Every month in 2021 we will be praying for a people group somewhere in the world, but we will also be praying for our own BBC global workers who live and work among that people group! This will be an incredible way for us to support our global workers and for you to get to know who they are.
March: People of Zimbabwe
Global Workers: Winston and Emmy
We have a dual ministry focus. We are looking to galvanize the African church to be more missional, and a key strategy to do that is to provide cross-cultural serving opportunities here in Zimbabwe. The Lord has laid the South Asian community on our hearts and so as we look to galvanize the African church, we are also looking to engage that community.
Shona and Ndebele people: Shona people form the majority of Zimbabwe, but Ndebele people form the majority of Bulawayo, the city where Winston and Emmy serve. There is a lot of tribal tension between these groups. Since the 1980s, the ruling elite have always been Shona. Between ’83-‘87 a genocide was carried out against the Ndebele people. That said, it is a marked minority of Shona people who are part of the ruling elite and most Zimbabweans – Ndebele and Shona alike – suffer greatly under a tyrannical regime. The church in Zimbabwe is in a sad state. Between ancestral worship and the prosperity gospel, the vast majority of Zimbabweans who call themselves Christians hold to salvation-threatening heresy. Even in the faithful Zimbabwean churches, there is a general lack of a missions-mindedness. But we believe the Lord can redeem the church – and the culture – in Zimbabwe, and this is what drives us forward.
South Asians: For a century or so, Zimbabwe has had a very successful South Asian community, primarily Indian but also some Pakistani. Thought these groups have lived inside a “Christian country” for many years, they have remained relatively untouched by the gospel, staying either in Islam or Hinduism. We long to see this trend change, and so we are looking for every opportunity to befriend dear people from this community and to share our true Hope with them.
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe is a land-locked country in southern Africa. Years of looting and brutal oppression by the governmental have left the country threadbare and many of the people destitute. Although Zimbabwe is sometimes seen to be a ‘Christian nation’, the prosperity gospel, syncretism with African traditional religion, and a works-based view of salvation pervade much of the Zimbabwean church, leaving people without hope and completely uncertain if they are under God’s wrath or under his mercy.
Zimbabwe has the potential to send thousands of laborers to the ends of the earth. There are very few barriers to sharing the gospel in Zimbabwe. People are so trapped in the drudge of legalism that when they hear the truth of God’s gracious heart, they are often so ready to receive it. It is a land that is ripe for revival! But if revival comes and there is a surge in true Jesus followers, there will be a huge need for discipleship. The gospel has spread like wildfire through much of Sub-Saharan Africa but sadly this has often not been accompanied by comprehensive discipleship, which has left the African church very broad but also very shallow. It is only a robust and biblically-rich church that can have any hope of having a long-term impact for the gospel among the unreached.
Pray that the Lord would use Winston and Emmy, as well as many other faithful laborers in Zimbabwe, to raise up a generation of leaders who have the equipping and the passion to storm the gates of hell in the far-flung corners of the world.
WHAT IS A PEOPLE GROUP?
Members of a people group share the same ethnic identity. They typically have a common language, a common religion, and a common history. People groups often cross political borders and live in more than one country.
WHAT IS AN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP?
A people group is considered unreached when there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage this people group with church planting. Typically the percentage of Evangelical Christians is less than 2%.
HOW MANY UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS ARE THERE?
There are 11, 747 People Groups totaling 7.3 billion people in the world.
There are 7,037 Unreached People Groups totaling 4.3 billion people.