Zimbabwe is a nation in crisis and facing many challenges.
In the early 2000s, the Government introduced an indigenisation law that compelled all foreign-owned companies to cede 51% of their shares to the politically connected. This led to a flight of foreign currency. Since then, corruption has ravaged the economy as those in power continue to amass wealth.
This, coupled with Zimbabwe’s contested and inconclusive elections, has negatively affected democracy and adherence to the rule of law. After the removal of Robert Mugabe as President and leader of ZANU-PF in November 2017, there was hope that the nation would transition from a pariah state to a true democracy. Sadly, this has not been the case. Currently, there are state-sponsored abductions, and many who are perceived to be enemies of the state are tortured. It can be described as a militarised state with no freedom of speech, which has affected the nation’s social fabric.
With an inflation rate of 800%, the economy is a disaster. Almost everything is priced in U.S. Dollars, but people earn a local currency that is considered worthless, so they struggle to put food on the table. Public hospitals are closed due to dilapidated equipment and striking nurses and doctors, and the country lacks basic medicines. Private doctors and hospitals charge exorbitant prices. It is a scary time to get sick, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All of this has greatly affected evangelism. Spending time together has become a luxury because every earning minute counts. With people unable to give to the church (the average income is less than $40 U.S. per month), churches lack the finances to function. It is a challenge to minister to people who are worried and anxious about tomorrow. Our very own Acts 29 church plant in Harare has been delayed due to a lack of resources. The sending church is bearing the brunt of the economic meltdown and cannot support a new plant.
However, despite these tough times, it is encouraging that this situation has brought many in Zimbabwe to a realisation of just how fragile they are. Many people are more receptive to the gospel than they previously were. The Acts 29 church plant in Zimbabwe has witnessed ten souls receiving Christ since lockdown in late March 2020, and they are continuing to see believers growing and maturing in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
How you can pray for Zimbabwe:
- Praise God for the believers who have come to know him during this time.
- Pray that God delivers Zimbabwe from its current leadership and for the nation’s emotional and social healing.
- Pray that believers remain focused on the cause of the gospel and are not sidetracked by these very real challenges.
- Finally, pray for partners and networks to support the gospel work in Zimbabwe.