The Brethren in Christ World Missions Global Prayer Day is Sunday, March 13.
The country with the largest number of Brethren in Christ believers in the world is Zimbabwe, Africa. Started by missionaries from North America more than a hundred years ago, the church has grown to approximately 38,000 members with another 20,000 attending services in 316 congregations. In spite of political and economic crisis in the country, church planting continues with six new churches started last year. The outreach is especially focused on the Mashonaland and Plumtree areas where there are only a few congregations. A long period of one- party rule, along with years of drought, destroyed the economy of Zimbabwe. Since the establishment of U. S. dollars as the currency, the situation has improved, yet wages remain too low to sustain a family and there is widespread poverty. About one quarter of the population has left the country to look for employment elsewhere. Many of these were professionals in the higher income brackets and this has deprived the church of their offerings. The Brethren in Christ Family to Family program has enabled the distribution of food packets to more than 200 of the most destitute homes, with maize meal, beans, cooking oil, sugar, tea leaves and bars of soap meeting felt needs and sustaining life. Politically there is still a great deal of instability. The government of national unity struggles, as one of the main parties does not want to honor the signed agreement. There is some political violence with members of the opposition party being beaten and imprisoned for political reasons. In spite of this, the church is striving to follow the Lord carefully in difficult circumstances.
Our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe continue to declare their trust in God. Thousands attend the General Conference each year, some traveling by foot for several days to reach the chosen location. Praises rise from the wonderfully harmonious voices and loyal hearts of these worshippers. God hears their cries. Let us join them in asking for fortitude, mercy, deliverance, and glory to his name.
1. Pray that God will work mightily in the hearts of the political leaders of Zimbabwe so that they will be less concerned about remaining in power and more concerned about governing with justice and wisdom.
2. Pray that pressure will continue to grow for the formation of a new constitution and for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in 2011. Pray that the various political parties will be willing to conduct these exercises in a peaceful and effective manner.
3. Pray for our church leaders that they will take a firm stand for righteousness and justice and continue to lead the church with renewed vision. Pray especially for Bishop Danisa Ndlovu and for new district overseers Ndabaningi Sibanda and Norman Dladla chosen at the last conference.
4. Pray that church members will have vision and ability to give in spite of their personal needs so that the church will be able to carry out its many forms of ministry effectively.
5. Pray for Ekuphileni Bible Institute as it experiences staff changes. One faculty member is becoming an overseer and the principal is retiring from this assignment. Pray that this institution will continue to be an effective tool for training leaders for the church and community.