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Annual Report from Zimbabwe Partnership Trust Autumn 2018

When we wrote our report at this time last year we commented on the dramatic political changes in the country that had seen the removal of Robert Mugabe from power and the appointment of Emmerson Mnangagwe in his place. There was great optimism at that time of improvements in the government of the country but we have to say that economically there has been no improvement, rather the economy continues to decline and many fear a return to the hyper-inflation conditions experienced in 2008. The following is a report from one of our contacts on the ground in Zimbabwe:

The situation in our country has been very difficult lately and it is by Gods grace that people are surviving in this country. The people who are mostly affected by what we are going through are the poor majority population of the country who live in the rural areas of Zimbabwe. Due to all these challenges many young people are dropping out of school and sadly young girls are becoming prostitutes.

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Posted by matthew on Tue, 11 Dec 2018

Zimbabwe Visit April 2018 Report

This year’s visit found us leaving the UK on Wednesday 18th April and arriving in Harare early evening on the 19th.  The flight went well but the engine of one of the cars taking us from the airport to our accommodation stopped 20 times before we arrived there! As this was the vehicle that was supposed to take me to Mount Darwin the next day one’s confidence was not reassured!  It took a while for Maciek and Mary to get through customs with two tyres because of the number of Zimbabweans returning with many purchases that required examination and negotiation over duty to be paid.  Just importing two tyres took the custom officer considerable time to do all the documentation.  Then one had to pay at another desk. 

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Posted by matthew on Fri, 18 May 2018

Project Updates

Update on Recent Projects

Please see an update below on progress on 2 projects : The Chirogwe Booster Pump, and the Poultry Project.

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Posted by matthew on Sun, 28 Jan 2018

2017 Annual Report

The past few weeks have seen dramatic changes in the political situation in Zimbabwe with the events that brought about the resignation of Robert Mugabe as president and the appointment of Emmerson Mnangagwe in his place. We are thankful to the Lord that this change was brought about in a peaceful way and understand the euphoria felt by the majority of the people at the time. However, whilst the believers we have been in touch with since those events are hopeful of change and better days ahead their optimism is tinged with caution as they wait to see what the future will hold. Please continue to pray for the country that the days ahead will see an end to the corruption, oppression and violence of the past and that the days ahead will be marked by justice and compassion and that the elections next year will be both free and fair.

We have been privileged to continue to serve the Lord in ministering to the needs of His people in Zimbabwe during the past year and grateful for the generous support of the churches and individual believers here in the UK that has enabled us to continue this ministry. We reported in April that for our financial year for 2016/17 we have been able to distribute £82,481 and we can now report that at our trustees meeting in November we were able to allocate a further £53,000 from funds received since April.

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Posted by matthew on Fri, 8 Dec 2017

November Update

Roger and Gill Prime returned from an 18 day visit to Zimbabwe on 31 October. It was an encouraging time visiting a number of humanitarian projects supported through the trust as well as opportunities for Roger to teach groups of pastors and elders and preach at a church conference and for Gill to speak with ladies groups.

The trustees of ZPT met on Saturday 11 November to allocate funds received in the past 6 months and were able to give support to launch a number of self- sustaining projects as well as continued support for existing humanitarian needs.

Fuller details of these initiatives and the visit of Roger and Gill will be available shortly in our Annual Report.

We are very mindful of the events that have developed in Zimbabwe this month and are praying for a peaceful and just outcome. Please pray particularly for the believers in the country at this difficult and uncertain time that they might be strengthened in their faith in our Sovereign God and know his peace in their hearts.

Posted by matthew on Sun, 19 Nov 2017

News Update - September 2017

Trustees visit in May

Two of our trustees – Derek French and Maciek Stolarski - together with Maciek’s wife Mary, visited Zimbabwe in May for the purpose of running a further Training of Trainers course, a day conference for Pastors and wives and for Mary to run a two day ladies conference. This proved to be a very encouraging week and the following are extracts from the report prepared by Derek on their return to the UK.

This tenth training visit to Zimbabwe proved to be one of the most profitable so far. The first full day was devoted to the couples conference, which comprised mainly of pastors and their wives plus one or two others. Those who attended numbered 27 people. We had expected 40+ but it turned out that some had not been paid for their crops so had no money for travelling. However the day went well with Maciek taking two sessions on the pastor’s life and how he and his wife need to work together to support each other. Derek spoke on the subject of a godly couple with an ungodly child. The subjects at these day conferences tend to cover practical issues, and the discussions following the teaching times were very profitable.

