Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Children

Hello to all our readers! It’s Buhe here. Debbie’s encouraged us all to get involved in updating the blog so here goes…

Since the last blog entry we’ve probably had about 10 children join us at the Sandra Jones Children's Centre. Namely Divine, Kimberley, Sharleen, Innocent, Cecilia, Sharon, Stan, Wendy, Zachery and Kevin.

Divine, Kimberley and Sharleen are sisters who are orphans and they had been pretty much looking after themselves. The oldest, Divine, is only 12 years old and had the incredible burden of looking after her two younger siblings (one of which is HIV positive) as well as going to school. In the midst of all of this she was raped by her friend’s brother. They lived with their uncle but he cared nothing for them and used to beat them up when he’d come home drunk late at night. These young girls have been through a lot and sometimes I wish I could just erase the terrible memories and take away the hurt and the pain they feel. But then I remember to trust the Lord to do that in their hearts because only He can truly mend a broken heart. I know it was difficult for them to go through what they did but it has made them such responsible, cheerful young girls who are such a pleasure to be around. Just thinking about them puts a smile on my face. And my prayer is that God would heal their hearts and continue to weave a beautiful tapestry with their precious lives.

Innocent and Cecilia are siblings. Cecilia is 13 years old while Innocent is only 5 years old. They are orphans who were living with their aunt in terrible conditions. They were not going to school as the aunt could not afford to send them to school. So Cecilia would help her aunt sell cell phone credit as well as sweets and crisps on the streets. Social Welfare brought them to us to provide a safe place for them as well education at the Sandra Jones Christian School.

Sharon is a 13 year old girl who was sexually abused by her uncle in the rural areas. He ran away and hasn’t been found since. She is tall, slim young girl who just doesn’t seem to realise what has happened to her. During her initial counseling it took about an hour to get her to open up about what her uncle had done to her. She couldn’t even look at me while telling me the story. It makes me sad when I think that such a young child had been exposed to so much already. She has been exposed to emotions and feelings and images she should never have been exposed to. Sharon had no concept or understanding of what sex was or the consequences of having it. She didn’t even know you could get HIV/AIDS that way. She couldn’t understand why her uncle did that to her (rightfully so) and she really hates the fact that it happened to her. She’s lost an innocence and purity she could never get back all because of one twisted man. I pray he finds the Lord and repents of his sin before it’s too late. And my prayer for Sharon is that the Lord would heal her of the trauma and the bad memories and that he would even restore that childlike innocence to her. The devil really tries to destroy children’s lives by getting people to violate them in this way but we trust the Lord for her life because only He can restore the years the locusts have eaten.

Stan, Wendy, Zachery and Kevin were all abandoned babies but praise the Lord they have found a refuge and safety with us. Zachery (4 months old) was severely underweight when he came to us and he was not thriving. He was admitted into Mater Dei hospital for 3 weeks where he managed to gain 1 kg then he was discharged. Stan, Wendy and Kevin are well and thriving and we praise the Lord for that.

So that’s about it for the new children! Pictures coming soon...

Sadly, we lost one of our precious babies, Hope Mhere. She was a twin whose mom died of AIDS soon after giving birth to the two little ones. But the Lord left us with Joy her twin sister who is well and thriving. Joy is HIV positive but is responding well to the ARVs. The Lord saw it fit to take Hope but we thank Him that Joy is still with us. Hope only had one elderly grandmother who can hardly see but she came with us to bury Hope. Our Angela lowered the little coffin into the grave and all the staff members took turns to fill in the grave. And yes, even our Debbie got down and shoveled the dirt into the grave! It’s never easy when a child dies but we’ve learnt to trust the Lord’s timing and not let it discourage us from giving ourselves whole-heartedly to each child.

Prayer Requests

• Please pray for the children as we are now right in the middle of winter. Willow Park gets very cold during winter especially early mornings and in the evenings. Many of the children have been down with colds and flu. Please pray that’s all it would be and that the Lord would protect and keep our children.

