It’s a beautiful, breezy morning in Zimbabwe. It feels good to have a moment of downtime to think and process. We left Austin on Thursday, and once we got to DC we headed out to Jo’burg on a 17 1/2 hour flight. When we got to Jo’burg we drove four hours to Polokwane. The next morning we drove, roughly 12 hours into Marondara. The good news is we made it, although we were exhausted from many days of travel.

Thankfully, it was all worth it. When you spend five minutes with John and Orpa, you can’t help but fall in love with them. They are deeply committed to the gospel, their church and their community.

The last time I was in Zimbabwe was in 2007. Life was very difficult then, and it got worse in 2008. It was getting a little better in 2009, but things seem to be shifting backwards these days.

The reality for most Zimbabweans is harsh. There is an 90% unemployment rate, and the average Zim family earns $100-150 per month. Here’s the sad thing, the cost of living is high. Basic staple foods like bread and mike are higher in Zim than in America, so is gas among other things. It also costs $26 a month to send each child to school.

Zimbabweans struggle with small things that many take for granted. They’re currently going through a water crisis, as the government can no longer afford to send water through the tap and electricity usually comes on a 3 days each week.

It’s really hard seeing friends struggle so much with the most basic things in life. However, I must say that it’s also encouraging to see my Zim friends love God. They have great attitudes and do what they can to make life better. It seems that they have learned how to be content with little material things. God is deeply moving in their community, and their church is serving their village (small town) so well.

Yes, we see pain, but we also see hope. Like this picture, my wife Necole with our sponsored child.