In 2016, you graciously stepped in to bless an impoverished, struggling subsistence-farming community in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with a maize mill.
So, two years later, how is their investment doing? Is it still operational? Is it accomplishing what we set out to accomplish?
How Charl was Blown Away
Not long after he presented the idea in 2016, Charl and his ministry co-worker, Cozmore, were blown away.
Almost immediately, the Lord led some supporters to generously cover the entire project: purchasing the mill, having it transported hundreds of miles across remote terrain, constructing a building around it, hiring an engineer to set it up and training staff to maintain it!
Charl worked with a Daniel and Amber, a missionary couple who minister in the area on the project.
Why a Mill is So Significant
For subsistence farmers, being able to pulverize the maize gives the commodity added value. The milled maize lasts longer, so they can sell it after everyone has depleted their crops.
Having a mill nearby encourages them to plant more, thus raising the overall supply to address hunger in the impoverished area.
The operation creates jobs and generates income for the local church’s benevolent fund that has changed the lives of many widows and orphans.
Caring for the area orphans and widows helps underscore Daniel and Amber’s ministry, which teaches local believers Biblical values and encourages believers to come together in giving care to those in the village who cannot care for themselves.
The church’s care for those in need is a revolutionary concept in this society.
It has been a powerful testimony to those outside the church when they saw believers sharing their meager portions of food with pagan neighbors during a drought.
This was after some of these very neighbors were physically abusive to the Christians’ children who allowed cattle to trespass on their land.
Two Years Later, Is the Mill Accomplishing Its Mission?
The mill is still operational, and operates at half the cost of one located further afield to encourage locals to have their maize milled there. Payment for the service is made in cash or maize.
Charl writes, “The extra cash generated by this project is making a huge difference in sustaining the local church ministry.”
He also notes that in season, the machine averages milling the crops of 30 customers per day. They come from within a 12.5 mile radius.
The Victoria Falls maize mill helps local farmers and generates cash and maize for orphans and widows.
Charl and Cozmore know the mill is a blessing to the farmers struggling to subsist in the area, but they strive to meet a greater and deeper need as well.
“Maize milling is most welcome for these families struggling with extreme scarcity, but we know what they really hunger for is the nourishment of the Gospel,” Charl says.
What God Has Already Done in Gwayi River, Zimbabwe
Just over 90 miles away, in Gwayi River, Charl and Cozmore have been reaching, disicpling and raising up youth who understand God’s Word and what it says about them and the world they live in.
They began with Gospel camps for the young men of Gwayi River and Victoria Falls. Twenty-seven young men attended. Lives were changed as young men were given clear and Biblical teaching by Charl.
The boys’ parents wanted to know, “What have you done to make the young men so much more obedient and disciplined?”
Charl and two of his sons with Zimbabwe village youth at Gospel Camp.
Their parents noticed how different these youth were when they returned from the Gospel Camp.
One young man arrived at camp on crutches.
Three years prior, he had been mauled by a crocodile. His friends had rescued him, and doctors managed to save his foot and toes.
Years later, aroundt the time Charl and Cozmore executed the Gospel Camp for young men in Gwayi River, it was discovered Mpemelelo had an internal infection and needed an amputation.
The operation and the new leg would cost around $1100, an astronomical amount for his family, who had a life savings of $200.
Through additional generosity of Charl’s supporters, Mpumelelo was able to receive the needed operation.
Mpumelelo with his parents after the operation.
As Charl and Cozmore continued these relationships with the families of Gwayi River, they put on a Gospel camp for parents in the village that changed the way many understood family life and their divine calling as mothers and fathers.
Marriages were healed and strengthened as men and women understood Biblical teaching for their lives.
They also helped several of the young men start a small chicken-farming operation, with which they were able to earn income for their families and even allocate a portion of their earnings to support the ministry of the local church.
Several young men set up a small chicken farming operation.
Charl and Cozmore’s Plan to Build on the Mill’s Success
Now, Charl and Cozmore are seeking to bless these families further by duplicating the maize mill in Victoria Falls' success in Gwayi River.
These ministry co-workers have a track record of identifying needs that, when met, are truly impactful. They’ve proven their partnership has the ability to see them through.
Charl and Cozmore are hoping to raise $4000 for the Gwayi River maize mill to begin to change the lives of the families there.
To provide 60 Zimbabwean families with an average family’s income (around $253 per month according to The New Republic) for just one month it would cost $15,180! When that month was over, those families would be back to barely scraping by.
Building a mill offers permanent benefit to the entire community, and generates income for a benevolent fund!
Imagine the feeling of multiplying these farmers’ own efforts and enlarging the supply of food available in the area, helping feed these families for years to come for this relatively small investment.
Imagine the feeling of impacting an entire village!
A few families have already jumped on board to be a part of this high benefit, low cost project. They no longer need to imagine what it feels like to make a big difference.
Charl’s message? “The difference partners like you make is immeasurable because God is multiplying your support by pouring out blessings on our ministry, and those we minister to and with, that exceed any earthly value.”
We echo Charl's sentiment. Your impact really is immeasurable!