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Ubuntu eXplorers team to Zimbabwe

The Ubuntu, Zimbabwe eXplorers journey was the pilot team of Ubuntu sisters. Twelve United Methodist Women from across the United States carried friendship and hope to their sisters in faith in the Zimbabwe Annual Conference, March 22 - April 4, 2006.

Building relationships, chatting and hugging
Building relationships, chatting and hugging

Eva Norton Prude, UMW member from South Carolina, writes the following:

Our main assignment was to share the love of God by building trusting relationships with 30 women leaders in Zimbabwe. For two weeks, we talked, laughed, cried, sang, and prayed together as the two teams became one.

We visited many UMC mission schools, orphanages, one women's hostel, and many churches within a 300-mile radius. We became aware of the severe drought and food shortage gripping the country, and of the harsh governmental control over the peace-loving and gentle citizens.

Yet everywhere, we were greeted with cries of "Mauya" (Welcome) as they offered their best meals and delightful entertainment. We participated in many worship services, mixing our English with their Shona, as we prayed and sang hymns familiar to all of us . . . accompanied only by drums and tambourines!

We stayed in host homes for the first four days in Harare, but when we traveled to Mutare, the second week, we were lodged in an old home turned hotel. It was there that enduring friendships developed as we exchanged ideas, crafts, cultural similarities and differences, Bible study, devotions, and yes....lots of "girl talk!"

We were invited to the home of Bishop and Mrs. Nhiwatiwa for dinner and had tea with the Vice Chancellor of Africa University while on campus.

Grace Musuka, hostess and coordinator of women's work for the Zimbabwe UMC, wrote that "Even though the first Ubuntu, Zimbabwe has come and gone, it is still in our memories. We need to keep on praying for the rest of the journeys to make us united in Christ".

Ubuntu sisters share crafts
Ubuntu sisters share crafts

Ubuntu Fairfield Cottage Children
Fairfield Cottage children

Ubuntu Sisters talking and hugging
Time for sister talking and hugging

Bishop Nhiwatiwa receives a gift
Bishop Nhiwatiwa receives a gift from the team

Ubuntu Kathie and Grace
Kathie Mann and Grace Musuka, Team Leaders

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