SCV and Friends Refugee Sponsorship

The “St Croix Vineyard Church & Friends” refugee sponsorship group has held two meetings, raised $10,000 in donations and has organized over thirty volunteers into committees. Group co-chair Tom Wiebe expresses the excitement of the group: “We were surprised at the amount of enthusiasm within our church and the wider community. While our eventual goal is $30,000 for a single family we have been fortunate in seeing donations arrive already in our first ten days. It is very encouraging,” he said.

The initial plan is to sponsor one family of four to six persons and consider additional families depending on fundraising results and community support. As the group is partnering with the Atlantic Baptist Convention which is a federal “Sponsorship Agreement Holder,” it triggers federal funding and easier access to various forms of assistance.

Co-chair Don Olmstead spoke of the amount of work involved. “We have committees for education, medical, housing, furniture and household needs, liaison with governments and support organizations, mental health, employment, cultural awareness training, family finances etc. Fortunately we have over thirty capable volunteers already so we are confident we can handle the challenge”, he said.

The first two priorities are fundraising and furnishing an apartment or rental house. The group will be soliciting personal, corporate and group donations. Donations are deductible for tax purposes and 100% of funds raised are used for the refugee project. Persons interested in donating may contact the St Croix Vineyard Church (466-5725) or either co-chair Don Olmstead ( 466-2893) or Tom Wiebe (466-2717). Groups interested in doing a fundraising event are very welcome.

Olmstead noted that “It is not often that we can invest in a genuine humanitarian cause and see the results right here in our town. The opportunity to truly save a family from the horrors of their destroyed country and constant threats to their very lives is one to which we should respond with energy.”

In a similar comment Wiebe stated “Individuals, groups and governments from coast to coast are being creative in responding to this unique situation. Please join us in being a part of Canada’s peaceful and generous history.”

Collecting sufficient furniture, appliances, lamps and housewares for a family of 4-6 is a major undertaking and that group is led by Tony and Madeline Huntjens. Refugee groups have generally adopted the standard that if you would not use the item yourself then it is not a suitable donation. Groups with experience have learned to exclude donations of items such as used mattresses. If you have extra items in suitable condition you can contact the Huntjens at 466-1977.

This group is one of at least two that been established in Charlotte Country to bring refugee families to the area. Donations of all sizes are welcome as each enables our community rescue and give a future to an entire family.


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May, 2015 Zimbabways Newsletter

patients at eden clinicHurry Up and Wait, Basic Shona Culture

Actually, no one is in a hurry here. There is a basic concept of time, but no one’s wearing a watch. When waiting somewhere – even if it’s for hours – people aren’t reading or playing games on their phones, they’re chatting with each other. Shona culture is “relationship-based”, which means they’re using their waiting time building relationships and getting to know one another – who their family is, where they come from, who they’re married to, what’s going on in their village. The change of pace is refreshing, although coming from our North American culture, it is not always easy. There’s lots to learn, for sure!


The last two months our trips to Harare for immigration have been tedious nightmares – waiting for almost 4 hours the first time and most recently, 6 hours for them to decide if we can stay another month in Zimbabwe! We very much need to find a more permanent solution, but the laws in Zim are forever changing and current information is difficult to come by. Please pray with us that we can find the best way forward to put an end to living in 30-day segments!

in the zimzam zoneThe Ways on Holidayat the Boma

As we neared our 6-month mark here in Zim, we got word that a friend of ours was going to be in Victoria Falls – a mere 15-hour drive from Doma! She gifted us with 2 nights at The Kingdom Hotel so we made a plan to meet her and while we were at it, decided to cross over into Zambia so that we could re-enter Zim to start our 6 month visa over again. (We found out later that it doesn’t work that way.) We had an amazing time relaxing at Tabonina Guest House, swimming and taking in some uniquely African sights like elephants on the side of the road! The Victoria Falls are spectacular! During our time in the town of Victoria Falls, Nae and Carole got to feed and take up-close pictures of an elephant and Lia got to dive in a cage and feed crocodiles! We had an awesome experience at a restaurant called The Boma, where we ate many different kinds of meat including croc, impala, and our unanimous favourite: warthog! It was really a great family time away and we loved getting to see more of Africa.

Nae and LiaLia and Naomi

The girls have just started a new semester at school after having a month holiday. School in Zimbabwe runs in three terms. The first starts in January and goes until the end of March. Then they have a month off (harvest season) and go back from May – July. They get August off and then go from September – November, getting the month of December off. So far both girls have said they like the ACE system even more than school in Canada! After getting back from vacation and having a whole month off, they were ready to get back into it.
Lia has started taking art lessons with Kevin which they are both enjoying very much. She will also be taking sewing on Thursdays this term, making a gym bag.
Naomi has been impressing us with her memorization skills, learning multiple passages from the Bible with relative ease. She also has fun playing with Ian and Heidi’s young kids.

