A characteristic hot summer day, clear blue skies, and the sun blazing in its full strength. Some old huddled buildings, mostly stores, people sitting on benches in front of shops or going about some business. That was the scene when we arrived at Chaka, Chirumanzu, Sabbath 20 January 2018, to pick a guy by the name Obert, a local church member and one of our aides for the day’s expedition. Earlier we had picked Mrs Dube in Mvuma, a member at Mvuma East Seventh-day Adventist Church. With the full team now assembled we begin our task, an area survey to gather information for upcoming evangelistic meetings.
As we converse with Obert he reveals that the nearest Adventist congregation from Chaka is at Muwani, a fledgling company of about forty members meeting at a makeshift structure. He also narrates how recently the church has faced challenge after being displaced from a place they were meeting for worship. From there we have to take a winding and circuitous route for close to 20km to reach a village called Nyamandi. In this community we are told we have no Adventist congregation, and Mrs Dube corroborates of having no knowledge of any Sabbath-keeper in the area. Most people in the community are Catholic. As we arrive at Nyamandi Primary School we get a warm welcome from Mrs Mbembi, the acting school-head and after a chat about our proposed efforts, she indicates great interest and advises on procedures we have to take to hold the efforts. We pray with the lady and depart.
We then take a backward course to Jaya center to meet the Councilor. As we get there we notice scores of people gathered at the shopping center, we are told it’s a district meeting, and apparently there seems to be some busy activity going on. Fortunately, the Councilor manages to create some time for our team, and he gladly accepts our proposal for the planned meetings. The first half of the task is done, it’s now around 2pm and we are running behind schedule. After a refreshing lunch, we head to Driefontein, 34km on the other side main highway.
In contrast to Nyamandi, Driefontein is mostly farms (what Mrs Dube colloquially calls resettlement areas), some forest plantations and the Driefontein Catholic Mission Centre, which makes a central hub of activity in the community. The station hosts an orphanage, a primary school, a high school, priests’ hostels, two hospitals and a small but nicely built chapel. Surrounding the center in close proximity are homes and villages. As you arrive at Driefontein, what is most noticeable is the lush green vegetation, with cypress trees, indicating a well-watered area. Again, in Driefontein area we have no Adventist congregation.
We get to Mhere village, and here we find a group of men gathered at a bar. We ask for a Mr Mhere, the village head, and we fortunately locate him. After some lengthy discussion and narrating our mission, the man informs we are welcome to evangelize the area. Our day’s task is done and its now around 5pm, we embark on the journey to connect to the main highway and from head towards the capital.
Quite a productive day, getting lost on some occasions and children fleeing from us, afraid of strangers; but above all we saw souls, precious in God’s eyes, that need to hear about their Maker and Redeemer who loves them dearly, who died for them and is so soon to return, if they choose Him, to take them to a better Home and dwell with them for eternity.