Zimbabwe (MNN) — In 15 years, Zimbabwe went from one of the most prosperous nations in Africa to one of the poorest.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Zimbabwe has an 80% unemployment rate, 60% of the population below the poverty line, and 231 million% hyperinflation.
But the new landscape of Zimbabwe’s politics could alter economic trends. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, after 33 years in power, signed a new constitution into law last Wednesday May 15.
The new constitution limits presidential control and enacts a two-term limit. Upcoming elections will take place this year within 90 days of June 29.
The need is vital for an improved economy, especially as it impacts Zimbabwe pastors and access to training assets.
“The pastors are hungry for any kind of training they can get. Many of them are not seminary trained, and they don’t have the resources that we have here: books, seminars, conferences, access to the internet to educate themselves,” says Greg Yoder with Christian World Outreach (CWO). “Even if [resources] were there, it’s hard for them to afford to buy those resources.”
Next week, May 27-31, CWO will partner with Shepherd Project Ministries in Zimbabwe for a Pure Truth Pastors Conference: Back to the Bible. Through this five-day conference, pastors will receive resources, books, training, and learn how to deal with specific issues.
CWO's Yoder says, “We typically hold conferences on a monthly basis with smaller groups. But this is a big conference. There are expected to be 300 pastors.
“One of the things that they’ve asked be part of the training is 'how to deal with magicians.' If they’re doing healing, what’s the difference between God healing somebody and a magician doing it? [There are] so many different issues with cults coming in," observes Yoder. "How do we share with people the true God?”
It takes $140 to send one pastor to the conference for five days. That amount covers food, lodging, and materials. CWO is raising funds to support pastors at the conference.
“These men and women are looking forward to being there and getting any kind of resources they can so they can help the people in their communities and churches,” says Yoder.
Please also be in prayer for the safety of everyone at the conference. "We know there is going to be security there. We’ve done all the proper procedures to hold the conference. But I’m sure Satan does not want this to happen and he’s going to do anything he can to disrupt it.”