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MRCIA KAY THOI"iSON

MSIiOliO ivIISSION

P/B 55 - Zaka
Rhodesia, Africa

B'orwarding Agents;
Dr.

& Mrs.

Richard Lee

901 Taylor Drive


Carhondale, Illinois 62901
October through November, 1966

Dear Christian Friends,

November 10 marks three years since I came to Rhodesia.

Many of you

have been v/ondering vjhen I v/ill leave for the States to visit and tell
of. the work. Until a very short time ago I really did not have any
idea. Mr. Pemberton left Rhodesia August 15, to spend a little over
three months in the States, and I knev/ that among other things he

would be looking for another secretary.


is interested.

early next year.

He has located a girl that

It is very possible that she v/ill arrive in Rhodesia

After she comes we will work together for a period

of time.
It v/ill take her awhile to become acquainted v/ith the job
and since it is more than a full time job we will need to catch up

with the things that I have let pile up before I leave her to carry on
alone.

Even though Pembertons have moved to Chiredzi in the Hippo Valley area,
before John left for the States he came to iviashoko every other week

to teach in the Bible college.

Any problem that we had that his ex

perience would be valuable in answering, we could postpone until he


came so that Africans and missionaries both kept him busy v/hile he v/as
at Mashoko. While he has been gone, Lester Cooper has been in the

hospital in Salisbury, so that the only ones on the mission that have
been in Rhodesia longer that I are Madonna Burget and Mrs. Cooper,
Some missionaries, who have worked" here during the last 10 years, are
in the States^nd others^have gone on to other fields to_labor._

The African adults count age and experience as very important.

They

do not readily put their confidence in a person but must observe him
for awhile. If they see that he uses sound judgement and is vitally

interested in their welfare, then they v/ill go to him with their pro
blems. When they ask to talk to the "old man" it shows their respect
for his maturity and their confidence in him.

The work at Mashoko has not decreased, in fact, new teachers are added

each year. Some of our schools are building new buildings and others
are repairing old ones and replacxng grass roo^s v/ith iron. In add

ition we have the work at Hippo Valley. Our schools there are growing
and we have four evangelists in that area. Services are held on Sun

day at the school buildings and also at two church buildings.

the church buildings has been built within the last few months.

One of
It

is a large concrete block building with two small rooms and baptistry
besides the main auditorium.

Mashoko has grown so fast that it seems we are always building. Since
I last wrote the new storeroom has been built. It is adequate for our
need now and for the years ahead.

domestic science classroom was no longer needed for this purpose

The
when

in

the C.P.S. was reduced in size, as they now do their needlework

one

of ,the other classrooms.

many people

For several years there havebeen to

attending our English speaking church service to be seated

song leader
one room,
room. so v/e have been using two classrooms and the
in one

and speaker have been standing in the doorv/ay betv/een the

two

rooms.

It was decided that the domestic science building would be lengthened


and used for a chapel building. This has been done and the room is now

/70 X24 feet. It is nice to be able to have everyone in the same room ,
for the service. This is the building where Isir, Pemberton and I have
our offices. The audition v/as made to the other end of the building
and there is no change in the offices. The District Commissioner from

Bikita and his assistants have been using our offices once a month for
a branch office. This enables the people of this area to take care of
their business v/ithout traveling to Bikita. They also issue our petrol

coupons on that day.

The town of Chiredzi, where Pembertbns live, is not

the center for the Hippo Valley area.

but It la

Since it i3;58^iHile3 from

Mashoko and Port Victoria is almost 100, I often gd to Chiredzi and

do ray banking in the branch there.


started sending out a mobile unit.

In the middle of the year they


Sometimes he comes so that I can

get the wages from him instead of having to go after them.

Right nov/

they have a shortage of personel, but v/e are hoping that they will
soon be able to make more frequent and regular trips to Mashoko.

V\fhen you are in the middle of the bush your daily life seems to be
dependent upon engines. vVe have a large generator engine and a small
one for our electricityj also a large pump and a small one to supply
the mission with water. The large generator is supposed to run during
the hours that the most electricity is required and the small one v;hen

we do not require as much.

The large generator has been broken dovm

most of the time for the last year and a half.

The small generator

engine has been running 24 hours a day most of this time, and needs to
be sent in for repairs as soon as w^j get the large one in working
order. Several times lately, the small one has been shut off for most

of a day to be repaired, so we have had no power on the mission. The


lamps that v/e use provide a lot of heat, along with the light, which
v/e would just as soon not have since tnis is summertime in Rhodesia,
On September 3, I went to a wedding'feast with F.adonna Burget. The
groom was a graduate of the IJashoko Nuring School, and is v/orking at
one of the clinics that is managed by our mission in Hippo Valley.

The wedding feast v/as at his home near llorgenster Mission about 30
railes from Fort Victoria, and was hald a v/eek after the church cere
mony, We took the groom's aunt and.our minister from Fort Victoria
to show us the way. 'i'/hen v/e arrived at the site for the occasion, the
v/edding party v^as in the house a short distance away. As they ap
proached, a large group of people came v/ith them. Some were singing,
some dancing, and one blowing a ivudu horn. The bride wore her wedding
dress and veil, white gloves, and carried a white umbrella. The
groom wore a dark aruit, tie, and hat and a v/hite shirt and gloves.
They had some chairs set under a large tree^ There were only enough

for the wedding party and a few honored guests, including us; the rest
sat on the ground. (We were the only i:;uropean3 present.) They had a

table set up for the gifts. A man stood on a steel drum near the table
and called off the names of tl'ip .gujikts, starting with the family. As
the names were called, each would cpme forv/ard and bring his gift.

and dance after each announcement.

response.

It

%he-^-f-t v^aa^--aftd thoy would-shout.


The larger the gift the louder the

Because "we had to le-^ve before dark, they let us give our

gift just after the relatives. Then they took us to the house and gave
us tea, bread, rice, and mtat, :-,fter wo had eaten v/e went back to the
place where they v;ere still giving gifts. The groom insisted on leav
ing and going to get us some lemons grovra on their trees and a live
chicken to take home with us.

'He got back to the road and almost to

Morgenster Mission before it v/as completely dark,

v/e are not ge erally

known in this area and it impressed the people that we came so far to
attend the

feast.

A great amount of money has been spent in Rhodesia on irrigation system


We need a good rainy season this year to fill the lakes made by the man
dams in the country. Some of the farms are starting to grow wheat
and cotton instead of sugar, as v;e have surplus sugar.

There has been

foot and mouth disease among the cattle so that it is especially im

portant that the crops do well.

Many prices have gone up recently and

some businesses have started to insist on cash at the time of delivery,

/fDuring the time I have been here, it has been my privilege to see maay

//of the "iifricans in this area grow in training and maturity. Please
// continue to pray for us, that we might have the wisdom that comes from
/ I Above to handle the daily problems In a manner that would please our
I I Lord and would help those vfith whom v/e work to have a ^^onger faith in
Thank you again for making it possible for me to work/^ thi-&-.J20sition,
I am hoping to be able to t-:ak to you in person in

MARCIA KAY THOMSOH

c/o R. V. Lee

901 Taylor Dr.

Carbondale, 111, 62901

'

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