El Cajon soldiers visit Salvationists in Zimbabwe
16 corps members travel to their corps officers’ home country.
A team of 16 individuals from the El Cajon (Calif.) Corps, led by Corps Officers Captains Terry and Rutendo Masango, traveled to Zimbabwe, the Masangos’ birthplace, June 10-30.
“My wife and I witnessed extreme poverty, disease and hunger while growing up in Zimbabwe,” said Terry Masango. “We bring our teams to Zimbabwe not only to provide for the needs of the people, but to show them that they are also losing brothers and sisters in Christ every day, and have the power to do something about it.”
Group members led and participated in Sunday worship services, vacation Bible schools, village meetings and a marriage enrichment seminar. The team also helped at Home League, men’s fellowship and corps cadets meetings.
“The love of Jesus here is shown everywhere, and the people are so thankful” said team member Dan Garrett. “I now wish that we could have done more.”
The team received an invitation to visit a private school, where Masango taught the prefects (student leaders) about leadership.
“It was heartwarming watching these 12-year-olds cast a vision of their leadership,” Masango said.
El Cajon’s mission team also made a series of donations to Salvation Army efforts in Zimbabwe, providing musical instruments, clothes, Bibles, craft materials and even goats, which along with other livestock are a source of wealth in Africa. The goats will provide protein in milk and income from the sale of offspring; their skins can be used to make drums and sleeping mats.
The most significant contribution made, however, was $30,000 to help complete the construction of the local Highfield Temple.
“The soldiers of the Highfield Temple were overwhelmed with the funds collected to help finish their chapel, and we were overwhelmed with their gratitude as they cheered, hugged, and thanked us for what seemed like an eternity,” said Renee Howard, a mission team member. “We were humbled, knowing that we were representing all of those who helped send us to Zimbabwe and raise the money for the projects.”
The team also visited corps construction sites in Marikopo, Mungate and Braeside, where The Salvation Army plans to build halls to expand its ministry.
Masango said, “It was a breath of fresh air watching God grow his church, and to be part of enabling their growth [in Zimbabwe].”