We hope we find all of you well. We recently celebrated Easter
Holidays and the gathering seems to exceed the former gathering we have had in times past and the preaching was good.
The speakers were prepared for the occasion. Food stuffs were adequate to feed the large group of delegates who came. Our region is composed of more than twenty churches and of those 18 attended the Easter conference. I am sure we are moving ahead very well. Also most of our preachers attended the conference together with the leadership of their congregations. One of our new preachers, Stanley Zimuto, stationed at Damarakanaka Clinic and Church fell sick with smallpox. Alone and I visited him and his wife and found him on the recovery side and we hope this week will bring him full
Stanley Zimuto started ministry with us first of January by way of replacing Amos Marimwa, who
transferred to Tokwane Ngundu (Village 8) to replace Alphonse Chinyange who resigned from ministry for the purpose of taking a second wife. Amos and wife started their ministry on the 10th of March 2013. It looks like both churches are enjoying good times with their new preachers.
The schools’ system presented us with more work during the January to March term because of the
promotions which took place. Most of our Christian schools both primary and secondary schools received newly promoted substantive deputy head masters. It is good to have these men and women posted to our schools as we, the church, recommended them for promotions to lead in our schools. This is the advantage private schools owners have: that of placing heads and deputies in their schools. This is the way we keep Christian influence in all our schools. It also needs to be said that the provincial office of education is very agreeable to this arrangement. Many Responsible Authorities (R/As) are very appreciative of the good rapport we have with the current Provincial Education Director (P.E.D).
There is a need for hiring an Education Secretary, as I am functioning as an education secretary, the post which requires a lot of movement to the schools and also interacting with all the seven (7) Districts Education Officers which make up Masvingo Provincial Education Directorate. In order to achieve this, we need an office, salary and allowances, housing and fuel for the secretary to be mobile and visible in the schools.
Right now I am sure that all of our 27 schools, both primary and secondary, have church activities going on every week let alone the teaching of Bible as a subject recognized by Ministry of Education.
The Orphanage work is going on well. Our dream of moving all the kids in the Chiredzi Christian Children’s Village became a reality three weeks ago, March 15, when the remainder of the kids in the N&B Children’s Home, 11 in number, were moved to the village to occupy Golden Valley House. Of course they moved with their two mothers and are now settled in their new home. Changes also took place there by way of moving out 7 children who were discharged and the administration has taken the 4 girls and put them in the Halfway House. The boys who were discharged from the village joined the boys who were occupying the Halfway House and are now housed in the N&B Children’s Home. Dennis Mugaviri, the general hand who was overseeing the Halfway House, moved to the N&B Children’ Home with the boys. We decided to house
the discharged children separate for the sake of effective monitoring of the two groups now young adults.This
ministry poses a few challenges, namely school fees, food, clothing, etc. We praise God for the community and government participation which come occasionally. In December, department of Revenue/Customs, donated boxes and boxes of used clothing forfeited from would be smugglers. It is now a question of sizes but we believe we are covered for now. Again the Agricultural department donated 160 Bags of rice in January and we seem to be covered for now in terms food. A number of our primary school children benefited from the generosity of Hippo Valley Primary School community service program which pays school fees for the targeted groups. Hippo Valley Primary School paid fees for 21 children. Hippo Valley
Estates itself donated 400 kilo grams of sugar to the orphanage sometime towards the end of last year. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) bought 56 pairs of shoes towards end of last year. So of the total population of 65, 56 of our children got a pair each. PRAISE IS TO GOD FOR HIS VISIBLE HAND IN THE ORPHANAGE MINISTRY.
It is also worth mentioning that Alone Gudyanga will be on leave from the 8th of April to the 8th of May. He is studying for his UNISA exams coming late May. Cephas Zivonai is also going on study leave. The dates for his leave are to be notified. He also is studying for a Masters Degree in Religion with UNISA (University of South Africa). This will leave us with a gap in the schools ministry, where we will have to engage a part time chaplain for the schools.
We have three young preachers who joined us recently. These are Emmanuel Tembo now stationed at Gunikuni Church of Christ. The table below will show how many congregations he works with. We need another preacher to share the load as the congregations are widely spaced. Then we also have Zivanai Rinopisa who is the new preacher for Dine Church of Christ and the surrounding small preaching points. The third is Stanley Zimuto, who joined us in January at Damarakanaka Church of Christ and Clinic. There is a need for a preacher for Sangwe Church of Christ left by the death of Kainos Kupika 4 years ago. Currently the preachers take turns to visit Sangwe Church of Christ. With the prevalent of false teaching, especially Pentecostalism, we need a trained preacher to occupy that empty pulpit.
Our father and senior minister, Watson Mabona, is not feeling well. In December he was taken to Zambia by his oldest daughter, Stella for treatments. This move followed the one late last year where he was taken to South Africa for the same purpose. The South African doctors would like to see him every month for reviews. As I write, he is in South Africa and we expect him sometime this week, if all goes according to plan. We sincerely implore you, our partners, to pray for Watson Mabona’s health. Since the death of his wife, his health has not been good and it concerns us very much.
