Our National Director in Zimbabwe, Onias Tapera, recently shared with us the joys and challenges of serving in Zimbabwe. We’re thankful for his heart for ministry, devotion, hard work and desire to do God’s work every day with all who he meets!
Serving in Zimbabwe is very exciting and fulfilling, knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of pastors, children and communities in general. The joy comes from knowing that we are touching lives for eternity. The pastors are open, ready and hungry to learn God’s word. They have a genuine desire to grow in their own faith and leadership journey and also to disciple their congregations. In our follow-up seminars pastors have testified that they seek to implement the teachings we provide in their communities.
The children we serve are a group of those who are vulnerable and marginalized. We feel our ministry is serving as the hands and feet of Jesus, serving these least ones. It is joy to see the children come to Christ, grow in their self-esteem and learn some life skills from the negativity they’ve seen in their journey of life. Some children who have graduated from college would not even have completed primary school if it were not for the help we have provided. We are so overjoyed that these children have been empowered for life.
Another component of joy comes from serving in a country that allows us the freedom to witness for Christ without religious persecution.
Some challenges we face in serving in Zimbabwe could be turned into opportunities to reach out to more people as the demand always exceeds our capacity and resources. There is always a demand to provide more training for pastors and to reach more needy children. However, our financial resources and our capacity are limited. Thus, I feel like we have to do more with less. Second, another challenge we face is the unpredictable political situation in the country, which affects the political stability in our environment. Third, although it is joy to serve the children, this part of ministry tends to go unappreciated by the beneficiaries. Forth, the ministry is very demanding, and because of that we tend to have no time for self-care and spiritual renewal.