Update from Mutare

Jane and Larry Kies, Africa University

Dear friends and family,

We live on the campus of AU, and have been enjoying visits from our neighbors’ children.  Delani and Adriel spend hours piecing together the Lego that has survived years of making and breaking. They move on to ever more creative designs which involve trial and error, patience and starting over. It has reminded me that we are always God’s work-in-progress, and our own efforts to live with the times involve trials, successes, failures, and moving on.

 We have come to the end of our online academic year, and feel there has been a lot of trial and error, patience… and learning involved! As we walked past the student dormitories last week, there were festivities as students celebrated final-years passing their last semester at Africa University. Dancing, blowing vuvuzelas and making phone calls home – marked the end of 4 or 5 years of study.

Most will go home and attend graduation online in July. The July 3rd ceremony will be available for public viewing on both YouTube and Facebook. See www.Africau.edu.  

 We trust the new graduands will carry the lessons learned and new skills into their careers and callings.

 We are thankful to God for so many highlights over the past months:

  • new developments on the AU farm
  • students completing and passing their online courses
  • few cases of Covid 19 on campus
  • opportunities we had to meet with our students on campus
  • worshiping together on campus, both in chapel and on the farm  
  • online Bible study and discussions with our English students exploring the theme of Covenant
  • our students’ positive responses to new skills gained through online learning.


Anglebert Nderimana is a first year student in Agribusiness Management from Burundi, and in his words:

“On one hand, studying online gave me the chance to research various topics, especially those connected with my future career. It was easy to have time to use the internet for the purpose of research and learning. Links to websites provided by my lecturers helped me to get extra simplified notes besides the lecturer’s notes. I was also able to listen to different course recordings more than once. At the same time, the period was a time of loneliness and self-dependence…. I profoundly thank God for providing me with the technology and friends so that despite all the challenges I pulled through.”

AU Farm Fish Project

The ceremony for the dedication of the fish farm included hopes that eventually, like Jesus did, it will provide fish for the 5,000…and more!  During the ceremony, Larry was given an opportunity to catch a fish with his fishing rod, but in the end had to declare (with some embarrassment) that the AU fish were too clever to be fooled into taking the bait! Farm workers scooped up 350g Tilapia in nets, and filled buckets to share with special visitors. Our Congolese students, used to frequent meals with fish in their own country, look forward to tasting them at the University dining hall. 

The farm manager has worked hard to promote farm successes in terms of the overall development at AU. 

Zim News

Control measures have helped keep covid-19 cases low except for a January spike. Unfortunately, the country has experienced a recent surge in Covid cases and deaths which has led to a partial lockdown. This may delay AU plans to go back to on campus classes next semester. The country awaits a fresh supply of vaccines. We both feel a bit safer after we received two jabs in April.

Family News

Larry and I have booked tickets to travel to the US in July to see family members. I am excited as I haven’t seen our boys for 3 years. We are flying a route that avoids the red zones of South Africa and Britain. We look forward to spending a few days in Cape Cod with Ben and Ada (with a dip in the ocean!!!??), a long weekend in Boulder with Pule and Christine, plus time with Michael and others in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Michael is doing an internship with Microsoft and recently used software to ‘fly’ over Old Mutare and his former school. He said he nearly stalled the plane when turning. Good thing it was only simulation. 

We will miss Carly, who is still doing campus ministry in Brisbane, and Australia is not allowing many people in or out.

This short trip we will be focused on catching up with family and taking care of personal issues. Hopefully next year we will be able to speak with you in churches!

Thank you, thank you for your continued support and ministry with us at AU. Please let us know how you can feel more connected to all that God is doing here.


We ask that you consider

  • continuing your support of Jane.  (Advance Special number: 10739Z)
  • providing scholarship support for a student: (Advance Special: 3021028)


Please Pray with Us

  • prayer for wisdom for AU administration as decisions are made for next semester
  • safe travels for all making long journeys, including AU students crossing borders to get to the campus.
  • continued protection from covid-19




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