main tent meeting Mr North was preaching and as he sometimes did, he stopped mid-sentence, looked over his glasses, pointed directly at me (it seemed) and said (Go man, just go) then carried on preaching. With such a clear word from the Lord, I was on my way. I definitely had Gods word to go but as it turned out not when I expected it to be. With Gods direction comes Gods timing.
Tear Fund have a policy that anyone going on one of their overseas trips must attend an orientation course for a minimum of one week. That would have left me with less than 5 days on site after time travelling was considered, which was just not practical. That left me totally confused since everything had slotted into place and Gods directive could not have been clearer.
The directive was clear I just had the time wrong. It took 7 years for the situation to present itself, by this time I had taken early retirement and was available when Jim Bailey contacted me to say another work party was being organised. To put the foundations in for the secondary school assembly hall and to erect a water tank close to one of the bore holes on the farm. Gods timing was not only perfect for me, but it coincided with the Lord providing a gift of exactly the air fare for my wife to come too.
That began our long-term involvement and attachment to John Celia and the ministry in Zimbabwe. Since 1998 I have had the privilege of visiting Ameva several times on my own to help out on the farm installing lighting in the bible school complex, the dairy and finishing off the wiring in John and Celia’s bungalow. Fellowshipping with John Celia and the saints in the church in Chegutu.
In 2006 I joined Jim and a small team where again we repaired building on the farm and ministered in various churches around Chegutu.My latest visit was in 2010 with Ken Oatridge where we had the privilege of teaching in the Bible school