• Continue to pray for our finances. The constant financial struggle keeps us dependant on the Lord – which is definitely a good place to be. May the Lord cultivate in us the faith to persevere despite the struggle

• Pray for all the mothers who look after the children. It can get tiring and they get discouraged. Pray the Lord would strengthen them to give the children the love, care and attention they need and to keep their hearts encouraged in Him

• Pray for Fleur. She is going to on leave for 3 weeks (Aaaaaah!) to be with her husband in South Africa. We trust that the Lord would give them a wonderful time together as a family

Thank you for reading and praying! I trust you are all well and continuing to walk with the Lord daily. It is a narrow road we walk and few find it. But as we continue to walk it, how great the blessings we find along the way, how sweet the fellowship we enjoy with our Maker, how great the faith that rises up in us and how strong the Father’s love that carries us through it all.

All for Jesus,


Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's been like Christmas around the YFC office thee past two weeks.  The Australian embassy gave us three washing machines, two cots, 40 bunkbeds with matresses, 20 tables and 80 chairs.  Plus we were given 100 blankets, $200 for text books and money for the tyres for Fleur's car.  And we are over the moon!!!

Every now and then everyone gets a bit discouraged and it all becomes too hard and then BAM!!! the Lord blesses up big time!!! 

We are so grateful to all who gave so much to bless you children at the Sandra Jones Children's Village.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Update on the children (from Fleur)

Praise God Tina is back from her leave… Portia and I got to experience what she goes through everyday with the young girls Jester and her deal with. 12 year old Thembi was raped by her 21 year half brother who she only met in December 2010....he started having sexual relations with her that same month. She is a typical 12year old, and I don’t think she fully grasps or realizes that she is pregnant and is going to have a baby. She is immature and looks as if she should still be playing with dolls and enjoying a game of hide and seek. She is an orphan and was living at another children’s home.  When she fell pregnant the home could no longer keep her and she came to us.  She is 4 months pregnant and the doctor has recommended that she has an abortion. Jester and Tina have been couselling her and we pray that the perpetrator is found and that justice is served. Police investigations are continuing.

The four children Brighton (12), Noreen (7), Nobuhle (4) and Oswell 1 (and still being breast fed), who joined us tw weeks ago have now been reunited with their grandparents.  These 4 children were left alone for long periods of time, living in a single room in the middle of know-where. This room measured 3 by 3 metres, the children were left with mealie meal which had rat droppings and cockroaches in it. Brighton the eldest had the responsibility of cooking for them and fending for the children. The mother would leave every Saturday, and return Wednesday. Finally a report was made to the police. The mother did eventually return and while we were at the police station Brighton arrived, saying that  he had been chased away and threatened by the mother because she had heard that S.J.C.V and the police had come. We took the police to the house and the mother was picked up for questioning and the children handed in to our care. Brighton was actually this lady's nephew. She collected him from the rural areas in December, apparently to come and look after his cousins in town, while she would go away with her boyfriends. She grabbed on tightly to her 1 year old baby the night we were at the police station. It was hard for me, I felt heart sore that I was taking this child from his mother, but on the other hand what woman leaves her children unattended for days at a time? She is yet to go to court.  The grandparents were very happy to have the children.

2 new toddlers arrived last week, Prince, estimated to be 3 years old, whose mother left him at a house in Pumula which led the tenants to make a police report. Lubelihle, a beautiful little girl, estimated to be 4 years old was also abandoned by her mother at the house where she was a tenant.

The little ones continue to thrive, Joy and Hope are doing great, and  even though Joy is HIV positive she is actually putting on  more weight than Hope. Baby Mikaela’s mum was arrested and went to court for abandoning her outside a yard in Hillside. She merely got a 5 year suspended sentence and has not been seen since nor tried to find her baby.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sandra Jones Children's Village March 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends

Since I last wrote we have again been inundated with requests to take children. This has caused a real dilemma for all the staff. On the one hand we never want to turn a child away but it has become increasingly obvious that we have too many children and are not adequately meeting the needs of the children already in our care.

We never wanted to be a home that just basically fed and accommodated children. We always wanted to be much more than that. The aim of the Sandra Jones Children’s Centre was that each child would feel loved, accepted and safe, and would be introduced to Jesus Christ and given the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him.

