Jerry’s 3rd and final trip blog from Zimbabwe
At breakfast on day 3 of the trip, I had the opportunity to share the S.O.A.P.S. Bible study method with Joseph, Oni and Agitha. After that it was time to relocate to Oni’s home. At first I wasn’t sure where we were because we had pulled into what looked like a compound. But I found out very quickly this was unlike many of the compounds for missionaries that I’ve seen.
First, Joseph and Oni are Zimbabweans and they are on mission in Zimbabwe, their home country. Also, this compound was not designed to give the missionaries a safe place or to keep the undesirables out. This was more like a campus for the undesirables. They have maximized this space for the lost, the struggling, and the broken, truly “the least of these.”
Joseph and Oni run an 18-month program. I had the chance to meet class 19 and some of the members of classes 17 and 18. For the first six months, the class meets three days a week to learn FGW and they have weekly Bible studies. This helps to get them anchored in Jesus and teaches them a skill for coming out of poverty. For the second six months, brother Oni’s wife, Wendy, takes over. Three days a week she teaches cooking classes in “The Master’s Kitchen” to help the students cook the new food and vegetables they are growing. She also teaches sewing with her “Cross-stitch” program. Meanwhile, the weekly Bible studies continue.
The third stage of the program is “Business God’s Way.” During this six-month period, those who have completed the first two portions of the program are allowed to use the kitchen and sewing machines to fill orders and make a profit for their own small businesses. They also have orphans come in on Saturday mornings to learn sewing.
The compound is located right across the street from the city dump, and some of the graduates actually came from the dump. Joseph and Oni have developed a good relationship with the men and women who live there. In fact, they have put together a men’s soccer team composed of dump residents. Because they have developed such a solid relationship with these young men, they have now become the best recruiters of girls who live in the dump, persuading them to enter the 18-month program. The team also provides security for the girls attending the program.
To me, this is a perfect picture of going after the lost and making disciples. I was disappointed to learn that the local church does not support this mission, which is clearly God-inspired and being carried out through His faithful servants. Unfortunately, civilized church folk don’t want “those people” coming into “their church.”
I had no idea how much Joseph, Oni, and their families were doing because I hadn’t made it to Zimbabwe before. Now, I am in awe that they are pulling all this off on a shoestring budget. This is definitely God at work.
On my final day, I got to meet the soccer team. That was the first time I had ever played soccer. I had the opportunity to share my testimony and Romans 5:6–8 with them at the end of the game. We invited them to the concert we plan to present in the park next year, Lord willing.
Our next summit for trainers will be in Zimbabwe. I am so proud to know these brothers. I thank God that Dick Samuels introduced me to the Farming God’s Way Ministry. I thank God for Heaven’s Family and the opportunity to serve with such an incredible group of people. I thank God for you. It is because of your willingness to sow into the kingdom work God is doing that we get to see these bountiful harvests of food and followers of Christ. May God continue to bless you and keep you.
If you’d like to learn more and see some testimonies, click here.
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry