Christmas 2016

Thank you for your best wishes for us at this time of the year. I have in fact just come out of hospital where I was recovering from surgery to remove my prostate which was creating some problems with my water works. It went well although I lost a lot of blood and had to have two transfusions and was then kept in hospital until my surgeon was happy I was on the mend. I was very happy with the professional service I received and the excellent nursing from a 100 per cent Zimbabwean team.

It has been raining here and so Zimbabweans are more relaxed but nevertheless, 2017 is going to be tough. While I was in hospital I read again the Gospel of Mark which does not speak about the birth of Christ but deals mainly with his brief three years among the people of Israel. One story stuck in my mind.

Mark 3:35 -41

Jesus has just started working with his 12 Apostles who were all ordinary Israeli men like himself. He has started to use his healing powers and as anyone who knows Africa, nothing is more likely to attract a crowd. After a tough day of crowds and heat and dust, he suggests they cross the Sea of Galilee to get away from the pressure for a while.

They were mainly men who made their living from the sea and they set off on the short trip across the sea (really a large inland lake). While still sailing across the lake, a storm came up and as anyone will testify, such storms on relatively shallow lakes can be quite dangerous and build up rapidly. Fearing they will be swamped and have to swim, they wake up Christ who was deep asleep in the prow. He rebukes them for their lack of faith and then commands the wind and the storm to stop and an eerie calm descends on the Lake instantly.

I loved the response of those 12 tough, Israeli men: 'They were terrified and asked each other 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him'. I can reply to that question - He is the Christ and He is able to keep me and my own safe no matter what the future holds.

All our love and best wishes

Eddie and Jeanette Cross
Harare Zimbabwe