Most of the children who come to us are severely traumatized and need one on one counselling. This is very time consuming and with so many children and so few staff (because of financial constraints) we have not been able to do as much as we wanted.

Another problem has been the difficulty in letting our children go. We really grow to love the kids and it is so hard to say good-bye. For that reason we have not been vigilant enough in searching for family members who could take care of the child.

I was horrified recently when talking to 14 year old Lisa (right). She has been with us the longest of all the children in our care. She has never been to a department store and did not know what a shopping trolley was. I then realized that our children can quickly become “institutionalized” if we are not careful.

So after much prayer and deliberation we have identified a number of children who should no longer be with us. It’s going to be very difficult to say good-bye to them but in the long run we are making the best decision for them.

The children are on school holidays at the moment and about 20 of our children have gone to stay with relatives. Most family members are happy to have them for the holidays but unwilling to take them long term.
To be fair, I think most of the families just cannot afford to support another child.

Yesterday the police asked us to take four children who had been abandoned by their mother. The oldest is a 12 year old boy and he is looking after his three sisters who are only five and three years old and 9 months. The young boy was overwhelmed by his responsibilities and appeared very sad. We were unable to contact anyone at social welfare to accompany us to the family but we will try again today.

Last week we took a 12 year old girl who is pregnant to her older brother. We face situations like this every day and it is so hard to know what to do. We would appreciate your prayers for wisdom to know when to say yes and when to say no.

Many of you have commented on how much you enjoy the articles written by Fleur so I have asked her to report on the baby’s ministry.

The Healing Power of a touch and a cuddle

I have had a chaotic, frustrating and tiring month taking babies to the doctor, some of whom have been diagnosed with pneumonia and bronchitis. We have increased their feeds, weigh them daily, boost up their immune systems with muli-vits, yet there is something lacking…TOUCH!!! So often the house mothers will get cross with me and other staff members for carrying the babies. Yet, Dr Nyathi, our paediatrician, always emphasises how much they need it - it doesn’t matter how much food they get, how much medication they receive, if they are not touched and cuddled every day, then they will not thrive.

Michaela had a really bad ear infection as well as suppurating sores around the side of her ear. She would scream day and night. It was a high piercing shriek!  In all fairness to the house mothers, cleaning, cooking, feeding, washing and taking care of the younger ones is no easy task. One morning Michaela was particularly bad and I too had had enough of her screams, so I got a towel and put her on my back. What a difference it made!!!!!! She instantly stopped crying!!!! And within a few days made a full recovery!

How my heart bleeds when I see one of the babies in the cots, grinning a toothless grin and holding their arms out to me in anticipation that I will pick them up and give them a cuddle.

Jesus was a ‘toucher’ and a ‘healer’. HE held the children and blessed them. “Then they brought the children to Him, that he might TOUCH them; but the disciples rebuked them, but when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the children come to Me and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of God. (Mark 10: 13 -14)

He also touched sick people when he healed them. His, indeed, was a healing touch and a touch is what we all need whether we are young or old. Touch, I believe is the first sense to develop in us and maybe the last to fade - it is our most intimate and most powerful form of communication. Babies who are not lovingly touched frequently will fail to thrive and grow normally.

Debbie tells of how her children love to just crawl on her lap, not expecting anything, other to be comforted and cuddled and touched. My son too loves just being touched and cuddled  especially when he goes to bed, and in return, even though he is only four he knows the importance of a hug and a kiss, much to the delight and sometimes the annoyance of the babies and toddlers. I pray that he will never grow too old or too big to fit in my lap.

And I pray that the Lord continues helping us at the SJCV to be healing ‘touchers’ to all around us. Nothing can compare to the hug of someone, it’s always soothing for me. Des and Debs are the best huggers you will ever meet, even if you don’t want a hug they give such a deep, passionate, tight hug….you have no option but to surrender into their arms!!!

Many times when I’ve been down, I think to myself ‘How I wish I could have a Des and Debs hug right now’. Their touch always speaks much louder than words….let’s reach out to our children at SJCV with the secret power of hugs and cuddles.


