It’s hard to believe that we are in our seventh month here in Harare Zimbabwe. And it’s not always the case that time flies when everything is going well, as we have experienced with our stay in Zimbabwe so far. It has really been hard—that is all we can say. And in the middle of the hardships, we have seen the hand of the Lord and he has kept us smiling during all the challenges we face.
On 17 April, the Lord added a beautiful girl to our family: Nympha Natalie Pasipanodya. She is the only one born in Zimbabwe and we thank the Lord for safe delivery, especially considering the fact that the hospitals do not have anything and Esther had to bring everything to the hospital from painkillers to anything needed by a woman who is about to deliver. Nympha turned three months yesterday and has been a delight to the family.
Her mother has recovered well, and she can run around the house doing her normal chores. Please pray that we will be able to bring these kids up in the fear of the Lord and that the Lord will continue to provide for them.
If there is one area that has kept smiles on our faces during all the turmoil in the country, it is ministry. We have adjusted well at Reformed Baptist Church and the church has helped us to feel at home and to be able to exercise our gifts in the church. We are currently going through membership classes since there was no formal membership at the church and I have taught four classes so far and we have three more to go. About 35 people signed up for the class and have attended the four classes we have held so far. It is so humbling to see the zeal the people have to learn about what the Bible says about being a member of the local church and the role they have as members. Questions have been asked, forgiveness sought, and people have embraced each other in a way never seen before in the church. There has been revival in the church, if I may put it that way. And we praise him for that.
In addition to this, we have had our monthly Iron Sharpens Iron meetings with fellow brothers around the country. These have been refreshing times for me to just share the hardships, challenges, and encouragements that other brothers are going through. The sweetest part is getting time to pray for and with each other and spending some time in the word together going through the book of Nehemiah. I can’t ask for more.
Please pray for the brothers will continue to encourage each other in various ministries and that we will remain faithful labourers in our Master’s field, especially in a country like ours where many have opted for a different gospel, as if there is another, as Paul says in Galatians 1:6–7.
Continue also to pray for the small Bible study we are conducting at our home. We have heard some challenges as we moved from the place we were staying when we first arrived here to a new and different location. We had to start afresh with the studies, and we are thankful because every corner you turn to you are faced with a need and the Lord has provided people to minister to. We are praying and trusting the Lord that we will be able to get a place of our own where we don’t need to be faced with the challenges of moving time and again, that the Lord will grow the small group both numerically and spiritually, and that if, it’s his will, this group will turn into a church plant.
As a country, we have faced a serious dilemma with people being displaced by Cyclone Idai in the eastern part of the country. Thousands of people lost their lives and many were displaced and it was really a great joy for us to be able to travel to Chimanimani to donate some groceries donated by people in the UK—people we have never met but whose hearts were touched by what happened in our country. Lots of mealie meal was donated, with about 100kg of mealie meal given to a family, with eighteen families benefiting from this. Other goods, such as sugar, cooking oil, salt, soap, blankets, and cabbages, were given to these families.
It was such a joy to share the love of Christ with our fellow brothers and sisters and to encourage them from the word of God.
One touching incident was when an old lady approached me and said “Mwanangu ndiMwari vakutumai zveshuwa nekuti handizive kuti nhasi ndanga ndichadyei nevazukuru.” (My son, it is God who indeed sent you to me. I didn’t even know what I was going to eat tonight with my grandchildren.) Our God is indeed a faithful God and will never leave his alone. He provides for them even using ravens. We are so thankful to our friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Swansea, UK, who donated the funds that were used to purchase the groceries. You have put smiles on many people’s faces in Chimanimani and may our dear Lord continue to bless you so that you can be a blessing to many other people across the world.
We are so thankful to each one of you who are giving to Mission Zim. Life in Zimbabwe is tough and the budget we had made before we came here is not even close to what is on the ground, but the Lord has really been good to us and has made sure that we did not sleep on an empty stomach. We embarked on a chicken project that covered what lacked from our budget, but now it’s difficult to run with all the changes that have been implemented in terms of what money to use and not to use anymore. Suppliers have raised their prices of chicken feed to a point where you can’t make a profit but run at a loss, especially if you are doing at a much smaller scale like we are doing.
- Please pray that we, as a family, will find our joy and hope in Christ and that people will see in us the real hope we have in Christ. Nothing seems to be going forward in Zimbabwe and many people have lost hope, but we know our God still is on the throne. We pray that this will the time people see the gospel of Christ as the answer when many people had put their hope in politics.
- Pray for more support for us so that we can survive and continue to be faithful in the work of ministry.
- Pray for Reformed Baptist Church as we introduce expository preaching and begin to preach from the book of Ephesians just after our membership classes. Pray for all the prospective members to continue to delight in the word of God and that the church will grow both numerically and spiritually.
- Finally, please pray for the country at large—for the leaders to fear God and that they will come up with a solution to move the country forward and for the citizens that they may run to him who holds the universe in his hands.
Grace and peace to you,