|The new Watira family house|
BIKITA - The United Methodist Church (UMC) recently intervened in a dire humanitarian situation by building proper houses for four Bikita families that had been living under deplorable conditions since March 2019 when Cyclone Idai hit their area.
The handover of the houses was done on December 19, 2020 in the presence of senior UMC leaders including Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa and Masvingo district superintendent Rev Jairous Mafondokoto as well as members of the church’s Bikita Circuit.
The five roomed houses, which were handed over to families in the Musukutwa and Chirorwe areas of Bikita Rural District Council wards 20 and 21, were built under the UMC Cyclone Idai Rehabilitation Program.
The beneficiaries were the Muziro, Watira and Machingura families all of Ward 20, as well as Ratidzo Zvenyika of Ward 21.
In her remarks, Ratidzai Zvenyika said she was glad that year 2020, with all its difficulties, had ended on a good note for her as she now had good accommodation.
“I have experienced the love of God firsthand. This is one gesture I had not expected and I am glad that as family, we now have a proper roof over our head,” she said.
A controlled number of villagers turned out for the handover ceremony in keeping with social distancing rules in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rehabilitation of the families was made possible courtesy of the partnership between the UMC Zimbabwe West Annual Conference and the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference of the United States of America.
church donated all building materials and paid eight builders and eight
assistant builders in full for the construction.
The predicament of the families was brought to the attention of the church through the Circuit lay leader Jimmy Muzondi, Bikita circuit pastor-in-charge Rev Jacob Mushukuto and Rev Mafondokoto.
The Zimbabwe West Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church seconded UMC On Relief (UMCOR) to spearhead the rehabilitation programme, with Dr Morgen Jeranyama being tasked to assess the homesteads as consultant.
Construction was done with professional supervision from UMC Masvingo member Cassian Mutsambiwa, an architect, while the beneficiary families were tasked with moulding their own bricks, gathering sand and other requirements in keeping with the church’s Chabata concept.
Other community members were also mobilized to assist in the project as volunteers in order to give the project a collective dimension.
“All the collective efforts led to a milestone pillar of tangible Christian works. We thus were proud to witness a sure demonstration of love as God handed over the completed houses each with three bedrooms, a sitting room and a lounge with a sizeable verandah to the beneficiaries,” said Rev Mafondokoto.
He thanked Bishop Nhiwatiwa, the Baltimore Washington Conference, Rev Mushukuto and all stakeholders who worked hard to make the project a reality.
UMC is a mission-driven Church whose existence in Zimbabwe dates back to 1897 and is driven by the mission, ‘Making Disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the World’.