Zimbabwean family shares bounty with church
Community members tour the grounds of a new rectory that was part of a gift from a local family to Bwanya United Methodist Church in Mutoko, Zimbabwe. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.
- The Mukandi family donated money to build a borehole, parsonage and sanctuary at Bwanya United Methodist Church.
- Mutoko Mudzi District will use the shrine for daily activities, as well as for district and annual conferences.
- The electric borehole allows the community and the church to have access to clean and portable running water.
Amid severe economic adversity in Zimbabwe, a local family inspired overwhelming joy as they shared their blessings.
The Mukandi family donated money to build a borehole, parsonage and sanctuary at Bwanya United Methodist Church. Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa dedicated the gifts – worth thousands of dollars – in August.
“What happened here, he said, is a great work in the name of God. It is a gift inspired by God, no doubt, a pure generosity of the heart.
Mutoko Mudzi District will use the shrine for daily activities, as well as for district and annual conferences.
“We now have an increase in modern facilities for the church,” Nhiwatiwa said. “It is a typical example of what the people of God can do, even at the family level. It is huge, indeed. Remember that the things that are given into the hands of God have an inheritance that lives forever.
“The Macedonian church (Acts 16:9) miraculously gave so much, far beyond their capacity to give, and enjoyed doing so,” he continued. “This church knew what would touch the heart of God. They were after God’s heart, just like the Mukandi family, and God is going to bless them abundantly.
Bishop Edmore Chiota of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe said it was a great honor to be invited to attend the event made possible by the grace of God.
“God works through his creation, but these created beings have to respond, and that’s what the Mukandi family did,” Chiota said.
Members of the Mukandi family celebrate during the dedication ceremony for the borehole, parsonage and shrine they donated to Bwanya United Methodist Church. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.
Charity Mukandi said she was proud to leave this legacy behind.
“The only legacy worthy of leaving to my community, my friends, my family and my children is to invest in the house of the Lord. I do not hesitate to invest in the house of God, because what I am is thanks to God,” she said.
“I come from a modest background and my parents were not Christians, but I thank God for locating me and giving me the desire to work for him. I am eternally grateful. Other people…are richer than me, but haven’t had the opportunity to build a shrine; therefore, I am grateful to the Lord for this opportunity.
She said her family’s charitable donations would not stop at Bwanya United Methodist Church, adding that they would reach out to other circuits and denominations. The family, which owns Bokwest Investments, seeks God’s guidance on future benevolent endeavors, she said.
Elison Mukandi, Charity’s husband, said, “Charity has a great passion for building houses of the Lord. … It’s rooted in his blood.
“We try to involve our children, from the inauguration of the works to the dedication of the projects. We know we don’t live forever, but there is a generation that will live after us. For this act of grace to continue, children need to understand what we are doing today so they can do the same tomorrow,” he said.
Christwish Mukandi, 19, is grateful for the example set by her parents.
“I am happy to see my family accomplish such a great thing and leave a legacy for me and my siblings,” said Christwish Mukandi. “I know I have big shoes to fill and do bigger things than them. They laid the foundation on which we must build.
Rev. Agasha Siyakurima, pastor in charge of Mutoko East 2 Circuit which includes Bwanya United Methodist Church, said the Mukandi family had preached throughout the circuit.
“They showed humility, service and concern for others,” Siyakurima said. “In addition, they pay school fees for orphans and other vulnerable children, have supported widows with poultry projects and the elderly with food baskets.”
The family also distributed church badges to everyone at Bwanya United Methodist Church and provided members of the women’s organization with Christmas lunch, clothing and food baskets.
Siyakurima said Bwanya has no shrine and members worship in a rented classroom.
“The Mukandi family has transformed everything. Many church activities now take place in Bwanya due to the size of the shrine and the good facilities.
“The drilled borehole is supplied with electricity and benefits both the community and the church to access clean and portable running water,” Siyakurima added. “The water challenge is now a thing of the past. Each building has running water.
Describing the new parsonage as a blessing, he recalls staying in a dilapidated old building. He looks forward to living in a modern four-bedroom parsonage.
“Because of their generosity,” said Siyakurima, “we won many souls to Christ. Church attendance has increased numerically, while others are spiritually uplifted.
Mavis Marere, who lives near the church, said she and her family travel long distances to fetch water, but drilling has changed that.
“We are very happy. With the water available, we can do our gardening and feed our families,” she said.
Mavis Marere washes her hands at the new drill. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.
Reverend Vienna Mutezo, assistant administrative assistant to the bishop and director of connectional ministries for the Zimbabwe Western Conference, said God had given the church the additional gift of three people receiving Christ at the consecration.
“The Bible says, ‘If a person comes to Christ, the heavens will celebrate. If you lose one, he will leave the whole herd and look for the lost sheep,” Mutezo said. “I thank God for those who surrender their lives to Christ today.”
Forward Mujakachi, chairman of the district board committee, said the Mukandi family’s donation is more than a lifetime gift to The United Methodist Church and the Bwanya community.
“It is a great act of kindness and fulfills the doctrine of giving upheld by the prophet Haggai (1:2-9) which emphasizes the importance of building and equipping the house of the Lord,” he said. . He promised that the committee would ensure that “the property is well maintained to extend its life”.
Chingwe is a broadcaster for the Zimbabwe Eastern Conference.
Media contact: Julie Dwyer at [email protected]. To read more news from The United Methodist Church, subscribe to free daily or weekly digests.