ZPSF Trip Report for September 2014
On this trip, I was accompanied by Gullis Gouws from my home town, Duiwelskloof.
It was to be his first trip with the fund although he and his wife enjoyed taking holidays in Zimbabwe. He was also responsible for getting us two tyres that were much needed for the truck and getting other much needed repairs done. Thank you Gillus and to SUPA KWIK for this donation.
We set off for the border at about 15.00 with the “aircon” working for the first time for a long while and arrived at my friend Joe Joubert’s home in Musina shortly after 18.00.
We were at the border by 05.45 and across by 06.00 and fully cleared by 08.30. All in all it was a good crossing and we were in Bulawayo by 14.30 ready to get loaded up for the long trip ahead to food boxes to all the folk throughout the country and settle for the night. Once again the Bulawayo team did a sterling job of getting the goods aboard in record time.
We were on the road by 08.00 heading for Gweru where we do both the Boggies and Huis Vergesig homes. With my wife Liz sending out advance warning of our arrival, we were met at each home with an excited and expectant group of thankful folk. At Huisvergesig I was able to drop a new LARGE print bible to Mrs. Dinky Peens who had received a bible from me in 2004. Ten years later with failing eyesight she requested a large print edition and in no time we had a donor, Mrs. Sanna Prangly. I have since had a deluge of requests when she proudly showed her new acquisition and the word spread. These bibles cost between R350.00 and R500.00 each depending on where we can get them. English and Afrikaans ones are needed and the translations most asked for are the NIV and NKJ versions in English and the older Afrikaans translation. Any one wanting to help in these cases please contact the Head Office or if you do make a donation if you can send us an email to confirm your donation is towards the Bibles required. From Gweru we headed on to do Herbert Lee at Redcliff and Lynnbrook in Kwekwe. At Lynnbrook we were once again spoilt by the grand oldies there and made to feel so at home. After a great meal and a splash of fuel we headed for Westview in Kadoma where we sleep over at the O’Reilly home. We were told by Estelle that her mom, Veronica “Ron” was not well and going backwards quickly and we have since been told that she has gone to be with her Lord whom she loved dearly. Our condolences and thoughts are with you, Estelle, Clive and family.
We left early and headed off to Sunningdale in Chinhoyi where we were again greeted with enthusiasm and the team there quickly had the boxes off and the empties back on. We spent about an hour chatting and catching up before we left and headed for Harare where we drew fuel and dropped the consignment for Harare with Mr. Mike Futter and then retired to spend the evening with John and Leonie Herbst who always go the whole “9 yards” in making us feel at home, thank you guys.
We were up early as our hosts were off on a weekends fishing trip and on the road out of Harare by 07.00. We stopped for breakfast just after Marondera and then headed for Rest Haven in Rusape. After a long visit and tea and sarmies we left for Mutare going to attempt to do all the drops that day as our kingpin helper and host, Des Becker was away. However, his trusty team was there to assist and as we wanted, we got all done except for a few “empties,” that we collected the next morning before departure. In Des’s absence we were looked after and housed in the EHT main building of the old age home guest flat and were able to chat and interact with some of the residents.
We left Mutare about 09.00 and headed for Chivhu where we dropped the hampers for the folk in that area and Piet and Frieda de Klerk gave us lunch of really “lekker” meat rolls, BIG ones. After lunch we progressed to Masvingo where we spent two nights with Gerhard and Trudi Burger.
After a good visit and rest we headed to Lyn D’Ewes in Zvishavane, were treated to a hearty breakfast and good conversation. Here Gillus was almost able to trace some of his wife’s relatives and I am sure his next holiday or trip will include finding lost links in the family. We headed for Sherugwe, then to Gweru to pick up the empties before heading to Bulawayo to drop them all off. We spent the next day chilling in Bulawayo. We met some wonderful folk there who gave us their bakkie to use all day long. They are Mr. Buck and Mrs. De Vries. Great people who insisted we spend the night and park our truck in his property. Now living in town on a small patch of ground, he once had lions as guard dogs on his vast farm.
We headed back to our loved ones in South Africa and arrived home safely at 15.00
It was a great trip apart from the fact that many folk have passed away, folks once strangers but now family, people of great quality and substance, whose lives were ruined by a tyrant who will one day have to explain to his God.
