Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hello Everyone!

I just returned from attending the CornerStone Summit, which is a missions conference held every five years in Wilmore, KY.  It was so wonderful to see missionary friends who I have known for over 10 years now and receive some updated missions training as well. My job as Director of Global/National Missions at Chapelwood UMC in Houston is going really well.  I love the staff and congregation members that I get to work with each week. 
I was fortunate to be able to go back to Zimbabwe for 3 weeks in April.  The HOPE programs continue to run smoothly thanks to the efforts of the administrators at Fairfield Children's Home.  I am so grateful to the many sponsors who have continued to support their individual children to receive an education and for those who give general donations that can go toward milk, nutritious food and medical care.

While I was visiting Zimbabwe, I had a chance to spend lots of time with Nyarai, Grace, and Abby, as well as many other special friends.  It was such a blessing to be able to be together as a family again for those few days.  The girls are thriving and so well-loved.  Please continue in prayer for the children and staff at Fairfield Children’s Home, as well as the HOPE children.

Wenyu Munashe,

And a little bonus from my journal...

April Snapshots: My first few hours back in Zimbabwe

There are certain days in my life I wish I could have a photographer following me around to capture every moment.  While this does not fit within my current budget, I can sometimes remember to be present enough in the moment that an image is filed away in my memory that becomes far more permanent then anything I could ever place in a frame and hang on my wall.

Snapshot #1
I push my full luggage cart through the sliding glass door, my eyes roaming the crowds for my friend Evie who is picking me up from the airport.  Instead, my eyes laser in on a little girl spinning into the aisle.  She stops mid-spin and our eyes lock.  Grace remains frozen in place as recognition hits us both.  My focus shifts to Abby who is in the background.  Her eyes pop open wide just before she breaks into the smile she is famous for with both sets of teeth showing.  “Mai Two,” she mouths.  “Mother of Two” is what I am called in Zimbabwe.  They remember me.

Snapshot #2
We stay overnight in Harare because it is too late to drive home.  The twins sleep peacefully together on a small mattress on the floor.  They are curled up facing each other with their foreheads almost touching.  Their bodies form a little heart shape under the blankets.  I crouch down and breathe a prayer of blessing over them.  They are perfect.  They are what every mother hopes for her children.  They are healthy, happy, safe, well-loved.

Snapshot #3
One of my dearest friends, Jane, is driving us toward home early the next morning.  My head leans back in the seat heavy with jet lag.  Abby tucks herself under my left arm and immediately falls asleep.  As my eyes flutter and close, my last glimpse is of Grace finger painting in the fogged up glass of the car window quietly humming “Jesus Loves Me."

I tuck these snapshots away along with others I have stored from years past.  They create a serenity that allows me to once again loosen my grip and let go a tiny bit more...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Since my last newsletter a lot has happened.  In August, I flew back to Zimbabwe for the month to check on the HOPE programs.  I was able to see many of the HOPE children as they came to show me their report cards from the end of second term.  They are all doing so well in school.  Our first University student, Samuel, has completed his education with top grades in mechanical engineering and is already on the job search.  His final project was selected first by the Ministry of Higher Education and he returned home with a gold medal! Congratulations Samuel.

Six of our students have just started their Grade 7 exams that last throughout October.  There are 12 additional students taking Form 4 and 6 (end of high school) exams this month.  Please pray that all their years of hard work will pay off and they can move on to University next year!
Just a few days before I left for Zimbabwe, I found out that I had been hired as the Director of Global and National Missions at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, TX.  I came home from Zimbabwe and had four days to finish the packing my mom had so generously started for me.  After driving my moving truck from WV to TX, getting an apartment and buying a car, I started work in mid-September.  In my position, I will be working to equip short-term teams that are sent to various mission projects around the world each year.  I will also have an opportunity to educate the congregation on God’s heart for missions and invite missionaries and local pastors we support to come share with our congregation as well.  A definite plus is that I will be using vacation time once a year to travel back to Zimbabwe and see my babies. 

Grace and Abby are growing and so joyful under the care of their loving house mother, Nyasha.  They are enjoying preschool, can count to 11, say most of their ABC’s and turned four on October 5th. We are able to talk on the phone once a week so I keep updated on their favorite songs!

