Traveling is always an adventure. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or what country you are in, the unplanned and unexpected is always just around the corner; and so our morning began.
Nothing that challenging, just low tire pressure – i.e. almost flat, and a need petrol, ‘now’, kind of start to the day. Nice. Good thing everyone on our team has a great sense of humor and simply ‘rolls with the punches.’ It’s all part of the adventure.
Shortly after diverting disaster, we set off for Howard High School and Hospital – significant institutions in The Salvation Army’s Zimbabwean history. Located 80 kms north of the capital city, Harare, in the Chiweshe district of Zimbabwe, The Salvation Army compounds are important parts of the local community.
The 90 minute drive afforded us opportunity to see the Zimbabwean First Lady’s orphanage, which was built as a gift from the Chinese government. As the area is also host to citrus groves we had a colorful array of orange and yellow as we sped along the motorway.
Arriving at Howard High School was a delight as we were greeted by two single file columns of timbrelists and instrumentalists lined up on either side of the roadway as an honor guard. The groups were not there for us of course – but awaiting the arrival of The Army’s International Leaders who were scheduled to arrive momentarily.
The crowd that turned out to meet The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox was outstanding. The General seemed pleased to return to Howard Hospital, a place where he very much feels at home. It has been a familiar surrounding since the mid-1950’s.
Officers, soldiers, Salvationists and friends moved from one location to another on the school property as the General dedicated three new buildings on the grounds. The General’s party and local officials also toured the new hospital site which is looking great and set to officially open in late Fall 2014.
Today was very busy. The SAVN.TV crew interviewed several people and shot B-roll of the grounds for use in the documentary. The Salvation Army’s Howard ministries, is historic yet relevant only getting stronger. As General Cox said of Howard, ‘it is a beacon of light, hope, and healing.’
We concluded our day by visiting Thomas Mudyiwa, the Chisweshe Headman and his family on their farm. ‘You kept your promise’ was his greeting, ‘’you came back to see me.’ What a welcome! He remembered me visiting last August. It was a joy to reconnect with Thomas and his family once again and to share in prayer in their barnyard before departing.
Finally, thanks to our good friend, Major Kyle Smith for all his efforts over the last few weeks. He left Zimbabwe bound for Los Angeles this afternoon. We’ll miss his energy and spirit on the team but we’ll forge ahead.
That’s all for now. Thanks for again for reading.
Major John Murray, IHQ Communications and Literary Secretary