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The Lord blesses us in so many ways. Sometimes in ways we could not ever imagine. Our blessings definitely come from our families, friends, and those in our community and acquaintances. But, sometimes the Lord places blessings in your life that you had no way of knowing would be. When I was taking care of my husband when he was sick and choosing to be with him and not getting out much I could not see myself down the road with the opportunity to teach and provide computers to high school students who do not have them as a resource to learn. I remember a friend told me that I would get back out there and opportunities would come again. Thankfully she was right.

Today I am privileged again to be up and out and traveling to the Amazon school to teach computers to the students. When I go into the classrom, out of respect, they stand and say "Good morning, Ms Ginger." They have been taught respect at that school. In no time you begin to make connections withe the children while helping themt o learn. You find out that some of them walk 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles to get to the school. They aren't complaining they are glad to be there. They begin class at 8 but get there by 7 so you do the math and realize how early they get up and walk to school. That walking length is what our cross country high school team runs at their ccross country meets. it isn't a short distance. They want to be there to learn and all who helped provide the funds to buy the computers have wanted them to have the resources to learn. We accomplished that together and they are so grateful. I am grateful.

It made it easier for me to teach because they had installed a projector and screen when building the computer lab. Also the coputer keyboard and laptop was in English. Most of the students knew English because they teach it in the schools in Zimbabwe so they can know both languages and give them better chances for getting a job. I could tell there were a few who, at times, didn't understand what I said. I knew they wouldn't understand the word "y'all" that I use all the time so that's why I explained to them what it was. They loved saying it.

While I was teaching, the Amazon teacher that was assisting me said, "Ms Ginger, come to the window and look at the baboon." I didn't understand him at first. I thought that was what he said but I asked what did you say? He said come over here to the window and right outside the window was a very large baboon just sitting there. I am sure he smelled the food that was cooking for lunch (the kitchen is open and they cook in pots outside). They said they had been seeign him lately but would not feed him because they wanted him to move on. Definitely not something I would see outside my classroom at home.

The girls training class that I teach at home provided notebooks and candy for me to give to the students and I gave them out today. They love notebooks. The smiles and thank yous I heard while giving them out was numerous. I heard a lot of them say "Wow!". The girls had written a note to them in the first page of each notebook and they said so this is a student like me? Yes. Giving them candy was even more exciting.

I taught 6 different groups of students (4 one hour classes a day) and each class did so good. At the end of the classes they would express their gratitude many different ways. Some while we were working in Microsoft Word and typed sentences to format wrote sentences to me about thankful for coming and teaching or thankful for the computers or so happy Ms Ginger and the US brought us computers. They could have written any sentence but they wrote thankful sentences. When I went around the room to check their work I began to notice. One class at the end wanted to sing to me and to all the US people who helped them get computers. It took me by surprise. One of the girls sang sawsome and did the solo part of the song and the others joined in. It was amazing and so humbling. You go to help them and they end up helping you!!

Another class at the end wanted to have 6 or 7 of them stand up and say how they felf for the class to get computers and for the teaching. I videoed them talking to me and it was definitely an emotional time.

Again, I couldn't have imagined any of this unless I was here and it wouldn't have happend if so many of you had not helped. Thank you.

Each day we eat lunch from the outdoor kitchen. The students rinse out their own plates in a dishpan full of water and take them back to the ladies in the kitchen. There are around 134 or so students in what we would call 9th through 12th grade. There are 14 teachers and staff at the school. The students are so eager to learn more. I am collaborating with the computer teacher to provide teaching lessons and resources that can be taught. Their computer skills training has begun and you who collaborated with me has helped to make this happen for those Zimbabwe students who just want to learn and eventually get a job to support themselves. Before we left the school a student had requested the day before to be baptized so we witnessed her getting baptized. They had brought in some preachers from the area to baptize her since she wanted to be baptized.

After being at the school our team went to a rural village called Stanmore and to a church there. Rice, cooking oil, flour and other necessities were brought to distribute to the church members. They do not have water wells in that village and it is very poor. A couple of the boys stood beside one of the trucks that we had and got their picture made as if it was theirs...we take so much for granted for sure!

While traveling back and forth on those African roads that have so many potholes there are cattle and goats that just graze along the side of the road. They belong to someone around there. Sometimes we have to stop to let them go across, one day a monkey ran across in front of us.

It was a long day but a productive and rewarding day. As I said at the beginning, the Lord blesses us in so many ways and today was full of blessings and I am so thankful for the opportunities that have come my way with the mission trip and the personal mission I chose to do with providing educational resources to a rural high school in Zimbabwe.

