Zimbabwe marks 27th birthday; situation hurts the church.

By April 23, 2007

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe celebrated its 27th birthday April 18th, but the deteriorating situation has citizens in a grim mood.

Inflation is above 1,200%, the highest in the world, and a rate usually only seen in war zones.  While Zimbabwe is not a war zone in the strictest sense of the word, there are casualties in the region.

The price for a roll of toilet paper in Zimbabwe's currency is $145,750, or about $.69 USD. Costs for staples have risen so high and so fast that they're now unimaginable luxuries to the average citizen, and there's no end in sight under Robert Mugabe's tight grip on the Presidency.

The country has faced a decade of torment under deep recession and high unemployment.

Add to that the arrests of opposition political activists and the threat of targeted sanctions and condemnation of State-sanctioned atrocities in Zimbabwe from the U.S. The picture for the future of this country is not a pleasant one.

In spite of this crisis, there is an increased hunger for the Word of God. Bible League's Mwaya Kitavi agrees. "The church in Africa is growing, but it's the church that lacks Bibles. Therefore the Bible League, our work, is to go and to partner with the churches in the communities. And through participation in the discipleship program, we are able to place Bibles in the hands of believers."

Kitavi says their main project is a Scripture placement program. However, the worsening state of affairs is hampering their growth. "Since we cannot go freely out into the suburb and into the other areas, we're not able to go out and observe some of the Bible studies that were conducted in the villages, because again, it's not safe out there. Also, because of the political situation, the economic situation has again gotten worse."

Yet local Bible League workers have had many opportunities to introduce the Project Phillip Bible study program to church leaders. People are invited by their friends to participate in a Bible study. By completing the study, they can receive a New Testament and then a whole Bible.

The materials are simple, practical and results-oriented. The training is on the cutting edge and creates a momentum in church growth, both numerically and spiritually. As participants complete the lessons, their interest in the Bible increases, their relationship with the local church is strengthened, and many come to faith in Christ. The Bible they receive and the fellowship they join feed their new faith. If you can help encourage and support the teams in Zimbabwe, click here.

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