About Eden

Eden Children's Village was started in 1999 in Doma, Zimbabwe, Africa. Eden exists to provide holistic, quality care for orphaned children in Zimbabwe. Eden is a school, medical clinic, farm, and orphanage. Eden's mission is to share Christ's love through meeting real life, everyday needs.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A nice "short" trip to get some goats!

For the last several months, I, Ian, have been working on getting the details ironed out for a Rotary International grant to bring dairy goats to Eden Children's Village to help supplement our milk needs, especially for the children in our care who cannot digest cows milk.
So, after months of preparation, the time finally arrived to go and retrieve the goats. Ian and our neighbor, Dave, climbed in Eden's truck, a Foton 2 1/2 toner, at 2am on Wednesday, May 8th, and began the 900 kilometer (565 mile) trip to  Louis Trichardt, South Africa to retrieve the animals. The first four hours were great as we bombed along at the Foton's governed, maximum speed of 85 kilometers per hour. We stopped for a potty break at 6 am and hopped back in the truck to continue to journey, but the truck wouldn't got into gear. After a few minutes, we realized a cable had sheered off and we were going to have to be towed. Fortunately, Dave knows someone in nearly every knook and cranny of Zimbabwe and in a few hours we a truck arrived to tow us to the closest town of Kwekwe. We began getting towed and about 3 miles down the road the clutch on the truck burnt out because of a compression build up in the clutch line. So, our single, and pretty simple problem was made significantly more troublesome! Eventually we arrived in Kwekwe and the mechanics began working on the truck. We knew we were going to be there for the night, so we hoped on a local bus to get to the next town, Gweru, where Dave's friends live. The bus ride took 3 hours to travel 36 miles as we would drive a little, stop and pick up more passengers in the already full bus, or get stopped by the police for several minutes at a time. The most difficult part of this segment of the journey was the temperature. It was already quite hot in the bus, but when we were moving, many of the fellow passengers wanted the windows closed too! So, by the time we arrived in Gweru, I was more than ready to exit the public transport and walk as far as necessary to our next destination. After a short while, we were retrieved by one of Dave's friends and escorted to a beautiful home where we were treated to some lunch and very fine hospitality. The genuine fellowship between genuine followers of Jesus Christ cannot be overstated in sharing about this journey! It truly was incredible to be blessed by brothers and sisters in Jesus in a time of need. Immediately following after lunch coffee, we were kindly escorted to the residence of another of Dave's friends who had kindly offered to keep us for the night. Again, we were treated to incredible hospitality and kindness. We enjoyed good food, fellowship and sleep and woke ready to go the next day.
As often happens in Africa, it took much longer to fix the truck than anticipated, but by noon, we were ready to get on our way. So, we saddled up and began our journey again, still 8 hours to go to the goat farm. Exactly 6 kilometers out of the town where we broke down, I started having trouble with the truck, it was a fuel issue this time and, since we had to starter, this was a huge issue! We were also in the midst of lots of road construction, so we were having to stop and start constantly. By His grace, we only had to stop once for the construction and happened to roll right through 5 construction areas unimpeded and made it with very little extra fanfare to the city where Dave's friends lived. Unfortunately, I had dropped Dave's Bible, which had his passport in it, at the former town. So, while I fueled up and prepared to return the the kind friend's house to finalize plans to leave, Dave went back to Kwekwe to get the passport. As soon as he left, the truck died for real and I knew we were not going anywhere that day. So, in 30 hours, we had gone a grand total of 45 miles! Not the progress we were hoping for. Fortunately, Dave's friend knew a good mechanic in Gweru who could work on the truck. I had broken down for real, so he had to come get me, but a few minutes after I was informed that he was coming, a man pulled out of his driveway right in front of me and asked if I was Ian, I answered, "Yes, I am." and we briskly pushed the truck right into his drive! I'd broken down right where I needed to be...how curious! So the good mechanic man took us in and began looking at the truck, quickly finding some major issues. So, we left him to do his work and returned to the wonderfully kind friend's house to spend yet another night. This took the time of our trip from the expected 30 hours to approximately 48 already, and we weren't any closer to the destination!
Fortunately, my mid afternoon the next day, the truck was fixed and running better than ever before. We packed up and headed off at our fantastic 85km (51 miles) per hour! We got through the border with little effort and arrived at the goat farm at 1:45am on Saturday morning, nearly 72 hours after our departure! We were just thrilled to be there though! We enjoyed a brief conversation and headed off to bed for a good sleep! The sleep was a bit short, but we woke early and got to take a tour of a fine dairy farm. We inspected the animals and finalized our plan for the trip back. At 4pm we loaded up and began the return leg. Things went very smoothly and we arrived at the boarder in good time and successfully navigated the South Africa side easily. Little did we know, we had a long night ahead of us!
On the Zimbabwean side, we quickly went through all the procedures that we knew had to be completed to import that animals. We ran through the many lines and different fees to make it happen and were at the very last step, a stamp from an official giving us clearance to leave the boarder post. That agent lifted the stamp and nearly pressed it to our paperwork before halting and retracting her hand. She returned to the head office to verify we could go, but returned claiming we needed further paperwork. We were really upset by this, because we were fearful for the animals well being in the back of the cramped truck. Without giving too many boring details, we spent the next 4 hours trying to get the right paperwork approved. Eventually, we succeeded at 1:45 am and left the boarder to continue our journey on home. We traveled straight through with as few stops as possible and arrived at Eden at 12:45pm. We unloaded the animals, fed and watered and milked the does, sharing the spoils with the curious children who had come to see the new sideshow attractions at Eden!
The next day, a small child arrived at the clinic critically malnourished and dying! We were completely out of formula, and the cows milk doesn't often sit well with these extremely malnourished kids, so our RN decided to give the fresh goats milk. The child didn't like the taste at first, but quickly began guzzling the milk down! In little over a day, our goats had saved their first child! This is why we got goats, to add the the effectiveness of the ministry of Eden Children's Village! So, no matter what it took to get them here, we see it as COMPLETELY worth it to have prolonged this one child's life long enough to hear about Jesus!
We hope this post encourages you in the daily troubles and challenges you face. Just remember, you never know what God is going to do with the fruit of your hands...you just might save a life after being really really frustrated. So, we hope you are able to enjoy life, even in the difficulties, a little bit more today!

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