31st March 2016
Thank you so much for praying for the King’s Church team over the last couple of weeks – the trip was a great success and everything went to plan. Our team was made up of five from the Catford site – Charles & Amy Kimbangi, Helen Fuller, Roberta Walker and Jean-Marie Tucker; three from Lee – Peregrine & Denise Storrs-Fox and Lauren Miller; and me from the Downham site.
Our trip was packed with extraordinary experiences and it will take a while for the team to process everything we saw and heard. Time and time again we heard stories of great faith and were challenged by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people. In the UK we often put social action in a separate category to church but there, church and social action is totally integrated. Even the smallest churches were reaching out to their local communities to make a difference. They often start projects in a small way and see what God does. There is a real dependence on God in prayer for all their needs and a willingness to step out in faith to try to meet needs wherever they can. So, for example, The Michael Project (based at River of Life, Harare) started in a small way and has now grown to a children’s home for 16 children, a pre-school in a poor community called Wingate, a pre-school at Greystone Park (one of their church sites) and a pre-school and day-care centre for children in Chikurubi Maximum Security Women’s Prison.
The King’s Church team was based in Harare for the first half of our trip and then travelled to Bulawayo for the final three days. Our road trip to Bulawayo took over eight hours, mainly due to the 13 or 14 times we had to stop at police checkpoints!
We attended five church services over two weekends at River of Life in Harare and New Creation Church and Hope City Church in Bulawayo. We also spent time meeting other church teams, visiting pre-schools, orphanages, social enterprise projects, a kids’ club and the highly impressive Ebenezer Project, where 85 apprentices are currently being trained in agriculture & farming with an education and discipleship programme alongside. Possibly the highlight of the trip was the first-time response to the gospel made by our driver Peter at Hope City Church on our last Sunday!
There are several videos of our trip on the King's Church London Facebook page – it is worth looking at it if you haven’t already. Our intention is to build an ongoing link with Zimbabwe to learn from each other – there are plenty of opportunities to make a significant difference!
Pictures (clockwise from left) – River of Life Church (Greystone Park site), Wingate Community Pre-School, Team house in Harare
Posted by Malcolm Kyte
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.