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The Road to Zimbabwe – Paperwork

We haven’t posted much about how we are getting on with our preparations to move to Zimbabwe in August, so here’s a fairly brief update.

Approximately 3 weeks ago we DHL’ed the last of our paperwork to Marie’s Parents and it only arrived early last week. we had a tense week waiting while DHL tracking showed a “Customs Delay” in Harare Airport, we prayed like crazy to make sure they didn’t take a look or didn’t remove any paperwork from the package as its not easy to get some of the paperwork and after all the time it has taken to do it.

Thankfully everything made it last week, Marie’s folks took the paperwork down to the immigration office only to find out we needed to provide a copy of the passport pages showing my exit from the country. It appears this is a new requirement since we initially went to hand in the paperwork in December (when i was there handing it in). Thankfully due to the internet actually working in Zimbabwe we were able to scan and email the relevant pages to another family member in Zim (we still need to get Marie’s dad hooked up to internet and able to use his “Typewriter”!)

The forms and documentation were submitted last week and now the waiting (and praying) begins. The immigration officials say it will take up to 5 weeks (more like 2 months) for them to process it and let us know the outcome. While it should be merely a formality as i have married a Zimbabwean, its not actually guaranteed and they could still say no (why they would deny it i really don’t know). so we are praying that its favourable and we are not kept waiting any longer than absolutely necessary

We’d appreciate prayer that it goes smoothly as this is the biggest (and only real one) hurdle for our move in August




The Real Africa

The real Africa is the one they never show you. The real Africa is hidden beneath a veneer of poverty and hunger and death; a cancerous mass on the face of the earth the rest of the world term homogenous "Africa"...




New Year, New Adventure, Same Jesus

So its 2012 already, Happy New year! 2011 has been a blast in so many ways to count. God’s done amazing things in Mine and Marie’s life this last year and He’s calling us onto new adventures this year. It’s no secret Marie and I are planning on moving to Zimbabwe this year, we have talked about it a fair bit. Well the hard deadline is now set, we just booked our tickets to go for 30th August.

So we are on a new adventure from August, we are off to Zim, i plan to continue doing my business from there, Marie is going to be doing some volunteering for a Church out there assuming she has the time to do it and we will both be getting stuck into a new church plant/evening service called One which meets at the SevenArts Cinema in the Avondale area of Harare, more info here: http://www.facebook.com/ONEpeeps

Matt Ellis made a great comment at church yesterday, “It’s a New Year but its still the same Jesus!” which reminded me that although we will be going to a new country, We’ll still be following the same God that is with us in the UK. and just following on from that Andy Tilsley’s talk on Greed and Contentment, he was talking about being content with what we have and what God has blessed us with. These are going to be powerful words when times are challenging in a whole new country.

After his preach Andy got Lydia and the band to sing an old Hymn over the congregation called Give me Jesus, its actually on the end of the podcast itself over here i had the pleasure of editing the podcast this week because of the song, from our Multi-Track recording of the service so have the song on its own. It’s such a simple song that i want to make my philosophy for the year. you should have a listen to it.

Give Me Jesus

This was taken direct off one of the sound desks yesterday and has only had a little processing done to it, no re-recording or over dubbing. It’s a really beautiful track.




A precious 3 weeks in my home country!

After a long and grueling 15-hour overnight flight from London to Harare, via Joburg, Ant and I finally arrived at my parents’ house to the warm greetings, hugs and kisses of my family. In the past year, they hadn’t changed much at all (apart from my daddy’s and brother Andre’s stomachs appearing a few inches wider 😉 It was great to sit down and catch-up with everyone over a delicious cool lunch of cold meats and salads, after which I retreated to the bedroom for a much-needed afternoon nap (Ant prefers to stay up and fight the jet lag).

Our first week involved seeing lots of family and friends in Harare, with a large family braai at my parents’ house on the Tuesday evening for around 30 people (which was only half of my family!). We also spent hours and hours gathering together all the documentation for Ant’s residency application, going to the Immigration office and being told that a new additional requirement is police clearance from the UK. Blow! That came as such a disappointment to us as we were hoping to sort out Ant’s residency whilst we were in Zim this time round (now that we’re back in the UK, we’re busy getting Ant’s UK police clearance sorted at the moment). Thankfully, our friend Craig is coming over to the UK in February for a week, so he’s kindly offered to take Ant’s UK police clearance back with him to Zim for submission, along with all the other residency application documentation.