Wenyu Munashe,


 Special Prayer Request:

One of our Fairfield children, Chris, was diagnosed with a brain tumor a few years ago.  He has had multiple scans and radiation, and many months of hospital stays.  Currently he is back in the hospital and his usually tiny, frail body has been bloated because of the medicines he receives.  His health has been going up and down.  Please pray for his full recovery and for Tambu, the house mother that has been staying with him at the hospital for up to 4 months at a time.  She cannot see her own family during this time and has to sleep on the hospital floor.  Prayers are appreciated for the entire situation.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dear Friends,
At the beginning of the year, I asked for prayers to discern where God wanted me next since I can no longer live in Zimbabwe. I spent three months in Cape Town, South Africa and started helping in a township there. I was then able to go visit Abigail, Grace and all the Fairfield children for a month in May. The girls are happy, healthy and enjoying preschool. I came back to the States fully expecting to apply for a work visa in South Africa and return there for full-time mission work.
After attending a week-long program in Colorado in June that is specifically designed for missionaries changing fields, I started to realize that God may have other plans.  I realized that Cape Town is not where I am supposed to go for this next part of the journey.  It is time to come home and support the ministry in Zimbabwe as best I can with your continued help.
I am applying for jobs in the US (which makes my parents very happy!) and am hoping to find one that will allow some time each year to go visit Grace and Abby and to check on the HOPE programs. My mission organization, CornerStone, has been so supportive and agreed to continue to receive donations for the HOPE Project - education, nutrition and medical programs
in Zimbabwe. I have been approved as a part-time missionary so that I can return to Zimbabwe and make sure everything is running smoothly each year.
Please, especially if you are currently sponsoring a HOPE child, continue with your donations so that we do not have to close down these life-changing programs. Everything will continue to function as it was when I was there full-time. There are strict checks and balances in place to ensure that all funding goes exactly where it was intended. Any assistance you can offer toward the goals for HOPE will be greatly appreciated.
I will return to Zimbabwe for another month in August to help make sure all the children have their fees paid before the third school term. Hopefully by the time I come back, I will be able to tell you where I will be living next!
Thank you for your continued support!
Wenyu Munashe,

Can you tell they have very different personalities?!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Letter to South Africa

Dear South Africa,

I know we didn’t start off on the best of terms. I came to you not long ago with a broken heart. You accepted me without any questions, allowing me a safe place to grieve. At first I thought that was all you were to me, a resting place to decide what was next. But then I started to open my eyes to everything you have to offer. Each morning I see the sun begin its work, reflecting off the ocean waters and causing thousands of sparkling diamonds to dance upon its surface. Your church family accepted me without hesitation. You welcome people of many colors, languages and cultures to live together and learn from each other. You have a rich history that was difficult at times, but seems to have only made you stronger. And if all that wasn’t enough, you seem to have a fairly constant supply of electricity and water! You are beautiful both inside and out.

Although you have much to offer me, I began to wonder if there was anything I could give back to you. One day I visited your township, Masiphumelele, which means “we will succeed!” I met your children there. They remind me a lot of some other children I know in a country not too far from you. Some of your children are growing up in difficult circumstances, but it has not yet taken away the smiles on their faces or the joy from their eyes. If you think they might need another person to love them and teach them for a while, I have had some practice                                                                                                                                                     with that.

Yes, my heart was broken when I arrived, but I can feel it being stitched back together a little more each day. It is stronger and more resilient than it used to be. You see, South Africa, I used to think my heart was only big enough to fit two countries inside: the place of my birth and the place where my daughters were born. Those two, I will never stop loving. But it seems that before my heart had time to heal completely, you found your way inside. So if you will have me, I think I would like to stay. I might make a lot of mistakes in the beginning since everything is new to me, but hopefully that will be okay. I serve a God whose strength is made perfect in my weakness, so I think we’ll get along just fine.

Yours Faithfully,


(I will be returning to Zimbabwe on April 13th for a visit and then home to the States for speaking engagements before returning to South Africa, full-time in September. Please pray for the visa application process, which hopefully will be a bit easier than past experiences! I am still working through CornerStone and the HOPE programs in Zimbabwe will continue. Think of this as an expansion of the old to include the new!)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,
The last few months have been full of ups and downs.  On the positive side, Grace and Abby can now do somersaults, sing whole songs in English and Shona, and will be starting preschool in January!  It is hard to believe how fast they have grown.  They look so cute in their new uniforms.  The uniforms were even made by one of our Fairfield children, Lizzie, who is now studying Fashion and Fabrics in college!  The HOPE children finished their exams and are now on Christmas break for the month of December.  They were all given food for a special Christmas dinner with their families thanks to generous donors. There were also donations of clothes and even 9 refurbished laptops for our oldest children!