Sponsorship Report March 2011

Wow, I cannot believe another month has gone by! In the wonderful world of sponsorship, this month has been good. We saw 2 new sponsors join the team of sponsors and that’s always very exciting and encouraging! The children are delighted when they hear they have a sponsor and they love to receive letters from them and in return reply to them. For some of them it’s the only sense of family they have other than at SJCV. So thank you to all our wonderful sponsors for your continued financial and prayer support. I pray that the Lord would continue to add many more!

This month we received a lovely donation of blankets and knitted garments from Sheila Grant’s church in Australia. Thank you to all the ladies who made that donation possible.

The last few days have been very cold out at Willow Park so I’m sure we’ll be using those blankets sooner than we thought! The winter nights at SJCV can get very cold and we always need blankets and warm clothing!

We haven’t had a very good response from the “Teas That Make A Difference.” So once again, if you would like to be involved in those or would just like more information about it, please drop me an email:

Financially, we’re still struggling to make ends meet but the Lord is faithful to always provide. He gives us the strength to struggle through each month. We never for one second think that it should be easy, because, I believe we are fighting against the enemy - so therefore there will be a struggle. We don’t wish the struggles away, we just pray that the Lord would continue to strengthen us and provide for us IN them.

We desperately need some school textbooks for next term. The approximate cost for these is $200. Not having sufficient textbooks and materials for the school makes it really difficult for our teachers who are already working on a tight budget. If we could raise the money for these textbooks before the beginning of May that would be GREAT!!!

Praise the Lord for another month and we look forward to another month when we will continue to see the Lord’s goodness!


Staff profile

I have been asked to include a staff profile in each upcoming newsletter so I have chosen Jacqui Martin for this one.  Jax turned the big 50 this year. She will be furious with me for sharing that piece of information!! She was born in Zambia in 1961 and moved to Gweru in 1971 where she remained with her family until 1983 when she went to South Africa to work at the African Enterprise Conference Centre. In 2002 she returned to Zimbabwe and started working at YFC as our bookkeeper. Jacqui gave her heart to the Lord when she was 16 through the Baptist church her family attended.

Jacqui is single. Her six year old foster daughter Nicole came to Jacqui when she was three years old after being placed in a children’s home. Nicky is the light of Jacqui’s life.

Jacqui loves to read and sew. She is very good with her hands and loves to do any type of handcraft.

Jacqui is a very level headed person and balances out my impulsiveness. She is a quiet unassuming person with a sharp tongue and an excellent sense of humour.

We are blessed to have someone of Jacqui’s calibre working for us as YFC.

Prayer Requests

So many times I am asked to be a little bit more specific with our prayer needs so I am going to take your advice and outline what exactly we need.

1) New tyres for Fleur’s car. It is now dangerous for her to drive her vehicle!!

2) Money to pay for the audit that is currently being done…$500

3) $2000 to rewire the house in town, the one we use for the children who are referred to us after hours and need overnight accommodation. This is urgent as we were told recently that there is every possibility we could have an electrical fire.

4) $200 for text books

5) $785,000 for the Hotel Rio!!!!!!!

6) Please pray for Sharky who is now the National Director.

7) Please pray for the YFC staff – they are such an amazing bunch of people who give of themselves everyday expecting nothing in return. Every day I thank God for each one of them.

8) Praise God for Kevin and Sue Grant who came for a visit and are always a huge encouragement to all the YFC staff. Thanks guys for all you did for YFC and for me personally. We LOVED having you!!!

9) Praise God for people like Flora who go out of their way to make our children feel special.

10) Praise God also that all our children who are all well at the moment, especially our babies.

In closing I want to say thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Being on the “front line” can often be very difficult. Thank you for standing in the gap for us. We appreciate all of you.

In His service

Debbie Brennocks
Sandra Jones Children’s Village
(A ministry of Youth for Christ Zimbabwe)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today I am feeling really down.  For the first time we have had to turn children away.  We just don't have any more room!! This is something I never wanted to do but we have no choice now. 

