Zimbabwe #1: Home of Hope
Dear Outreach friends,
Our first full day in Harare was busy. We were eager to learn about the impact of recent national elections and the economic situation on Outreach church partners. How are they coping with challenges of high unemployment and widespread poverty? How is the church nurturing God’s Kingdom in Zimbabwe, building hope and demonstrating compassion? Our team began by meeting with the new officers of the CCAP – Synod of Harare at their office.
The Synod’s geographic coverage extends beyond the nine congregations in the Harare area, with a total of 26 within four Presbyteries. In addition, there are many prayer houses (i.e. with less than 100 members), evolving into new congregations. Currently there are 23 ordained pastors and 43 lay evangelists that minister in these locations. They are training ministers and evangelists (jointly with the Uniting Presbyterian Church of southern Africa – UPCSA) in vocational skills (e.g. horticulture, sewing, construction) to prepare them for sustainable ministries in low-resourced settings.
For nearly two decades, Joan Trevelyan and her son Craig have led the ministry, providing food, primary health care and skills training to hundreds of destitute children and mothers. The ministry is strategically located in the inner city on CCAP property. The team also includes Lucy, who provides training in sewing to mothers, Ongai, who assists with the feeding program and Dave and Ria, who assist with accounts and support. Each of them make time to empathetically listen to stories, provide spiritual support and love to ‘the least of these.’ There are many, many young and old Zimbabweans falling through the social safety net. The fortunate ones land in the compassionate arms of caring ministries like Home of Hope. It was a blessing to spend hours with them and examine ways to nurture this critical ministry. They (and we) are grateful for your prayers and support.
Tomorrow we will continue to meet with the CCAP Synod officials, see congregational programs, and visit the Rock Haven Church Conference center for evangelist training.
Thank you and Blessings,
Africa Mission Specialist