Friends and donors, our next trip is the one that the oldies look forward to more than any other, the Christmas delivery trip. Please hear our request to give a little extra so that their Christmas can be made better.
Every year we do some thing extra for a set of homes and this year we plan to do the Mutare group of 4 homes, frail care and about 40 outsiders.
What makes these trips so heart wrenching is when you arrive at a home to be told in confidence,” Wow you come as if sent by the Lord, we ran out of food 2 days ago” and these folk are in tears as the tell you, at times more than just a few days. They are a proud people. When you are told that some people have shared a few apples for days on end and wept openly on receiving their hamper you realize how fortunate you are when you can purposely diet even though the pantry is well stocked.
On our next, the Christmas trip, each person on our countrywide list will get a gift and this puts some pressure on our finances but we know we can count on you, our loyal and true supporters to help. We understand that times are tough but believe that our God will provide for us all who strive together to serve these dear folk.
I had a long talk with Gullis regarding his experience on the last trip.
This is what he had to say and wants me to put it out there for all to feel his excitement and trauma.
Attie has told me on numerous occasions about the work he is involved in taking food parcels etc through to the old people in Zimbabwe. My response was, “ja well no fine man”, what's the big deal. So my wife, Janette and I invited Attie & Liz for dinner a few weeks ago to hear more.
I am in business, locally here, and was thinking into taking a trip with him. Firstly, tyres were needed on the truck and these were sourced and then the “Aircon” needed repairing and we did a rush job on that too.
We finally set off on the trip and slept the night in Musina at a friend of Attie's. Here I heard more of what was involved as Joe Joubert had done a number of trips and he painted another aspect to the goings on.
The next day we crossed the border with little disruption according to Attie although I was not totally convinced. We arrived in Bulawayo about two in the afternoon and I saw this mountain of apple boxes clearly marked with their recipients and destinations.
I did not comment, as I did not believe that all the boxes would be able to all fit and go onto the truck and besides...what's the big deal, it’s only a box with stuff. The excitement did not register until we arrived in Gweru at Boggies home. This was to be the first of many stops. I saw for the first time in my life what it was to have nothing. These beautiful old ladies and gents gathered around the truck and patiently waited for their special survival kit as names were called out. The look on those faces was, and still is unbelievable. “The sergeant,” Fred Munger and his wife, spoilt us and when we got back into the truck’s cab we found letters of thanks, a packet of biltong and a small container of home made biscuits, there was no one to thank. I did not let on but I was heartbroken inside to see these precious folk who have nothing thanking us in such a grand way.
As we travelled around the country from old age home to home I was dumb founded at the love, grace, humility and appreciation these older people, can't call them old, they help take the boxes out of the truck, carry them around and chase us away when we want to do it. At one home that I will not name, a retired pastor quietly came and personally thanked me telling me that their food supply was finished two days before our arrival. So it was all along the way. No one ever complaining, but greeting you with a smiling face, true gratitude!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be witnessing such a humane task done by the Botha brothers, started by Hannes the younger one. I witnessed the charity and love of Christ to a “peoples group” who can’t help themselves.
I was home for about a week when the reality of this big task hit me and I had to take time out to get myself back together again. I want to urge anyone out there that think this is not a worthy cause to think again. You have no understanding of what these people are doing with limited resources. I, Gullis Gouws challenge you to get involved in any way you can. If you want to challenge me call me on 0836129654. You need to contact Hannes at the office 0137900934 or on his cellphone 0845893221 and Attie on his cellphone 0829012291 and find out how you can assist. Finances are desperately needed as well as fuel donations and spares and servicing of the trucks. Their next trip is the Christmas one and gifts also get given to every person. You can help here too.
I had to go on a trip to see the big picture. You may need to do the same. I hope my message and report will influence and challenge you to be pro active. Remember, you have not done or given anything until you have given to the needy.
Thank you for opening my eyes and heart.
Together we can do it. When making a donation towards the Christmas trip/gifts, please reference your deposit “Christmas”
My prayer is that our Lord will bless your seed offering and that you and your families will indeed have all you need and ask for this Christmas season.
Pastor Attie Botha.
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