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2022 Zimbabwe Mission Trip

by Larry Miles

      In November of 2022, Bro. Dale Garrett and I went on a mission trip to Zimbabwe. We had planned to make this trip in 2020 but were hindered by Covid 19. The Lord really blessed in this mission endeavor.  Bro. Dale had been to Zimbabwe 3 times in the past to help in the work led by Bro. Robert Garrett. One year he was assisted by Bro. David McQueen.  Dale and I have known each other for 50 years. He and I, along with his cousin Brenda Garrett Heid, and her late brother, Bobby Garrett, were students at Southeastern Christian College in Winchester, KY. Dale, Bobby, and I, along with Dale’s late wife, Lucilla Chan Garrett, graduated in 1974; Brenda, the previous year.

         The Garrett family has been involved in missions in Zimbabwe (formally, Rhodesia) since 1930. Dale’s grandparents, S. D. & Dollie Garrett went there in 1930. Robert Garrett was born there in 1931. Dale’s father, Cecil, was just an infant when they arrived there.  In 1960, Robert, along with his wife, Joy and their 3 children returned to Southern Rhodesia to assist his parents in the work there. While there, they had 3 more children (triplets).

         I want to thank all the congregations and individuals who, first, prayed for this trip and for those who personally contributed for my trip. We serve an Awesome God.

         I left Louisville, KY on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, to fly to Baltimore to meet Dale and stay overnight with him at his home in Adelphi, MD.  The next morning (November 2, 2022), we departed from Dulles International Airport in Virginia to fly to Zimbabwe.  We flew on Ethiopian Airlines to Harare, Zimbabwe, with a change of planes in Addis Abada, Ethiopia.  After a 2-hour layover, we changed planes for the 5 ½ hour flight to Harare, with a stop in Lusaka, Zambia.

         We arrived in Harare on Wednesday afternoon, November 3, 2022.  We were met at the airport by Bro’s. Daniel Kubvaruno and David Mazambani.  They took us to the campus of Central Africa Christian College, where we would be staying.  This is a college affiliated with the conservative Christian Churches. We stayed in a guesthouse the school has for visitors.

         I spoke on Friday morning at the daily chapel service, and Dale and I both attended some of the Bible classes.  There are. About 100 students there, training to take the Good News of Jesus to Zimbabwe and neighboring countries. In 2023 they are expecting students from 4 other counties, besides Zimbabwe. The countries are, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Please keep this work in your prayers.

         The first Saturday we were in Harare, we attended the monthly Men’s Meeting of area congregations, held at the Mbare Church of Christ. There were about 30 brothers in attendance.  While there, we received invitations to speak at a different congregation the 4 Sunday’s we were in Zimbabwe. We also visited other church buildings during the time we were in Zimbabwe.

         There is only 1 congregation where everything is in English, this being Arcadia Church of Christ.  This is considered a Colored Congregation (Mixed). Bro. James Abrams is one of the leaders. This congregation as established in the 1930’s. They even use Great Songs of the Church as their hymnal. Dale brought about 25 copies of the hymnal to distribute.  We also brought some New Testaments and Bible helps from Robert Garrett to distribute. We were at Arcadia on Sunday, November 6, 2022. I gave the sermon that morning. My sermon was titled, “Christian Living in Expectation of the Return of the Blessed Hop,” from Titus 2:11-14).

         On Monday morning (November 7th), Bro. Mazambani picked us up at the college and drove us to Ruwangwe in Nyanga North. This was about 375 km from Harare.  We stayed there for 3 nights.  The reason for our trip was to see the work at the Secondary School that the Belmont Church of Christ Fund is helping with in scholarships and providing funds for the students to have 2 hot meals a week. This school is a government school, but the chaplain and some teachers, as well as many students are from the Churches of Christ. While we were in the area, we visited a school in Kuta (an Anglican Mission), where Bro. David’s niece, Alice, taught.  We picked up 6 bags of beans to take to the. School in Ruwangwe.  Bro. David told me that at one point we were only 7km from the Mozambique border.

         On Wednesday, November 6th we departed for Harare and spent that night in a lodge at Nyanga National Park. We arrived back in Harare on Thursday.   Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with great scenery.  We were in the mountains when in Ruwangwe area.  The people are very friendly and polite.

