Monday started early with the group meeting at 8 a.m., near a hotel to get organized for the trip to Mutare.
Final destinations varied with Richard Lewis heading for Nyanga (Chabadza partner with Norwich, Kansas UMC), Kip Ryherd heading to Chipinge (Chabadza partner with Minneola, Kansas UMC), and others I have yet to learn.
I wasn't sure where I would end up, however, I ended up going on a trip to African University late in the day which precluded my going to Chipinge to visit a partnership church.
The Africa University Campus is beautiful and the meeting very meaningful (story to come on that).
District Superintendent Daniel Mutiwandidza took me into Matare to visit a tailor shop, get fuel for his vehicle and to meet another driver and fill their vehicle with fuel for Tuesday's activities. I am having a dress made with Ebenezer Convention fabric and Bishop Jones is having a shirt made of a similar fabric commemorating the Ebenezer Convention.
Tonight I am staying with the Mutsonhi family including Pastor Happy, wife Juliet, sons Purity, Perseverance, daughter Prayer and son Peace. An uncle, Gwinyai Ndikudze, nephew, Emmanuel Zvoushe and Juliet's sister, Mary. Together they make up the household which is a house converted from a small old British hotel. You can see remnants of the British influence in many structural aspects of the home.
They extended great hospitality and a hearty meal of sudsa (corn meal made in the consistency of mashed potatoes), chicken, beef in a red sauce, rice and salad.
Before bedtime the family gathered and sang a prayer to God which sounded much like our southern spiritual hymns. The hymn was a prayer of thanksgiving for God's faithfulness to us.
A spoken prayer was offered and we all went to bed.
I write this from my bedroom with my keyboard synced to my iPhone and a prayer that Econet will enable its transfer to Rachel to post on the website. Peace and God's grace.
Photos: Above left, the mission trip group prepare for the trip to Mutare (about 165 miles east of Harare). Passengers traveled by van and pick-up to Mature arriving in late afternoon. Above right, Monday's terrain changed as we traveled from Harare to Mutare. The 165 mile trip turned semi-mountainous about half way, with Acacia trees topping most peaks. From a distance the flat-top trees made each mountain look like a man's face with a "five o-clock" shadow (needing to shave). As we progressed closer the it turned truly mountainous with beautiful peaks and valley's covered with trees and winter flowering plants and vines.