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Hope Fund Phase II

Baltimore Washington Conference’s Hope Fund which supports mission projects is a telling of the success of the Chabadza Partnerships between Zimbabwe Episcopal Area and sister conferences within the connection.
The word “Chabadza” has become part of the vocabulary of the partners of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area.

The Shona term roughly translates to, “people in relationship working alongside each other for mutual benefit…”
It is amazing how a concept that is unique to Africa and particularly to Zimbabwe has become so easily understood.
The Connectional Ministries Director and Deputy Administrative Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Alan Masimba Gurupira attributes the successes of Chabadza to Bishop Nhiwatiwa’s initiative and his undying spirit of seeing the Zimbabwe church “claim high ground”.
“…these are the fruits of the Bishop’s own initiative that has enabled partners to come on board, and particularly Baltimore Washington Conference has been motivated by this new way of doing things – the “Chabadza way” he asserted.
“Jesus commands us to Chabadza; to help our brothers and sisters as they call to us from dusty roadsides of Zimbabwe” read the Chabadza Healing Hands brochure. Baltimore Washington indeed responded to the clarion call. Kansas West also responded to the call on May 26, 2010, and Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference in June 2010.
Baltimore Washington Conference’s Hope Fund has now moved into second level gear in its Phase II program that is spanning the whole 13 Districts in the Episcopal Area.
The fund has its focus on construction of Parsonages and sanctuaries. The fund contributes towards roofing, glazing, plastering while the locals contribute towards building the superstructure.
The community or local churches have been totally engaged in the actual moulding of bricks, providing sand and ferrying of water to the construction sites, using ox-drawn carts in most cases. This has been the case in Mudzonga, Matendeudze, Shamva and Chemhondoro.
Those in urban circuits have been involved in fundraising activities and receiving donations from families of members or the members themselves.
“We contribute amounts ranging from $5 to $20 monthly towards the building fund and hold various fundraising activities. This has helped us get this far in completing the super structure. Now we await the next stage – which is roofing and plastering” said the Mkoba Circuit leadership in Gweru.
At the Gutu Mupandawana Sanctuary project, the local church through its relationship with the community got a donation of quarry stones from Bikita Minerals while the church provided transport from the mine to the site. In addition they have moulded around 3000 cement bricks so far.
Since the inception of the Chabadza concept, the church has jelled well with their surrounding communities and that has brought about multiple benefits to the church.
Communities now have ownership of church projects and as such contribute positively to the task of congregational development. These factors in turn undoubtedly produce vital congregations.
“Of the 13 projects running under Phase II of the Hope Fund, five projects are expected to be ready for dedication by the end of May 2013, two more by the end of June 2013, and the remainder expected by end of October 2013.” said Rev. Austern Chepiri, the Area Projects Coordinator.
To date $150 000 has been released for the projects and we are witnessing speedy progress in all the projects.
“We have met with the circuit leadership of all the beneficiaries and a high level of commitment is evident, and we are thus confident we will reach our targets” said Rev. Chepiri.
“We are overwhelmed by the external support and by the zeal of the local membership. It is my prayer that these funds will be put to good use and see us through Phase II of the Hope Fund projects” said Rev. Gurupira.
Hope Fund Phase I was a success and this second phase has cast the Chabadza concept in stone.

News desk: Taurai Emmanuel Maforo (ZWAC Communicator)

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