This guest post is brought to you by Marcy H., a VisionTrust sponsor and team member from Colorado.
My heart has been tugged by Africa since I was about 10. So, at age 57 I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go.
My husband Ted and I accompanied Jim, Matt and Jenny (VisionTrust employees) to see the pilot of the “Million Meals” project implemented last October in Zimbabwe. Preparations began by procuring RUTF’s (ready to use therapeutic food), trips to Costco for vitamins, pain relievers, antibiotic ointment, candy, soccer balls etc. to help Davison (VisionTrust Zimbabwe’s Country Director) fill his medicine and supply cabinets. We filled backpacks for our sponsored kids and couldn’t wait to get there.
Travel time into Harare was about 26 hours altogether. We cruised right through customs (what a blessing no one was there!). Davison picked us up and we headed for a hotel for the night. My husband quipped that he was depending on Davison to save him from any wild animals. Davison’s response: “Circle of life…” and a big smile.
The drive to Masvingo, our home for the week, was about 4 hours. From there we went on to the village of Ngundu where we spent the night with a family in the village. They were SO gracious! They had already eaten, but fixed us dinner which included killing one of their chickens. (I felt hugely unworthy at this point). The older girls sang spirituals and danced. Grandpa told us of his goal of providing an education for all of his grandchildren, who were numerous and, all but one, orphans.
We prayed and talked and had a lovely evening. We slept out under the stars that night, even though the family wanted to give up their beds for us. I lay there looking at the stars and thinking how far I was from Colorado and yet how at home I felt.
Over the next several days we visited the school, tasted the fortified drink used to supplement, saw the fortified porridge made in a huge cauldron and the little ones literally running to get in line for it. We spoke to the village chief, the pastors, the teachers and all spoke of their desire to care for their own and discussed ways of accomplishing just that.
Although the children are undernourished they are absolutely happy and exuberant. We were able to meet 2 of our sponsored kids in person which was truly a highlight. They (and we) were shy, but so happy to meet each other. We would love to spend more time with each of them to understand their lives and challenges. Perhaps there will be another opportunity. Until then I am blessed by having gone and would encourage anyone else considering it to go also.