Dear friends and family,
Decorating our wall is a painting Larry recently bought from the Zimbabwean artist Zuze. His work is instantly recognizable with its bright, exaggerated colors depicting scenes from everyday life in this country: markets, bus stations, young men and women drawing water from wells… Larry’s acquisition, specific to this time of year is a cheerful scene of flowering jacarandas in purple bloom with a group of men and women enjoying watermelon.
As we await the rainy season, the landscape dry and faded, the jacarandas which line the streets of many Zimbabwean towns are striking. Colour, too, has returned to our Africa University campus as students have returned to occupy the dormitories and take advantage of the network available for their online classes. Their cheerful greeting and smiles; their sense of expectation and real joy in being here to study; their singing in chapel and lively prayer times in the hills all bring life and sparkle to our community here.
Psalm 37:4 encourages us to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’. These past 17 months of living in the shadow of Covid 19 have for most of us sometimes felt like a dry landscape; colorless and faded. So the reminder to find delight in our relationship with God and others is timely. We are always so thankful for God’s provision and grace in the lives of our young students at this incredible university.
In the words of our students:
Samuel, a student in Rwanda doing online Intensive : “There are 10 years since God promised me to continue my studies abroad, and I was standing on God’s promises till I received what God gave. Through the praying and waiting faithfully is how I got joy.”
Winnie, a Zimbabwean and orphan who is pursuing a BA in Social Work: “Receiving an AU scholarship means a lot to me since I am now able to attain my dream of assisting other vulnerable people. A scholarship has proved to me that no matter what background you come from, education is for all. My hope is that other students will benefit so that they can reach their goals too.”
Simflossa: Thank you very much for your generous support….my dream of working in agriculture is becoming real. I am enjoying staying on campus. Interacting and sharing with others around the campus is very fascinating. All my courses are very interesting and challenging especially Practical Agriculture and Soil Science. I am loving gaining experience through working with broilers and layers. In her picture, Simflossa is doing work-study, a requirement for all students on scholarship to show appreciation for their financial aid.
Many students receive scholarships through the Advance Special. Please consider giving/continuing to support this very special ministry. This ‘precious gift’ makes such an enormous difference to the lives of our students, and opens doors for many young people who would otherwise have no chance of attending university. We are so grateful to those who have given over the years.
Before my much-loved uncle, Bob, died in January, he once wrote, ‘Growing old is not for wimps!’ I feel the same about teaching online, and am happy that almost all of my Agriculture students are now on campus. Although this semester most classes are still online, AU gave Agriculture and Health Science students priority to live in the dorms so that they can do their labs. It is so exciting to meet them face-to-face (or mask-to-mask most of the time)!!
Larry and I are so thankful for being able to see all three sons in Cape Cod, Iowa, and Colorado in July. Carly is blocked from travelling by Australia’s tight covid-related restrictions, but we are hoping that we can gather here in Zimbabwe at Christmas. We will have to see what is possible closer to the time.
-in thanksgiving that the campus has been mostly spared from covid-19, and for comfort for those close to Rev Munengwa, the Theology professor who died from the virus in July
-for continued protection for staff and students, as well as wisdom for the campus leaders who make decisions that allow us to be both active and protected
-for grace to see the color in our lives, especially those in the US heading into a cold winter
We also ask that you consider
*continuing your support of Jane. (Advance Special number: 10739Z)
*providing scholarship support for a student: (Advance Special: 3021028)
Yours and His,
Jane and Larry Kies
PS The AU Farm is expecting a record wheat crop!!!
email- LKies@africau.edu; firstname.lastname@example.org
At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.