Threats from soldiers in Zimbabwe hurt missions work

By June 22, 2004

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe’s policy of nationalizing farmland in that African nation is making ministry and other work difficult. Christian World Outreach works in the region helping support orphans where there parents have died of AIDS, by providing scholarships for them so they can go to school.

However, Christian World’s Dean Yoder says soldiers from Zimbabwe are making it difficult for their national workers. “Our missionaries there had planned a weekend retreat for 65 of these AIDS orphans. A gentleman, who owned a large farm there, offered his farm to our missionaries to use over the weekend. He said you may have all the vegetables that are growing there to help feed the children. Our missionaries arrived at the farm to discover the military had surrounded the farm and would not let the missionaries take the children in.”

After negotiations the soldiers allowed the children to go in, but not without a catch. Yoder says, “They took all of the vegetables and fed them to the pigs, to the livestock. So, we had to buy them food. And, every time our missionary would come back to the farm, they would harass him.”

Yoder says God was using all of this for His glory. “Many of the children accepted Jesus during the weekend. And, in spite of the harassment by these men, and in spite the fact we had to spend a lot extra money on food, God was good and it was a successful weekend for us.

Yoder says the situation is horrible in Zimbabwe. “Many times our people have to go to South Africa to buy gasoline and to buy food because of the shortage in the country,” says Yoder.

Christian World Outreach needs funding to help with their AIDS orphan program. He says, “We work with several orphanages there. We provide funds to help feed the children. So, we need money to buy food and to buy uniforms because the children, they’re required to have a uniform to go to school.”

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