Monthly Archives: October 2014

Melons, chickens & goats

Wondering Pilgrim

WP_001849Thinking today of a young lady I met in the back blocks of Zimbabwe. She’s 17 years old, orphaned and living with her grandmother. Her industry is inspiring – she grows melons and tends her flock of six goats (started with one). The two chickens given her two years ago have grown to a flock of many. Attending to all this takes place in her leisure hours after a school week of walking 20 kilometers twice a day over rough bush tracks. A church backed sponsorship helps ease the strain on this small farming family, but the spirited determination of this young lady spells hope and possibility for the rural communities of this area.

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Wilderness Community Garden

Wondering Pilgrim


Whilst bashing about the parched back-blocks of rural Zimbabwe, we came across a large fenced off area above a slow flowing river – the district community garden supplementing hamlets and farmsteads for many kilometers around. Known locally as a “garden of Eden,” the plots of a variety of vegetables, including spinach and kale, were surprisingly healthy and robust. Water is carted by bucket from the river to irrigate and water each plot. Our guides tended their plots while we were there, gathering what was needed for their next few day’s meals.

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Going to Church in Zimbabwe

Wondering Pilgrim

We got to do it five days in a row – each service lasting around three hours and part of our mutual exchange as we encouraged and taught amongst the very hospitable people.
We were never bored – Shona worship is exciting and exhilarating.
Here, in Muuyu, the musical Mr Bunda motivates the congregation. Who would have thought that the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah followed this?
(Please excuse the 10 seconds of side-flip – I got carried away!)

There were more-or-less sedate but still exuberant songs mostly carried by the women, wearing a denominationally defining red and white ensemble worn on special occasions and the first Sunday of the month. I’ve attempted to learn the Shona words to this one (“Jesus keep me near the cross”).

Each day has particular memories of conversations and events that emerged as part of our mutual ministry together. The sounds of worship in…

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Drinking from a fire hydrant…

Wondering Pilgrim

… that’s how someone described a first time encounter with Africa.Bulawayo street

I recall my first day in Bulawayo standing on the pavement outside a courier’s office where my colleagues were spending considerable time. They were hopefully negotiating the reduction of storage fees for a box of solar lights that had been mailed over to assist students in night time studies. I found the sights, sounds, smells and sights of the street rich and varied – a surprise for every time I blinked. Such was my fascination I had a hard time looking bored and nonchalant, trying not to stand out as I leaned against a verandah post. The shop facades across the road were grand and faded and with impossible names. A kaleidoscope crossed time and took me back into the fifties of my childhood when shops were called emporiums and mothers dressed up with hat, gloves and handbag for their buying…

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Out of Zimbabwe

Wondering Pilgrim

It’s now a few days since completing a three week stint working with Churches of Christ in Zimbabwe as part of a volunteer team from Australia and New Zealand. The dust has started to settle, the Africa in our veins is distilling to something quieter and more reflective. The next few posts will describe some experiences and tell some stories from the perspective of one who has only roamed from these safe Australian shores once or twice before. I’m not a born traveller and tend to be somewhat cautious and overly vigilant. The up-side is that I then observe and catch nuances, sounds and sights that a more casual sojourner might miss.

The team with host B J Mpofu The team with host B J Mpofu

There were nine of us altogether, including a family of four. We were to be split into two groups, one team to be based at Khayelihle Children’s Village, a facility for…

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Zimbabwe Reporting

This Sunday

KCV - Boys in Tree

October 12th, 9.30 am

Worship and Communion

followed by report from deputation to

Khayelihle Childrens Village 


Zvishavane Rural Ministry Circuits