In our worship at Bellshill Salvation Army this morning we had guests from Zimbabwe with us, who are studying at university. I was very challenging and inspiring by the meeting and therefore felt I should share will you just a little bit about their homeland, Zimbabwe…
The population of Zimbabwe in 2008 was reckoned to be 12,382,920. Almost half of that number are facing starvation. It has been reported that in some areas, the people have been killing wild animals in a desperate bid to survive. Thousands are facing death following an outbreak of cholera in August last year. The number of cholera cases is said to be in the region of 96,000, with the death toll reaching around 4,166. The international responsive is being complicated by the authorities repeated attempts to politicise humanitarian relief work.
A number of the major hospitals have been closed, while those that are still open are desperately short of medical supplies and in many instances doctors and nurses are not being paid or are being paid only a minimum wage. Church run hospitals which had provided relief for many rural communities are also reported to be on the verge of collapse.
There is a continued imprisonment of political prisoners, enforced disappearances of people and tight restrictions on the media. There are bodies lying in prisons uncollected. The prison situation is also desperate because of the shortage of food, water and medicine.
Hyper inflation has rocketed to over 230,000,000%, making its dollar worthless and not likely to be used for at least a year.
Since independence from the UK in 1980, one of Africa’s most promising economies has been systematically destroyed. President Mugabes controversial policy of seizing well cultivated and viable commercial farmland and handling them to inexperienced people has in many ways been a total disaster. He states that the country and its economy has been sabotaged by enemies opposed to hos nationalist policies. Whatever his reasons, the tragedy remains that it is the ordinary man, woman and child that bear the suffering.
I take so much of what I have for granted, but this morning I was reminded just how fortunate I am, both in the material possessions I have and my health – I have had some major health issues in the last few years, but the medical help I need is freely available to me in this country.
Our lives may not be perfect, we may not possess the material things we which we had, our health service may not be as good/effective as it could be, we may not have the job we real want, but compared to many in this world we have everything!
There is however one thing which we all have in common, regardless of where we live, we all have Jesus.
I have found the song Footprints In The Sand by Leona Lewis particularly helpful to me and hope you find blessing from it too…