I have been to Zimbabwe many times over the years and it never ceases to amaze me. Here is a
country that used to be the bread basket of Africa. Their bountiful farms supplied food for the entire
continent and their exports kept the country awash with prosperity. That has all changed. In the last
25-30 years AIDS has wiped out most of the middle of the population leaving thousands of orphans
and children with nowhere to go for food and shelter. The country slid into abject poverty. The once
prosperous economy went into a complete collapse. The monetary system was wiped out due to
incredible inflation where their money became entirely worthless (a loaf of bread, if you could find
one, was being sold for $3.3 trillion Zimbabwe dollars). In fact this is the only country to actually print
a $100,000,000,000,000 bill! It is now a collector’s item as the country finally gave up and went to the
American Dollar as the standard currency within the last two years.
Despite these upheavals, God is alive in Zimbabwe! Maria and Bill Humbane, the missionaries in
Mutare, Zimbabwe, have established Ishe Anesu*, a project where children can come and get free food,
school supplies, medicine, and can be taught the love of God. In Zimbabwe you must pay to go to school
and you must have enough money to purchase the school uniforms and school supplies. Samaritan
Hands, Fairview UMC, and Holston Conference’s generosity makes this happen. The money, food
buckets, backpacks, school supplies, and clothes sent to Zimbabwe supports these children. The meal
they get from our food buckets may be the only meal they get on any given day. The money is used to
pay for school tuition and uniforms. I cannot describe the overwhelming joy and gratitude these children
have when they are at the “project”. This small oasis built through the hard work and determination of
Maria and Bill supported with the donations from you, provide the children a place to study, eat, play,
and now with the addition of the first orphanage home, a place to live!
And nowhere is the Spirit of God more alive than in their Sunday worship. It starts at 9 AM and finishes
about three to four hours later. It is a worship of incredible, spontaneous music, reading of the Bible,
and continuous, faithful energy! The church overflows with about 3000-4000 people every Sunday.
They built an addition onto their church to allow more people to attend; however, it is still too small to
accommodate everyone who desires to worship! The church is literally packed every Sunday. You can
feel God in every corner of that church! Praise be to God!
*Ishe Anesu means “God is with us”. Go to the website www.isheanesu.com. You will see pictures of
the children, the Ishe Anesu project, and Maria and Bill Humbane. They also have newsletters.
God is working miracles in Zimbabwe!