The Training Of Trainers course was held over five days from Monday to Friday. The subjects covered were Colossians 3 & 4 by William Danyere (a Zimbabwean Pastor), God’s Big Picture by Maciek, and 1 Thessalonians by Derek. The teaching sessions went very well and there were many good questions and answers and discussion. These men do have a hunger for the Word of God, which is a mark of their developing spiritual maturity.

The progress made by the men at the TOT course and their ability to pass on the training in the IPW’s bodes well for the future, as it means they can begin to take on more of the training themselves, and not need to have so many visits from us. It is the working out of 2 Timothy 2:2 which has been our aim from the beginning of this work. The Lord is at work in the lives of these men and we must pray he will do even more in coming days.

Mary had a very well attended ladies conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday. 40+ on the first day and 53 on the second. She spoke on faith from Hebrews 10 & 11 and it was much appreciated by the ladies who came.

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Posted by matthew on Sun, 10 Sep 2017

News Update April 2017

Thank you for your prayerful interest and concern for the Lord’s people in Zimbabwe. Last year the focus of our news reports was very much centred on the drought the country had experienced and the consequent famine. We asked for prayer for good rains for the growing season from November to March and the Lord has answered prayer in sending abundant rain so that we received the following report from Bulawayo - The rains have been great. Our city's dams are full and we have enough for five years. If this hadn't happened Bulawayo would have become a ghost town. There have been flood victims but as usual the community have responded generously in helping those affected.

As this report implies, whilst the rains have been good, in some areas they have been excessive, not just causing floods but also damage to crops, homes and infrastructure. Another of our partners in the rural areas to the east of Bulawayo wrote the following after a conference of pastors from these rural communities to assess the situation: We started by receiving reports from different parts on how their areas have been affected by floods. All the Pastors reported that their areas had one of the wettest seasons in a long time that has seen rainfall records being broken in all these areas. The incessant rains caused flooding in all the areas that were represented by the Pastors. The floods left some families displaced… roads and bridges were so damaged that some places are very difficult to reach; fields were left waterlogged that people will not get anything from their lands. Some schools were closed as children are unable to cross flowing rivers and one of the schools that were closed is Makamure pre-school. We had a great moment of thanking God for the rains as well as praying for the displaced families and for God`s provision as we are likely to face hunger again in this wet season. Many people are not going to have a harvest from their fields…we therefore had to pray for God`s provision even in a difficult year like this one.

In contrast with this, some areas of the country have good harvests that have not been damaged by the rains and over the next two months the cobs on the maize plants will be allowed to dry out and harden so they can be ground into flour which is then used to produce the staple diet of Sudza. We are thankful that an offer from Barnabas Fund to supply famine relief aid to our contacts in the Bulawayo area means that there will be ongoing famine relief to those communities who have been most badly affected by the excessive rains and have no harvests to reap from their fields.

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Posted by matthew on Sun, 21 May 2017

Annual Report 2016

2016 has been a very difficult year for the people of Zimbabwe as the country has experienced drought as a consequence of the failure of the rains at the beginning of the year and the resultant famine in the country. The vast majority of the population depend on growing their own crops to provide food and this famine has created great hardship and hunger. In addition the economic situation in the country has worsened as the banks have run short of supplies of US dollars (the currency of the country) and the amount that can be withdrawn by those who have bank account has been reduced to $40 (around £30) per day. This has presented challenges to us as a Trust in sending funds through to support the Lord’s people and the work of the Gospel but, thankfully, we have up to the present been able to achieve this, mainly using the facilities provided by Western Union. The government is addressing this economic crisis by printing and issuing their own currency in the form of ‘bond notes’ but there is little confidence in the success of this measure in overcoming the real problems in the country.

We are thankful to the Lord that, as a Trust, we have been able to respond in a significant way to the challenges of the famine situation as well as continue our ongoing ministry of supporting churches in their ministry and mission and relieving poverty among the churches and their communities. Regular news and prayer updates throughout the year have been circulated and so in this report we will give an overall picture of the work as well as an update on news since the last newsletter in September.

