Runaway inflation and political deadlock complicate ministry in Zimbabwe

By October 10, 2008

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe's inflation rate has hit 231 million percent. An international economic bailout is being stalled over a political power-sharing deadlock.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says negotiators failed to reach an agreement this week with President Robert Mugabe over the division of Cabinet posts.

Both sides have accused each other of stubbornness in deciding how to share out Cabinet posts to form a unity government.

What it means to the average citizen is starvation.  The United Nations is warning that eight years of farm seizures, combined with repeated harvest failures, could expose five million people to critical food security problems. 

Global Aid Network's (GaiN USA) Charles Debter says, "The stores are completely empty. There's nothing on the shelves to buy, and even if there WAS something to buy, no one could afford it because of the soaring inflation rate.  People in the rural areas are really hard-hit.  There's really a terrible crisis going on right now in Zimbabwe." 

Disillusionment is growing, which actually is laying the groundwork for the Gospel. "They're looking for the answers. They're wanting to be able to find hope when there is none. I think it's a great opportunity to not only proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, but also to demonstrate that in real, tangible ways."

Debter says preparations are underway for a short-term team in the spring of 2009.  Global Aid teams will be working with a local partner ministry serving in Project Jericho and doing children's ministry as well as humanitarian aid work.

Now four years old, Project Jericho was developed as a strategy by Life Ministry Zimbabwe, Campus Crusade for Christ in that country.  It was meant to help plant evangelical churches in areas controlled by those who practice witchcraft. The goal of this project was to place 300 new churches in some of the country's most remote villages.

The ministry has planted at least 176 new churches, and Life Ministry Zimbabwe worked with the new pastors and congregations to ensure they were trained in evangelism and discipleship to effectively explain the Gospel.  If you want to be part of this team or the others, click here.  


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