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OH3 News... It's a done deal! thanks !
Posted 3/14/2011

OH3 is trying to replace the funds that were sent to Zimbabwe on behalf of Charity Chikombe, a preacher's wife and daughter living in Bulawayo. Open Hearts Helping Hands sent $2300 to help with her two trips to S.Africa to see doctors, visas, travel expenses, lodging, and the procedure to deal with her cervical cancer. We're happy to report that the procedure to burn those cancer cells out was successful and she is recovering nicely.

These funds came from our OPERATIONS account and we were glad to be able to help. Charity is a wonderful Christian wife and mother.

We would like to rebuild that fund now. If you'd like to help replace those funds on Charitiy's behalf you can help by sending your checks (noted for Charity Chikombe) to...

Open Hearts Helping Hands 15591 N. State Road 9 Summitville, IN 46070.

Or you can use PayPal and your charge card. Just leave a note in the comment section that funds are on intended for Charity Chikombe.

We'll keep the chart at the right updated on that effort. Once again, We thank you for your help, partnership, and fellowship in this work.

Mac and Mike

 

 

OH3 News...
Posted 2.27.12

GREETINGS TO ALL OUR PARTNERS - FEBRUARY 2012,

WHAT'S THE NEWS FROM OPEN HEARTS HELPING HANDS?

That's always the question that comes our way when we run late with these reports (And I'm always late somehow) This is nothing more (or less) than your effort, an effort of New Testament Christians who care, so your concern is welcomed.

How about a summation?

During 2011 our partners (that you reader!) contributed just under $34,000 to helping New Testament Christians family by family. As you already know, these contributions were/are ALL from individual pocketbooks, wallets, checkbooks, charge cards, garage sales, giving up lunches, children's chore money, movie money, pizza money, and numerous other INDIVIDUAL sources. No funds were requested or accepted from any church treasuries. I've got to say that efforts like this make me so proud of my Christian brothers and sisters that it sometimes causes me to weep. Basically those funds were spent on a food shipment of nearly $14,000, another one of $13,000 and a seed purchase of nearly $7,000.

Additionally, OH3 was able to basically rebuild the truck that brother Mountbatton Brewer has put over half a million miles on, while he preaches and delivers food to brethren. If you remember, Brewer slid off off the road and pretty well totaled the truck last year putting him and us almost out of business. We finished off that rebuild with four new tires in January

The truck, out of business a few months ago and then back to work...

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?

The last time you heard from me and OH3 was August and the four tons of seed that YOU purchaced through OH3 was in and food requests from the Tsholotsho area (Northwest Zimbabwe) was down. Thanks to God and our partners approximately 120 villiages where New Testament Christians were located were eased from the food shortage problem.

Please let me add a note here. There are a number of evangelists that are working in DIFFERENT areas of Zimbabwe to help Christians procure food and seed at the right seasons. The rainfall over the year can be different from North to South and from East to West. Needs can be different at different times of the year and although those helping in these different areas can overlap in their efforts sometimes, sometimes reports can be confusing. We at OH3 do not presume to speak to the needs of the whole nation or even outside the particular areas where we are focused on the needs of Christians, but only in the Northwest area of Zim where we try and keep close contact with our messengers. Leslie Maydell (coming up from S. Africa), Paddy Kendall-Ball, and Al Payne are just a few of the names of men who come quickly to mind who are working in other areas. There are other good men working also and we would just ask that you might keep reports from different areas of the country in their context. Becasue one area has rainfall, good crops, and a good report does not neccessarily contradict another part of the county having scarce rainfall and resultant hard times.

Becasue the immediate food needs in Tsholosho were lessened over the past few months, OH3 was able to turn its attention to the San people. We have introduced these folks to you as the original bushmen of Zimbabwe. Christians of that group in quite a few villiages, a number that is growing by leaps and bounds, are in the process of changing their culture from a seasonally roaming, hunting and gathering culture to a farm based agrarian culture where local congregations can exist, worship together as spiritual families, and encourage one another. Oh3 has helped in that effort from our Operations fund (NOT the food fund) by helping to purchase donkeys and ploughs and corral lumber for farm work. Brewer, Chicombe, Lunga, and the other men that work together to deliver food and seed also preach and teach and hold protracted meetings with the San as they make their rounds. Almost every report of their travels bring news of baptisms and growing congregations among the San People.

