Croydon/Central Zimbabwe Link: News from Zimbabwe – January 2023
In December The Venerable Moira Astin, Archdeacon of Reigate and Steve Chapman from the Link committee were able to meet in person with members of the Link committee who live in Zimbabwe. It was good to meet face-to-face and not to have to cope with the problems of the electricity supply and internet for once.
These problems continue to affect communication with Zimbabwe (at our January meeting we had only one member of the committee from Zimbabwe represented as others were experiencing power outages). We are looking at different ways of setting up parish links, possibly using WhatsApp which seems to be more reliable.
Here are some updates in the meantime:
At Christmas branches were able to give groceries to their pastors, and also to the children’s home. They also collected clothes for the children’s home. In 2023 they want to support the MU in rural areas, providing school fees for poor children, so that they can be educated and help to break the cycle of poverty.
St Philemon’s are now on the electricity grid and are working on a bore hole to provide clean water, with a solar pump.
St David’s Dorset have sunk a hole but are having some problems with the casings. They hope that the bore hole will supply the church and the local community and enable them to have a market garden.
St Andrew’s Mkoba is working on a bore hole as are several other parishes. In this way the churches can practically serve their communities. These projects have started in rural areas, but they will also be brought to urban areas, since the municipal supply is insecure.
The Elution boiler at the Gold Mine is working well and provides an income of $350 per cycle – with about 15 cycles a year. The diocese has a second boiler and is negotiating to find another mine which wants to rent this technology to get the gold out of the cyanide solution where it is located. This has been funded by local fundraising and the income will provide pensions for retired clergy.
The Diocesan Schools have environment clubs running now supported by an NGO.
The hospital project has not progressed any further as they are in the rainy season, so the building is still only used as a surgery.
Farmers have been planting so the food project is going well, and they are praying for a good harvest.
Other projects which are planned include the prospect of building a shopping mall (where the Diocesan offices are based), so that rental income can be generated and it is hoped that works will commence this year. They are also mobilising resources to build a new boarding school as there are not enough high school places for the population.
Situation in Zimbabwe
There will be elections in 2023, but the date has not yet been announced, and there is currently some violence as electioneering is rising. Please pray for the tensions and violence to subside, without any more violence as the elections draw nearer. +Ignatios is the President of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and this means he goes to Harare at least weekly. Please pray for him as he talks with politicians and leads the churches in meeting with the political parties. The meetings include challenging the corruption that is rife, so please pray for the church leaders as they speak truth to power.
The food situation is deteriorating, the rains have come and it is hoped this will help, but they can cause floods. As well as individual food programmes, the Diocese is looking to have farming education programmes to increase productivity. Cyclones are anticipated, and the government seems unprepared for the damage that they cause to infrastructure. The Diocese is trying to educate people in what they can do to protect themselves and their property from the intense rain and wind that the cyclones bring.
Here at St Margaret’s, we are proud to support the work they do, our mission representatives are Madeleine MacCallum and Nic Dodds so if you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact them.