Monday, December 18, 2017

Children's Ministry Around the World - Zimbabwe, Africa

Today, as we continue to look at Children's Ministry and the lives of children from around the world, today we "journey" to Zimbabwe, Africa, on our final "trip" to a country in Africa. 

When you think of Zimbabwe you may picture the spectacular Victoria Falls and traditional African animals, such as elephants, giraffes and lions as you will find all of these here. Zambabwe is a country of 14.6 million people and is one of the poorest countries in the world with the lowest life expectancy in the world (World Population Review). Two-thirds of its wildlife has been killed since 2000 due to people needing food and poaching (OperationWorld).

Zimbabwe has been ruled by the same president for more than 30 years and he is widely considered to have a corrupt government which took Zimbabwe from being a country which exported food to being food-import dependent (OperationWorld). In addition, AIDS in Zimbabwe is one of the worse situations in the world; more than 2000 people die from AIDS each week and there are one million AIDS orphans (OperationWorld). Child trafficking is a serious problem with children from Zimbabwe and from other countries being put to work in the diamond mines (blood diamonds) or to mine for gold and/or platinum (CIA World Factbook).
Zimbabwe's education system consists of two years of pre-school, seven years of primary and six years of secondary schooling before students can enter university in the country or abroad (Wiki). While technically school in Zimbabwe is free, there are so many fees attached to sending a child to school 15% of children do not attend school (humanium).
Zimbabwe is a country where 75% of the people identify themselves as Christian, 50% syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs), 25% Christian, 24% indigenous beliefs, 1% Muslim and other (CIA World Factbook). There are churches throughout Zimbabwe which provide opportunities to children which are very similar to what we offer children here in the USA. Children have Sunday School and mid-week ministry opportunities at many of these churches. In the rural areas, or anywhere there are some of the million orphans in Zimbabwe, child sponsorship programs provide food, clothing, clean water, health care, educational opportunities and the opportunity to learn of God’s love (WorldVision). There are also missionaries who travel through the country to train believers how to work with children ad then provide opportunities for children to learn about Jesus (!
As you think about Zimbabwe, with 7% of the people unreached, please pray for –.
  • God to draw believers to Him.
  • For children to have better access to the basics of life like clean water, healthcare, and education.
  • Laborers to go and serve children who are in need.
  • Children to see God is real, He loves them and they can know Him!
  • Wisdom to know where to plant churches.
  • Healing for those who are ill.
  • The church in Zimbabwe to grow and be able to be a light to their communities!

Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with children and families who need to know God loves them! While you may not be able to travel to Zimbabwe to serve the church, you can pray and, “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” (James 5:16 NCV) Let’s pray and trust God for great things in Zimbabwe

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