 We are still fighting for St Joseph's and at the same time trying to raise the money for the Hotel Rio.  The owners of the hotel have finally given me the amount they want....Option 1 - $800,000-$200,000 deposit and then $600,000 by October 31st.  Option 2 - $1,000,000- $400,000 deposit and then $150,000 every six months for two years OR Option 3 - $1,200,000 - $400,000 deposit and then $167,000 every six months for the next three years.   Once the deposit is paid we could move in!!!!

We are considering renting until we can buy the Hotel but finding a big enough property is difficult and expecting people to rent their property to a children's home is even more difficult.  Se we continue to wait on the Lord trusting that He knows what's best for us.

On a positive note we have finally been giving permission to take 6 year old Tafara...the little boy I spoke about in a previous post. Thank goodness we have finally been able to get this little boy away that home. He will stay in town with us until has has his medical examination and then move out to the village.  He is a sweet little boy.  Let's pray he settles in well and is happy in his new home.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Michaela is looking much better now.  She is eating well and looks much happier.  Fleur had to take Sipho to the specialist yesterday afternoon.  She would not eat or drink and even though we were pumping her full of rehydration fluid it was not working.  By yesterday afternoon she was very weak.  The doctor put her on to antibiotics and by lunch time today she was looking much stronger.  Many thanks to all her prayed for her.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Last week we were asked to take a 13 year girl who has been abused by her stepbrother for the past 2 years.  The family tried to hide the matter but it eventually came to light and social welfare removed her from the home.  The stepbrother is now missing.  We were also asked to take a ten year old rape victim but before we could take her the family sent her out to the rural area.  They are trying to protect the abuser. The police are dealing with this matter. 

We are still fighting to get the 6 year old boy I wrote about in my post.  Please pray that he can be removed from the home as quickly as possible...things tend to work very slowly in Africa. 

Two of our children are sick with vomiting and diarrehea - 9 month old Michaela and three year old Sipho, who is the little sister to Panashe, the little girl I spoke about in my newsletter. Please won't you pray for these two children. It's never nice when children as sick but so much harder in a large children's centre because it puts an even heavier load on the housemothers.

On a happier note, the kids at SJCV had a great time on Saturday morning after a church group visited them and brought party food and gifts.  There was lots of fun and games and it was wonderful to see them all so happy.

Finally my four year old told me yesterday that this year we must put up two christmas trees so that we can gets "two times"presents!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tanyaradzwa is now out of hospital and looking much better.  She loved being in hospital and getting thoroughly spoiled.  Can you believe we still don't know what was wrong with her.  Not once did we get to see the doctor.  He didn't come to the hospital at the same each day and we continually missed him.  It was very frustrating.  I did hear mentions of appendicitis and kidney infections but nothing was confirmed.  Anyway the main thing is that she is back with us and much happier and healthier.
Last week we received a call from one of the nurses at the O.I. (Opportunistic Infections) Clinic.  This is the clinic where those suffering from HIV go for medical treatment and ARV drugs.  She became aware of a six year boy who was there for his treatment and was obviously being badly neglected.  So yesterday Fleur and Portia went to investigate and were horrified by what they found.  The little boy is an orphan and was living with his grandparents in the rural areas.  After his grandmother died last year his grandfather sent him into town to live with his Aunt and Uncle.  It is very obvious that he is not wanted.  The child was very dirty and wearing rags.  He could not remember when he had last eaten.   He is not allowed to sit on the furniture and sleeps on the floor each night.  He is regularly beaten and his guardians do not take him to the O.I. clinic for his reviews and medication. We are very concerned and doing our best to get the child out of that home. 
Do you feel angry?  I do!!  I will let you know when we get this little boy.  Please pray that it happens soon. 
To be quite honest I think the problem for this family is their lack of knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS.  I believe they are terrified that they will somehow catch the disease from the child.  Hard to believe that such ignorance still exists today!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

January/February 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends

Today I am feeling like a great weight has been taken off my shoulders. I finally had the courage to resign as the National Director. This has been something I have wanted to do for some time and have been praying that the Lord would raise up the right person for the position. I have always felt like a square peg in a round hole and totally ill-equipped for the position. Having no business management skills meant that most of the time I didn’t know what I was doing and if it wasn’t for my amazing staff I think I would have failed long ago.