Some of these meetings/preachers are pictured below.

As well, note the cool mobile baptistries that they use...

FROM LAST YEAR ALSO...

One of the "UPs" that we can report on was the successful removal of a cervical cancer from Charity Chicombe. She had to go to South Africa for the procedure and again for a follow up, but as of this writing this mother of two and wife to Solomon Chicombe, gospel preacher and another of OH3's messengers has been declared cancer free and is healthy and well. We rejoice with this young family who has been going through so much over the past few months.

OH3 did assist the Chicombe's with their medical bills and travel to South Africa. This was done from the operations fund, not the food fund, and if you have checked out the NEWS page on our website OPENHEARTSHELPINGHANDS.COM you can see that that those funds have been comepetely replaced, due once more to the generosity of our partners. Below is the latest pic we have of Charity and Solomon and their family, cancer freel

 

We're going to leave you with this last pic, below, from Zimbabwe. I hope it means as much to you as it did to me when I read the tagline that brother Brewer attached to it in his report. His description of this pic was, "San people being addressed by headman who gave words of wisdom and thanks to OH3 for all their help." That reference to OH3 is you, reader. What a great thing you have done in the Lords name.

ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF FOOD...

We have recently been contacted by Brewer with the statement that last years food crop, although good, is about used up and some are beginning to need food help again. We are gathering funds as quickly as possible for another food shipment, but we're only about halfway there. If you've been wondering about the need, stop wondering. Now would be the perfect time to spread the word that funds are needed once again. Things have been improving and we pray that they will continue to improve for our brethen in Zimbabwe, but for now, the opportunity to extend a "cup of cold water" in the Savior's name is still present. Can you help?

ROUND UP...

It bears repeating that those that have been with us for awhile know that 100% of the funds donated to food actually get used for food and transporting that food. We keep another account however, called OPERATIONS, in another bank in another state, just to keep it completely separate. That account is funded only by donations that are directed specifically to that account. We use the OPERATIONS account for everything besides food and transport. We use it for bank fees, accounting costs, and mundane costs associated with keeping things going. We also use it at our discretion to help with temporary needs that are not food needs. We use it for medical help and travel, phone bills, bicycles for walking preachers, blankets for naked children and adults, purchasing donkeys, plows, and lumber to build corrals for the donkeys. Anything that we think needs doing for Christians in serious need that is not food... comes from this account.

If you feel confident in our judgment in how we use these funds we'd invite you partner in these needs by sending your donation to the Indiana account listed on this website. By all means however, if you have to choose between FOOD and OPERATIONS, choose food. That is our main thrust here at Open Hearts Helping Hands.

LAST WORD...

As usual, for more info or questions you can always check out our website farther at www.OpenHeartsHelpingHands.com or email me direct at mcmurray@spiritbuilding.com.

Remember that Open Hearts Helping Hands IS an IRS 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.  We make no bones about standing here with our hand out. :-)

I cannot thank you enough for joining with us in this effort. God will reward your efforts.

Mac

 

OH3 News...
Posted 3/05/2011

WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON LATELY?

(to check out the updated report from this post with pictures, go to this link....)

On the FOOD side...

We've been busy here in this first quarter of 2011 and thought we should share what's been going on since you, the readers, are the biggest part of this effort.

First, we should mention that the crops are growing and hope is in the air as the four tons of seed you bought last year is coming to maturity in the next 30 to 60 days. That investment will really be a help to the food situation of our brethren in Zimbabwe and we thank you for your sacrifice in that area.

