In 2013, I accompanied my pastor to Zimbabwe to teach pastor’s in seminars and conferences. We drew big crowds of ministers, and shared solid biblical truth which these young pastors needed. A conference was held in the City of Gweru, and another in Victoria Falls. It was here that I met my true yoke fellow in Christ, Dr. Jabulani Mudenda,. As part of our ministry, we also spent two days in the bush villages of Matezi. The rural bush people showed great eagerness to hear and to respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ. A Young pastor named Derek, from Victoria Falls, would gather a group and travel the 40 km into the bush to plant a church in the Matezi district. Because of the great poverty and the expense of Petrol in Zimbabwe, Derek and his team relented and have had little Christian impact on the fledgling flock. Then I knew that I must do something about the equipping of God’s people in the remote areas of Zimbabwe.
Dr. Jabulani Mudenda has been used of God mightily in one of the most remote and poor areas of the country, The Binga District. Binga is situated about 40 km south-east of the mighty Zambezi river that divides Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the dry season there is literally little to no water in the area. Over 50% of school age children are true orphans. The people depend on witch doctors and faith healers (both extortionists) to broker a deal with God to bring them relief in their misery. Yet, Dr. Mudenda has brought many of villager (both young and old) to faith in Jesus. Through his team at Hope Ministries Zimbabwe, so many have come to Jesus that the need for many “bush pastors” is in demand. Willing and called men are being sent out to lead numerous village churches. These wonderful church leaders are doing all they know how to rely on God to teach them the way they should go.
This past November (2017) fellow pastor Michael Williams felt the call, very strongly, to go to Dr. Mudenda and make ourselves disposable to his needs. Among many other things Dr. Mudenda asked us to meet with the leadership of these churches, to pick Christian doctrines, and absolutely wring it out with these incredible men. Our conference hall was a shade tree and the sessions went on for hours. These young men of God desired to be filled up with truth and then be poured out on their congregations.
Since then, pastor Michael and I have been beckoned and constrained, by the love of Christ, to return, in November (2018), to continue laying the firm Biblical truths that the shepherds of God’s people must have to stand against ancient culture and tradition. We will have the distinct privilege of visiting with the converts and the leaders we served last year. We will be sending teams into the bush, looking for villages to share Christ with. We will be holding 3 crusades, in Binga; and also, further developing the spirit and truth among the leaders and pastors. Our earnest desire is to cast a big net to reach as many converts to help build up the body in the area; but, also to, encourage these fellow pastors to greater success in their ministries.
In Binga, the needs are too many to keep up with. However, Dr. Mudenda has a saying that is worth repeating. In response to the great need of Binga, Dr. Mudenda said, “I am just one man. I cannot possibly meet all the needs. But I can give them the one thing that will change Binga. ‘I can give them Jesus’.’ It is my greatest desire to continue helping Dr. Mudenda in this work of, “Give them Jesus”. No matter how he may choose to pour out this earthen vessel.
If you pray for me and this ministry, please pray that the LORD prepares Michael and I to again be spent in the service of our King, in Binga. Pray for Binga!
If you are a giver, please pray what the Lord would want you to do. Give as you are led to help out with travel, meals and ministry. God Bless You.
In Christ alone,
Pastor Craig Layton