Church grows amid national decline

By September 19, 2013

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe has its share of struggles.

Pastors discussed unity, evangelism and missions at the 2013 Siabuwa Missions Conference. (Image courtesy OM)

Pastors discussed unity, evangelism and missions at the 2013 Siabuwa Missions Conference. (Image courtesy OM)

It went from being one of Africa’s most prosperous nations to one of its poorest in a span of 15 years. The CIA World Factbook says 80% of Zimbabwe’s working-age population is unemployed, and 60% live below the poverty line.

In addition, HIV/AIDS is rampant. According to a 2012 report from UNAIDS, around 1 million children have lost one or both parents to the disease.

But, there is hope for Zimbabwe.

Operation Mobilization says the Church there is growing and looking for ways to reach out. Over 50 pastors came to their second missions conference, held recently in Siabuwa.

Siabuwa is also home to OM missionary, Vicky Graham. She journeyed to the community in 2001, launching a mobile medical clinic and planting Gospel seeds. Graham provides medical services in five different villages and over the years, many church leaders have found their way to the clinic.

Requests for Biblical teaching soon turned into missions conference aimed at challenging and strengthening the Church. Speakers addressed basic issues like the Lordship of Christ.

The 2013 Siabuwa Missions Conference built on those foundations, incorporating workshops and plenary sessions on the lives of Jonah, Philipp (the Evangelist) and the apostle Paul.

Many have since seen the need to work together, and unity is a theme that keeps recurring. Pastors discussed a need for their churches to harmonize their efforts, and send at least one person to an unreached people group.

At the end, the pastors of Siabuwa spoke of a desire to do a joint project to raise funds for missions. They also resolved to continue on last year’s resolution of praying for nations.

Pray for all who attended the conference and those who were moved to begin missional activities in their churches. Pray that as the Gospel spreads, more people would start a relationship with Christ.

Learn more about OM Zimbabwe here.

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