The flip side of that coin is that although the crops are coming, they are still two to three months out and the Christians in Zimbabwe have the same bad habit that most of us have, they like to eat on a somewhat daily basis. Last month we purchased four hundred 50 kilo. bags of food for Chistian families. That is 400 Christian families that will have food to eat for the next six weeks or more. There were actually 100 more families that requested help, but this emptied us out for the moment. Our hope is that by time this food is distributed our coffers will have refilled themselves somewhat because of the wonderful commitment of so many partners. Again, I've got to say thank you for joining us in this effort.

On the OPERATIONS side...

Those that have been with us for awhile know that 100% of the funds donated to food actually get used for food and transporting that food. We keep another account however, called OPERATIONS, in another bank in another state, just to keep it completely separate. That account is also funded by donations that are directed specifically to that account. We use the OPERATIONS account for everything besides food. We use it for bank fees, accounting costs, and mundane costs associated with keeping things going. We also use it at our discretion to help with temporary needs that are not food needs. We use it for medical help, phone bills, bicycles for walking preachers, blankets for naked children and adults, purchasing donkeys, plows, and lumber to build corrals for the donkeys. Anything that we think needs doing for Christians in serious need that is not food, comes from this account.

Two more donkeys were purchased last month, one of them being pregnant. Three for the price of two, sweet huh?

On a less humerous note, Charity Chikombe, wife of Solomon Chikombe and mother of two small children was diagnosed with cancer last month. OH3 sent Solomon funds to take Charity to South Africa to see specialists. The prognosis was that the cancer cells could be burned off, but the Chikombe's visa expired before the procedure could be performed. They had to return to Zim. We will be sending more funds to help them with their return trip this month. Solomon is a young preacher and although my experience is limited, IMHO he is one of the best speakers i heard. He is well liked by the brethren there, teaches well on his feet, and his wife Charity is a joyful, hospitible, supporter and encourager of his work. As well, she is the daughter of Mountbatton Brewer, gospel preacher and one of our trusted messengers. We solicit your prayers on behalf of Charity Chicombe. She is a worthy young Christian woman.

The above needs have drained the operations account. If you feel confident in our judgment in how we use these funds we'd invite you partner in these needs by sending your donation to the Indiana account listed on this website. By all means however, if you have to choose, choose food. That is our main thrust here at Open Hearts Helping Hands.

As usual, for more info or questions you can always check out our website farther at www.OpenHeartsHelpingHands.com or email me direct at mcmurray@spiritbuilding.com.

Remember that Open Hearts Helping Hands IS an IRS 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.  We make no bones about standing here with our hand out. :-)

I cannot thank you enough for joining with us in this effort. God will reward your efforts.

Mac

 

 

OH3 News...
Posted 1/20/2011

2010 Wrap up

Here in Indiana we're at half our annual snowfall with half a winter yet ahead. But we're also warm, working, and have plenty of food. It's quite a different picture in Africa however, and brothers and sisters are thinking of you and the Lord with gratitude in their hearts. Although the situation is not ideal in Zimbabwe, it is better than two years ago when this work started and it is due to each one that receives this email. You are the open hands which God has used to pass his blessings along.

I was requested to pull the strings together in this work for a few contributors who wanted a vision of the coming year so I thought that I would share that response with you.

From the beginning then...

The first year (Nov 08 to Oct. 2009) was our most desperate year. It was a crisis time in Zimbabwe politically, financially, and economically. We took in and used approximately $90,000 for food and transporting that food. The food was delivered by preachers without compensation using semi-trailers sometimes, while usually using a small diesel pickup with over a half million miles on it as well as the used pickup we bought when over there in '08. 

The second year (Nov 09 to Oct 2010) we received and used a little over $30,000 in donations that went likewise for food and transport, as well as over four tons of seed for planting. The starvation was pushed back this year so things were a little better on that front, but Mountbatton Brewer's evangelistic work led to great inroads among the San people, the original bush people of Africa, so some extra mouths needing food were added to our list. Other congregations were referred to us outside of the area where we were helping out, but we were saying "no" to quite a few food requests from time to time simply because we emptied our coffers a couple of time.