UPDATE ON HEALTH MINISTRY: Damarakanaka and Maranda (Dine) Clinics.
HASTEN International works with us in running Damarakanaka Clinic. Dr. Darel Pruitt on behalf of HASTEN International is our contact person. At present, HASTEN is giving us $1200 per month to top up the $800 Hippo Valley Christian Mission is spending on the Clinic ministry. The work of this clinic requires $2000 a month. This is the result of the government freeze on employment, which forced us to employ three people on mission salary to help the two nurses, on government salary. We hope that the freeze will soon be lifted to allow us to employ general hands on government salary. Damarakanaka Clinic serves a general population of 3500 plus and needs also a good number of support staff. The $2000 budget per month accounts also for the new preacher’s (Stanley Zimuto) salary, as he also works as Clinic Chaplain.
Maranda (Dine) clinic on the other hand, has all its personnel on government salary.
But the need for a new clinic building is very urgent, as the department of health officials are on us to build a new bigger facility rather than the current string of offices turned into a clinic. Yes, fundraising efforts were done and the chairman, Dave Thurman, has the latest report on when work could start on the project. Again, special mention goes to The Church at Mount Gilead in Mooresville for spearheading the fundraising effort and the same church is helping us with funds to pay Zivanai Rinopisa, the new preacher at Dine Church of Christ, which ministers to Dine Primary School, Dine Secondary School, and Maranda (Dine) Clinic. We also thank Franklin Electric Water Well for the World Foundation for sponsoring the drilling of a well and piping throughout the mission. The dedication of the project was done in December 2012. Special thanks go to our friends Tony and Jessica Imburgia for approaching the organization on our behalf, after they visited the mission station in September 2011 as part of a work team from Mooresville, Indiana. We also thank Attie Jonker, Franklin Electric Foundation director resident in South Africa, who worked tirelessly to see the project to its completion.
Evangelism is done in many ways. Schools offer wide opportunities for evangelism through devotions and chapel services done once a week in each of our schools. Also our clinics are gospel centres as no daily treatment takes place without devotions every morning. The preachers attached to the churches near the clinics are charged to hold and lead the devotions. The preachers in this region have gained confidence of the local non-Church of Christ schools, where they are now invited to hold devotions for other schools. The following is the preacher allocation in our region:
Watson Mabona: Gororo, Madzivire, Neshuro and Sagwari congregation
Alone Gudyanga: Orphanage Superintend/Administrator and Village Church
Cephas Zivanai: All schools Chaplain and Chikomo and Gozonya churc
Mordecai Chikwanda: Tshovani and Masekesa churches
Emmanuel Tembo: Gunikuni, Kuchakanya, Guwa, and Renco churches.
Stanley Zimuto: Damarakanaka church & clinic and Tonono church.
Amos Marimwa: Tokwane Ngundu Church of Chris
William Matshazi: Chishamiso Church of Christ.
Naison Mapiko: Old Mill, Svuvure, Chivamba and Jerera churches
Cletos Matuka: Mkwasine and Maware Churches of Christ.
Daniel Chukucha: Triangle Church of Christ
Zebedee Togarepi: Managing Director of all ministries, acting Education Secretary and Crown Ranch Church of Christ
Matava Mugabe: Rushangarumwe Church and primary school
The above list of preachers gets salary from mission except one, Naison Mapiko, who has recently retired from the teaching service. But he too would need a salary if funds were available.
SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO THE BOARD MEMBERS OF HVCM
On behalf of the entire staff here, I would like to thank each of the board members for standing with us
during our turbulent times. Their stance helped to encourage us to continue with our daily work: that of serving the Lord in our various capacities. The resignations which came last year could have had devastating effects to the entire work, but that did not happen. We praise the Lord, and continue to pray that the Lord grant them wisdom and courage to continue to guide the activities of this great work: HIPPO VALLEY CHRISTIAN MISSION.
TRIBUTE TO YOU OUR CO-WORKERS
We also realize and appreciate your unflinching support to this great work. The great achievements and drawbacks we experience here is not ours alone, but whatever it is we see and do, we do it with you. We strongly believe that you are part of this work, hence my taking time to chronicle the state of the work. May God continue to be glorified through your prayers and your love for this work. There is room for improvement to the work, especially in evangelism and also in education, as it offers wide chances for touching the young souls through our schools system.
POINTS OF PRAYER
Please join us in prayer for the stability and continuance of Hippo Valley Christian Mission
Ratidzo’s health; her left leg above the knee is swollen and she has difficulties walking
Good relationship with all governmentdepartments dealing with our children’s ministry
Ratidzo and I together with the team here do appreciate your support and prayers very much.
May the Lord bless you richly in whatever you need to continue to serve Him.
In His Name,
Zebedee & Ratidzo Togarepi