As much as I have tried to explain in text what the trip to Zimbabwe was like, there is nothing like photos and locations to see what it was like. I created a log of our trip on Google Earth (http://earth.google.com/) which you can download below. You can “fly” to each of the locations that we visited day by day. In addition, I have uploaded all of the photos which I took to Flickr. You can browse them day by day with the link below. Please feel free to share and enjoy.
Google Earth File – http://j.mp/aJPpqH
Photos on Flickr – http://j.mp/a7v11l
Finally, here is a video from one of the sites which we visited. It was a great blessing.
I was deeply encouraged by learning about the concept of chabadza. This is a custom of the Shona people of Zimbabwe in which a traveler stops to help anyone whom they pass as they are going on their way. If I am traveling from village to village and see someone working in their field, I will stop to help, even just for a few strokes of a hoe. Then a conversation may start in which I may find directions from the worker and the worker may pass along a message for someone in the next village. It is a mutually beneficial partnership.
Chabadza means that someone is working in the field and a passer by works alongside in the same field with the same goal.
I believe that this is a healthy understanding of partnership and is an excellent model for partnerships between annual conferences.
One of the first sites that we visited in Zimbabwe was a revival at Prospect United Methodist Church. We walked into some of the most passionate worship that I have experienced. In the singing, preaching, dancing and response it was clear that the Holy Spirit was active. While I did not understand the language of some of the songs, I was clearly able to worship God.
It was refreshing.
I was also struck by the commitment to discipleship. 80% to 90% of the people who attended worship on the weekend were also active in a small group, which was called a section. When I commented that it would be fantastic if there there were 50% of a worshipping congregation also in a small group in the United States, my comment did not seem to make sense. The response was, wasn’t that how Wesley designed the class meeting? so that people could grow in their faith? This is the way to do that.