The above work was done with monies that were sent to food and transport. We are very careful to keep funds separated, using separate bank accounts in separate states, so that anything sent for food goes to food and transporting that food, period, 100%. BTW, we were made aware of some preaching brethren that were making the rounds denying the possibility that we were using 100% of our food funds that way. We will not deign to judge their motives about why they would say such a thing. We WILL only say that they spoke in ignorance and perhaps continue to do so. They have never contacted us to ask a single question and unless banks are now giving out info to inquirers they cannot possibly know a thing about which they speak. I'm sorry that brothers who care so much for the plight of their brethren would stoop to such baseless, empty, and false accusations. And I'm sorry if any of our partners sat in one of these men's audiences and were caused one moment of doubt. You are welcome to call and ask questions, and some have, at any time.

NOW, BACK TO THE WRAP UP...

Additionally we took in about $10,000 over the past two years that was sent specifically to "Operations." That money was used at our discretion to buy several donkeys, a plow, some lumber for corrals, blankets for Christians, catch up some dialysis bills that were owed, travel expenses and bills for medical help, and some emergency food help when the food coffers were empty.

Although the seed and a good rainy season were blessings to the brethren last year, $30,000 for the year had us sitting on our hands much of the time. We had to turn a couple dozen congregations down last year. We just couldn't help them. For this coming year? I don't think the need is up to the level of 09. President Mugabe loosened a few of the political restrictions this past year that helped to ease things somewhat and increase the flow of money in the economy. For 2011 I would estimate a need between $50 - $60,000, however, based on the fact that we could not assist all that requested in the northwest quadrant and some congregations began to be found in the northeast that had received no aid and no one in our organization had been aware of their need. They will need some help in the coming year, I'm sure.

Let me say once more, thanks to all those who sent funds to the Indiana OPERATIONS account, allowing us this discretionary form of assistance. We are acutely aware of the trust you give us and the responsibility involved. I mention this fund in this flash to make everyone aware, if you'd like to help with various needs like donkeys, plows, medical help, etc, that money must be sent to the Indiana address on the website. Those funds DO NOT come from the food account. That fund does need some replenishment from time to time.

All funds sent to the Florida account go completely, 100%, to food and transport. That continues to be our goal. PayPal funds can be designated to either account. If there is no note with PayPal funds designating where they go... they go to food.

If you know brothers and sisters who would like to help in this work, send them to our website. Many Christians have written that they had been looking for a way to help and found it in OH3. Maybe you know some like this. There is a PDF flyer on the website that can be printed out and handed out, or posted on bulletin boards at the church building, but nothing will do more than your word-of-mouth recommendation. Help us to be able to "yes" to hungry brethren instead of "sorry."

The Last Word And an ADDRESS CHANGE

Please note the new address change for sending funds to the food account. The PO Box store we were using closed down, so a change of address was necessary. Our NEW address to receive funds for food is now..

OPEN HEARTS HELPING HANDS

PO Box 341514
Tampa, Fl.
33694-1514

As usual, for more info or questions you can always check out our website at www.OpenHeartsHelpingHands.com or email me direct at mcmurray@spiritbuilding.com.

Remember that Open Hearts Helping Hands IS an IRS 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.  We make no bones about standing here with our hand out. :-)

Thank you so much for your help. God will reward your efforts.

Mac

Other OH3 News...
Posted 3/27/09 - Good News in Zimbabwe at Last

The reports we’re getting here at OH3 have said the rain has come and the crops are growing. There is not enough food growing in the field to alleviate the crisis, but it will be helpful, and in fact already is. Some food is being supplemented already with “green maize.”

Other reports seem to indicate that allowing foreign currency to be used in the country is also helping the economy to some extent. Some products are beginning to appear on those empty store shelves again.

With help from contributors, OH3 set in motion another food shipment into the Tsholotsho area as well as some into Bulawayo itself 3/27/09. 10.5 Tons of meal and the funds to deliver it will feed another 210 families for over a month. Although we deal in “families” rather than individuals, that figure of 210 families could easily mean well over 1,000 Christians and their children will continue to have food in their homes for the next 4 to 6 weeks. May God richly return blessings on every single partner and volunteer in this effort.


