19th Annual Zimbabwe Preaching Summit
by: Al Serhal
Students at Zimbabwe Christian College are all smiles after receiving their brand new Study Bibles. These Bibles will be invaluable resources for our students as they go out as ambassadors of the Gospel!
19th Annual Zimbabwe Preaching Summit
I arrived in Zimbabwe late on Tuesday, February 7 which allowed me a couple of days to get acclimated and just spend some time with Zebedee (Managing Director of HVCM in Zimbabwe), talking over many of the issues and plans that we have for HVCM going forward. Zebedee was able to bring me up-to-date on some of the challenges the mission is currently facing as well as some major victories.
I then had the weekend to prepare for my preaching class at Zimbabwe Christian College which was scheduled to start the next Monday morning. I preached both Sundays that I was in Harare at two different churches. I especially enjoyed the second Sunday when I was able to travel with 3 of my preaching Students out to one of the churches where we worked as a team for the day. The boys translated and prayed with many of the people who came forward during the service. I really enjoyed traveling with them and just talking and getting to know them and their stories. During the week I taught from 8:00-1:00 every day for the next 8 days. During that time I was able to present every student with a brand new NIV Study Bible (60 students) and also provide each of my students (2nd & 3rd year students) with a copy of Haddon Robinsons “Biblical Preaching” as our textbook.
On February 22, two brothers from the Tomoka Christian Church in Ormond Beach, FL arrived. That night we had a cookout for all of the ZCC students, faculty and staff. It was a wonderful evening filled with singing, food and fellowship!
Preaching Summit Cont.
We then took the FL guys down to Chiredzi to see the mission work We went to two mission schools and then spent the evening with the children at the Children’s Village. On Sunday, we went out to one of our rural Churches to worship with the folks there and Greg from Tomoka preached.
On Monday we began the trip back to Harare for the 19th annual Preaching Summit. About 125 Preachers attended and they all received Bibles and a copy of John Stott’s book, “Basic Christianity”, along with pens and handmade cross necklaces. Speakers were, Pete Konkle from SC, Dr. David Fiensy from Kentucky Christian University, Dr. Darrel Pruett from FL, Greg Holmgren from Tomoka and myself. The spirit and attitude of the Summit was wonderful and the food was exceptional this year.
This year at the Summit we had preachers not only from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but men also traveled 3 days to get there from the country of Malawi. One evening the men from Malawi asked to speak to me. We met outside where they pleaded with me to bring some kind of preacher training to Malawi. They say there are 200 Christian churches in Malawi and less than 100 preachers. A few of these preachers had some formal training at a small non-instrumental college there in Malawi, but most of them have not had any formal education and they are hungry for teaching and resources for Preaching. I felt very convicted to try and do something to strengthen the pulpits in Malawi.
On Friday, March 3rd I began the long journey home. I finally arrived at my little house in Grayson, KY around 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, March 4th. I battled some issues with dehydration for several days due to the long flight home, but am feeling much better now. It is good to be home with my wife and family and to sleep in my own bed for a while.
HVCM is excited to welcome Stephanie (Pemberton) Davy to their Zimbabwe Staff in 2017!
by: Stephanie Davy
Hello there! Makorokoto egoredzva (Greetings for the New Year)!
I was excited when Brittany asked me to write a report for this month, although a tad hesitant; I am the newest member of the team and feel thoroughly under-qualified. However, the Living Proof program is one that I am very passionate about, and already in my one month I have learned a lot. This letter also provides a good time for me to introduce myself; in Zimbabwe introductions are absolutely necessary, and I am a student of Shona culture!
My name is Stephanie (Pemberton) Davy, the second born of Bob and Nancy Pemberton. My Grandparents, John C. and Marjorie Pemberton, were some of the founders of Hippo Valley Christian Mission. I live in Zimbabwe with my husband, Rob Davy, who is in training to become a professional Safari Guide. Having grown up in Chiredzi with my parents working for the Mission, I was thrilled when the opportunity came to join the Living Proof Program, none the least of which being that I get to work alongside Pastor Cephas Zivanai.
I have to smile at God’s sense of humor and symmetry as my mom, Nancy, taught him when he was a youth back in the early 1980’s - before I was born! Pastor Cephas has been so welcoming to me, as well as a great leader of this team. Judith Chitiki is the other member of our team, whom I have found to be an excellent worker and a wonderful person.
We have already crammed a lot into my first month with Living Proof: being introduced to the various logistical sides of our work (receiving and labeling letters, filing, organizing, etc.), brainstorming ways to grow and perfect, as well as getting hands-on experience buying shoes and uniforms for all of our kids. We have been working hard at labeling all of the items and grouping them into schools, so that soon we can begin our distribution process. Some of our kids are also moving into High School this year, a first for us, so figuring out where they are choosing to go and expanding to new schools will be a fun challenge!
While I have enjoyed all of the office work, I am looking forward to meeting our 1,000+ kids, as well as helping with the Christian School games coming up next term. These games are when all the Church of Christ/Mashoko Christian Schools get together for four days out of the second term and compete in various activities. This includes: netball, soccer, volleyball, handball, music, drama, biblical quizzes, and extra for the High Schoolers, debate and chess. Pastor Cephas tells me that our Living Proof kids are the “torch bearers” of this event, because they are the ones leading services and singing, as well as helping to organize. It is so wonderful to see the vision of training up Christian leaders become a reality!
Speaking of which, over the course of this year we hope to be writing a curriculum for our Living Proof Bible program. I cannot wait to do this, and to get out into the schools! I run the Children’s program at my Church here in Chiredzi, and helping kids develop a firm Biblical foundation is something I am very passionate about; as well as I just love kids J
That’s all from me for now! Needless to say I think you will need to watch this space as our Living Proof Program keeps growing and developing. Please keep praying for us, specifically that:
Until next time, Chisarai munaJesu (Goodbye, stay well in Jesus)!
As we head into a new year, it is good to look back and remember the years past. Check out this old newsletter from Hippo Valley's John C. Pemberton in January of 1970. Now 45 years ago!!
I Am Living Proof!