Pastoral Letter No.01/17/BMM from the Superintendent Minister, Rev. Dr. Brian Mugwidi
To all the Methodists in Hillside Circuit
Greetings in the Name of the One who Was, who Is, and shall Ever be [Hebrews 13:8]
The Alpha and Omega [Revelation 22:13]
He who neither sleeps nor Slumber [Psalm 121:4]
A couple of weeks ago I have been studying the book of the prophet Habakkuk. It was amazing to see how the Bible could speak anew to our own lives today. As your shepherd, I am carrying a burden to heavy to bear when I reflect upon our situation in Zimbabwe in general and Bulawayo in particular. I can only say, “Lead me to the Rock higher than I” [Psalm61:2b]
Is it not true, that our country has fallen from the height of good governance, lost its moral campus and degenerated into “Animal farm”? This is reminiscent of the time of the Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his own eyes [Judges17:6]. The media (both electronic and print) is awash with acts of barbarism; rising cases of murder, armed robberies, rape, domestic violence, corruption in the high places, nepotism and tribalism; the list is endless. In our economy, the law of the jungle applies, “survival of the fittest”. Now you need to know someone in the corridors of power to survive in business. Tenderpreneurs, land barons and other vultures are preying on the more vulnerable.
Cash crisis, unemployment and the number of families living below the poverty datum line has become a thorn in the flesh for household heads, many of who are children, widows or pensioners who lost all savings during the hyperinflationary era. Sacrificing to God through tithes and offerings has been seriously compromised due to acute cash shortages, and the people of God have lost many blessings associated with this form of worship. [Malachi 3:8-10] The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow as the poor are exploited in daily transactions. Poverty has now been elevated to the level of a virtue.
Our health delivery system has deteriorated; the working class cannot access proper heath care, while the middle class and the ruling elite can afford to seek medical care abroad.
Our Education system is under threat. The changes and the rumours surrounding the changes sound alarming bells to the introduction of Islam in our education. Our children need prayers. You are being called upon to stand in the gap for the children in schools.[Ezek22:30]
Our roads have become death traps; potholes, poor signage, corrupt police officers and drivers whose minds are preoccupied with other things have all contributed to higher road carnage.
The Prophet Habakkuk cried and asked God, how long was this going to be like this. This is the question I am sure you are all asking. How long shall we suffer this oppression, this corruption, this institutionalized crime and poverty? For how long shall they continue to benefit from your sweat?
Thank God, He has surely seen the oppression of his people who are in Zimbabwe, has heard the cry because of their task masters and He knows your sorrows, and is coming down to deliver you [Exodus 3:7-8]. God has eyes that He can see, has ears that he has heard and has a heart that he knows our plight.
AS we face his cross and his resurrection, like Habakkuk [3:2] let us pray that God who has done wonders in the past, does it once again in our time.
Though it may tarry, it will surely come [Habakkuk 2:3b]. God’s time is the Best time.
Remember the prophet Isaiah [40:31] “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”
The Greatest of all is that His ‘Grace is sufficient……’ [2 Cor. 12: 9]. Whatever it is, how long it will take, “If God is for us, who can be against us” [Romans 8:31b]
“What is a man that you are so mindful of him, And the son of man that you visit him”, [Psalm8:4]. Our God is a caring Father, who will not give us a snake when we ask for fish and stone when we ask for bread. [Matthew 7:9-10]
Lord we pray, Open our eyes that we may see the mountains full of horses and chariots of fire ready to defend our being. [1 Kings 6:17]
Rev Dr Brian Mugwidi
Circuit Superintendent- Hillside Circuit>