Zimbabwean church leader visits BIC churches in U.S. to discuss challenges in Zimbabwe

GRANTHAM, Pa. (March 12, 2009)—In a recent visit to the U.S., Victor Nakah, president of the Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ), traveled across the country to speak about the harsh conditions in Zimbabwe today. As part of the tour, he visited Redland Valley Brethren in Christ Church (York Haven, Pa.) and preached at Grantham (Pa.) Brethren in Christ Church.

Additionally, Nakah visited Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.), where he presented a public lecture, “Life Under Robert Mugabe: Challenges Facing Christians in Zimbabwe Today.".

Nakah’s lecture focused on the present economic, political, medical, agricultural, and social crises in Zimbabwe, and described how Christian churches in that country have been addressing those issues.

“Zimbabwe is experiencing an unprecedented convergence of HIV/AIDS, inflation, and a government that just doesn’t care,” said Nakah.

“The crisis in Zimbabwe is a crisis of leadership, of stewardship, of integrity,” he added, referring to the administration of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

Describing the role of the Church in this crisis, Nakah said, “In the last five years, the Church in Zimbabwe has realized that the Gospel has social implications—tending to the deepest needs of its people.”

He said that job training and the development of medical programs have been important components of the Zimbabwean Church’s outreach. “There is a big difference in the way the Church looks at its mission,” he added.

Glen Pierce, director of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives at Messiah College and a member of the Friends of the Theological College of Zimbabwe (a non-profit organization that seeks to that raises prayer and financial support for TCZ), managed Nakah’s itinerary.

“Victor is able to put into perspective the news reports coming out of Zimbabwe these days, and is able to help Christians here connect intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually with sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe,” says Pierce, who also served as president of TCZ in the past. “Drawing on the spiritual lessons the Zimbabwean Church is learning, he [brings] a message of hope to people here who are experiencing economically challenging times.”

Nakah’s visit to the U.S. culminated with a speaking engagement at George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.) on March 9–10. Nakah was invited to that institution as a resource speaker at their annual Woolman Peacemaking Forum.

The Brethren in Christ Church founded Messiah College in 1909. In 1972 the legal ties between the College and the Brethren in Christ Church were replaced with a covenant relationship, which is still honored today through providing scholarships to BIC students attending the College and through offering special programs to BIC pastors, church leaders, and lay.

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