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Posted by matthew on Sun, 21 May 2017

News Update - September 2016

Please pray for the country of Zimbabwe as it continues to experience the crippling effects of the drought and famine alongside the deteriorating economic situation. There has been unrest in the country in recent weeks but thankfully the situation is more peaceful at present. Please pray especially for the Lord’s people as they face the daily struggle of providing for the daily needs of their families under these difficult circumstances.

Drought and famine

One of the pastors we are supporting with famine relief for his community gave this recent update on conditions –“the water situation is getting worse every day, most boreholes are no longer giving out water, some are still, but not enough. There are long queues waiting for water at a borehole, at the same time animals are now walking long distances in search of water. They are no longer drinking water twice a day but only once. Hunger is still there - most families are cooking sadza once a day and school drop outs are at a high rate. The government have started feeding the lower grades at schools but it’s not going well. Many people have started digging wild roots for food and travelling long distances for water.”

We explained in our May update that we had allocated £21000 to provide essential food supplies for famine relief for the six months from April to October and those supplies have been faithfully distributed through our contacts in the churches in Zimbabwe. The following two quotations received indicate how much the support given is appreciated.

“We have had our August food distribution yesterday afternoon and the distribution went on well and people are appreciating your help. The government has promised to give people food some time ago but up to now people have not received anything. We pray that you remain with that kind heart, not only to us, but if the opportunity allows, stretch your hand to others too.”

“Your support is really going a long way in supporting and helping the families of these Pastors to have food on monthly basis in a year like this one where there is drought in the nation. “

The drought and famine will, however, continue for another six months – one Pastor wrote “Probably our rainy season starts in December, that’s when we plough and plant and April is our harvest time. So we still have a huge challenge ahead of us.”

When we meet as Trustees in early November we trust we will be able to send more funds to continue the famine relief feeding programmes already started. We are also concerned that we are able to send money for the purchase of seed for planting ready for the coming growing season. Give thanks to the Lord for the many generous donations we have continued to receive since starting our famine relief programme and please pray we will be able to continue our support for this over the next six months as well as supply resources to buy seed. Please also pray the Lord in His mercy will send good rains to give a good harvest next year.

We have produced a powerpoint presentation about the drought and famine situation that lasts four minutes and is suitable for using in Harvest services or for personal use. It highlights the needs in Zimbabwe and the response of ZPT to these needs, not just in providing funds for the feeding programmes but also the need for resources to purchase seed for planting and fertiliser. If you would like a copy of this please contact our secretary and it can be emailed through.

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Posted by matthew on Sun, 21 May 2017

News Update - May 2016

Drought and famine relief

The trustees are deeply grateful for the overwhelming response of both churches and individual believers to our appeal in February for funds to support the Lord’s people in Zimbabwe during the drought and famine conditions being experienced in the country. We have received in excess of £25000 and of this we have already allocated over £21000 to be used for relief programmes over the next six months. The famine conditions are expected to last at least until the harvest season next March and we are looking to the Lord in faith for further funds to enable us to continue our support through into next year.

The famine relief money has all been sent to known and trusted contacts in the churches who we work with when on the ground in Zimbabwe and reports are being received on the way the funding is being used. In Mt Darwin in the north of the country funds have been used to purchase sacks of maize meal for households where there are orphan children and also to support an existing feeding programme for orphans in another community. It is planned to develop this programme by supplementing the sacks of meal with the purchase of supplies of beans or dried fish to provide protein. In Harare food supplies have been purchased and distributed to needy families in some churches whose pastors attend the Training of Trainers programme. In the south of the country the funds are being used to purchase sacks of maize meal which are then distributed to needy believers in up to 200 rural ‘bush churches’ and in Bulawayo support is given to an ongoing feeding programme for widows and orphans. In addition sacks of maize meal and beans, which provide essential protein, have been distributed to needy families in churches in both Harare and Bulawayo. We are also giving support to a Christian School in rural Wiltshire to enable them to provide a mid-day meal on a daily basis for the next six months for 40 day pupils who come from needy families. Give thanks to the Lord for the amazing response to our famine relief appeal and pray these food distribution and feeding programmes will be a source of comfort and help to the believers who benefit.

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Posted by matthew on Sun, 21 May 2017