IT was encouraging that three young men and one young woman were received for membership of the Church at Bulawayo Communion, at the end of December. The young woman is a daughter of the late Rev. B. B. Dube, who was the minister of our Zenka congregation, and the three young men are sons of teachers who used to teach on the Mission. One man, Mr Dame Sibanda, who is boarding master at the John Tallach Secondary School, received baptism.
Miss Marion Graham, the headteacher, returned to Zimbabwe on 7th January. There have been a few instances of indiscipline in the school, but among only a very few pupils. The staff at the school have been looking forward to the arrival of the teacher from Holland, Mr Teunis Benchop, but he is still awaiting a Work Permit from the Zimbabwean government.
Miss Norma Maclean, who teaches in the John Tallach School, applied recently for a renewal of her Work Permit but to the dismay of her colleagues, was refused on the grounds that she was teaching Scripture, which, said the authorities, could easily be taught by an African teacher. An appeal against this decision was refused, so the Mission has now made a request that Norma be accepted under the classification of “Church Worker”. This would mean that the Government would not continue to give a grant for her teaching in the school, but she would be allowed to remain and work. (Teachers from overseas who would teach Science and Mathematics would be welcomed by the Government). Norma’s ability to teach Scripture is greatly valued by the Mission, as is also her engaging in many other areas of school and mission work. It would be a serious loss to the Mission if Norma had to go, but as she herself says, “The Lord sees the end from the beginning, and we must await his will.”
At Mbuma Mission the telephone system has been installed successfully. It is a great relief for staff and local people to have access to the outside world in time of crisis. Sister Lia Terlouw is expected back at Mbuma on January 14, after being on furlough at her home in Canada. It was a matter for thankfulness that the hospital had been well supplied with relief nurses’, all midwives, so that Lia’s absence had been almost covered with their presence.
MR Ian MacLean, Sengera Mission administrator, went to Zimbabwe on 15th January, to do some building supervision. Sister Henriette Burggraaf flew home to Holland from Kenya for her furlough on the same day, and next day Sister Truus Ringelberg returned from furlough in Holland to Kenya.