My personal commitment to the students at the rural high school in Zimbabwe has been accomplished. Yesterday I left the school with happiness that the students had their computers and together we had learned so much in the days together. My personal educational mission for those students had been a success and the students were so happy.

Today, we had one more stop on the regular mission team's agenda. A very poor, rural village where they gathered at Thula church was our last area to visit while here and help. We left the house at 8 am and drove for about 3 hours before stopping to visit them. The people meet under a tent like area with benches and with tarps ont he side. Some of the women sat on the ground so I sat with them. An 18 year old girls with a 6 month old baby sat by me. They both were beautiful. After the service ink pens, candy and stickers were handed out to both the children and to the adults or anyone that wanted it.

There has been little rain for the past 2 years and they had a manual pump where they pumped water but it wasn't working right. Some of them went to pulling down the lever to pump the water in order to show us and it took a while to even get a little to come out. They had to show us how it worked. But, they were so happy to have us there and were so friendly. Most of them didn't have anything but necessities.

There was a fence built all around the property to deter the elephants from destroying their little tent like area and to keep the lions deterred as well. They had told us that a little boy had chased a lion away with fire at one time to protect the members. I cannot imagine being so cautious around your hourses or being aware of your surroundsing wherever you walk because of the wildlife. What we have and what they have is substantially different. It humbles you immensely.

Once done at Thula we headed to Victoria Falls as we had completed our mission work and I had completed my personal mission of obtaining computers and teaching. Partners4Africa who we work alongside of and help serve the area, sets aside a day and a half for seeing the culture and places to visit in Zimbabwe after our work is done.

We left Thula and headed another 4 hours to Victoria Falls, one of the 7 wonders of the world. We arrived in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and checked into the Elephant Hills Resort so that in the morning we could visit the falls and see the spectacular beauty of one of God's creations. From our rooms you could see the mist coming up like smoke from where the falls were located.

For supper we attended a dinner and drum show at Boma. The drum show brought to life the culture of Africa and was a lot of fun. We ate and then we were all given drums and a person directed us as to how to interact with him and his other drum members to bring alive the music and fun to their culture. If you didn't know how to play the drums like me, it didn't matter. We all participated and felt we were doing good. We were at least making noise...but it really did sound good. While eating supper I was once again challenged to eat one of their delicacies, the Mopane worm. I ate one last summer while here and had decided I would not eat one this year but the challenge from Will and ohters was too much so Lyndsey and I and some others ate a worm. It was definitely not a good snack ... yuckky!! Because we ate the worm, we were given a certificate saying we had accepted the challenge and ate one. We had experienced one of their delicacies. We are excited to see the falls tomorrow.

"There is profit in hard work, but mere talk leads to poverty." Proverbs 14:23. You have to talk the talk and walk the walk if you expect to succeed. Put in the hard work and long hours, and you will see wealth come your way.

Our wealth this past couple of weeks has been seeing the people we have helped benefit from our actions. The profit of our work is not in dollars but in knowing and seeing how we have made someone's lives better spiritually, physically with food and necessities, and for me with my personal mission educationally through the computers and teaching. We definitely have gained wealth through our actions.

We will go to the falls tomorrow and on a Safari ride tomorrow evening. The beauty of the landscape and the animals are all around us. I am thankful to have been a part of the good work these two weeks along with my personal mission of brining computers to the students and teaching. The time here has been a blessing and I am thankful to have had this opportunity.

Have you ever sat down to dinner and thanked God for His blessings and thanked the one that prepared the meal only to have someone complain that they do not like something? I have sat at a few tables like this where I have heard someone complain, or worse, I was the one that complained. How thankful am I really when I complain? It can be an easy trap to fall into.

I think about the Israelites as they wandered around the wilderness and ate the manna God sent them. No plowing or sowing, and it tasted like honey (Exodus 16:31). What was the response? They complained, wanting to go back to Egypt because they had it so much better there in their food situation. What? They cried out for over four hundred years, and now they want to go back for leeks (Numbers 11)? We are not pleased when we provide our children with what they need and more and they complain, and God was not pleased when His children complained (1 Corinthians 10:10). In fact, God does not call us to grumble but to be lights in this world (Philippians 2:14-15). Grumbling can cause our light to not shine for God. If we talk about how great God is and yet complain about our life, does that not send a mixed message about the greatness of God?

What is the answer? More stuff? We have so much, and yet we complain. How many times have we thought, “If I just get this one thing, I will be happy,” only to find out that was not true. I think we have to get back to the fact that God is enough and learn to be content in Him (1 Timothy 6:6). The devil has done a good job getting us involved in trying to keep up with the neighbors in order to find happiness. However, if we achieve that goal, there are always more things to strive for. This world will never be enough. It was never meant to be. Enjoy the blessings God has given you, but seek Him first.

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