Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Giving Thanks

On Sunday the 8th of February, I was privileged to preach the Word of God from 1Chronicles 16: 4-36; the thanks giving psalm of King David. David and the Israelites had reason to thank God for all that he had done. Only this time their thanks giving felt more real because the Ark of the covenant, representing the very presence of God, was now in the city of Jerusalem. God was dwelling among his people. There was a sense of security in the Israelite community. As a church, we often reflect on/and thank God for all that he allowed us to achieve and experience in the past year. Sometimes it is humanly difficult to thank God for the deaths of church members we loved. But Paul encourages us to give “...thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5: 20).

Today I want us to thank God for Zimbabwe. The rainbow over the Victoria Falls was very clear on Wednesday and it brought hope in the nation that has seen misery for a long time. The 11th of February 2009, will forever be remembered by millions of Zimbabweans who on this day breathed a sigh of relief. It has been a long, tedious and protracted political impasse that has caused a lot of deaths and misery for the majority. However, everyone's question is; how can this 'marriage of convenience' work? I would not hold my breath for long if the 'HOW' is not well outlined from the very beginning! The two parties seem to have divergent ideals, but there is need to have peace in the country. I urge all Christians around the world to pray for this step of reconciliation. It is only God who works in the hearts of men; to transform them and give them a heart of love. There is reason to thank him even for this act of 'power sharing' or 'unity government' whatever nice name we give it.

With Zimbabwe in mind, I keep thanking God for the travels I had with Ryan and Fibion this January. We first visited church run projects in Zambia and later traveled to Zimbabwe. It was my second trip to Bulawayo, but by far the most enriching. I learnt a lot about the country's dire situation and the compassionate ministry of the church. I truly thank God for what the church is doing under these difficulty conditions. It was humbling to experience the ministry of the churches in these two countries even when in some instances you could literally smell the overwhelming poverty around. For Zimbabwe, the talk of blocked sewer pipes, worthless zim currency and empty shelves in stores I had heard of, now I saw for myself.

It is for this reason I thank God for the ministry of Forgotten Voices in this part of Africa. The ministry is touching many lives, and is a blessing to every orphan, widow and pastor that daily live with hunger and death staring in their faces. Hope has been rekindled not only by their financial help, but also by their unique way of relating to the needy. Forgotten Voices, as it demonstrates the love of Jesus Christ in meeting the vulnerable children's needs through churches in Africa, is one among the few organizations that uniquely make real friendships with those people they partner with. Visiting each and every partner right to their door step; eating and playing with the people that receive their help is indeed unique. This makes the beneficiaries appreciate the reality of true friendship and love. It is just as Jesus would do. He did his ministry by going out and experiencing what those he ministered to experienced. He empathized with those who were suffering.

Finally, Let the rainbow remind us of how great God's grace toward man is; let us thank him for the salvation we have received through his son Jesus Christ; let us thank him for having been justified and made right even when we did not deserve it; let us thank him for the gift of faith that makes us worship him; let us thank him for loving us as his children even with our weaknesses; and let us thank him for giving us life and strength to do what we are able to do..

Your fellow servant in Christ,

Remmy Hamapande.

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