Email newsletter from Belinda Wilson, Our Neighbours Ministry, Bulawayo Zimbabwe
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News in pictures

News in words

Good day all,
As we prepare to send out the next newsletter it is always a time where we reflect upon the last two months and get to decide which bit of news we can share with you all.  This year, even though we are still in the early months, has seen a number of highlights and items definitely worth giving thanks for.  The year has not been without challenges and the greatest one we have had to endure has been the recent closure of our Zimbabwe Bank´s Intermediary/Correspondent bank. This has meant a significant delay in our international donations coming through to Zimbabwe. This has resulted in a few hiccups with some of our regular outreach activities however we have still been able to provide for the children in our care, assist the many people who come to soup kitchen and also those who attend the health information service. We are pleased to report that our bank now has a new intermediary bank and transfers have begun to come through again.

Let us focus though on some of the highlights at Our Neighbours Ministry so far in 2016.
Isaiah´s Babies Home
We have 8 toddlers being educated at one of the local pre-school centres, and this is all being done free of charge. Thabani, Thamsanqa, Bright and Shepherd started at Early Learning Centre in January alongside Isaac, Mduduzi, Brandon and Emma. They love going to school, and every morning little Joel, who is almost 18 months old, tries to sneak his way into the car too for this adventure.
Due to some financial pressures within the Ministry, Nomalanga moved to another school. She now attends Coghlan Primary School with Portia which is within walking distance from Isaiah´s.  We are pleased to report that Noma has settled well, her teacher has commended her for always working hard, she has made new friends and is loving her new learning environment.  Portia, on the other hand, is struggling with her school work and we believe this is as a result of her abusive past. Her counselling sessions have been ongoing however she seems to be at a stage where she is unable to fully express her emotions and so we will continue to work with her in this.
We are always delighted at the arrival of a new baby and this month saw the arrival of baby Esther. This precious baby girl is estimated to be about 2 or 3 months old, she was abandoned in a bushy area in one of the nearby high density areas and then spent a few weeks at the local hospital before being placed into our care on 22nd February 2016. What a joy it will be to care for her, and watch her grow, with the hope that she will one day have a loving family. If you would like to sponsor Esther, or know someone that would be interested please send us an email.  In total we have 26 children at Isaiah´s and a few of these are without sponsors. This funding enables us to provide a high standard of loving care for all of these children.
Esandleni Sothando
Nicole Mubikah is one of our university girls who recently graduated from university with a degree in Community Development. We have been assisting her since she was 14 years old when her father passed away and her mother was not able to afford to send her to school. Thanks to the support of our donors Nicole will soon be able to look after her siblings and make a positive impact in her community. We pray that she will soon be able to get a job, despite unemployment figures being in the 90th percentile.
Patience Nkomo, is another one of the girls we have been assisting through Esandleni. Patience passed her ‘A’ Levels with flying colours, attaining 3 A’s for English Literature, History and Ndebele. She hopes to continue her studies to become a lawyer. We are trusting God that He will provide the required funds for this bright, young lady. She is in the process of submitting scholarship applications for her university studies.
Lungisani is one of the children that we assist at Burombo Flats. His grandmother has been looking after him since he was very young, and his mother went to South Africa in search of employment. They live in a one roomed house which they share with another family. Lungisani's grandmother also cares for another grandchild and she makes a living by selling food at the local bus station at night. When we first met them Lungisani was not attending school and despite his difficult living conditions he works hard at school. Due to the financial pressures the ministry is facing we are also battling to keep him in school but we continue to trust that the Lord will provide for him.
Hearts of Love
From the onset of 2016 to date, Our Neighbours Ministry, Hearts of Love is proud to have served over 1700 meals so far on every Tuesday and Friday. All the incumbents who visited with us were ministered to through the Word and in numerous instances received counselling. They were made to feel comfortable, given dignity and appreciation as we all interacted with one another. It is through the medium of the Soup Kitchen where we have come across some of the people’s needs and felt led to graciously help. In one of these cases, we met up with Sihle Ngwenya who approached us expressing challenges with money for living expenses. We were able to provide her with money so that she could start a small income generation project vending vegetables and chips.
With the very challenging socio- economic situation, the lack of food has been one of the greatest challenges exhibited within the communities that we serve. In light of this need we support over 30 elderly ladies and their families with food hampers on a monthly basis. Elizabeth Mukazi is an elderly lady who is not a part of our monthly distribution list but however received once- off food support. She approached our office asking for help as her family did not have any food to eat. We are grateful to God that we were able to make a difference in the life of Elizabeth and her family.
Apart from all the other work that is carried out at Hearts of Love, we also assist in unique situations such as that of Ncedisani Mpofu from Mazwi who needed assistance to replace her identity documents that had been destroyed in a fire. These documents are important and without them one cannot even get work or access to basic services. Helping Ncedisani to replace her documents means that she is now able to get some work which will enable her to finish rebuilding her house as well as sustaining her family comprising of 5 children.
Margret Moyo lives in Trenance. She watches over her landlord’s house in return for accommodation. She has ongoing struggles with her health and we paid for her medical expenses at the local hospital. We are happy that she is no longer bed ridden and feeling much better such that she was even able to attend Soup Kitchen recently.

