24th January 2019
Deb and I first visited Zimbabwe in 2012, just as the country was becoming more stable following the currency crisis of 2008. Since then we have returned each year, including once with our three sons, our last holiday with just the three of them before our eldest son, Ben, married the lovely Alice.
Our last three trips to Zimbabwe have not been without incident. While we were there three years ago, one of the River of Life elders was arrested and placed in prison. We had gathered in the evening for a leaders’ meeting, when he arrived at the house having just been released quite unexpectedly. It really was like a scene from the book of Acts! Two years ago, we flew in as ‘the coup that wasn’t a coup’ unfolded. We witnessed people’s joy at being able to demonstrate peacefully and their very real hope for change. We were there again in November, just three months ago, and found the believers in good heart despite signs of hyperinflation, food shortages, and the possibility of economic collapse looming once again.
In the last couple of weeks, the situation in Zimbabwe has taken another worrying turn. The government increased the price of fuel by 150% overnight, meaning Zimbabwe now has the most expensive fuel in the world. This resulted in civil protest and a subsequent harsh crackdown from government authorities. Communication from Zimbabwe was hampered by the government shutting down the internet for some time. As the western media has been waking up to the deteriorating situation, we ask you to pray for our friends in Zimbabwe, the church, the government and the nation.
I have been in regular contact with Scott Marques, our dear friend and the leader of River of Life Church in Harare. He has asked us to pray along these lines:
- Pray for our Government and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness.
- Pray for Christians in all sectors of society to be salt and light, with Christ’s love and faith outworked in all they do.
- Pray for the individuals, families, businesses, schools and many communities suffering injury through beatings, shootings, looting and other forms of violence at this time.
We are still planning for Scott to be with us in the first week of March when he is due to speak at King’s on Sunday 10th March.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
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.