Posted 2/21/09 - Below are photos of food delivered to the brothers and sisters in Christ in Zimbabwe


Posted 2/13/09 - Subject: US dollars now accepted in Zimbabwe. 

Mountbatton Brewer has communicated with us that the Zim Government is now allowing US dollars and other foreign exchanges to be used in Zimbabwe; thus, Western Union is allowed to payout US dollars coming from the US wires.  Brewer can now collect US dollars at the Zimbabwe Western Union, and there is a Western Union office in Bulawayo. Note that it must be stated on the  wire form, “payout only in US Dollars.” This, no doubt, comes from the fact that Zim dollars are next to useless and foreign currency is really the only viable currency available. This should speed up the provision of food for needy Christians since Brewer, and others, won’t have to go into Botswana to receive the wires now. He can receive wires in Bulawayo. Mike


Posted 2/7/09 - This is an excerpt from Les Maydells latest report. Les is located in South Africa but is acting as a messenger of the churches and coordinating a great deal of drought relief for brethren in South Eastern Zimbabwe. God bless his efforts. You’ll be interested in his observations. Mac

NYLSTROOM   SCRAPBOOK

For several months the two main political parties of Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF (the ruling party) and the MDC (who won over 50% of the vote in the April 2008 elections), have been holding talks. They make and break agreements. No one knows what is going to happen next. This causes continued hardship on everyone in Zimbabwe. The economy has virtually collapsed. Zimbabwe inflation is unmeasurable, and the currency is worthless. Most people in Zimbabwe now use Rands and US Dollars to do business, but at highly-inflated prices. Education has been seriously disrupted for nearly a year, it is virtually impossible to get medical treatment, electricity and water are only spasmodically available, trash is not being collected, cholera has infected over 60 000 and killed over 4000, mail takes months to deliver, basic food is only available in foreign currency (which the average Zimbabwean does not have), etc. Foreign aid has been hindered, partly because of the world recession and partly because it hinges on Zanu-PF and the MDC forming a unity government (something that has been going to happen “next week” for the past 6 months). The World Health Organization says that over 7 million Zimbabweans are dependent on food aid for survival. (It is estimated there are about 10 million Zimbabweans left in the country.) Reuters estimates that over US$2 BILLION in goods/currency was sent last year from private people outside Zimbabwe (most of them expatriates) to their relatives and friends inside Zimbabwe – just so they can survive. (For more information about Zimbabwe you can visit www.zimbabwesituation.com.)

What amazes me is that, on the surface, life is seems so normal, but .... You go to visit someone in the spotlessly-clean hospital, but ... you can’t find a nurse or doctor (they are striking to be paid in foreign currency). The streets are clean, but ... trash is rotting behind walls and in overgrown fields. You see people going about their ordinary business, but ... no one knows how he will be able to survive on his pay. You see children walking to school in their uniforms, but ... the vast majority of them will not find a teacher when they arrive (teachers are also on strike – their monthly salary is less than a loaf of bread). You attend worship as usual, but .... afterwards you do not shake hands when you sing the greeting song (someone might have cholera). People give their children small change to put in the collection plate .... but when you look closely, it is a bill that has ELEVEN zeros on it! (100 billion!) (And that is after 13 zeros have been knocked off the currency in the past couple of years.) You socialize with a group of Christians, but ... you find out the two ladies sitting next to you are both widows with AIDS ... and two of the carefree-looking teens are actually 16 and 18-year-old orphans. They are looking after their older sister’s toddler while the older sister (a single mother) tries to find work in South Africa. There are over 5 million Zimbabweans in South Africa and the police are fighting a losing battle to keep thousands more from arriving each day. While we were waiting to cross the bridge over the Limpopo River from Zimbabwe back to South Africa, we observed hordes of people carrying the goods they bought in South Africa back to Zimbabwe. Virtually all goods are imported – a lot by truck – but also a lot by head!


