Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries on earth, boasting magnificent natural beauty, a profusion of wildlife and spectacular scenery including one of the world’s greatest natural wonders - the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.
The tourist brochure description is now far from reality. Recent years of political unrest, social destruction and economic decline have brought this country to its knees. Inflation is still a problem despite the introduction of the US dollar and prices are very high - beyond the reach of most of the poor people. Life for many Zimbabweans is a desperate struggle for survival. The undoubted scenic beauty stands in stark contrast to the vast array of human need: poverty, malnutrition, widespread HIV/Aids, unemployment, political repression and more. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is around 59 years.
The church clearly has a role to play both in serving the needs of the people now and in preparing for rebuilding and reconstruction in the future. Currently, the churches are full as people seek God to meet their needs. There is great response to evangelistic ministry. But there is a great need for clear and effective Bible teaching and the training of current and potential lay leaders for the future at all levels.
Operation Zimbabwe commenced in Summer 1996 when a vision was established for a Christian Training Centre in Kuwadzana, a high density urban suburb of Harare. In the next 2 years training began, a reading room was housed in a local Church and plans were drawn up for a school building. Land was then purchased, the site prepared, funds raised and a building was erected, much of this done by local people. The site was officially opened in September 2001. Since then there have been other developments on site including the construction of a community hall, a pre-school, a dormitory to house people coming in for training from the rural areas and a water facility provided through our own bore hole and water storage tank to service the needs of the centre.
We have also sponsored a small garden known affectionately as Gerald's garden; we have added a small computer room and classrooms to house Paraclete Presbyterian College (a secondary school for children in Kuwadzana) and Kuwadzana Paraclete Bible School.
Currently, the daily activities of the centre include:
This site is now a wonderful asset in a very poor, rundown urban community and is well managed, maintaining high standards in all respects. However due to the situation in the country PCNI is facing increasing financial pressures to maintain the centre and continue with its vision for on-going development and expansion.
Beyond the Training Centre, PCNI offers some support to families in material need by the provision of food parcels and money for medical assistance. It also supports the work of Batsirai Special Needs School nearby via fund raising projects.
In the current economic climate in Zimbabwe, there are increasing challenges in maintaining and developing the training school. Our level of support is affected by ever increasing prices and fluctuating exchange rates. Places at the school are in high demand as teachers in state-run schools go on strike but not all students can afford to pay fees. If you are moved to help us continue and increase our support for the work in Zimbabwe, please use the Donate button at the top of the page or get in touch.
Rev Jonah Masaka - Director of the Training Centre and Retired Minister of Kuwadzana Presbyterian Church
Mr James Ndhlovu - Co-ordinator and Lecturer
Reverend Lynda Hulcoop - Director of Studies, Executive Director PCNI, Minister SCCC