On our second week in Zim, Ant went off to Marondera (about an hour’s drive from Harare) on Zam Hols Boys’ Camp for 7 days, which consisted of 56 teenage boys and 15 leaders, a total of 71 males! Originally, I was going to go along as a spouse, but I then found out that I’d be the only female on the campsite, so I very quickly changed my mind! In the end, I went up for just one night with Craig’s parents who were visiting (Craig is the guy who leads Zam Hols Camps). It was great to join them for the evening session of fantastic Spirit-led worship and an inspiring talk by Tariro on the gospel and not living for the things of this world. After breakfast the following morning, I headed back to Harare with Craig’s parents, and looked forward to seeing my husband again in 4 days’ time. When Ant got back to Harare after Zam Hols Camp, he was very tired and sunburnt, but he said he had a fantastic time and looks forward to next time 🙂 Ant also did a talk on Sin the one evening on Zam Hols Camp, which he said was very well received by the guys, and he got a lot of positive feedback about it. He also led an afternoon Bible Study for the 16-18 year olds on 1 Peter 3, which he said was very interactive and it got people discussing.

On our third week in Zim, we headed to Kariba (about 4 hours drive from Harare) with my family, who have a holiday house there in an area called Charara. The house is a few minutes’ walk from Lake Kariba, so we often went out on my dad’s boat on a game-viewing drive or just for a ride. My brothers really like fishing, so they often took the boat out to go catch fish. There is also a swimming pool, so we’d often find ourselves in the swimming pool for most of the day, as temperatures were around 40 degrees on most days. The heat in Kariba is almost unbearable and the mosquitoes were a real nuisance (Ant especially got bitten the most out of everyone, we think it’s because of his English blood;) but apart from that we had a great time! Christmas Day was nice and relaxed, we exchanged presents, had a delicious and very large Christmas lunch, then relaxed by the pool for the rest of the afternoon.

We drove back to Harare on Boxing Day and flew back to the UK on the 27th. We thank God for a wonderful, relaxing, long holiday!




God is Funny!

God has got a brilliant sense of humour! He tends to give me things I haven’t even prayed for, but things that I’ve thought about and want. There are a number of small examples I could give, but for the sake of time and my fingers, I’ll just give a few…

For example, the other day when I was on my way to work during rush hour, I knew the tube would be packed as it is every morning, and that I’d have to stand up, packed in like a sardine. I was in quite a grouchy mood, and I was thinking about how much I miss the chivalrous well-mannered men in Zimbabwe who offer up their seats to women, so that women don’t have to either stand or sit on the floor (depending on the situation). Anyway, I got on the tube, rammed in by people on all sides of me, and the man sitting in a seat nearby stands up and offers me his seat, and he sounded English! Now that never happens to me when I’m travelling on the tubes, and the fact that it occurred just at the moment when I was grouchy and complaining about it in my head, how ironic, that’s God’s humour 🙂 So of course I gladly accepted! (Thank You God for giving me a seat even though I didn’t ask You for one 🙂

Another example, when I was 22, I went on a Zambezi Holidays youth camp to serve as a leader. For those that don’t know, Zam Hols is the Zimbabwe equivalent of Newday (except on a much smaller scale), where youth from the Newfrontiers churches gather for 7 days during the school holidays for worship, teaching, bible studies, games, water sports, abseiling and much more. Anyway, I was really excited about serving on Zam Hols camp, and I was thinking ‘Phew! Praise God I wasn’t one of the leaders who got asked to do a talk or bible study! Yessssss!’ However, a few days before the camp, I got asked to lead one of the bible studies, and the topic I got given was ‘sexual temptation’! Apparently they hadn’t yet found a leader to take that slot. At that point I had never done a talk or bible study before, let alone on a topic such as this, so I was like ‘God that’s not funny’ but I think He thought it was! Apparently it went well, and somehow God got me through it, phew! (this example is slightly different, as God gave me something I didn’t ask for, and that I definitely didn’t want!)

A final example, many years ago, I think when I was about 19 or 20, I remember thinking how nice it would be to get married to a businessman and do bookkeeping in Zimbabwe. I never prayed for that, it was just a thought. And the irony is that I’m married to Anthony who runs his own business, and I’ll be doing his bookkeeping in Zimbabwe in a few months time 🙂

Now I’m not saying that prayer isn’t important, because I firmly believe in the power of prayer, but what I’m saying is that God knows the desires of my heart and sometimes He gives me things that I want or think about even when I can’t be bothered to pray for it, because He’s so kind and good and gracious and wonderful and loving! 🙂