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Dear friends,
Warm greetings to you all from Bulawayo! I hope this email finds you well.
Thank you for your love, support, prayers and partnership with Our Neighbours Ministry (ONM) and all that’s happening here in Bulawayo. You are greatly appreciated!
There are a number of things I was hoping to share with you at this time (a couple more than usual, given so much to share, so maybe grab a coffee!):
  • I’ve been back in Bulawayo now for 1.5 months, which has been very good. It’s good to be home! Our family holiday in Australia, and my time off, was wonderful for us all. And personally, the long break was great, where I learnt a lot, relaxed, reflected, had quality family time, and had more time with God and learning about Him. It was just what I needed!
  • It was also a blessing to have lovely time with many friends and partners in Australia, and it’s been great to be back connected with the ONM team in Zimbabwe. Definitely after a longer than normal time in Australia, it’s confronting to see the level of needs in Bulawayo at this time. However, it’s great to be able to do something about that.
  • Do you want to read about one of the lives impacted and transformed through ONM? Remembrance is one of the boys who are part of the Tawasika family unit, which is called North End Home also. We met and built relationship and started assisting Remembrance 10 years ago, at a time his situation had led him to live on the streets. It’s been really good to have relationship with him, and see him mature over the years. A recent article in the newspaper highlighted his gifting in acrobatics and dance, his situation, and his dreams. You can find the article here 
    When the article refers to the local Bulawayo church’s social concerns ministry which has been caring for him, that’s ONM. ONM started as a ministry of Bulawayo Baptist Church, and we continue to partner with them, which is really great!
    Remembrance was part of Lighthouse Christian Academy (LCA, which ONM runs) from the very beginning, and he continues to be on a LCA scholarship to attend Foundation College (the college mentioned in the article) where he is doing his high school studies. Remembrance continues to have relationship with his mother, and we assist her in ways also, as we look at family reunification options in the future also.
  • Yesterday afternoon I had a nice time at Isaiah’s Babies Home, with the staff, and playing with the kids. It’s busy that side! The little ones are doing well. We have a number of kids who we’ve been seeking permanent homes for for a while, but haven’t been successful as yet. Please pray that we can find homes for our older kids at Isaiah’s, as we actively seek a way forward for these children. The older the children are when they move from Isaiah’s to a family unit, the adaption is harder.
  • It’s been great to get updates on the small business training program we ran for people in need in December last year, called Ndeipi. 19 of the 28 people who were given very small loans (up to US$20) after the training, have fully repaid them already, and others on top of this have partially repaid their loans. And with many of their small businesses continuing, and testimonies of how what they learnt has helped them, it’s awesome to hear! We will continue to mentor these people, and as they’ve demonstrated faithfulness, we will consider re-using the repayments to help them expand their small businesses. Please see the wonderful testimony of Alice who was assisted through Ndeipi using this link
  • It’s been so good to hear Mercy share about the relationships she has with the ladies for whom she leads the Bible study at Burombo flats, and just how they are growing in their relationships with God, and the outworking of this in their daily lives*. Wonderful! This part of ONM is called Esandleni Sothando, which means in the hand of love.
  • And these ladies have just started a new small business also. They used some of their proceeds from the sales of the jewellery they make, and a loan from ONM, to start rearing chickens.
  • Nicole is one of the students at Lighthouse Christian Academy who last year was reintegrated into a local primary school, and is on a scholarship with LCA to attend this school. It was great to hear how last term, even though she is in a class of 40, and even though her family (her mother and siblings) had to move from the shack they were staying in due to demolitions, that Nicole obtained 1st position in her class, and improved in her two weakest subjects.
  • Othillia and her son Vincent are two people that we have been seeking to love and support over the last 12 months through Hearts of Love. Vincent was discovered to have a brain tumour. For more information on this situation, please use the following link …
So, I hope these updates give you a few further snapshots of what you are part of! We are so thankful for the many many people who are part of ONM. And we are so thankful for all the relationships.
I was just now (I’m using Zimbabwe English!) reminding myself of our purpose as ONM, which is “To glorify God by showing His love in reaching out to the poorest of the poor and restoring those that have lost hope.” And I’m encouraged to see instances of that in the stories I’ve shared above, and hope that you are also.
Love Martin
The Barrows enjoying family time together
Remembrance Magadzire - LCA student appraised by his College for his skillful acrobatic dance
Tea-time at Babies Home - the older children always wanting to help with their younger siblings
Alice sells a variety of cd´s and dvd´s and this income helps her to buy food and pay her rent.
Viola Phiri of Esandleni Sothando Bead Project showing their new purses to a prospective client 
Beading Project hard at work
Othillia, taken outside her home, standing with one of her grandchildren
Global Development GroupOur Neighbours Ministry is proud to be a partner for Project J301N Our Neighbours Community Project - Zimbabwe with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), an Australian NGO approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to carry out quality humanitarian projects with approved partners and provide aid to relieve poverty and ensure long term solutions.

* No non-development activities (welfare, evangelism) are a part of the approved project. Evangelistic and welfare activities done by Our Neighbours Ministry are done outside of Project J301N.
Copyright © 2017 Our Neighbours Ministry, All rights reserved.

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