Posted 1/16/09 - This is a report from Zimbabwe that was passed along to us last week. I have edited the names so that there would be no repercussions but I wanted to share the dire need that still continues in this place. Jim Allen will be directing funds this week into this area for brethren, while OH3 directs funds north to brethren around Vic Falls. Thanks to all our contributors for your help.   Mac

From: XXXXX
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 3:59 AM
Subject: RUSHINGA IN CRITICAL FOOD SHORTAGE

Brother

I was in Rushinga from 9 to 13 this month. People's lives are in real great danger. Met with members of the church who had gone for days without meals, eating wild roots, fruits and vegetables.

I distributed 10 x 20kgs bought at $12 each to two congregations; Mkosa and Chapinduka. One sad incident, on 11 Jan. the Goto family, while attending church session came back to see everything gone by thieves. It was pathetic to see Mrs Goto literally crying. Another incident, one woman 60 yrs, mixed the little maize meal she had with cowdung and cooked a meal. She is now suffering from an undisclosed stomach ailment.

People are selling assets, livestock and other valuables to avert imminent starvation. All food items and everything else is practically sold in foreign currencies and few can obtain them. This year's harvest could be worse than last year's meaning the shortages would continue into 2010.

World Food Program is facing critical funding shortfalls and has withdrawn food handouts to most constituencies. Cholera has decimated 2.100 lives and there is despair in the country.

PLEASE, BRETHREN I APPEAL FOR VERY URGENT ADDITIONAL MONEY TO BUY MORE FOOD FOR THE SAINTS. By next week people will start burying each other.

…This report continues with reports of baptisms in the area but we will close here.


Posted 1/15/09 - Things have been hectic over the holidays but we are behind on these reports and need to let everyone know what’s been happening.

First we might ask for prayers on behalf of the brethren in Zimbabwe in light of the Cholera epidemic that is sweeping the country. AP reports are that several thousand have already lost their lives. No word has reached us yet that this has touched the brethren. Pray that they may be spared this sadness on top of all others.

Secondly, we want to acknowledge the great work that Les Maydell has been doing in getting seed to Christians before it was too late to plant. Although too humble to claim credit, the work that Maydell has been doing along with native partners and contributions from Christians has simply been amazing. Many Christians will be eating from their own gardens in a couple months because of his efforts.

Thirdly, we are discouraged a little to see that the inflation rate keeps eating away at any effort to help. Meal that cost $400 per ton last October, cost $500 per ton in November, $700 per ton in December, and went to $800 the first of the year. There may be some indication of the price leveling off and even decreasing, but this is just a rumor presently. Needless to say, our inflation figuring and best case expenses are having a difficult time keeping up, but the undedicated donations of some to the food account has allowed us to make up for the lack in individual contributions. We look forward to a price decrease as the season changes and the crops come in.

Lastly, we will mention that the work of feeding hungry brothers and sisters continues with the blessing of God and compassion of the saints. In December another shipment in the amount of $6400 went forward. As I write this report another shipment is being readied to go in the next week. It is a rough guess on my part I admit, but I believe that almost a thousand brothers, sisters, and their children will have been able to have food on their table since last November. We are humbled by almost daily notes from saints who are helping in this effort and thanking us for the opportunity to give. What a great family you are. The team at OH3 in return praises God for you and for this small ability to help.


Posted 1/7/09 - Good news – the brethren have received maize meal. Even after we thought all was smooth sailing, one of the suppliers let us down and the other supplier’s truck had an accident and spilled 25 tons of the 28-ton load down a hillside in South Africa, where bystanders got an unexpected Christmas gift! However, I must say that the supplier (V&M Grain) was very professional about it and made good the loss. In addition, they worked overtime and in their Christmas holiday time to reload another truck and do the delivery. The truck got from Johannesburg, through the border, and to Gwanda/Bulawayo in an amazing time of three days. The meal arrived on 22 December and all of it has already been delivered by Bigboy and Gumpo. David and Ellen Baize were visiting in Zimbabwe at the time the maize meal was delivered and they say the brethren are extremely thankful.

Good news – good rains. The seed germinated nicely and started to grow, but the plants were beginning to suffer. However, just in time, the needed rain fell and, with the exception of Gwanda South, we hear that the crops are doing well.

