by Charl van Wyk
This article was originally published in Charl van Wyk's newsletter, then later in the February 2022 edition of ITMI Monthly.
“Pastor Ali died in the pulpit, while preaching on a Sunday.”
When Alick’s dad walked out on the family, it pretty much meant no future for Alick, his young sister or mother.
Thankfully, God had other plans …
Alick may not remember the precise date of his father abandoning his family, but the moment of anguish, uncertainty and anger is forever seared into the memory of those left behind.
Alick came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Pastor Ali. Alick loved his pastor dearly and cherished his spiritual guidance right up to the day the pastor was called Home—smack in the middle of doing what the Lord called him to do.
“Pastor Ali died in the pulpit, while preaching on a Sunday,” Alick shares of the amazing moment. “That morning, I went to church. I sat in my usual front row seat—eager to hear from God’s Word.”
Alick was devastated. “I couldn’t believe it! Pastor Ali was like a father to me. I watched as his body was removed from the pulpit and church,” he recalls. “It was after this that I began to struggle in my faith.”
The Lord led Cozmore into Alick’s life.
Alick and Cozmore, Zimbabwe
Cozmore first provided Alick an opportunity to make a living, contracting him to photograph ministry projects. The young man had saved up to buy a camera and learned how to use it quite capably. He never finished his final year of school.
Nevertheless, this craft proved his only means available to support his sister and mother.
I’ve had the privilege of enjoying fellowship with Alick. He now follows Cozmore, who’s currently discipling him, only putting his camera aside to help with the hard labor of building chicken coops at our ministry base. He also doesn’t leave when finished with his photography; he sleeps in an old run-down house and arrives on site, to help even more, the following morning.
Communist interference in the Zimbabwean economy has left many destitute, and countless widows and their children in deep economic struggle. Widows and single mothers are exploited by their in-laws, left to fend for themselves with hardly enough to keep their children under a roof, fed and in school.
Cozmore, alongside our ministry, supports those suffering. And without any request from us, the widows are cleaning our ministry land and maintaining the flower beds.
But, right now, Cozmore has more to contend with—namely the aftermath of heavy summer rains!
“Our home was flooded; our furniture is wet and is stinking; we can’t dry anything!” Cozmore explains in his expressive manner.
The flood waters destroyed 325kgs (716 lbs) of soya mince and 100kgs (220 lbs) of flour, in our ministry storeroom. Female hygiene products were also lost. Cozmore and neighbors did recover some sugar, cooking oil and soap bars. Please pray for Cozmore and his family!
It is easy [in Africa] to imagine Alick as another boy without his dad, growing up desperately poor and completely alone. But God never left Alick’s family and Satan’s plan failed. “I decided to hold onto Jesus Christ,” Alick says.
If you’d like to help Christians—like Cozmore, Alick and our community widows—in Zimbabwe, gifts of all amounts are impactful and appreciated.
About the Author
Charl van Wyk is a Christian missionary, author and activist in Africa. His belief in his Christian duty to protect the innocent, vulnerable and oppressed led him to single-handedly return fire in the midst of a terrorist attack, saving many lives! The story of how God led Charl to forgive and pursue reconciliation with his attackers is captured in his best-selling book, Shooting Back – The Right and Duty of Self-defense. Now he is engaged in a new war - a battle to establish kingdom-focused covenant communities in Southern Africa. His proactive stance on educating the Church and renewing minds with a Biblical worldview drives him to see communities changed through the Gospel, discipleship and community development.
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