Great News – Living Hope now open to hosting short-term Mission Teams in Zimbabwe
Some time ago, on learning about and seeing Living Hope’s ministry model in action in the Southern Cape Peninsula (South Africa) and being deeply impressed by our effective, holistic and Biblically based model – folks spoke about Living Hope coming to Zimbabwe and helping capacitate or set up a similar ministry and programs in that country.
Zimbabwe is a country of wonderful enthusiastic and friendly people, and also one of great need. We have heard Gods’ call for us to go and help. For some time now we have been working with local partners and communities in Zimbabwe, doing trainings and various other preparations for the establishment of programs. Danielle Schneider has been working with partner churches to improve their children’s ministry programs and to run life skills programs, in Gweru / Mkoba (central Zimbabwe).
We have more recently also started a new Economic Empowerment partnership in Harare (the capital) with a national Zimbabwean organisation – Miracle Missions. The Economic Empowerment program involves working with orphans entering adulthood; through lifeskills training, worker readiness training, Christian counselling, and helping them get short to medium term work placement that will set them up to become economically and socially active members of society who know God’s love and plan for their lives.
Context in brief
While Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with good natural resources and resourceful people, it is also rated (by the UN and others) a very low income country. It comes in at 172 out of 187 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI), 2013. 72% of the Zimbabwean’s live below the poverty line, 40% are seen as living in severe poverty. In one of the townships where we work in Gweru, Mkoba, only 20% of the community’s active adults are in formal employment. Mkoba is a community of about 100,000 people. Not only is there deep poverty here, but parents, schools and local churches lack resources to offer children good standards of education and life skills instruction.
(If you wish to read more about Zimbabwe and the context please request us to send you additional material, or you may google Zimbabwe and the places mentioned here yourself.)
Our partner churches in the town of Gweru and in the township of Mkoba have one to several dozen children a week attending a church service or program. We have trained and are mentoring local leaders to become more effective children’s workers and life skill educators.
Short-term mission teams are welcome from the beginning of August this year. Find out more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently Living Hope is seeking teams to get involved in our children’s and Life skills programs. Teams have a few options available to them, depending on when they come – especially if teams come during the Zimbabwean school term or vacation time.
- 1. Teams during the Zimbabwe school vacation time
One the objectives of the children’s ministry is to host annual Holiday Clubs (aka Vacation Bible Schools). We would like to host a Holiday Club during the August School Holidays and/or the December Holidays. The children are out of school for the entire month so we are not locked into a certain week those months. (Since this would be the first time these churches would be hosting Holiday Clubs we will be starting small.) The churches are in different locations, thus we would host one Holiday Club two days in one location (in town) and then host another in the other location (in Mkoba) for the next two days, doing the exact same program in both places. The structure of the Holiday Club would be very flexible and will include games, songs, Bible story-telling, and other fun activities such as face painting and balloon animals.
- 2. Teams during school term
As children are at school during the morning, this program involves Afternoon Clubs. Similarly to the Holiday Clubs, these clubs would consist of games, praise and worship, a Bible story, practical application, and crafts. Prior to the mission trip, our Life Skills Specialist, team members and the local volunteer leaders will work together to set a program based on the amount of available time, materials and skills of people and so on. (Living Hope has a rich pool of curriculum/material – both our own and that of other organisations for which we have permission to use.)
Additional program activities
Children’s ministry, as described above, is the core purpose for this mission’s opportunity but, depending on the time Teams come to Zimbabwe, there are a number of other activities that could be added, namely:
- Invariably when one enters Zimbabwe one enters via Harare. Teams can spend a day observing the Economic Empowerment project and getting involved in an activity or two related to this.
- Doing life skills programs in schools (teaching in the classrooms, school assemblies, and even after school at school).
- Ministering to the local churches (such as biblical teaching, praying for local churches, and so on).
What else do you need to know?
There are more details and as soon as you communicate your interest we will send you additional information. For now, the things you should also know are:
- This opportunity is for a group that wishes to come for a minimum of 4 days and up to 10 days.
- The team size needs to be a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 12 people.
- You can apply as a group. If there are open teams individuals can you join such a group.
- This is suited to people who like to work with children of different ages, but you needn’t be experienced in children’s work.
- In an un-developed context it is often difficult to plan in detail and expect all to unfold as planned. Additionally for our partner churches these are new programs. Therefore visiting team members need to be flexible.
- Please come with a servant heart, open mind and a gracious spirit.
What it is likely to cost?
Teams contribute to ministry costs to enable ministry activities (Holiday Clubs, Afternoon Clubs, Life Skills training and so on) to occur and for the costs related to their ministry activities. The cost for a week of ministry is $350 (this is for a standard program but costs may change for different activities or extended ministry periods).
Then there are expenses related to your personal costs: airport transfers, accommodation, ground transportation (between Harare and Gweru and local transportation), meals and some drinks. In Gweru you will be staying at Antelope Park which has often been described by a range of tour operators and tourists as one of the best places to visit in Zimbabwe and even Southern Africa. The package includes a dedicated vehicle and the services of an ACTS guide / driver. ACTS is our visitor care and logistics partner. The standard personal cost for typical 9 days program (as per example below) is $900. For more information please see Logistics and Personal Care document attached.
Sample Missions Team Program (9 Days)
Day 1 – Arrive in Harare and settle into Team House
Day 2 – Visit Eco Empowerment in Hatcliffe Lunch @Church
Day 2 pm – Rest Supper @Team House
Day 3 – Travel to Gweru
Day 4 am – Meet with the local team, plan for ministry activities and get to know each other
Day 5 and 6 – In one location hosting Holiday Club/ Afternoon Club
Day 6 and 7 – In other location hosting Holiday Club/ Afternoon Club
Day 8 – Recreation day at Antelope Park walk with lions, game drive, ride elephants or horses, etc
Day 9 – Travel back to Harare, go directly to airport, or settle into Team House and leave next day (depending on flights);
Day 9 – Travel to Victoria Falls (one of the wonders of the world)
Day 10 – Travel back
If you wish to grab this wonderful opportunity to serve in ministry, experience Zimbabwe’s friendly people and see beautiful Africa email us today at email@example.com
Look forward to hearing from you and hosting you and seeing what God will do!
 According to a report by the Oxford Poverty