ccm Cross 0096
February 3, 2017

Brethren in Christ Church
Gawanda, Zimbabwe
ccm Cross #0096

GPS/DMS 20° 56′ 23.54” S 29° 0′ 56.1” E

Additional photos after Testimony

4310 cdd No Shoes
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 080

Today’s Author: Pastor Bill

Scripture: Ephesians 6:15
“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared” NLT Bible Paraphrase

Hello, my name is Pastor Sipho Mhizha. I grew up in the rural area of Zimbabwe. My dad was a truck driver and mom stayed home taking care of all 9 children. I was born a twin — number 6.

Our family was not interested in church or God. When I was six years old I was picked by my father to assist my grandmother with whatever she needed. Out of nine children I was chosen.

My grandmother was a believer in Jesus Christ and went to church every Sunday. Even at a young age it my responsibility to insure she was in church. I attended with her. I knew she was praying for our family and especially me but I never connected with the church.

I completed primary school and moved up to secondary school. Here it was different. Everyone wore a uniform and I walked 4 miles to school one way. My biggest problems were that I had no uniform, no pack for books and I had no shoes. When I arrived, everyone was dressed properly but me. I was ridiculed and harassed for being poor.

The teachers did their best to help me fit in but the kids were tough and unrelenting. Then a traveling evangelist came to our village and he spoke about Jesus in a way I had not heard before. He spoke of how our image was in HIM. When we receive Jesus Christ it’s not about what we do or who we think we are — it is about HIM.

My life changed. No longer was I a poor boy with no uniform. I became a representative of Jesus Christ. And HE would be my strength. I wanted to impress my grandmother with what I had learned and I ran to tell her. She was so happy her prayers were being answered.

My teachers saw the difference asking me to share with all the students what had happened. That is when I received my passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Academically I didn’t do well in school. So, my desire to share Christ consumed my time. I completed high school and immediately entered Bible school. My father was angry that I had chosen such a path. My mother couldn’t understand. My siblings were shocked. But my grandmother was all smiles.

My dad lectured me about responsibility and said he would not help me with my school and he didn’t approve. He said I proceeded at my own risk. So, I prayed and asked Jesus for help and went to Bible school. Without money, without shelter, without food I proceeded relying on Jesus to provide. And he did. With odd jobs — I got paid. With a place to live and during my whole time there I was never hungry. I graduated ready to serve the Lord.

I was an assistant pastor for 18 months and then for another 18 months I worked with a National Church Planting Team. Then I entered the Theological College to extend my knowledge for Christ. It was there I met my wife Siphilisiwe.

A few weeks after graduation we were married. Siphilisiwe was working in a hospital as an x-ray technician and I looked for a church where we could minister. I would apply at churches going to interviews and on occasion preach. I received a call from a church that had a bad reputation as they could not keep their Pastor. They asked me to interview — I said no. Several more times they made contact and finally I said yes. Their previous Pastor left and took most of the people. I took the job. As soon as I started as the new Pastor, with no experience, the complainers left.

We were small in 2008 but by the grace of God we survived. Not only did we survive we grew. Soon we were more than the church could hold. Then I had a vision from the Lord. It was a new church next to our current building in the form of a tree. We called it the Miracle church building. We had no money, our church was growing, we drew up the plans and prayed the Lord would provide. The more we prayed the more people came, the more we prayed miracles started to happen for our Miracle church. Cement blocks were donated, roofing was donated. People donated their time to put it together. Then painters showed up with paint. One after another, when we needed our next step, the Lord provided.

Pastor Bill, we met you and Pastor Carol in an airport and you said, “Let us know when your church is complete and we’ll come and plant a Cross for you.”

We completed the building and I sent you an email. And here you are. Thank you Pastors Bill and Carol for keeping your promise. There are so many in the Kingdom of God who speak a promise but never follow through. We so appreciate what you have done here.

My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” NKJV

As I look back on my youth with no shoes, no uniform and no pack for books I see the Lord’s hand. I never wanted. All through the Theological College, all the way up to the Miracle church. From the vision until now I have not wanted as we have now completed the project — Jesus provided. Not only did he provide but He added more as we are the only church in Zimbabwe that is air-conditioned, as the Lord provided.

Pastor Bill, I want to add that in the Lord’s provision it even exceeded our greatest expectations. A bore-hole (well) with fresh clean water was provided and today as you are here our city water has been shut down due to flooding. The entire city is lining up at our well to receive water — and they too will receive the Living Water of Jesus Christ.

This Cross today screams the Grace of Jesus Christ for all because of what He did for us. And every passer-by now knows this is a place of Jesus.

My passion for the future is to send teams into the rural areas and plant churches. Our job as a church is to train the Pastors that will lead those people. To God be all the Glory!

Prayer: Father thank you for establishing Your vision and how wonderful You are to complete it despite our strong wills and small thinking. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Today we have the privilege of planting a Cross in Gwanda, Zimbabwe

Beams were stained before we arrived

Ready to place Cross in hole

Going Up

Using boards to push it up

FIRE IN THE HOLE

While we were busy planting the Cross, over 200 of the towns people were coming to pick up
water from the church owned fresh water well. The town water system had been flooded by the rains
and this well became the only water source for the town.

They all carried it home

Pastor Sipho and family

Susan spent the day video taping the Cross planting

 

Some had a hard time believing there is hope for Zimbabwe

Help us plant our next Cross.

No minimum --- no maximum --- every donation will be received with great gratitude and much Thanksgiving to God.

Become A Fire*Starter Partner

Choose an amount to start and then select to give a monthly recurring donation to the Cross Fund  and become a Fire*starter Partner. No monthly pledge is too big or too small and so appreciated as we continue to plant Crosses for Jesus Christ and tell the world of the marvelous things He is doing today.