The new National Director will be Sheunesu (aka Sharky Masuka). I have known Sharky for the past 20 years and he has been sitting on the National Board for the past two years. Sharky has always been interested in YFC and when I first came to Zimbabwe he was one of the volunteer staff. Sharky is married to Susan and they have a 9 year old son called Micah. They attend the same church as me which is the Bulawayo Baptist church.

Sharky is really excited about taking on this new position and I believe he will be a brilliant National Director. Not only does he have the necessary business skills he also has excellent people skills as well.

This does not mean that I have resigned from YFC. It just means that I will only hold one position now - Director of the Sandra Jones Children’s Village.

So how do these changes affect me? Mostly it means that I can now concentrate all my time on the SJCV ministry. There is still so much that needs to be done!!

I have had a lot of pressure from the junior schools around Bulawayo to resurrect Kids Kan. I still believe it is a wonderful program but the thought of doing it without Sandra has always held me back. I believe the time has now come to get back into it again and will be joining forces with Jenny Hensman, a friend of mine from England, who is also single and is fostering 3 children. Jenny is amazing with children and I know I am going to love working with her. Jenny also knew and loved Sandra and will do a wonderful job filling her shoes.

It seems that the Lord may also be leading me back into counseling. I am getting more and more requests from schools and parents to counsel children. I will take it slowly and see how it goes. It is a very time consuming ministry and can be very draining. That’s why I gave it up in the first place!!

The number of children at the “Village” is forever increasing. We reached an all time high recently with 90 children in our care. The need to move the children into town in order for them to be nearer schools and medical services is great. We continue to pray that the Lord will provide the money for us to purchase the Hotel Rio and are also still praying that one day St Josephs will be ours. Our long term vision is to accommodate our girls at the Rio Hotel, and our boys at St Josephs and that St Josephs would also be a hospice for terminally ill children. Big dreams heh! Hudson Taylor said “Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.” And we DO expect great things from the Lord. However the day to day battles can be demoralizing and we wait and wait and wait for these things to come about.

I was recently out at the “Village” doing choir practice with the children. After we finished we prayed as we always do. However this time it was different…the girls really prayed. I had shared how desperate our financial situation was at the time. That evening the Lord blessed us with $1,400. The girls were blown away to see such an amazing and timely answer to their prayers.

I am so grateful to all our supporters who pray and encourage us and just keep on giving.

Family News

Rebecca started pre-school this year. I was very worried about how she would take to it but am happy to say that she is loving it. Christy cries almost every day now and can’t wait to go to school with Rebecca. She hates being left behind every morning. She is only three but is a very bright little girl and recently said to me “I can see your lips moving Mom but all I am hearing is blah blah blah!!”

Stefanie continues to thrive at school. She is still very involved and plays in the school tennis team, plus does team and club swimming. She also sings in the choir and is learning piano and violin.

Maddie has settled down nicely into grade 4. She loves her teacher and is working hard. Maddie is passionate about dancing and does both acrobatic and modern dancing. She is also in the school choir and in team swimming.

As you can imagine I am kept pretty busy with four little girls but it is such a joy to see them happy, healthy and growing up to love the Lord Jesus.

And now over to Fleur

And then came Hope and Joy….When a child dies a piece of you dies with them. I felt as if I had no more “pieces” left to give away after the death of three of our children last year. Maybe if I distanced myself and no longer formed bonds with any of the children my job would be easier…then the call came! Congratulations…you have twins – two beautiful baby girls born on 20 December 2010. Early this month we welcomed them with open arms. I have once again found Hope and Joy!!

The twin’s mother died 2 days after giving birth to them and unfortunately no-one knows who their father is. Since their mother was HIV positive the babies are currently on the ARV drugs as a precaution, while we await the result of the HIV test.

Hope and Joy

Fleur and Joy
 And now look at what the Lord has been doing with some of our other babies.

