RECENTLY I and a team from our church went to Zimbabwe, to help an organisation with the orphanage homes and schools which they run.
In all the planning and talking before we left, there were many questions, comments and concerns as to whether this was a wise thing to do.
After all Zimbabwe has been in the news a lot over the years!
Yet as a team we set off with peace in our hearts, and a sense of adventure.
We met many lovely people, including our hosts, who were seeking to help others in desperate circumstances, and with pitiful resources from which to do so.
Six months before we had sent out a container filled with clothing, educational books, school furniture, toys and other items (if you were one of those who donated – a big “Thank you”).
Our accommodation was also home to forty orphans, and the place where the container was kept.
What excitement there was being involved in the unpacking.
One highlight was to give clothing and toys to a thousand children, whom the local church try to help in a variety of ways.
Bear in mind that the economic climate nationally in Zimbabwe is unemployment at over ninety per cent, approximately a million orphans, largely due to AIDS, an average income of $5 per week (that’s £3) – how can one care for oneself, let alone seek to look after others?
And yet this is precisely what the church we were working with were doing, and making huge personal sacrifices to do so.
Why do they do it?
More pertinently, how can they do so?
They believe in the reality of a God who loves all people, especially those on the edge of society, such as orphans and widows.
And they believe that he answers prayer.
Through Jesus Christ his Son, they have found a personal relationship with God to help overcome the greatest challenges.
What of all those fears in the run up to our trip?
We felt safe and secure as we travelled about a great deal, working amongst many different people, and made many friends.
And we would happily visit again.
Pastor Mark Weeden