|Zimbabwe Mission - December 2011|
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ” Romans 12:2
We have a vision to help rebuild the country of Zimbabwe. The only way to ensure stability for future generations is to build upon the only sure foundation of Biblical principles. After the economic depression and collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar, people are eager to embrace questionable quick-fix schemes and even heresies rather than life-transforming Biblical principles. Therefore, during our recent mission, we conducted Biblical Worldview Seminars in different towns in Zimbabwe addressing the battle that is fought to control the minds of people. Our worldview determines our values, it influences how we think, and therefore guides how we live. Our conduct is a result of our worldview. A person may feel like a Christian, while he thinks like a humanist.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. “ Colossians 2:8Hope
The Zimbabwean people are weary and some feel defeated by injustice and lawlessness. Many churches were forced to close their doors during the economic collapse. Yet the country is in a phase of change. It should therefore be a challenge to self-examination and re-evaluation of personal lives, families, congregations, and society. The general tendency in most churches is to regard the status quo as normative and right. “We have always done it this way”. The common practice may easily be lifted above Scripture and popular approval is viewed to have some Divine authority! Heresies and cults that are threatening the church should be exposed and opposed. It is therefore urgent to be challenged by the great Biblical principles of the Reformation:
The only hope for any nation is the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all areas of life.
We have a Commission from our Lord Jesus Christ to make disciples and to teach obedience. (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore we presented Biblical evangelism, discipleship, leadership and worldview conferences. We gave teaching and training to 141 pastors, chaplains and teachers at seven different locations. Chaplains from all over Zimbabwe came for the chaplain’s training. At conferences that lasted several days, the participants wrote a Bible Exam. To some the exam was a challenge, but we hope that all of them will have a renewed motivation to study their Bibles.
Truths that Transform
Some of the topics we addressed were: How the Reformation Changed the World, Reforming our Churches, Reforming our Families, The Heart of the Gospel, Evangelism Workshops, God’s Law or Chaos, Repentance, Discipline, Humility, The Lordship of Jesus in all Areas of Life, A World War of Worldviews, The Battle for the Mind in the News Media, The Christian Work Ethic, How to Fail in Life, The Greatest Book in the World, Hell’s Best Kept Secret, How to Know the Will of God.
Libraries for Pastors
Certificates were rewarded to those who successfully completed the Biblical Worldview Seminar. We were able to equip participants with excellent and relevant books that included: Biblical Principles for Africa, Practical Discipleship, The Battle for Truth, Reforming Our Families, The Power of Prayer Handbook, The Ten Commandments, One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven, One Heartbeat Away, Character Assassins, Christ's Dogmatism, God Indeed, Encyclopaedia Of Practical Christianity, Faith Under Fire in Sudan, Going Through Even if the Door is Closed, Principles of Church Growth, Unusual Topics, Searching Questions, and Extraordinary Characters. The books were received with great joy and I was asked to convey heartfelt Thanks to all those who so generously donated the materials. May God bless you!
Some comments from the participants of these conferences were as follows: “The Seminar teachings really inspired me to look at Evangelism with a new perspective”; “It was a touching experience and it’s my prayer that it won’t be the last.”; “You are doing very good work. We hope to continuously work together.”; “Good lectures, good presentations, well researched and organized.”; “Wonderful! Keep on doing the good job. God bless you.”; “I would like to receive Christian Action News.”; “My inmost being was Revive! Thanks.”; “Helpful”; “Profound.”; “Very impressive.”; “It was an eye opener.”
We also had the opportunity to preach at several churches, a prison, an old age home, Bible Colleges, open-air and in a hardware store. As Zimbabwe is a ‘Christian’ country and many people profess to be Christians, our message always stressed the words of the apostle Paul exhorting us to test our Christianity to the Biblical standard of holiness, Godliness, brotherly love, Spiritual fruit that fits Repentance, perseverance, self denial and a lifestyle that testifies of a Saviour living within.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the Faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2 Corinthians 13:5
The Jesus Film
I have seen the Jesus film many times but I am still touched every time I see the powerful message of love, grace and Redemption. We showed this film on four occasions followed by an Evangelistic message. The preaching included the seriousness of sin, sinful man’s inability to reach God’s holy standard, God’s wonderful work of Redemption through Jesus Christ, salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone, a call to Repentance, and the commands of Jesus to forsake all else to follow Him.
Boxes with Love
We were blessed to provide Boxes with Love to senior citizens who have no pension. The economic collapse of Zimbabwe wiped the pension funds out! Many of them still have to work – sometimes at an advanced age of 80 years +! But being able to work is viewed as a blessing from God Who provide for all their needs in this way. We also had a pleasant time of sharing with them one Sunday afternoon where I received several letters expressing their gratefulness:
“I do not know how to express our deep heartfelt thanks to you... All the folks who so generously donate and do packing, etc. .May God, our heavenly Father give each of you a special blessing. Those who have received their Love Boxes join with us expressing our deep appreciation. We MARVEL at the contents those boxes contain.”
One elderly gentleman gave us two paintings. He is a colour blind artist who produces amazing art. One of the paintings has a note of thanks on the back: “Thank you all for helping us in Zimbabwe.”
The electricity supply (ZESA) in Zimbabwe is still very unpredictable. Load shedding is still the norm, and the service does not seem to improve, in fact it seems to get worse in some areas. Most homes are equipped with generators and/or inverters. One of our friends donated us a generator which proved to be an indispensible part of our equipment. One evening while showing the Jesus film (using our valuable generator), a huge roar of joy announced that the electricity came on in the township!
ZIMRA (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) employed a new duty structure for imports around the time we crossed the border into the country. It caused huge delays and big frustration for many companies. Trucks are delayed for days at the border causing queues of backed-up traffic that stretches for kilometres. We had to pay a heavy duty on the books and Boxes with Love that we took into the country as donations. All this resulted in 6 hours delay to cross the border.
Cost of Living
The new customs duties will no doubt add to the already high costs of living in Zimbabwe. After hyper-inflation the Zimbabwe currency collapsed and the US dollar was adopted as their currency. Most of the country’s livelihood is imported from neighbouring countries at high costs in transport and taxes.
Threats and Fears
Farmers, other land owners, and even residential home owners, are living in constant threat of their property being confiscated Marxist by war veterans. Frequent court hearings, corruption, bribes demanded and high stress levels complicate their lives.
The Zimbabwean indigenisation drive, that requires foreign companies to transfer at least 51 percent of their shares to indigenous Zimbabweans (excluding white Zimbabweans), is threatening economic growth. Foreign and white-owned companies with assets worth more than $500,000 are targeted. At present Zimbabwe needs foreign investors just to survive.
Concern was expressed to us about the seasonal rains that have not come yet as expected. Please pray that God will bless the country with rain, especially for those who depend on it.
Thank you to our families who stayed behind and prayed for us during this month of absence. Also to all those who faithfully prayed for us, those involved in arranging successful meetings, our hospitable hosts and those who sacrificially contributed financially towards the mission. May God be your joy and strength.
“To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.” Deuteronomy 4:35