Our Work Here at Eden

Jeff has resumed his work on the new clinic and it is nearing completion. We are hoping to be moving into it in only a few short weeks! Jeff has really found his passion in leading his men and being a daily example of what it means to work hard and work well with a Colossians 3:23 attitude “as working for the Lord”.
Carole has spent the last seven weeks in charge of the clinic while Judy and Rory were in the States fundraising. It’s been an experience for sure – leading the team each day, bringing patients to hospital, for surgeries and rehab, treating everything from serious 2nd and 3rd degree burns to a cobra bite! Never a dull moment at the clinic.


We have decided that we, as a family will take up Shona lessons in an attempt to better reach out to the people here and develop relationships. This is very important for all of us, but especially Lia and Nae. Please pray we catch on to this new language quickly!


the crops are being harvested – the late rains did not adversely affect them!
we had a wonderful time away
long-term immigration solution
the girls are enjoying school
learning Shona
finances towards building our new house continue to grow
continued good health
rewarding work
growing relationships

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March 27, 2015 Hello Dear SCV Family!

Well, it sounds like Spring has finally sprung in St. Stephen and although it may take quite some time until all that snow is totally gone, you know the warmer weather is just around the corner!

So we’ve been here for five months now! The rains have stopped early (and they started late), which means a poor crop yield and food shortage all over Zimbabwe. Most of the food we eat is grown or raised right here at Eden, so for the most part, we are not personally experiencing a shortage. It will mean Eden will have less to sell, and so affect us that way. There are plenty of chickens and eggs, cows, milk and butter and seasonal fruit and vegetables to eat. Aside from that, we have to buy imported foods.
The girls are doing really well here. Their days are spent mainly at school – Eden Christian Academy – leaving the house at 6:45 to be on time for the 7am start! They have a 30 minute break from 10 – 10:30, then back to class until lunch at 1pm. On Mondays and Wednesdays they go back to school in the afternoon from 2 – 4, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays the kids have “Sports” from 2 – 4. This past semester, because it was the summer term (January – March), we have been doing swimming lessons with 16 kids from 9 – 13 years of age. The pool is about 3 feet deep and 14 feet across, but when these kids got in on the first day, for many of them, it was their very first time in a pool! They have come a long way since then and are always very excited about swimming during Sports. Some of the kids can even do underwater summersaults now! They shout “Carole! See!” and then they swim the distance across the pool (or halfway, depending on if anyone gets in their way as they go). The month of April is school holidays, so no school until May 5th.
Jeff has been working hard on the new clinic the last few months and it’s really coming along! There are still a few major things that need to happen before it can open, but we anticipate having a grand opening by mid-May or thereabouts. In addition to that, Jeff has also been working on being able to get the chickens moved into the new chicken barns by building their pens and getting solar power hooked up inside. The old chicken barns burned down along with the teen girls’ house and some staff housing back in September.
I have been put in charge of the clinic while Judy and Rory are away in the States for the next 6 weeks. This means more clerical duties – mainly inputting patient data into the computer when there is power, and also having final say on any queries or emergencies that may occur. The clinic staff have been working together for quite some time now, so it’s a good team. The other new responsibility I have is to do morning devotions for 12 of the women on staff at Eden. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I go prepared with some encouragement, thought or Scripture. The challenge is that English is not really a strong point with at least half of these ladies!
I’ll leave you with a couple of prayer requests. The first is that our next trip to Harare/immigration goes smoothly. This will be month number five, and next month we will need to leave Zimbabwe for a short period of time and re-enter on another 6 month visitor’s visa.
#2 is that we are still only a little better than the halfway point needed for financial support. We have lowered our budget to $1200 USD per month and are receiving just shy of $700 in monthly support. Would you pray about contributing $15 per month for the next 15 months? Speak to Lorna or send her an email ( if you can help.
The land is cleared and the footings have been dug for our new house! Each month we are hoping to do some work towards the building of the Way House, which is just the next plot over from where we are right now (I can see it from the window). The money for this will come over and above the budgeted $1200, so if you’re interested in contributing towards that project, please specify to Lorna.
We would love to have some confirmed prayer support as well. Let us know if you are praying for us! If you happen to be thinking about us, why not drop us a line to say hello? Life is different here and can get lonely and even difficult at times. We do miss you and still need you, even though we’re far away physically. Our email addresses are below.
God bless you and keep you,
Carole, Jeff, Lia and Naomi

Carole –
Jeff –
FB: thezimbabways
Physical address: The Ways
c/o Eden Children’s Village
PO Box 166, Mhangura

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November 30, 2014 …. Hello Dear SCV Family!

