March Newsletter

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Thanks for Giving!

We want to give a big thanks to Sewpportive Friends for donating 30 feminine hygiene kits to our girls at the orphanage as well as our house mothers!  The goal of Sewpportive Friends is to provide young women with reusable, handmade feminine hygiene materials. In doing this, they are providing them with a necessity that will not inhibit their education. This allows them greater success in the classroom, in the community, and gives them a brighter future. They are a great organization and we are so thankful for the generosity!


We are also thankful to Aurelia Pacey for making 60 dresses for our girls at the orphanage! Aurelia has made more than 1,600 dresses that have been distributed through missions in Third World countries throughout the world. Her good works have been recognized on shows like ‘Live with Kelly and Michael’ and Extra where she was awarded $500 and a year’s supply of Extra Gum along with the recognition.

Zim Orphans is so thankful for her generosity!



A Visit to our Orphans

Gethsemani, a missionary to Zimbabwe will be visiting our orphanage in December! She will be delivering handmade dresses to the girls from Aurelia Pacey who has made over 1600 dresses for the poor as well as feminine hygiene items from a non-profit called Sewpportive Friends (more on them later!!). If you would like to help support Gethsemani with her trip you can send us an email at and we would love to share how. Below are Gethsemani’s trip plans in her own words.

“Alongside working with Zim Orphans to meet mutual ministry task needs I will be checking on the kids, spending quality time with them, scouting out the new garden’s progress, meeting with the hard working administrator to ensure he and his family’s wellbeing, and gathering information to start building the vision of a sponsorship program for individual orphans. The heart of this whole trip is simply the fact that I miss these children very much. They are my family and my motivation. To go so long without seeing them while I am working to prepare for a future with them in Zimbabwe is bitter sweet. So as I work through a task list in these three weeks I will also be reminding myself to stop and smell the roses or should I say squeeze the children? … Before I return to work stateside.”

Meet a missionary to our Orphans

We want to introduce you to Gethsemani Svori-Hillman! A missionary to the U.S. and Zimbabwe who has been caring for our orphans since 2010. Gethsemani has been traveling back and forth and independently organizing funding efforts for orphans and homeless since that time. Her mission is to spread the gospel. “At the age of 8 the Lord came and told me I was to care for orphans as a missionary. I started my work at 17. I intend to do this work for the rest of my life alongside my soon-to-be husband who is also a missionary. While he is in Zim caring for a handful of boys I am working full time stateside in efforts to move forward in starting a transitional home for orphans who are aging out of Zim’s orphanage care systems.”

“My first trip to Zimbabwe was in November of 2010. It was on this trip that I began to start learning the culture and ways of the Shona and Ndebele tribes. I was honored to learn traditions like drumming and I also witnessed things not so celebratory. Yet I was still honored because at a very young age the people were allowing me to see so much of who they were, with no filter. This started the kind of fire that grows bigger when doused with water. The following 3 years I lived and breathed Zimbabwe. I traveled to Zim twice more. I spoke to small groups, ran a charity auction, and strategized extensively on projects to benefit the orphans. In the end of 2013  I was ready to move to Zimbabwe indefinitely but God lead me to a few leadership positions in ministry stateside while my heart longed to return. From Winter 2013 to Fall 2015 the Lord had me on training grounds doing everything from working with children in the ghetto to supervising drug withdrawals in a women’s home and giving counseling. The state of Zimbabwe has been desperate for quite sometime. But I believe that it is very much the Lords land. Zimbabwe was once called the bread basket of Africa. It was a paradise for other Africans from other countries to vacation. The Zimbabwean people have a strength and a love I have never witnessed in any other place or people. I believe that in raising up these orphans in the Lords way the country of Zimbabwe will see miracles.”

Please continue to check in to see Gethsemani’s future plans with Zim Orphans. And you can check out her website at  to learn more about her work in Zimbabwe.

Thank you Gethsemani for doing the Lord’s work and serving our orphans!

In Zimbabwe Summer is Coming

Summertime is right around the corner in Zimbabwe. Our special kids at Zim Orphanage in Neshuro, Zimbabwe are in need of new clothes for summer. In the past Zim has been able to provide kids with used clothing, however these items are quite worn now (see below) and its time we provide new items to these kiddos at the same time supporting the local economy.