         The economy is in shambles in Zimbabwe. For example, if you give them $100 USD, you get back 60,000 Zimbabwe dollars.  We used USD the whole time while there. On Sunday, November 13th, we attended at Glen Norah Church of Christ. Dale gave the main message there and I gave a Bible lesson.  We had to have an interpreter there at the last 2 congregations.  The people love to sing and were very attentive to the Bible teaching and preaching.

         One of the African brothers, Isaiah Mawubire, let us use one of his vehicles for the remainder of our visit.  In Zimbabwe, they drive on the left side of the road, and the driver is on the right side of the vehicle.  I did not drive but assisted Dale’s driving with navigation.

         During the middle of that week, Dale and I went to the Balancing Rock Park near the Epworth Church of Christ building.  It’s one of many examples in Zimbabwe of the handiwork of God. On Thursday, we stayed with Daniel and Rose Winter Kubvaruno at Rockwood Bible Camp for the night.  This is the Bible camp that Bro. Robert built in Ruwa.  The next 2 Saturdays, Dale took some of the students at Central Africa Christian College out to visit the Balancing Rocks Park to pray and study God’s Word.

         On Sunday, November 20, 2020, we attended the opening and dedication of the new building at Budiriro Church of Christ.  There were about 300 in attendance from visiting congregations.  Dale gave a greeting from Bro. Robert, and I gave the main sermon that morning. The previous week, some of the men at Budiriro conducted a door-to-door campaign in the neighborhood.  As a result, 6 people were baptized into Christ. Four of the baptisms were conducted by Bro. Justice after the morning service.

         On Wednesday of that week, we visited the home of Bro. Godfrey Justice about 25km west of Harare. The congregation meets in his garage. They are constructing a building nearby.  After this, we drove about 140km west to the city of Kadoma to visit with Bro. Ruchiva Kamusengezi and the Rimuka congregation. We them returned to Harare, arriving about 9pm.

In the same week, Bro. Kubvaruno took us by several other church buildings in the Harare area. We went to Waterfalls, Hatfield, Mufosoke, and Kuwadzana. We met folks at each place except for Hatfield. I learned much of the history of the congregations and their long ministries in Zimbabwe

         On Thursday of that week, the President of Central Africa Christian college (Sydney Mavodza) took me to visit the Lion Park about 30km west of Harare. On the way back, we ate at a KFC in the Belvedere section of Zimbabwe.  The next day, we met Bro. Denford Chizanga.  He was the one who arranged for us to stay at the college.  We have a common friend here in the states, Bro. Dave Thurman of Hippo Valley Missions. Dave’s late father, Tom Thurman, was a missionary in Southern Rhodesia in the late 60’s- mid 70’s.  An interesting tidbit: Tom told me back in 1976 that the first night that he and his family were in Southern Rhodesia, they stayed with Vernon Lawyer and his family.  He taught me at Cincinnati Bible College in the late 1970’s.

         The last Sunday we were in Zimbabwe we attended services at Highfield Church of Christ.  Dale gave the message, and I gave a short Bible class.  After services, we returned the vehicle to Bro. Isaiah’s home.  Then we went back to Rockwood Bible Camp for the last 2 night in Zimbabwe.  There we met some of the folks left from the Couples Camp that was conducted on Friday-Sunday morning.

         On Monday morning, Bro. Daniel took us by the Tafara Church of Christ budding.  This congregation was started in the ministry of W. L. Brown. The current building was built by Bro. Robert Garrett.

         On Tuesday, November 29th, we departed Harare for the United States.  The flight to Addis Abada was non-stop.  Then after about 1 ½ layover we boarded for Dulles International Airport.  The flight was about 2 hours longer than our eastbound flight. (14 1/2 hrs) The reason was that we were flying against the jetstream and the plane refueled in Dublin, Ireland.  We arrived at Dulles Airport the following morning.  We took a cab back to Dale’s home in Adelphi, MD. On Thursday December 1, 2022, I departed Baltimore for Louisville, KY. It was a 1 ½ hour flight n Southwest.  Bro. Nick Marsh picked me up at the airport in Louisville.

      I have about 8 congregations scheduled where I am going to present a PowerPoint Presentation of our trip in the next couple of months.  (I gave it  on December 18, 2022 at the Cramer & Hanover Church of Christ in Lexington, KY) Please see the January 2023 News and Notes for locations. 


One Response to “2022 Zimbabwe Mission Trip”

  1. Georgia Estes says:

    It was good to read the summary of your trip!

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