We were also able to provide several parents with exercise books for their children. Many schools now expect children to bring in their own books and these parents who were already struggling to raise school fees wouldn´t have been able to meet these requirements without this assistance.
Lighthouse has started the year with some changes to our class structures and the style of learning for the students.  We have 11 of our more senior students now studying the local Curriculum – ZIMSEC.  We have seen this as a positive change as the students are now learning to expand their knowledge and learning new and different skills in their learning styles.  Our junior students continue to study the ACE program and the teachers at Lighthouse are becoming more innovative in their teaching and stretching the students to new levels.
One of our main focuses this term is preparation of the ACE Student Convention, which is to be held in Bulawayo for the first time.  This event allows our students to compete against other students from ACE schools from around Zimbabwe in many different areas.  Some of these include dance, singing, poetry reciting, athletics, soccer and table tennis.  This convention has always been such an amazing area of growth for our students and it is a valuable learning experience for them and a life-changing experience. The students are spending many hours practicing their items and the teachers are putting in an amazing amount of effort and time to coach the students for all their performances.
We have had further donations to our library so the students now have a bigger range of books to choose from.  We also had some amazing donors from Australia make library bags for each student and we want to thank them so much for their hard work and donations.  The students love them.  The students continue to have Art and Computer lessons each week, which again is enriching their learning.
The junior students participated in “Clean-up-our-street” morning.  We went outside and collected bags of rubbish that had been left on the street the school is located in.  We are able to teach the children about the environment, the effects of pollution and the value of placing rubbish in the appropriate place. We hope this will be a life-long lesson they take with them where-ever they go.

Children of Grace
Our seven children at CofG are doing well. House mom Miriam took them over the Christmas period to her home area and they all seemed to have enjoyed this time together.

Many of you are aware that the chicken project at Children of Grace was temporarily put on hold and we are looking into building a chicken coup which will make this a sustainable venture for the Ministry. We need to apply for a development permit for this project to be approved by our local City Council. Some funding is required for this, if this is something you would like to be a part of please feel free to email us. The agriculture project is going relatively well and we are in the process of setting up a drip irrigation system for the bigger field and have moved the tank stand to enable better irrigation of the crops we will grow here.

Family is very important to us at Our Neighbours Ministry and we are pleased to share our family is growing!  We would like to give our heartfelt congratulations to two of our staff - Ernest & Nontobeko on the birth of their baby girl Thembilihle Esther, and to Seluleko & Mbuso on the birth of their baby boy Brandon Mbalenhle. We look forward to the arrival of baby Tabvuma sometime in March.

Many of the above activities would not be possible if it were not for your love, support, commitments and prayers. Please accept our heartfelt appreciation for all of this.
God bless you all
from The Admin Team
First day of pre-school 2016
Mduduzi, Thamsanqa, Thabani, Emma, Isaac, Brandon, Bright, Shepherd (left to right)
Little Joel who always sneaks into the car with his older siblings.
Noma looking radiant in her new school uniform.
Our new baby Esther - slight look of confusion at all these new people holding her!
Nokuthaba celebrates her 2nd birthday
Nicole in her graduation gown.
Patience Nkomo, our 'A' student!
Lungisani in his grandmother's house
A nutritious meal is provided to young and old through the soup kitchen
HOL Soup Kitchen feeds between 160 and 200 people twice a week
Nkosiyazi at Lighthouse Christian Academy
 Lighthouse students performing a song item.
Egg & Spoon Race at the Lighthouse Sports Day
Knowledge playing Checkers at 2014 Ace Convention.
Lighthouse boys (team in blue & maroon) playing a soccer match.
Junior class students having a Computer lesson.
Lighthouse Clean Up Campaign
Seluleko with her new baby boy Brandon
Ernest & Nontobeko & their new baby girl Thembilihle Esther
Prayer Team

Would you like to join our prayer team uplifting the different areas of the Ministry to the Lord with praise and thanksgiving. Send us an email.
Global Development GroupOur Neighbours Ministry is proud to be a partner for Project J301 Our Neighbours Community Project - Zimbabwe with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), Australian DFAT approved Non Government Organisation carrying out quality humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty and provide long term solutions.
* No non-development activities (welfare, evangelism) are a part of the approved project (Project J301). Evangelistic and welfare activities which are done by Our Neighbours Ministry are done outside of Project J301.
Copyright © 2016 Our Neighbours Ministry, All rights reserved.

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