Vanderpool, Kathy (Spring, 2010)

Dear Family and Friends,

Zimbabwe staff (front row) and BMW students

Zimbabwe staff (front row) and BMW students

April is the month when we really start gearing up for Boot Camp. There are so many preparations to do for all the Boot Camps. We have two new obstacles to add to the Obstacle Course this year. One is a new Noah’s Ark. The animals have been painted and the ark is being built right now.

I have been working on the Mustard Seed program. This year we are having a “cowboy” theme. Dad has cut out some cowboy and cowgirl silhouettes, and made 10 cacti that are the colors of the Wordless Book. He also made a covered wagon and a hitching post for the stick horses that they will ride on for some “memory verse hunts” and they may also do a barrel race or two. We may also have some bucking broncos (hung between some trees) for them to ride. Then there will be a fireplace where we will teach Bible stories and learn about all the Wordless Book colors which leads the children through the plan of salvation. We already have the tent set up so we can have plenty of time to get things in place for the camp. Dad is also going to build an arena for the various activities, so that will be the next thing on the “to do” list.

I was supposed to go to Canada and do some training with the Missionaries To Canada but we needed to move the training to August. It was going to be a little difficult to get all the leadership in place and the schedule confirmed, which wasn’t quite coming together. So after my summer team, I will fly up and train them. My sister Barb is going to be able to come to Canada and help train as well. After the training is complete, I will return to Florida and help look over the home office while most of the staff are on deputation/vacation.

I went to Zimbabwe for 21 days with an adult team of five ladies and two men. We flew to Washington D.C., then on to Johannesburg, South Africa, before flying into Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It is the third largest city in Zimbabwe. We had staff just outside the customs area waiting for us to clear. It took a little time as we had so much luggage that it took a little time for the customs officers to ask their questions and look through the bags. It was then a two-hour ride to the base. It is about 18 kilometers from the main road. We arrived safely in the afternoon, unloaded all our bags, settled into our rooms and the cooking began for me.

Newly puttied windows

Newly puttied windows

The team was able to paint the Bible School kitchen, the boys dorm rooms and the girls dorm rooms. They painted several rooms at the AIDS Orphans Rescue Unit, cleaned floors and put putty on as many windows as they could. On Saturday they had Bible stories and games with the orphans. On Sunday, we rode to the nearest church.

The last week we were there, we were able to go visit the orphans in their villages. In one of the villages, a Grandma takes care of 13 children, while another grandmother, who is blind, takes care of 13 children – the oldest is mentally retarded, the next oldest being 13 and the youngest is only 2 years old. At one village a young girl had a swollen throat and could not even talk–her tonsils were so swollen. We had a team member who was a medic in the service. He was able to give her some antibiotics and then went back later to give her more. They saw her the next day for more antibiotics and she was able to give the team a little smile. There were children that came with sores or rashes all over their body. Some of the children had the rashes as long as six months with no relief. As they came back for a couple of treatments, we were able to see some improvement. You see, the children don’t have anywhere to turn for even the simplest of help, so it was great to be able to bring in some first aid medicines, band aids and multipurpose cream.

The facilitators continue to help the children. We took photos of the orphans so we can get sponsors for them. I was able to have meetings with the staff and we finished up on our last night there with a feast of rice, chicken, coleslaw, sudza, greens and chocolate cake. We had some great fellowship with the staff and students and then had devotions together and shared the things the Lord had taught us. It has been 14 years since any team has been to the base. The team brought encouragement to the staff and students as they worked alongside them and spent some individual time together as time permitted. It was a very successful time and we are planning to send a teen team there next summer as well as an adult team.

Zimbabwe was one of my favorite places to go as I used to travel around Africa and visit all the bases. Times have been very difficult for the staff, but they have hung in there and have been so faithful to the ministry the Lord has given them in Zimbabwe. Things still are difficult, but there is food now in the stores. Communication is difficult and transportation is still being worked out, but God continues to sustain and keep them, even through difficult times.

Here is a recent report from one of our Rescue Units in Zambia that is making a difference medically for the orphans, guardians and others in the community.

“On Palm Sunday, Mrs Muntu came to the Luswishi unit complaining of sharp headache pains and a high fever. These are classic malaria symptoms but Queen had no malaria medicine and only gave her some painkiller and said to go to the clinic for the malaria meds. After two days, her husband came back with his wife to Luswishi saying the clinic had no medicine and his wife was much worse. He said she now couldn’t hear even if you shouted in her ear. “Please, isn’t there something you can do?” he asked, “You are my only hope.” Queen was now completely out of medicine. Now even pain-killers were not available. The lady could talk, but couldn’t hear and she said she was also having sharp pains in her arm and chest as well as her head. Queen said to her husband, “I have nothing but I can ask God to help you. Could we pray together?”. They agreed and Queen prayed for her healing. Queen was concerned for the woman and began comforting her. The woman laid down in the grass under a tree as Queen rubbed her arms and chest. Queen indicated to the husband to let the woman sleep a bit, she needed to rest. The woman fell asleep under the tree. Queen returned an hour or so later and asked the woman how she felt. The woman replied, “I feel fine”. Queen said, “What? You can hear?” She said, “Yes, I can hear and my headache is gone.” Queen felt her head and the fever was gone as well. The woman was completely healed. God saw and provided even “where there is no medicine.”

This summer I will be going on a new first-time team for TMI. It is called the Zambia Drill Team. We have two volunteer teachers that will be coming to train the team. They will teach drill routines that the team, in turn, will train the orphans to do. It will be used as an evangelism tool. We will be traveling to Zambia and not sure yet which Rescue Units we will visit and train.

Thank you for your continued prayers and financial help as I continue to have the privilege to serve here at Teen Missions.

Zimbabwean orphans with the rabbits they raise for meat.

Zimbabwean orphans with the rabbits they raise for meat.

Because of Him,

Kathy Vanderpool

I Timothy 1:12

Prayer requests:

• Zimbabwe staff and students–good health, and that God to continues to meet their needs.

• The Mustard Seed program that gives opportunities to share with the 4 to 6 year-olds the plan of salvation.

• Boot Camp with my team–that we can learn all the routines, safety as we travel and to take every  opportunity to be able to minister to the orphans.

• Training with Missionaries To Canada in August and September.

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