Zimbabwe – A vehicle for a remote mission station in the Diocese of Chinhoyi

Chitsungo Mission, the poorest parish in the Diocese of Chinhoyi in Northern Zimbabwe, serves some 60 villages. At Easter this year, Bishop Raymond Mupandasekwa visited the remote village of Kanyemba in this parish. He spent five days amongst the poorest of the poor, sleeping in a tent at night to be close to them.

Many of the local people belong to the disadvantaged Doma tribe, and most of them are still hunter-gatherers, living quite literally from hand to mouth just as their forefathers always did. They are constantly at the mercy of droughts and other dangers. They had barely made contact with the modern world, but their hearts are now being reached by faith in Christ and the Good News of His Gospel.

What they still urgently need, however, is the presence of a priest among them, to bring them the sacraments and help them grow in their faith, while simultaneously showing them how to improve their living conditions over time.  “I have thought hard about how the Church can help the young people there,” says the bishop, who is quite shaken by the degree of poverty he witnessed during his visit. What they need above all, in addition to their pastoral care, is basic schooling and medical care—both major challenges. Apart from the Church, no one seems to care about their situation or want to help them.

But the vast distances are a factor; Father Walter Chenyika must travel approximately 140 kilometres on treacherous roads to reach the faithful here. His old car has finally died after a significant number of kilometres. “Without a car, pastoral work is impossible here,” his bishop tells us with deep concern.

Like in many other places in Africa, a priest’s vehicle is often the sole means of bringing the sick to hospital and saving lives. So Bishop Raymond has urgently requested our help to allow Father Walter to minister to the faithful in these remote villages and to ensure they are not left without support and consolation. We have already promised him $38,200 for a sturdy vehicle, capable of handling the challenging road conditions.

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