When Poverty Meets Humility


We are no strangers to poverty, but living for the past two weeks in a country which is "broken", where banks have no money and the legal tender are "bonds" that get a new value daily (if not more frequently) has redefined that word a little bit for us.

Everyone wants dollars, and, not coming from the USA, dollar cash is not something I easily access.

You come into the airport and the ATM machines do not work, because there is no cash.

You go to buy a SIM card and find the biggest telephone company does not accept credit cards. Only cash. And you cannot get that cash. Catch 22.

Cynically, and maybe not erroneously, one could blame the Mugabe regime which brought so much tragedy to this mineral rich nation. Or maybe it is the greedy cartel that succeeded him and now holds the nation in its grip - according to one middle-aged man I met in a Victoria Falls tourist office a couple of days ago.

Living in Musume (a place so remote that even Zimbabweans have never heard of it) I saw another side and was struck by the resilience of a humble people who love Jesus and have hope even while besieged by daily power cuts, no running water, and a host of other daily challenges.

My Kenyan colleague and I were staying in the diligently cleaned humble home of a (Black) Jewish Lemba family who love Jesus tenderly and whose children form a "prayer team" that prayed with and for us each night in English and Hebrew.

Every morning, during our week long workshop for 70+ people, the household children were up before 5.30 and out with buckets and other containers collecting water from the local borehole some distance from the house.

After a long day in the workshop this same ritual of water collection happened every evening so we all could have water with which to wash off the grime and dust from the hot days and walks through the village to and from the workshop venue.

This was one daily labour of love that kept us, their guests, clean and refreshed even in this dusty, dry place surrounded by drought that is their home.

My buddy and I will long remember this family, who showed us joyful, loving and abundant hospitality in a place where there is much lack. Ever putting us first and caring for our needs we found an oasis in their hospitality and are amazed by the memory of our time with our dear family in Musume.