September-November, 2021 Warmest greetings to all fellow believers in Christ Jesus from this remote, rural area of southeastern Zimbabwe known as Damarakanaka (“happy jaw”). We continue in the love and fellowship of His servants in all situations and challenges that constantly arise. Specifically, the medical clinic has received a wonderful facelift including cracked concrete repair, new paint, solar power to the little labor and delivery rooms, and general improvement of the property. We thank Hasten for this. The church building has also been extensively improved. We had issues of bats and associated droppings onto those worshipping beneath! The open spaces in the walls were carefully plugged, cemented over, and plastered. The entire church has been
repaired and painted both inside and outside. The main door has been changed to metal since the termites devour wood quickly in this area.
The septic and water systems for the parsonage, clinic, and staff housing have been repaired. Running water is definitely a luxury in this primitive location. We are really working to lift and exemplify higher living standards for this dry, rural area of the country.
Covid-19’s ugly tentacles of sickness, death, and misery caused government to ban all church meetings until mid September. Our medical professionals, assistant staff, patients, and preachers were affected. The senior preacher Stanley Zimuto lost his sister, brother, and father-in-law in one week. Attached is the urgent plea from one of the nurses (Jacob Mugwanda) asking for assistance:
“Hope i find you well.we have a dark cloud surrounding us.Our pastor Mr Zimuto has three relatives who passed on in the same week i.e brother, Sister and father, and this might affect him emotional and psychological.We are kindly requesting your assistance in provision .of transport for him to go . I personally fear the issue of public transport as this might also put his life at risk.”
As it so happened, Stanley was the leader of the family who directed all the activities of the 3-day services. Hasten was able to transport Stanley’s entire family the 800 mile journey.
Malaria, due in part to a good rainy season, sends about 50 patients per month our way with occasional deaths. 30-50 babies are born monthly. Diabetes is rampant. Snake bites are fewer but serious as the species in that area include black mamba’s, cobra’s, and puff adders. Broken bones require transport (when available) to another clinic in Masvingo which has x-ray capabilities…. 5 hours away Lacerations are repaired locally.
Most importantly, the demographics of this area have changed. Hasten’s little clinic has become the center of activity for many miles in any direction. Our little church has assumed importance for village meetings and decisions. The congregation averages 60-80 (pre-Covid) and has now started 2 additional congregations. Palendaba is 9 miles away, and Tanana is 14 miles in the other direction.
Both satellite congregations are led by Stanley Zimuto who has been using the bicycle we found for him earlier this year. Praise the Lord! One of Hasten’s first members, Pat Mansfield, has donated funds for a vehicle for the church! ( By the way her precious husband and Board member Clarence Mansfield baptized me when I was 8 years old.) A vehicle will greatly assist in the ministry to the patients as they are visited by the church members after being treated. Emphasis is also placed on witnessing to the “mothers in waiting” who live at the clinic for 4-6 weeks before delivery and to home visits afterwards.
The needs of the clinic are many. Blood pressure equipment, diabetes test kits and strips, basic oral and topical antibiotics, etc. top the list. Most of these are available in Zimbabwe at a premium cost but are in short supply in this isolated part of the country. A recent special donation is going towards helping.
Your continued support is vital. As we all partner together please keep Dama in your prayers.
Dr. Darel and Mary Pruett