Ministry feels impact of Zimbabwe’s political crisis

By April 24, 2008

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has
won a recount in the contentious election. Presidential results from the March 29
election, which is thought to have gone to Mugabe's rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, have
yet to be released.

Amidst growing tensions, there are now more calls for a
coalition government to keep the peace. 

Church leaders, too, are concerned about the likelihood of
violence if the post-election deadlock remains unresolved. In a joint
statement, leaders of the main religious denominations warned that if nothing
changes, "We shall soon be witnessing genocide similar to that experienced in
Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and other hot spots in Africa and elsewhere."

Global Aid Network's Charles Debter says the situation has
had an impact on their team. "There was a concern that we would enter a
time of potential violence if we sent our team into Zimbabwe in August. Things
may escalate rather than become more stable. So we felt that we had better
cancel our trip, or rather, postpone it, for another time." 

GAiN USA serves alongside a local partner ministry who
planted 300 new churches in 2004 through an effort known as Project Jericho. When they do go, the ministry will split the
short-term team into two parts.

One group would be conducting medical clinics. That means
aside from the actual medical treatment, teams would be handling the clinical
days, doing crowd control, playing with kids and families that are waiting, and
looking for ways to share faith.

The other part of the team will be distributing humanitarian
aid. There is the possibility that this team will also minister in schools and
churches nearby and possibly help with light construction work.

Debter says this team still needs funds and prayer support
because "our team is able to enter into places that give them the
opportunity to share the Gospel. Often it's places that they would not have
access to unless they were bringing something that will provide tangible help.
So it does open the door for the team; it gives them credibility. They're
helping more than 1200 families."

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