Good news – generous brethren. I do not have time now to send a detailed report of all funds received. (I need to prepare for my part in the funeral service of an 89-year-old brother who has gone for his reward.) However, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to praise God and thank you brethren for your goodness towards the needy. It seems as though we have all the money needed to supply the relief through March. We sincerely hope and pray that God will continue to bless the land with rain so that no relief will be needed in April, or at least much less relief than at the moment. As April approaches, we will let you all know if further help is needed, but we just want to let you know that the need has been met for the moment. Many have worked to achieve this, but may all glory be to God.

We pray for God’s blessings on the up-coming deliveries – and especially that your gift will encourage the Zimbabwe brethren towards great spiritual growth.

We have a trip planned to Zimbabwe this month, and will be able to let you know more after that trip.

With great gratitude,
Les and Linda Maydell, Rep. of South Africa


Posted 12/15/08



Posted 11/25/08 - OH3, with the help of so many interested brethren, wired funds for more food on November 21 to Zimbabwe. The amount of this wire was $4500 which should pay the cost for food and transportation for another five tons of meal and vegetables. That’s another 100 Christian families that will have food on their table for a minimum of 4 to 5 weeks. Thank you so much for your outpouring of compassion. That brings the total sent since Nov. 1 to over $10,600 and 11 metric tons of food for over 250 families. Every dime came from the wallets and bank accounts of indivudual Christians. The sacrifice and concern of so many Christians for so many of their brethren in Africa has been overwhelming. May God be praised in your efforts.


Posted 11/25/08 - Report on Seed from Les Maydell, Nylstroom, South Africa

We cannot give enough praise and glory to our great God for your overwhelming response. Even to those who gave “small” amounts - it made a big difference to someone. For example, if God sends the rains, $25 will enable two farmers to feed their families for a year! After the first load was delivered to the brethren in Gwanda South and other areas south of Bulawayo, we were able to place a second order to help brethren far south at Beit Bridge and north of Bulawayo all the way to the Vic Falls area (Binga).This seed was delivered last weekend. [Photo: About 1 ½ tons of the seed.]

During the week we spent in Zimbabwe, they had rain just about every day, from the southern border all the way to Bulawayo and west to the Botswana border. We hear the rain extended up to Binga. Many have plowed and planted their seeds already. We have had many sincere expressions of thanks from the brethren for the seed—not only for the seed itself but for the opportunity to do their work. “We are some word above happy.” “Our prayers have been answered.” There was much difficulty in getting the seed paid for and delivered. We give grateful thanks to God, not only for you brethren, but also for those in the banking and business world who had a heart for the suffering of the people and went the second mile to make it possible.


Posted 11/24/2008 - Months after our trip in September, UN Secretary Kofi Annan and Former US President Jimy Carter were refused visa/entry into Zimbabwe. Here is the article from AP
------------------------------------------------------
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Monday the crisis in Zimbabwe appears "much worse than anything we ever imagined" after the government there blocked his weekend humanitarian visit. Carter, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and child advocate Graca Machel called for southern African leaders to halt the "deep suffering" in Zimbabwe, where the U.N. says more than 5 million people face imminent starvation.

The president of neighboring South Africa, meanwhile, warned Zimbabwe "may implode and collapse," as he announced a new round of talks to try to resolve the political impasse. His comments, some of the strongest yet by South Africa, come as a cholera epidemic has killed hundreds of Zimbabweans and spilled across the border into South Africa. Officials say Zimbabwe's political and economic collapse caused the outbreak. ...

Zimbabwe has been in political deadlock since opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the most votes in the March presidential election but not enough to avoid a runoff. President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since independence in 1980, claimed victory in the June runoff after Tsvangirai dropped out over violence aimed at his supporters. The two agreed in September to share power but the talks have stalled over the allocation of Cabinet posts, with the opposition accusing Mugabe of trying to hold onto key positions...

