Christmas day in Zimbabwe

Dear Friends
we had problems sending this on the day but i though suzy did a great job so here it is anyway. People start to gather to the small farm outside Rusape, surrounded by a landscape of rocks and thatched huts. The cooking begins as women, dressed in their best, bright clothing wrap a traditional skirt around their wastes and sit in a line under the shade of the tree laughing and talking as they chop tomatoes and onions. Others stoke the fire under a cauldron sized cooking pot adding maize flour to boiling water to make everyone’s favourite- ‘Sadza’, meanwhile at the top of the hill, Daniel and other men stoke flames to BBQ the chicken, so hot that only those wearing Jeans dare venture near for fear of burning their legs. The 160 children gather, seeking shade from the seering heat in the tent we have hired especially for the day as Ben and I join mothers with young babies seated in the shade of a nearby tree.

The service begins with the traditional cry of the African church: ‘Hallelujah?’ followed by many voices in unison ‘AMEN!’. We enjoy dancing, testimonies of God’s goodness and a re-enactment of Jesus’ birth co-ordinated by Edison with volunteers wearing various pieces of cloth πŸ™‚ followed by Andrew sharing the gospel message. As I have an upset stomach (Benjamin is fine and smiley), Daniel has dropped Ben and I back home for the afternoon, but I left seeing
excited faces awaiting chicken, sadza, salad and coca cola and knowing that team games, more food, the Jesus movie for children and presents still await these children that are so precious to the heart of our Father in heaven.

Today, on Christmas day, Ben had the great privilege of meeting and being held by the local chief! Yet what an even greater honour that we not only get to meet but be loved by the chief of chiefs, and king of kings, our wonderful Jesus, who was so humble to come as a baby and learn and grow among us. How amazing to know this one who understands all we go through here on earth and knowing that by our good works and efforts we would never be pure enough to come to His Father, chose to give up His life and pour out his blood so we can call on his name and come into relationship with the one who made us, and spend eternity knowing fullness of joy in His presence. WOW thank you Jesus for your amazing sacrifice and for such wonderful love.

MERRY CHRISTMAS
Love Suzy, Daniel and Benjamin

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