Philip is running around everywhere now. Jacquie and Nothando are back to full health after their long battle with tuberculosis and Susan has  firmly entrenched herself as “Queen Bee” in the babies home.



And the good news is that Debbie has now allowed me to name some of the babies. Below is our newest addiction born to an underage mother. Her name is Hannah and she was born on 13 February.
Even our general workers have to help with feeding sometimes. Below is Chris with Michaela. Michaela joined us recently after being abandoned by her Mother.

Chris and Michaela



Now it’s Buhe’s turn

Sponsorship & Fundraising matters

This past month has been challenging and yet very exciting! The One-in-a-Million project towards purchasing the Hotel Rio is progressing well. We have been into 4 primary schools here in Bulawayo and between the four we have raised close to US$2,000. We have now been given permission to go into all the government schools in the region as well so we’re hoping to raise more funds in the near future through the One-in-a-million.

Thank you to all our supporters overseas who have contributed to the One-in-a-Million! Your support is very much appreciated!

I have also come up with “Teas That Make a Difference.” This is a fundraiser which you can do from the comfort of your own home. All it involves is inviting a few friends over for tea and cake and then talking to them about the work SJCV is doing in Zimbabwe. We already have some ladies who have expressed an interest and I look forward working with them on this. If you would like to get involved with these teas please email me:

We are very grateful to all our sponsors who continue to sponsor the children month in and month out. Without your financial sacrifice it would be next to impossible for us to take care of these children. We need you every step of the way!

We had some donations from various individuals too that have covered specific needs at just the right time. We’ve had many financial challenges since the beginning of this year but the Lord always provided just on time. And we thank you for your generosity and above all we thank the Lord for His faithfulness in always looking after His children and making sure they are always taken care of.

We do still however, have about 20 children who are unsponsored and this is mainly due to the fact that since the beginning of this year we’ve had children coming in almost every day from the police and/or social welfare. We do however appreciate the present economic climate worldwide.

We have received donations of food and clothes from a local primary school where the children are encouraged to donate food items or clothing on a designated “Missions Day.” We were so grateful for these donations.

A local church, donated boxes of rice and soya meat to SJCV. The church gets the donations from “Feed My Children” in America and then they distribute it where they see a need. We were very grateful for this donation as well.

So all in all it’s been a challenging beginning to the New Year but I trust that as we continue faithfully to provide a place of love, hope and safety for these children, the Lord will continue to provide.

God Bless!

Buhe Pilime

Sponsorship Co-ordinator

And finally Thina’s chance to share!

For some reason we always seem to get a lot more children at Christmas time than at any other time of the year and this past Christmas was no exception. In the past two months more than a dozen children have joined the SJCV family. Each with an incredibly sad story to share! After a while one gets used to hearing about the despicable things done to the children and each time your heart seems to get a little harder. However, every now and then one child really gets to you. Her story is able to break the hard shell we build around our hearts to protects ourselves and we are back to square one – where we feel intense rage and frustration. This is how I felt when 6 year old Panache and her 3 year sister Sipho joined us. These two little girls were living with their mentally retarded mother. She was unable to care for them and the girls were left to fend for themselves. They were repeatedly abused by different men in the community until social welfare was made aware of their situation and they were brought to us. Sipho has not spoken at all since joined us in January. Panashe on the other hand is a bright happy little girl with a smile that lights up a room! She is already thriving now that she knows she is in an environment where she is loved and accepted and safe!!

Well my friends this newsletter is now coming to an end. Can you believe I had to do it twice after mistakenly closing the program without saving it!!!

In closing let me highlight some of our biggest prayers needs.

1) Finances (always finances!!)

2) Hotel Rio – we are now desperate to move from Willow Park. Over Christmas we were without power for more than a month. Because there was no electricity there was no water because power was needed to run the borehole pumps. It really was a desperate situation!!

3) The “one in a million” campaign

4) The children at SJCV

5) YFC staff and their families

6) For our new National Director

7) And finally please pray for Tanyaradzwa who is in hospital at the moment. She is only 9 and the doctors are still not sure what is wrong with her.

Thank you again for standing in the gap for us.

In His service

Sandra Jones Children’s Village