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Thinking Theology

Thinking Theology gathering, the first time in Zimbabwe, was held on the 8th-11th of May 2018 at ZESA Training Centre attracting an average of 90 participants from EFZ and ZCC members. This was unique in that there was collaboration with various partners to make the event a success, the rich presentations on family, leadership and integral mission enhanced our EFZ Mission as well as approaches to this mission. A follow through on the REFLECTIONS and OUTCOMES of this Gathering will be made and communicated soon. 

Theological Reflections Theological reflections on the role of the church in public life, were held in Bulawayo and Harare in April 2018. The theological reflections seminars' provided platform to stimulate sustained dialogue within the church to understand their social responsibilities and obligations as informed by the scriptures and to contribute towards the development of a compendium focused on promoting public participation within the Church. The theological seminars' also provided a platform for church to reflect on its mandate and through the presentations of developed papers by theologians from different schools of thought church reflected on how it can operationalise its role as the salt and the light of the world and also look into its regulation system in order to provide a leadership role for the nation. 


Theological Reflections Meeting - Bulawayo

Enunciating the role of the church in Zimbabwe's Peace Building Agenda The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), with the support of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the ACT Alliance hosted a Dialogue Exchange Programme under the theme "Religious Leaders Supporting the Peace Process in Zimbabwe". The DEP follows key (peace-building related) events that have taken place in Zimbabwe over the past five months, including the signing into law of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Act, the appointment of the Commissioners to the NPRC and nation-wide consultative processes conducted by the NPRC which have culminated in the development of the Commission's strategic plan. All these events were as a result of the years of work that various stakeholders, particularly the church and civil society, have put in as their contribution to the peace building agenda of the country. It was therefore against this background that this DEP was conducted. The DEP had both local and international participants including representatives from Kenya, Togo, Burundi and South Africa. Specifically, the ZHOCD has been involved in shaping the peace and reconciliation agenda in Zimbabwe and this DEP was constructed to build upon an on-going engagement between the churches and National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in Zimbabwe and to strengthen capacities of the church to contribute to the implementation of the peace framework and peace-building broadly. 

While the ZHOCD has contributed significantly to the establishment of the NPRC, there remain gaps in the area of capacity building for church leaders. These capacity gaps have been identified by church leaders themselves and include limitations to appropriately map scenarios and to conduct mediation and negotiation as they host various national dialogues with different stakeholders. 

Additionally, the NPRC conducted consultation with Zimbabweans across the country earlier this year and the DEP was critical at this stage in order to prepare participants/church leaders to understand the scope of work of the NPRC, its legal and technical limitations and capacity challenges as well as to influence its subsequent interface with stakeholders and communities in rolling out a peace & reconciliation process. The DEP also provided a platform for church leaders to critically reflect, through a process of theological reflection, on their religious mandate to uphold and strengthen peace in Zimbabwe. 


Delegates at the Dialogue Exchange Programme

World Menstrual Hygiene Day

 

The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) together with 7 of its members namely Faith Ministries, Faith in God Church, Assemblies of God Church, Jabula New Life Ministries, ZAOGA, Jesus Power Christian Ministries and The Apostles Church as well as the Harare Provincial Women Committee joined to commemorate the World Menstrual Hygiene Day at Chikurubi maximum female prison on the 28th of May 2018. 

The menstrual hygiene day also known as the menstrual health day is an annual awareness day, which aims to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management and is meant to benefit women and girls worldwide. The day is commemorated on May 28 of each year since 2014 when it was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United. 

The objectives of menstrual hygiene include:

  1. To address the challenges and hardships many women and girls face during their menstruation.
  2. To highlight the positive and innovation solutions being taken to address these challenges.
  3. To catalyse a growing, global movement that recognizes and supports girls and women's rights and build partnerships among those partners on national and local level.
  4. To engage in policy dialogue and actively advocate for the integration of menstrual global, national and local policies, programmes and projects. 

The theme for 2018 menstrual hygiene day is Empowerment. While the issue of menstrual health does not have a specific SDG, it fits well in Goal number 5: Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls

The commemorations were held with an aim to empower the female prisoners by educating them on issues of menstrual health, preaching the word of hope as well as providing them with hygiene packs to use during menstruation. The EFZ Secretariat and the Churches involved managed to gather resources to distribute to the inmates such sanitary pads, pants, bath towels, soap, Vaseline, baby clothes, sugar, slippers, disinfections, toilet paper, blankets, tooth brushes and tooth paste which had a value of $1500.00. Precious Pearls was of great assistance by donating reusable pads and hygiene packs. Other individuals like Dr Grace Taruvinga and Thobekile Ncube partnered with EFZ to make the day a success. The inmates were also blessed with a lunch on the day. 

