Garai (name changed) felt his stomach rumble in anticipation of a taste of sadza ne nyama ye huku as he joined the line of children waiting for a meal. Eventually the boy stepped into the shade of the lone tree where the large pot - almost as tall as him - was situated.
A woman, probably in her early 30s, wearing a bright mint-turquoise colored hair net, poured the sadza ne nyama ye huku, a thick corn porridge, into the bowl he held. Beneath her black medical-shaped mask, the woman’s round face crinkled into a smile as she worked.
As the porridge tumbled into the dish, she instructed him to take the food home to eat it.
Zimbabwean children line up for a bowl of the sadza ne nyama ye huku made available through Cozmore's ministry.
Garai lives in a rural area of impoverished Zimbabwe, where roads are almost non-existent and the distance to purchase groceries is usually too great for families to traverse.
These areas are marginalized and overlooked by local politics, but not forgotten by the Lord and His servants. One of those servants is Cozmore, who has worked tirelessly to help every impoverished and hungry Zimbabwean he possibly can.
Thenjiwe Tshabalala, a believing widow in Zimbabwe with her three children is one of many for whom the lockdown and lack of support has brought about a survival situation that looks impossible.
Zimbabwean widows provided with food through the Project Joseph efforts of ITMI's Charl van Wyk and his co-worker, Cozmore.
Charl and Cozmore are intentional about bringing the Gospel to those in need through the gift of food.
That’s a big number considering that in 2012 73% of the population lived below the poverty line according to the CIA World Factbook, and there have been no drastic changes in the country’s economic status.
The United Nations World Food Program observed, “Years of drought have slashed food production in Zimbabwe, once an African breadbasket. This year’s maize harvest was down 50 percent, with overall cereal output less than half the national requirement.”
The country staggered under a dramatic increase in the cost of bread and maize at the end of 2019. “Bread now costs 20 times what it cost just six months ago, while the price of maize has nearly tripled over the same period,” the United Nations World Food Program observed.
That was before the world pandemic rocketed the cost of commodities in many third-world countries. For all but the most affluent, basic survival needs are hopelessly out of reach at these prices.
Since the advent of Coronavirus concerns, Cozmore and his helpers have worked tirelessly to provide food for the many in need, with the help of ITMI’s Charl van Wyk. But with the crisis conditions unlikely to pass soon, Charl and his team are working on sustainable, long-term solutions.
Part of the solution was provided in the form of some local Christian farmers who have worked their land according to Biblical guidance.
The Christian farmer who equipped Charl and his team for this project has upped his production by a remarkable 400% since implementing the Farming God’s Way principles four years ago.
Cozmore’s team has already purchased seeds, enlisted volunteer labor and planted them. To overcome the drought conditions in Zimbabwe, the team is hauling water to keep the plants thriving.
Cozmore and a team of volunteers after laboring over the almost 1700 square foot garden in Zimbabwe.
But a more effective solution would be to bore a water well. A borehole would save time, cost and labor. This is ultimately what will be needed to sustain this project.
When the project is up and running, locals will be taught the principles of their farming model. The project will eventually provide crucial jobs for villagers.
Teaching farming skills and how to live a sustainable lifestyle is an important step in the discipleship process Charl’s ministry uses.
Charl says, “We believe God can use this program to help reverse the “victim mentality” that has been taught and instilled for generations now.”
Understanding personal responsibility, as opposed to a victim mentality, is a key element in understanding the guilt that must be confessed and turned from to be saved.
Charl cites John 4:14, which says,
But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life,
he adds, “Our vegetable farming will build a bridge that allows us to share the Gospel side by side, as we seek to bless even more people.”
His team is praying for the provision to drill two boreholes, one for the ministry in Zimbabwe and one for a second large garden in South Africa, that will help feed impoverished families in informal settlements like Stone Hill.
The garden in South Africa will also help impoverished Christians who have been denied government aid they urgently need because they aren't in the right graces politically.
The total amount needed to install the two boreholes and see this project launched is $13,500.
If you haven't had a chance to get involved with spreading the Gospel in places that are deeply and desperately hurting, now is the time!
If you believe in "teaching a man to fish," financially supporting this project is a great opportunity to make a lasting difference at a time when it couldn't be more crucial.
Central Intelligence Agency. "Zimbabwe" CIA World Factbook. 4 August 2020. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/zi.html
Chifamba,Tichaona. “Black market rates run amok in Zimbabwe as price of basic commodities surges.” Xinhuanet. 19 August 2020. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-06/07/c_139121539.htm
United Nations World Food Program. 30 December 2019. “International community must step up support to millions of desperately hungry Zimbabweans.” https://www.wfp.org/news/international-community-must-step-support-millions-desperately-hungry-zimbabweans
VOA Zimbabwe. “United States Avails Over $60 Million for Zimbabwe's Lean Food Season.” 9 July 2020. https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/zimbabwe-food-crisis-world-food-program/5496418.html
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