Dear Covenant Family (Zimbabwe Report)

Dear Covenant Family,


Thank you for supporting, sending, and praying for Liz and me as we traveled to Zimbabwe to minister on the ground there for ten God-touched days.


At Pastor Peter Kanetsa's request, Liz facilitated the American Bible Societies’, Healing from the Wounds of Trauma course to train Zimbabweans to lead in their context.   


The curriculum is well-crafted Biblically and culturally, written by indigenous African leaders.  All illustrations, exercises, and applications were carefully put in an African context. Many were very personally impacted through understanding what the Bible teaches about trauma as an underlying cause of many of the symptoms of our brokenness. Exposing the root injury to Christ makes deep healing and a new beginning possible.   


It was good for me to serve my wife and see her spiritual gifts set loose among people she has come to deeply love. It was heartening to see them affirm her and receive from her. We have never seen Christians value training like these Zimbabweans value training.  


Liz and Lisa Chifokoyo have offered this care group regularly at Covenant, but this was my first time experiencing the course. I encourage all of you to consider taking this course to process heart wounds and trauma. Participants receive far more than informational principles, but rather a facilitated guide through the Biblical truths and realities that can free us and heal us deeply. It’s the kind of material that keeps speaking into your life long after you have experienced it. After laying a deep foundation and providing instruction on how to help others feel heard, (healing begins with feeling heard) Liz gave space for individuals to share their trauma with one other participant in the class (if they felt ready to do so). This proved to be powerfully freeing. They were invited to write a lament. A Lament casts our burden and suffering back upon God in prayer. Most of the participants were eager to read their laments to the entire group. They were amazingly open and vulnerable. A key point comes near the last session, when the class writes down their trauma and suffering, lights them on fire, offering them up to the God who suffers with us and for us. 


We toured the property Covenant’s generosity has purchased. We witnessed the closing signing for The Covenant Cares Trust that has been set to ensure that it be used for perpetuity for Christ-centered discipleship and equipping of children as a glide path to independence.  


With a deep sense of God’s presence and provision, we prayed over the property which already has two completely finished houses, and a third that needs a roof and finishing.  This will be a beacon of light to girls who often age out of homes and then in their vulnerability are kidnapped or duped in sexual slavery, or sold into domestic slavery, shipped off and then serving as ‘lifetime maids’ in another country. This satanic pipeline functions in Zimbabwe preying on the most vulnerable children. 


This visit revealed a Zimbabwe context unlike any other time we have traveled there. The needs have grown as safety nets have disappeared due to mismanagement of the economy and the imposition of a new Zimbabwean currency that is tanking the buying power of the general population. People we know and love are suffering deprivation and yet persevering in ways that continue to deeply touch us. Events over the past two years have spread firsthand and secondhand trauma to many. Millions of children are malnourished and will likely have lifelong complications from it.  


Liz and I shared from the scriptures at fully packed out worship services and participated in the ordination of elders and deacons and pastors. We treated the Domboshawa home children to two trips to Chicken Inn where they feasted on chicken and chips.

   

Gospel-based teaching brought testimonies of emotional healing. Jesus is answering our prayers that brokenhearted people are more equipped to help heal other brokenhearted people. Zimbabwe is not the country we ministered in two years ago. We shudder to think what it might be one year from now if things continue to unravel. But in the deepening darkness, the glimmering Morning Star of Jesus shines brighter. And Covenant has been used to raise up a standard for Jesus and to empower courageous, self-denying servants of His to spread a canopy of ministry and security for the most vulnerable and marginalized. 


Liz and I express our thanks to Covenant’s Elder Board for supporting our going, praying for us, and sending us out. I am thankful to Rob Bloss our executive pastor for leading faithfully in my absence and for Rob Chifokoyo’s ministry through the preached Word. We are thankful for your heart investment and generosity that has taken us to a new stage in ministry there. You are a remarkable congregation and you have caused many there to be thankful for Covenant Church and the partnership God has raised up.  


- Pastor Bob Myers