A total of 101 inmates benefited from the donations and the event was attended by Swedish Embassy, Canadian Embassy, Dutch Embassy, Zimbabwe Prison Correctional Service (ZPCS), Female Prison Support Trust (FEMPRIST), Southern Africa Trust (SAT) and Women on Fire. The ZPCS represented by the Deputy Commissioner General Mrs Mupure expressed her gratitude and testified that it was the first time the Prison had people coming to celebrate the day with them. 

It was a day to remember as the inmates were taught on menstrual hygiene, encouraged from the word of God, prayer for, celebrated the love of God through song and dance as well as fellowshipped with food and drink. 

As EFZ seeks to impact the nation in all aspects of life, showing love, care and concern for those in prison illustrates how the church promote life with dignity to all regardless of gender, religion or political affiliation. EFZ pledged to lift the flag of the menstrual hygiene day that is aimed at helping women on menstrual hygiene management and carry the SDGs mantra of “leaving no one behind”. 

 

 

Tamuka Village / Esnath Story Piece: By Ernest Nhamo

Tamuka village is located about 40km from Mutoko Centre and the people there do peasant farming for their livelihood using rainy water.  

This is where the people of Tamuka village would fetch water before the intervention. Their borehole broke down 3 years ago. The borehole would produce 2-4 buckets of mudy water hence people would resort to the open space in a valley close by.

We spoke to Esnath’s mother, the lady with a baby on her back on the photo. Esnath is an eight year girl and they stay about 1km from the borehole. The way from their homestead to the borehole is bushy. We learned with surprise Esnath is sometimes sent alone to the open space to fetch water after school from the open space. This is where she would spend more than 30minutes alone trying to get 10litres of water. The mother confirmed that this has exposing her girl child to many dangers. With the new well even though it is still about 500m from their homestead she was confident it was going to make Esnath’s life more comfortable as t is easier and quicker to draw water from the well.


Previous Water Source

This is where Esnath and the Community of Tamuka Village ares getting safe and clean drinking water after the intervention

Orality Success Story

Story by Pastor Douglas Makoto from Pilgrims Region Mission-Murewa

Pastor Douglas Makoto-Murewa

Before I was exposed to orality, I was like any other pastor preaching according to seminary knowledge. In 2014 September, I was one of the first 10 Zimbabwean pastors to be trained as a trainer by Professor Jerry Wiles. I came back to Murehwa district and mobilized 16 local pastors whom for 2 days I trained the 5 story set. I released them expecting a quick feedback which they brought back 3 months later. Surprisingly it seems in all their home cell groups, orality had boosted midweek attendance by over 150% which to me was overwhelming.

Sunday school teachers were enjoying the orality methodology and most children could retell the stories anywhere and anytime. In their reports, they indicated that orality was more engaging and it promotes open platform for conversations and in-depth bible study. Unlike preaching, they said bible story backgrounds could be understood and a lot of relevance could be unraveled.

I enjoy telling the true stories from the word of God. I personally was invited to preach at about 7 funeral platforms using orality and surprisingly the responses from people who accepted Christ was a notable testimony. Later on this 2016, we organised a 2 days’ workshop on Orality without support from the EFZ secretariat. This time we mobilized leaders including those 16 pastors I trained and other 55 people were trained on the 5 story set. These leaders were from the whole district and some from other non-bible reading churches like the apostolic white garment churches.

Orality has transformed me personally. I am now more of a teacher of the word than an evangelist, more grounded in the word. I use it everywhere and anywhere freely. Of the 17 rehabilitated water points in Murewa, I preached on 11 of them using orality. I saw many giving their lives to Christ. That has enhanced the way I do ministry work. I noted also that the young generation that is the youth and Sunday school are very receptive to orality concepts of art, drama and poetry. I love Orality, I love the true stories from the word of God, and I will tell the true stories from the word of God, the undiluted gospel and the untainted truth!

The inception of the “Water for Life in Jesus Name’’ project in Murehwa district of Mashonaland East Province in Zimbabwe by the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) and Living Water International (LWI) brought about holistic transformation of local churches and their immediate communities. Unlike before, churches embraced developmental programs as they actively engaged and participated in WASH and the WORD project. After a clarion call by the Salvation Army church to have their local borehole rehabilitated, EFZ/LWI together with the District Development Fund team responded with immediate effect and rehabilitated the borehole. Prior to the rehabilitation of the well, it was a pathetic situation to note that N’andu village borehole (the only in three distant villages) served N’andu, Mutsahuni and part of Chikupo villages. Both humans and livestock were in dire need of water. The integration of water and the word saw the provision of the much needed water, formation of hygiene clubs in the program area and preaching of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. As a result of these efforts, the relationship between EFZ/LWI and government’s District Development Fund department was fostered, villagers were exposed to the gospel with several others turning their hearts to God and health issues were promoted as people had access to clean and safe drinking water.

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