On a sad note, when I went to immigration to apply for a renewal of my visa, I was told that my file was marked “non-renewable”.  This means that I am not even allowed to apply for another visa.  I will have to leave the country on the 18th of January.  At this time, there are no other visas I qualify for to stay in Zimbabwe.  I will therefore be looking for a full time ministry to work with in South Africa.  This will enable me to continue raising funds and monitoring the HOPE program by returning to Zimbabwe several times a year.  I will also be able to maintain contact with Abigail and Grace since the adoption process from the Zimbabwean side is not able to move forward at this time.
The HOPE program will continue running as normal under the supervision of the Fairfield Children’s Home administrators, Luke and Cecillia.  All ministries on the mission have a strong set of checks and balances and these two who will be in charge of the HOPE program when I am away are extremely trustworthy and reliable with the HOPE funds.  Please consider donating through CornerStone whenever you are able so that we will be able to keep all the children in school and continue giving those who are sick and malnourished vital, nutritious food each week. 
I will keep everyone informed as my plans unfold.  A friend told me recently that faith is a balance between believing God can and will perform miracles and knowing that even if He doesn’t, we will choose to praise Him anyway. God has good plans for all of us.  Sometimes we can’t see the bigger picture right away, but I have no doubt that something good will happen from this situation for me, Abby and Grace.  I would appreciate your prayers for guidance during this transition time.
Merry Christmas to you all!
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.  Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.  Let him bury his face in the dust-there may yet be hope…” Lamentations 3:25-29

Friday, September 13, 2013

St. James Children in their new school sweaters!

I want to start out with a big thank you to all of you who have contributed to the milk formula needed for our twenty babies.  It has made such a huge difference.  This is an ongoing need, so please remember us.   We continue to receive new babies each month, including a new baby born last month and brought to live at Fairfield as well as a 5 month old whose mother died last week and is living with relatives.  The milk program is providing these babies with milk formula and other nutritional foods until they reach 2 years of age.  Thank you to all who have helped!
All the older children are now back at school for their third and final term of the year.  Many of the students are getting ready to take their big end-of-school exams to complete either their elementary or high school training.  They have been studying hard, some waking up as early as 3AM to find quiet moments to study before all their brothers and sisters wake up to get ready for school each day.
Children receiving school supplies on the first day of school
We had a container arrive in August, thanks to Francie Markham from South Carolina and many who contributed items in the container.  Sweaters were sent for each of our school children as well as a special box of presents for each individual child at Fairfield, thanks to our friends at Mt. Pleasant Church in Mineral Wells, WV.  Thank you to everyone who participated.
It is hard to believe that Abigail and Grace will be three years old in a few weeks.  I have known them for 2 years!  They can now speak and sing in both Shona and English.  They continue to live at Fairfield Children’s Home and are well cared for and loved by the mother in their house, Nyasha, and all the other children in their home.  I am grateful that I get to spend time with them every day.
Eating dinner with Brother Wonder at House 8
Getting medicines from Mother Nyasha
My application for adoption was approved by the US in June.  It is now up to the Zimbabwe Social Welfare to continue the process, but there have been many issues arising.  I would very much appreciate prayers that God’s will be done in this situation and that He would ensure the best possible outcome for Abigail and Grace.  I will be sure to send further updates as they are available, but that is all I am able to share for now.  Prayers are greatly needed and appreciated. 
Thank you all for your continued support of the HOPE program.  Because of all of you, we are able to continue to care for 20 infants who would not have milk, 60 who would not have enough food to stay healthy, and 100 who would not be receiving an education.  Thanks to all!
Wenyu Munashe,
Grace playing at my house
Abby playing at my house

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Twenty Babies

As HOPE has become better known in the community, we are having more and more infants referred to us by nearby clinics.  These babies no longer have a mother or their mother is not able to produce milk to feed her baby.  The babies are sometimes brought to us in desperate and immediate need of milk formula or cow milk in order to survive. 
Baby S (names omitted) entered our program a few months ago after her mother passed away unexpectedly.  Her sweet father brings her every week, carrying her on his back.  It is very rare for a Zimbabwean man to carry a baby in this way and just shows how much he truly loves his daughter. 
Our newest baby, Baby A, was brought early on a Monday morning when she was just three days old.  Her mother had died in childbirth and the relatives had been frantically searching for a way to feed the baby all weekend.
HOPE also has a set of triplets ready to graduate from the milk program in a few months.  Their mother was not able to produce enough milk to keep all three at a healthy weight.  With the supplemental milk they received from HOPE, all three boys are now running, playing and strong.  We will proudly and happily graduate three healthy boys in August when they reach two years of age.
Infants need 6 to 7 tins of milk formula each month until they reach one year of age, at which point we encourage relatives to find cow milk for the children.  We pay the cost of the cow milk, which is considerably cheaper than the milk formula.  Currently, HOPE is spending $600 per month on milk formula and cow milk. 
If you or a group you are a part of would be willing to raise funds to help offset the cost of milk for our babies, this assistance would be greatly appreciated.  We are constantly getting new babies at a higher rate than we are graduating them, so ongoing or one-time donations specifically for milk will always be a need high on our priority list. 
If you decide to assist with this need, please send donations to:
CornerStone International
PO Box 192
Wilmore, KY 40390
Memo: HOPE of Zim/milk

If you donate through Paypal by clicking the link to the right of this posting, just send me a quick email ( so that I know the funds are specifically for milk. 
Thank you in advance!
Wenyu Munashe,
Janine, Abigail and Grace