COVID-19 closures have deprived many Zimbabweans of the basic necessities to survive, with food at the top of the list. In response, United Methodist Women, The Nyadire Connection and Harare East District assisted 800 vulnerable families with donated food and other relief.
United Methodist Women awarded an $ 8,000 grant to help 200 of the most disadvantaged families in rural communities in Chimanimani Chipinge and Murewa Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe districts.
“The project was timely,” said Tendai Rebecca Gurupira, regional coordinator of the ministry for women, children and youth, “particularly in rural communities where resources were strained with families headed by children and children. households headed by elderly people; the disabled and chronically ill (were) the most affected.
Octogenarian Julia Chimberengwa of the United Methodist Church of the Mutambara Center said her community – in Chimanimani Chipinge district – had faced calamity after calamity, including droughts, Cyclone Idai and Covid-19.
“All lives, livelihoods and food security were threatened,” she said. “Young and old alike sleep without having eaten. It is heartbreaking to watch grandchildren endure this suffering. I am very grateful for these food baskets. To God be the glory!”
Lucia Cheza, 90, a member of the Mutambara West United Methodist Church, said: “With age my health deteriorates, but I had to walk the long distance to the center of Mutambara to receive my share of the donation. It took hours, but I don’t regret it as I come home with something for my family. My church is good and I love it.
Theresa Mutambara, 91, of the Mutambara Center, was overjoyed. “I never dreamed of having all of these gifts,” she said. “Where your mind ends, God takes over. This is what happened to me. I thank you, Lord.
Monica Maposa, a member of the United Methodist Church in Uzumba East, said hunger “can turn you into a beggar. We ended up braving the virulent Covid-19 in search of food. “
Recalling Jeremiah 29, which promises “a hopeful future,” she added, “We did not know that God had plans for our well-being.
“This has motivated us a lot,” said Rev. Noah Chapfika. “My church has done a good job.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, The Nyadire Connection has helped more than 400 people in Nyadire mission communities and surrounding United Methodist clinics, as well as pastors in Mutoko-Mudzi district, with monthly food packages.
These food supplements, said Reverend Lancelot Victor Mukundu, president of the Nyadire mission station, “have been a relief for vulnerable families, who were already under stress due to the country’s economic crisis, high inflation, low disposable income and compressed wages.
“As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of TNC’s missionary work,” he said, “we pray that the relationship will continue to bear fruit. “
Nyadire Connection chairman Drew Harvey said the combined crises of severe drought and Covid-19 made food supply an urgent priority. “We went to see our supporters,” he said, “and thanks to their incredible generosity, we raised over $ 100,000, which allowed us to fund food purchases for 11 months.
“April was the last month for food distribution,” Harvey said. “We hope the current harvest will make food more available. This partnership has become mutually beneficial for so many people. We have high hopes for strengthening our relationship.
In East Harare District, the Ruwadzano RweWadzimai women’s organization converged on Melfort’s nursing home with food and other donations.
Food-related ministries, a pillar of the work of the United Methodist mission, have provided the church with a means to respond to food access challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic and the lingering economic effects of the crisis .
David Mavhuramani, a 100-year-old farmer, has lived in Melfort for five years. “I am overwhelmed by your love,” he said. “I don’t know how to best express my joy. What you have done for us is greatly appreciated and we urge you to continue to do the same for others.
After all of his children died, Mavhuramani moved to Melfort. “When I harvest,” he said. “I provide the kitchen and some of the farm products that I sell. I am very strong.”
“What The United Methodist Church has done confirms what true Christians are,” said Enercia Mushaba, a home worker. “These are our answered prayers.”
According to Emmah Mukahanana of the East Harare District, the group also helped 14 student pastors at United Theological College. “Eleven are married with families and three are single,” she said.
Pastor Ellen Gova, who heads the college’s United Methodist Student Fellowship, admitted that dietary challenges sometimes make it difficult to focus on studies.
“We want to reassure you that we are not going to disappoint you,” she said. “We promise to achieve academic excellence with God’s help.”
Rev. Oscar Nyasha Mukahanana, District Superintendent of Harare East, was delighted with the response to his Christmas Cheer Fund initiative. “More than 80 church members, destitute and passers-by have been helped,” he said.
“During the donation,” he said, “the atmosphere was heartbreaking and revealing as well.” Recipients shared testimonials of not having a decent meal for days.
“God knows the needs of our hearts,” said Rebecca Machangara, 77, a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church. “We thank the church for this initiative. I am left alone and I have nothing to eat. I’m very grateful.”
Charles Gendi, 65, also of St. Paul’s, received food on behalf of his wife, Ester, 78, who can no longer walk. “God takes our responsibilities when we think we have come to the end of the road,” he said. “We had nothing at home.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Gendi added. “Thank you. It’s a miracle from God.