To meet the most basic need at our orphanage we need to purchase each girl a new shirt and a new skirt and each boy needs a new shirt and a pair of shorts. A complete outfit for a girl can be purchased for $15, and $18 for the boys. Please consider donating the price of an outfit or several! We have a goal of $650 to meet and we need your help. We are hoping to raise enough by October 21, 2016 so that these purchases can be made.

To donate please click on the Donate Now button on our homepage. Thank you so much for your support! We cannot do this without you.

About the founders


We are Rodney and Lee Ann Smith.  Rodney, a Korean War veteran, is a retired National Bank Examiner and Lee Ann is a retired elementary school teacher.  A good part of our life over the past 22 years has been devoted to evangelistic mission work throughout the world as well as being involved with the orphanage since its beginning in 2002.  We met on a mission trip to the Ukraine in 1993 and were married a year later.  On a later trip to Zambia, Africa we met pastor Nhamo Chigohi (now deceased) who invited us to come to his village in Neshuro, Zimbabwe to help him conduct a mini evangelistic crusade.  About a year later Lee Ann answered a strong calling from the Lord and traveled there where they conducted nightly services around bond fires because there were no buildings or electricity available.  In addition to leading many to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ they planted six new churches.

Lee Ann was touched with compassion and emotion by the sight of several orphans sleeping on the floor of pastor Chigohi’s very small modest two room home where she stayed as a house guest.  It was at that time that we felt God’s calling to also serve Him by caring for His hungry and hurting precious children and thus, Zim Orphans was born.

We feel profoundly blessed to be partnering with other members of our staff and working with the dedicated individuals that run the orphanage.  This ministry exists solely because of the love and compassion of those that God has chosen to pray and/or give to support it.  To Him go the praise and glory!

The Garden: Next Steps

Most of the material for setting up the garden has been delivered, except water pipes and some fencing. The boys who live at the orphanage are clearing the area where the garden will be as well as the water source. A generator will pump water to the garden during loss of electricity, which is common. The garden will be a source of pride and a tangible asset for the orphanage. Thank you to those who have made this effort possible!








6 things we think about


Zimbabwe was once known as the “breadbasket of Africa” and food was plentiful. Over the last two decades the situation has become very desperate, and the need for food is constant. Our focus is to continue providing support until the situation improves.


New clothing is a rarity at the orphanage, and most children have just a few pieces of clothing to their name. We are working to provide new clothing on a seasonal basis for the children who need it the most. Fabric from pillowcases has been used to make a dress, like this one here:

A dress made from a pillowcase and ribbon


Not far from the orphanage is a school that was built by missionaries from Colorado. The Zimbabwean Government pays the salaries of the teachers and the students at the orphanage are permitted to attend. We are raising funds for their tuition and supplies.

Students lined up after school


We are hoping to plant a garden with a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be grown throughout the year as a nourshing source for the orphans. We are focused on raising funds for a solar powered water pump to irrigate the garden on a consistent schedule.

The early stages of the vegetable garden


While we continue to work to provide the basics for the orphans and the caretakers, it is impossible to anticipate the ongoing needs that arise. Whether more assistance is needed due to health issues, drought, or other circumstances, we hope to be faithful in providing care. Please prayerfully consider helping this organization financially.


In an ongoing quest to find a suitable venture to generate income it has been discovered that raising chickens for sale is the most promising. This requires a minimal amount of start up capital and is also a year-round venture that produces steady income. The volatile economy, caused by a high rate of inflation, will be a key determining factor in the outcome.

Baby chicks are ready for sale after 6-7 weeks

Visit us online for more.


The business of chickens

In an ongoing quest to find a suitable venture to generate income it has been discovered that raising chickens for sale is the most promising. This requires a minimal amount of start up capital and is also a year-round venture that produces steady income.

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Chicken is the meat of choice because beef and pork are prohibitively expensive. There is currently one chicken house in operation that can accommodate 500 chickens. A second chicken house with the same capacity is now under construction. Sales are good and the initial results of the operation are promising but it will take time to accurately assess the project’s potential. The volatile economy, caused by a high rate of inflation, will be a key determining factor in the outcome.

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Current efforts center around expanding the second chicken house and making sure that it’s properly secured with a fence to repel predators. With adequate fencing, the chickens can remain safe until the time they are old enough to be sold for consumption. The income from this venture will provide for basic necessities at the orphanage. The reality is that while this source of revenue is important, it will far from satisfy the needs of the organization.

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