|United Kingdom Mission Area Ambassador Jabulani Gumbodete visits with orphans at Home of Hope at Nyadire Mission. Source: United Methodist News|
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many communities in sub-Saharan Africa were grappling with the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has left thousands of children orphaned across the continent especially in places such as Zimbabwe.
Already in a seemingly precarious state, the advent of COVID-19 exacerbated a problem the government and nonprofits were working to mitigate by creating more orphans.
Seeking to assist areas hardest hit, the United Kingdom Mission Area of The United Methodist Church commemorated Orphan Sunday by donating almost $18,000 toward caring for 74 orphans and vulnerable children at Home of Hope in the Mutoko Mudzi District and Fairfield Children’s Home in the Mutasa Nyanga District.
Rev. Alan Masimba Gurupira, administrative assistant to Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa, Zimbabwe Episcopal Area said, “The orphans ministry is always blessed by God for there is a great concern for their welfare.”
“This gesture preaches a lasting sermon on the goodness of God through his people,” Gurupira added.
District Superintendent of the United Kingdom Mission Area Rev. Lizzy Chigwizura was overjoyed at hearing Gurupira commendations. “I have tears of joy,” Chigwizura said. “I am so happy and at peace.”
Additionally, Rev. Chigwizura added that she is looking forward to doing even more with the Zimbabwe churches stating, “We feel we have achieved God’s assignment.”
Chigwizura said the mission area worked with its ambassador,
Jabulani Gumbodete, a member of Midlands Charge in Zimbabwe but currently residing in Birmingham, England played a vital role in coordinating logistical support between the bishop’s office and the orphanages. Together, they were able to develop a list of needed supplies and source them competitively, optimizing the reach the funds were able to go.
Gumbodete said he felt honored to participate in the project. “I am very happy because the consignments were received with so much joy that touched the depth of my soul in a profound way,” Gumbodete said.
“All the glory should be given to God. God works through people willing to be of service. It was a humbling experience to coordinate the program.”
Fairfield Children’s Home Administrator, Cecillia Thobani, speaking on behalf of the orphans and staff said, “We are deeply thankful for the kind donation of groceries, school supplies, pig feed and many other things. In these hard times, you (extended) a helping hand.”
Thobani added that currently there are 42 orphans under their care attending primary and secondary school, while 3 young adults are currently enrolled at Africa University.
David Kudzai Chando, 17-years-old and one of the orphans living at Fairfield Children’s Home said, “Your kindness has touched our hearts,” he said. “We thank you for having hearts that feel for others. This has given us hope and the warm feeling of being loved. We will always have you in our prayers.”
Source: United Methodist News