I went on mission to Zimbabwe at the inception of IMPACT-Zimbabwe. This mission was joint with IMPACT-Zambia and Mission Cohort (ALIVE affiliates). Take a look into what an ALIVE mission looks like!
Location: Glengray, Ntabazinduna District, Western Zimbabwe
Dates: July 4 – August 1, 2011
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Getting on-site and seeing our capable men taking leadership in organizing sleeping arrangements and un-packing.
Teaching the children the “Read your Bible, pray everyday” song while knowing that the majority will never ever own a Bible in their lifetime without a miracle.
Being put with one of the friendliest field partners I’ve ever encountered. Always cheerful, always willing and always knowing what to do, this describes him in three points. The Lord knows what I needed most this mission.
Being so cold during the night and waking to being covered with wet dew in the morning. There were nights I was so cold that I could not sleep more than 2 hours without waking up.
Having my feet begin the bleed from my shoes and the dryness there only 3 days into mission.
Waking up one more after a long day and evening of washing pots and dishes alone around the fire to discover that my vision was seriously impaired by grey splotches. I almost began crying as I gave up trying to do my devotion, as I had to struggle to read a few lines. I remember Jones telling me that I would not go in the field in that condition, but staying behind to mope was the last thing I wanted to do. As this school children gathered, I decided to suck it up and go start a fire and tell them stories. As I sat around the same fire that caused the vision impairment, singing and smiling with the children, my vision cleared slowly. The Lord is good.
Waking up to “Knock, knock, ladies. Can I get a response?” in Tarisiya’s voice.
Getting on my hands and knees to clean a kitchen with a cloth that was already filthy black. As we were being watched by the 5 children that were there, Mthandazo was explaining that we were setting an example and that they needed to mop the floors just like we had.
Hearing a fellow missionary pray for a purer mind and echoing the same prayer as we all were knelt down in pop-corn style ACTS prayer. Here was a real prayer request from a real individual in real need.
Discovering 5 minutes after explaining the Biblical view of marriage and the measures that had to be taken by a man who had married more than one wife that the woman I just relayed that message to was indeed the second wife.
Milking a cow and getting cow’s blood on my sleeve. Mthandazo was getting quite good at it and was clearly entertaining himself well.
Listening to Sheillah’s beautiful singing.
Eating cold Morvite on Sabbath morning.
Receiving several cuts on my hands and legs from firewood, fences and a donkey-led wagon all in one day.
Walking 4 hours one-way to and from Falcon College with my mission leader with no affirmation of the staff there accepting us back to speak to their students for a 45-minute slot. Falcon College is the most expensive and prestigious boy’s highschool in Zimbabwe with 400 courteous, intelligent and active students. Walking there, I was coughing from the flu I had, my feet were burning from the rocks I stumbled over, and my fingers were swelling from who-knows-what.
Getting lost on the way back from Falcon. Thankfully, Jones found us our way back quite easily, even in the dark, however that feeling of not knowing when you would arrive home was terribly discouraging. I couldn’t see so well, and I had to constantly depend on Jones feet, hands and voice to guide me as I silently (I was too tired to talk) listened to his life stories. I think I learned a lesson or two about dependence.
Going into the field the day after my trek to Falcon College and hearing the words “Let’s go to Village 3 today” come from my partner’s lips. All I could do was nod and pretend that my legs weren’t burning. After this, he took us another 30-40 minutes further, and I faithfully followed, just dreading the even longer walk back. I didn’t realise that he was taking us to the pastor’s house, anticipating a ride back in his car.
Being the only soprano on the Moses Remnant Choir while still having minor symptoms of the flu.
Learning the sing the bass of “Dumisani”.
Tasting African chewing gum and loving it.
Having a mountain-top raw Bible study with our team on the 144,000, investigative judgement & prophecy, and righteousness by faith.
Seeing the change in attitude from slightly hostile to grateful when I took off and gave one of two sweaters I owned to a lady complaining of the flu.
Seeing the baptismal candidates come to Bible studies lead by my field partner and knowing that they would finally receive truthful answers to their questions.
Seeing the baptismal candidates dig their own grave (baptismal pit) voluntarily.
Seeing the baptismal candidates fill up the baptismal pit with water that would symbolize the washing away of their own sins. They even re-filled the water that was seeping out through a tiny hole.
Seeing the 14 baptismal candidates go into the water, and come out smiling and wet.
Seeing the baptismal candidates bury their sins (re-fill the baptismal pit they dug).
Hearing my name called by an 18-year old mother when asked who she wanted to be her spiritual parent after being baptized. It pained me to know that this was a role I could not fulfil, yet I felt joy knowing that she would be closer drawn to the church she’ll be attending by having a spiritual parent there.
Being thanked profusely by 4 grandmothers after Mthandazo and I delivered mealie meal, salt and sugar via wheelbarrow to their homes. I knew I didn’t deserve the gratitude. Moreover, these simple ingredients are taken for granted in town. One gogo even started praying aloud immediately. Plus, the wheelbarrow was hard to push. Thanks, Mtha for doing most of the work.
Singing over 5 special songs of farewell with Moses Remnant Choir on the last Sabbath of the mission. Never had I sung “Ngena, Noah (or Get in, Noah)” with so much meaning thinking that I truly wanted them to “stay in the boat”.
Hearing from his grandmother that one 15-year old boy that got baptized stayed up late reading his new Ndebele/Zulu Bible. We were able to give out 14 local language Bibles, although they were more expensive than the English. He was the only youth I really was able to sit down with and share several times.
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(After ZIMPACT, in Zambia)
Sitting in a taxi going at a turtle’s pace down a single-lane street behind a car being pushed straight along by three men and being the only one genuinely surprised.
Having hermeneutics class and studying the book of Hebrews.