Kelley Zimmerman arrived from England after his two year work visa expired. All Commonwealth citizens are entitled to a temporary visa to live and work in the United Kingdom and since jobs are scarse in South Africa, Kelley decided to take advantage of it. (All three of Steve and Pat’s sons — Kent, Kyle and Kelley — are born in Cape Town and therefore eligible for the visa even though they are also American citizens.)
Kelley arrived at the airport, a bit tired and a little disappointed that he couldn’t get an extension to his work permit. But, he was also happy to be back home again with his folks. (See photo.)
His brothers, Kent and Kyle, are seriously thinking about seeking enployment in the United States or England, too. With the government’s aggressive Affirmative Action Policy, it is very difficult for young white men and women to find meaningful work no matter how qualified they are. Other countries are taking advantage of this situation and head-hunting for good workers. The government is complaining that their highly skilled teachers, nurses, doctors, etc are leaving in droves!
The Zimmermans don’t know at this stage what Kelley wants to do. At the moment, he is living at home until he either finds a job here or is offered work in the States.
One of the least understood aspects of being a missionary family is the separation. When Al and Jean Zimmerman left to serve the Lord in Cape Town in 1959 with their young sons, they were prepared for most things. However, over the years, they’ve seen their sons and daughter separated (Steve is in Cape Town, Dr John works in Seattle and Sara lives in Grand Rapids) as well as their grandchildren.
It is the same reality for Steve and Pat. It is quite likely that all three of their sons will leave South Africa for brighter prospects. But, in all, it will be the family of God that will keep their hearts and minds in Jesus.