This year, over 50,000 kids were reached in Zimbabwe with more than 1,700 volunteer leaders, 20 national staff and 13 DGL student leaders.
Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) with a population of nearly 17 million was once the ‘bread basket” of Southern Africa, exporting an abundance of agricultural products grown on large, well-run farms. The country has struggled to feed its people since 2000 due to drought and a land reform program in which the government seized farms from white landowners and redistributed them to black Zimbabweans. It is a beautiful country with Victoria Falls in the North and the Matopos Hills, Great Zimbabwe and granite formations in the south. President Mugabe gained power in 1980 as a war hero; however, as his control of the country has gone on the economy and political situation have declined precipitously. Inflation has been staggering and unemployment is considered to be the highest in the world.
Despite the obstacles, Young Life Zimbabwe is made up of a team of vibrant, faithful leaders. Ministry is concentrated in Bulawayo and Harare. Recently, Young Life Zimbabwe began a college ministry in Bulawayo at the National University of Science and Technology. In 2019 so far, over 50,373 kids were reached in Zimbabwe with 1,750 volunteer leaders, 20 national staff and 13 DGL student leaders. Over 4,000 kids and leaders attended camp in 2018 and had the opportunity to try out “Camp on Wheels.” Recent challenges and items for prayer: Some volunteer leaders are having difficulty finding work in Zimbabwe and are leaving the country for jobs in South Africa which makes ministry growth difficult; heavy rainfall and flooding in the southern part of the country (Matopos Hills) has required clubs to be cancelled as schools are closed and travel is limited.
|Avg. Kids at Clubs||5,685||5,153||10,067||11,035||14,170||28%|
|Avg. Kids at Campaigners||1,823||2,520||4,717||5,991||6,721||12%|
|Number of Ministries||76||78||112||147||200||36%|
|Kids & Leaders to Camp||3,122||3,673||2,135||4,053||N/A||N/A|
Despite the obstacles, a talented team of associate regional directors lead a volunteer team of vibrant, faithful leaders. Young Life ministry is concentrated in Bulawayo and Harare. Recently, Young Life Zimbabwe began a college ministry in Bulawayo at the National University of Science and Technology. In 2018, over 4,000 kids and leaders attended camp and had the opportunity to try out “Camp on Wheels.” Recent challenges and items for prayer: Some volunteer leaders are having difficulty finding work in Zimbabwe and are leaving the country for jobs in South Africa which makes ministry growth difficult; heavy rainfall and flooding in the southern part of the country (Matopos Hills) has required clubs to be cancelled as schools are closed and travel is limited.
We are so blessed by the work that we have seen the Lord do in Zimbabwe in the past 12 months. It has really been a moment of seeing the faithfulness of God fulfill His promises. We started to see some fruit from a lot of deliberate ministry and personal steps that our staff, volunteers and their teams have put in for the past 3 years. We have seen the maturity of our teams, which has brought maturity to our ministry. We thank God for this.
We are grateful that the Lord has led us to achieve our projected 2 year numerical goals to just within 1 year. We have deliberately sought to go deeper in discipleship which has led to the growth and almost doubling of the number of kids going to campaigners each week nationally. To compliment this growth in discipleship we are grateful that through partnering with various ministry partners we have been able to get exactly 3,600 New Testament mini Bibles and 1,200 full Bibles into the hands of leaders and kids nationally. We are still committed to making sure we get full Bibles (both New and Old Testament) into the hands of those who need them in the language that they understand. We have seen a growth in the number of areas and clubs that we have within the country but sadly we are still experiencing a loss of volunteers almost as fast as we are recruiting them.
In 2018, we had our first ever YoungLives camp with 31 teen moms and 26 babies at the camp. Our team really dug deep to pull off this camp and what a blessing it was to watch the Lord break down walls in these ladies’ lives. We are so grateful for Stha Moyo and the team in Gwanda who have led the way in this.
This year we have also seen the growth of our ministry which started at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo but now seems poised to grow to start at Lupane State University as well as Midlands State University where we already have leaders in training. We are praying still for more mature(age) people to join our leadership team but till then our current team will keep forging ahead.
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