Carter said the stories they heard about the collapse of education, health and agriculture "are all indications that the crisis in Zimbabwe is much worse than anything we ever imagined." He said "the leadership in Harare don't want to admit there is a crisis." Adding to the implied criticism of regional leaders, Carter said "I get the feeling that even the leaders of SADC (the Southern African Development Community) do not know what is going on" in Zimbabwe. He called for the southern Africans as well as the African Union and the United Nations to send assessment teams to Zimbabwe. Some 300 Zimbabweans have died of cholera in recent weeks and Annan said they also met with Zimbabwe opposition leaders and stressed to them that "the most important thing is the people's lives." He said they would have given the same message to Mugabe, if they had had a chance. Both the Elders and the South African leaders on Monday agreed that it is difficult to separate Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis from the political issues. "These are two sides of the same coin and we need to deal with them simultaneously with the urgency they deserve," Motlanthe said.
 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081124/ap_on_re_af/af_zimbabwe


November 14, 2008 OH3 News.

The first week of October found Mike Divis, Mac Payne and myself home from Zimbabwe and saddled with a new mission. Feeding hungry brother and sisters in Christ. Within two weeks Mac Payne sent funds for four tons of meal that he had raised.
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Mike and I set to work getting and IRS and State of Indiana Non-Profit status for OH3. Then came the website and the bank accounts being set up. As compassionate brethren pooled individual resources with OH3 it became just a matter of waiting for the bank to clear the checks.

On Friday, Novermber 14th, the wait was over. We made our first official shipment. Enough money was wired to Africa to purchase 8 tons of meal and vegetables. This will follow the 4 previously sent by Mac Payne to assist in Mtabeleland, North of Bulawayo.

160 families in the body of Christ will be assisted by this 8 ton shipment for a month or more. Praise the Lord for His goodness. Those families will also receive a thank you note that will cost them nothing to have posted and returned to sending families here in the U.S.

May we thank all involved for your participation.


November 11, 08

The following is an email received from a trusted African preaching brother. I have left the spelling, grammar, etc. unedited and only removed the name to keep this brother from any kind of reprisals.


MY DEAR  BROTHREN.

IT BEEN TO LONG TRIYING TO SEND THIS MASSAGE. BR.THE CHRISTIANS ARE IN HURD  TIME .ONE VILLAGE HAVE LOST THREE  PEOPLE  ONE  TIME  WITH  HUNGER  ALSO ONE  LARD CHRISTIAN RASHEL  PASSED  AWAY WITH HUNGER. …  AS YOU SAW BY YOUR EYES BR.WE ARE IN NEED  IN THE ARIA    .  WE PRAY FOR TO HELP  US IN THIS NEED.I   WILL ALSO WORK VERY HURD  TO DELIVER THE NEED SOON

PASS MY GREETINGS TO ALL

XXXXXXX   XXXXXXXX.


OH3 News

I don’t have any more sources than what is named below but here was the situation in Zimbabwe in early October, as relayed in an email by Al Payne. Comments from OH3 editor will be in RED.

In some personal emails African names are omitted because of government sponsored reprisals that have taken place in the past when names were released publicly. We choose not to cause our African brethren more problems.


17 October 2008, Washington,
 
Zimbabwean humanitarian organizations struggling to deliver food aid to millions of hungry people on Friday welcomed the news that the European Union has pledged 15 million Euros (US$20 million) to the country under an broader African relief package.

But in the western Matabeleland region the news from Brussels joined reports from Lupane, Matabeleland North province, that three people had succumbed to malnutrition, while in another location three children died after eating poisonous roots.
(NOTE THAT THIS IS THE TSHOLOTSHO AREA THAT OH3 WAS INITALLY INTERESTED IN GETTING FOOD TO BRETHREN IN.)

Chief Executive Officer Josephat Amuli of the Churches In Bulawayo, a faith-based relief group, said the EU donation is welcome but far greater resources will be required. His organization is feeding around 4,000 people in Lupane, Matopos, and Nkayi.

Amuli told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while a government ban imposed between June and August on food distribution by non-governmental organizations has been lifted, aid organizations still must obtain authorizations from local officials.


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