Gecko Today

May 2015

In this issue:

Intro Letter from Susan Janetti

Garage Sale May 30

Special Dessert Evening This Sunday

Other Upcoming Events

More on Susan & Frank's Trip to Zimbabwe

 

Dear Friends and supporters of Zimbabwe Gecko Society,

It has been a while since our last very skimpy newsletter.   Frank and I had planned on travelling to Zimbabwe in February but as Frank needed to be home in February, December became a whirlwind of activity what with  Christmas, Family Organizing, and Packing.  We arrived in Zimbabwe on January 1st and almost immediately started work.  It was then non-stop until I left on the 18th of April.   A very busy and exciting time indeed (see more to this story below). 

Unfortunately (or fortunately :) )  I did not have access or time for e-mail or internet and therefore  did not see or acknowledge the many donations received since November (I plan to catch up soon).   Many, many thanks to all of you for your love and support to the people of Africa and allowing Frank and I to carry out our missions work on your behalf. On this trip alone I would estimate that at least two or three thousand lives were touched and enriched in one way or another.

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Garage Sale Saturday May 30th!

Please support us with your time or truck, (call Susan at 604-531-3654 to arrange) or bring your gently used treasures (no large furniture, old computer monitors, light fixtures, ceiling fans, mattresses or blinds please) to White Rock Baptist Church on 140th Street in Surrey on Friday, May 29th between 2-9pm.  Then of course come out and shop on Saturday!  Doors open 8am.   Hamburgers, hot dogs, coffee, tea, soft drinks and cinnamon buns will be available.

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Special Dessert Evening This Sunday

This coming Sunday May 17th at 6pm, the White Rock Baptist Church (140th Street and 16th Avenue, Surrey) will be hosting a dessert evening where we will show you all that has been accomplished and answer any questions.  If you are not able to make it please feel free to invite me to your church, home group or home.  I love to share what God is doing as we serve.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

Please mark your calendars!

More info to come later!

The Annual dinner in October will be another chance to take part as well as see and hear what has been going on.  Saturday October 24th.   Plan to attend this fun evening!

African art and craft sale Saturday October 31st and Sunday November 1st.  Beautiful table cloths, bags, soapstone carvings, Paintings, and so much more!!   Just in time for Christmas!!

Christmas on the Peninsula to be held  Saturday November 28th .  We have new beaded ornaments ranging from Angel Christmas tree decorations to goats and lions  -  the variety is quite delightful! 

Continued from above – more on our trip to Zimbabwe 2015

January and February saw the arrival of Petros and Arlene of EFCCM.  Since we had  only just arrived ourselves, they were not able to see all that was accomplished during our time there, but were able to travel with us to Chugutu and see the encouraging results of people who had taken the Farming God’s Way course.  Fields were full of successful crops and the people excited to share their success with us and with the local community who continually ask “Why are your crops so good?” 

Harry and Ross McClelland, short term missionaries, arrived on the 12th January and hardly had put their suitcases in the door before starting work.  If anyone else wants to join us on a working trip you have a lot to live up to LOL. :) They immediately agreed to support our work and partnership with CTT (centre for total transformation - we, along with CTT, support orphans and vulnerable children who would otherwise not be able to afford school and eat nutritiously).  They immediately equipped the Clinic ZGS recently built with very necessary burglar bars on all windows and doors, painted the building including floors, installed sinks,  shelving, examination tables as well as saw to the myriad of odd jobs needed to get the building operational.

Frank saw to the water tanks and I did the curtains all of which resulted in a very impressive clinic. While building the clinic Harry and Ross met the family living behind it and saw the need for bunk beds for the 6 children.  They immediately got to work.   This was an enormous gift for the family and they are so appreciative!   Then they were off to the  CTT school. First they repaired the wooden structures used for schoolrooms and then built desks and chairs for most of the kids.  The younger children received lapboards to write on.

Once that was done you would think they would take a rest but they found wheel barrows that were out of commission and restored about 10 of them whilst teaching others what could be done with bits and pieces.    You get the picture - these men worked very hard!   I was pleased when they took a couple of days off to visit Imiri Game Park.   A wonderful place that works hard to save the Rhino (google it!).  At Imiri they experienced true Africa - the bush, the smells, the animals.

Ross and Harry also met with many of the local people.   They were humbled and changed men when they left 5 weeks later.   Their words – “ No one will ever understand what you are trying to get across about the need in this country unless they come here themselves”.      Thank you Harry and Ross!! You blessed us as well as hundreds of Zimbabweans.  

A few days after they left, Ray and Alison Markham arrived with their two girls Alex and Rachel.  They had two weeks to get organized in order for us to host a 25 people strong medical team and teachers.

Believe me when I tell you that it was a huge effort to get past all of the frustrations and challenges but it was accomplished.  Many of us believed that it would have been impossible without prayer. 

Cooking two meals a day for at least 25 people was also a feat in itself!  

The clinic was opened with all the local chiefs, counsellors,  and ministers, as well as the Zimbabwe Ambassador to Canada who flew over from Toronto for the occasion.  Gives you an idea of how big this mission was!   Speeches, dances, a meal, and an air of “great things accomplished” filled the day.  For Frank and I, gratitude for all that made this building a reality as it will make a difference in so many people’s lives.

The team, consisting of a Lab tech, a Nurse, Nurse Practitioners, a Paramedic, a Medical Office assistant, Admin, a Research Assistant, Early childhood educator community volunteers, Doctors and Medical Students, were able to assist many communities as well as bring home new knowledge and an understanding of Zimbabwe’s medical system.  Mt Darwin’s Karanda Mission Hospital, University of Zimbabwe, Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare Hospital and CTT, all gave support to our ZGS trained medical assistants in the Rural Areas. Although there were some suggestions on how we would do a few things differently, the team felt it was a huge success and most if not all want to go back.

The CTT School was also blessed with teachers.   Mary Stewart headed up some real relationship building with the teachers and students as well as improving some of the teacher’s skill sets.  Having fun with the kids while introducing them to many games, songs and educational materials was Mary’s goal which she certainly accomplished.   The kids loved it!!   Mary can’t wait to go back, and now that she knows the environment and needs, is already planning and shopping. 

Alison  Markham made the kids’ day or should I say changed the children’s  lives when she had the idea of building a playground. Children who had never even seen a swing or a slide let alone all the other fun things we were able to incorporate, including two play houses, were just ecstatic!  You will have to watch our new documentary on line (when it is ready) to appreciate what a change this will make to their lives.

Well done to Dr. Ray who is now recovering from a nervous breakdown.   LOL  LOL   just kidding!  Also thanks to his wife Alison and children for supporting this frustrating but rewarding work.  Alison is now on the ZGS board - I hope she will take over as I age.  :)

The Canadian Ambassador to Zimbabwe hosted a cocktail party in recognition of the work the medical team accomplished alongside the Zimbabwe Gecko Society.  A privilege to be involved indeed. 

Many, many thanks to the teams of people that took part in this great new adventure.   

This was our most ambitious undertaking to date.  Besides the work listed above, we also built a church, goat pens, school rooms and  met with the destitute to mention a few.

So much more than what I have written took place but I would have to cover pages and pages with words.   I am told to keep newsletters short so people actually take the time to read them.   I believe you read them because it is your work as well as ours. 

Thank you again!!  I hope you are able get to one of our events that will provide you with a visual of all the work accomplished. 

Blessings,

Sue and Frank 

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Thank-you for your support!

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