By Kudzai Katambo, Murombedzi, Zvimba
The Murombedzi circuit of the United Methodist Church celebrated Ebenezer Sunday on 30 March by marching and preaching in the market places. The march was livened up with the powerful singing of the men’s Harare West MUMC choir.
The celebrations held throughout the entire Zimbabwe Episcopal Area were earmarked to set the tone for the Ebenezer Convention slated for 15 to 17 August 2014 at the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare. A communiqué from the Episcopal leader, Bishop Eben Kanukayi Nhiwatiwa was read in all congregations.
Clad in an assortment of Ebenezer regalia, the members braved the heat of the day singing and dancing as they marched toward Murombedzi growth point, the culmination of the Ebenezer Sunday celebrations. The market vendors joined in the celebration, waving their wares in the sky, some watched from a distance.
They could not hold their peace when Pastor Taurai Emmanuel Maforo began preaching to them. “A touch is a move!” the pastor proclaimed, using the metaphor of the draft game which has a rule that once you touch you then move. Referring to Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”(KJV), the pastor encouraged the avid listeners, that if God started doing a great work in people, He will continue doing greater things, hence “A touch is a move”. The pastor said it is only human beings that take us back but when God touches people’s lives He moves them forward – Ebenezer.
The celebration moved from the vegetable market to the flea market. The entourage jostled for space within the market stalls, as they continued to sing and dance. One stall owner imitated the beating of the drum by Mr. Rerutsai Mujeka of Harare West MUMC choir, by beating his market stall.
The march followed a service that was held at Murombedzi Primary School which was characterised by poems, speech making, testimonies, praise and preaching. John Rugora gave a moving poem on Ebenezer tracing back the history from Bishop Joseph Crane Hartzel in 1897, to the 1918 challenge of pastor-teachers which became an opportunity for revival. He went on to the 1997 Centenary Celebrations at Old Mutare, and then in 2014 the church will see the “mother of all conventions”.
During the service, Mrs. Janet Katambo the Circuit Associate Layleader gave the background of the circuit to the present day. She gave the list of pastors that have ministered in the circuit; Rev. Simbarashe Mazhara, Rev. Fungai Bisenti, Pastor Munyaradzi Rutsate(now Ndaradzi), Pastor Fireyi Mupara, Pastor Nyaungwa, Pastor Samuel Karimunhenga(who was present at the celebration), Mandebvu to the present Pastor Taurai Emmanuel Maforo.
Pastor Maforo preached the message of the day from Psalm 12:1-8 entitled, “Tinochengetwa Neasingakotsiri – Ebenezer” translated to mean “He who keeps us will not slumber – Ebenezer”.
The Ebenezer Sunday celebrations will go down in the history of Murombedzi circuit as a memorable occasion that saw the church stepping out of its comfort zone into the market place proclaiming Ebenezer! – this far the Lord has taken us.