First of all, way to go Wanda! We’re so proud of you and welcome home!
We just wanted to touch base with you personally to let you know how things are going at Eden Children’s Village. Many of you are on Facebook and have “liked” our page – for those of you who haven’t, the address is We are trying hard to keep up-to-date with photos, updates, stories and prayer requests.

So we’ve been here almost a month already – which means a trip into Harare which takes 3 hours but is only 150 kms on some terrible roads. The main mission in Harare is to go to immigration for a stamp in our passports. We’ve been told that we’re allowed in Zimbabwe for 6 months (the first three months is paid for, after that we pay a lesser fee monthly). After the 6 months we will need to leave the country for about a week and then re-enter, requesting another 6 months. At any point immigration can deny us entry and request us to leave within three days, so “immigration day” is always a prayer point in the days leading up to it. We will be going on Thursday December 4th.
The girls are doing an amazing job adjusting to life here. Their days are fairly unstructured at this point, but we did bring some curriculum books for them to work through and they have been enjoying making videos and meeting with some of the local girls who come to call on them almost daily. They will begin school at Eden Christian Academy in January. It will be really nice for them to have more structure in their days and to get to know more of the kids here.
Jeff has hit the ground running and is already supervising about 4 different building projects. No joke, there was a list waiting for him when we arrived! He’s got a crew of between 2 and 5 guys depending on the project. Some days he’s been left wondering what to do with everyone when supplies have run out and the new order has not arrived. There always seems to be SOMETHING to do at Eden though, so it gets sorted out in the end.
I have been working at the clinic on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. There is always an interesting assortment of ailments and injuries to keep us busy there! Most of the patients who are injured seem to wait until a good infection has set in to be seen, but most of the people who are sick come in the day the symptoms start. They all say the same thing: “I have flu.” Flu is not the same here as back home. It generally just means cold symptoms. The prescription is “flu regime” and “push fluids”. They go home with a packet of herbs to drink as a tea and a scolding to drink more clean water.
I’ll leave you with a couple of prayer requests. The first is that our trip to Harare/immigration goes smoothly. (The girls are excited because this is also their one chance to do any Christmas shopping. So far we haven’t seen any decorations or heard any Christmas music – we’re wondering if that will be different in a big city.) #2 is that we are still only at the halfway point for financial support during our time here. We have a budget of $1500 USD per month. Would you pray about contributing $10, $20 or whatever you are able for one year? Speak to Lorna or send her an email ( if you can help. We would love to have some confirmed prayer support as well. Let us know if you are praying for us! Another prayer point is that it is REALLY hot here. Today is 36 degrees in the shade and I’ve been told to add 15 degrees when in the sun. This kind of heat is exhausting, and drinking plenty of water is essential. The girls (especially Naomi) need to remember to drink to avoid getting sick. We’re praying for the rain to come. We have had one good storm, but once rainy season begins, the weather will drop to more tolerable temperatures and make everything green and lovely!
Thanks for all your support – we love you and miss you!
Carole, Jeff, Lia and Naomi

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Contact with the Ways

The Ways are in Zimbabwe to help at Eden Children’s Village.

You can keep track of them through their Facebook page, The ZimbabWays or by email, or their website

Off to Africa This whole service (September 28) was a celebration of the Way family, who are heading off to Zimbabwe to work and live at Eden Children’s Village. They started the time by showing us the village on Google Earth (search Doma, Zimbabwe) Jeff spoke a little about the location and the life they will have there, and also about growing into the dream God has for you.

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Special Offering

We took a special offering for the Ways to help with their training for going to Zimbabwe. Stay tuned for the amount collected! Thanks to everyone who took part! You can still contribute anytime by just connecting with Lorna.

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May 16, 2014

We will be taking a special offering on May 25 to help the Ways (Jeff, Carole, Lia and Naomi) . They will be taking part in a month long course to prepare the family for the cross-cultural move to  live and work at Eden Children’s Village in Zimbabwe. If you aren’t able to give at this time but want to contribute to Way family, just talk to Lorna.

Here’s the link to the place they are going to for training:
The program (called Compass) is designed for families to prepare to spend extended periods of time outside of their primary culture.  It focuses on how to enter another culture and how to leave your own, what to expect as far as feelings of grief and loss, how to deal with conflict and stress, language acquisition and how to focus on keeping an attitude of praise and thanksgiving.  The great part is that there is a specialized kids’ program too – it’s not just for the adults.  This will be important for Lia and Naomi as they have not spent any time (that they remember) outside of North America.
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