From Rev. Doug Williams serving in Mendoza, Argentina
The Albert Schweitzer School finished the school year on Dec. 8 with in-person final classes as ordered by the governor of the province. Our churches are still only worshipping virtually through Mendoza had a gathering in the plaza in front of the church to sing Christmas songs. In San Juan, we had a special gathering Saturday in the sanctuary to record the Sunday service at which we presented Maria Milagros who was born during our lockdown.
The churches have been helping with feeding programs in two barrios and bought enough chicken and potatoes to feed 50 families Christmas Eve dinner. They made Christmas ornaments out of old Movie/music CDs pasting nativity scenes and writing the names of each child in the families. We had a special donation sent to me through Western Union to buy small presents for the children involved in the two feeding programs.
I made special Christmas greeting videos for the church families. We had several Iowa churches who took special Christmas offerings and with whom I shared about our Christmas activities.
One key insight has been: Though this pandemic has been one of the greatest challenges ever, we are praying more than ever and God seems to be awakening the church here in Argentina. Back home I generously care for those who are suffering most...this is the incarnation!
From Missionary Jane Kies remains in Mutare, Zimbabwe because of travel restrictions
The December/January break allowed Larry and I to spend time with family in Malawi. Any journey is an adventure with plans B, C, and D always at the ready, but especially as we drove the 800km through the country of Mozambique and into Malawi during which we encountered police roadblocks, searches, border delays, and pot-holed roads all made more complicated with COVID-19 restrictions. We are so thankful for safety along the way and are now back in Zimbabwe.
With Zimbabwe in strict lockdown until the end of January, the start of classes has been postponed until the 25th of January. AU campus is running with essential services only. With borders closed it will be difficult for some of our international students to come back. I have been working with colleagues in the Intensive English department to design an online class for our students this semester, (a continuation of last semester's program). My particular role this semester will be remedial and extension teaching, to assist our weaker students in particular. We pray that all students will be able to access lessons online and for God's protection for students and staff already on campus.
From Dr. Emmanuel Mefor and midwife Florence Mefor
They took some much needed personal and vacation time over the Christmas/New Year’s season and will return to Mutambara Methodist Hospital in Mutambara, Zimbabwe in mid-January.