Partnership in Zimbabwe
King’s is a diverse church made up of many nations. We believe God has called us to serve not just our local community but the nations beyond. King’s and its members have links with churches in Romania, China, DRC, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Over the last few years, King’s and River of Life Church in Harare, Zimbabwe have been developing an exciting church-to-church partnership.
River of Life is led by Scott Marques and he and Steve Tibbert, who have known and worked with one another for a number of years, have visited and spoken at one another’s churches several times. As well as leading River of Life, Scott oversees many other churches across Zimbabwe and southern Africa in his role as leader of the DNA group of churches, part of the Newfrontiers family.
In 2015, Steve and Scott felt God directing them to develop a closer relationship between King’s and River of Life. Despite being in very different contexts, both King’s and River of Life are diverse, multi-site churches in capital cities. We believe the growing partnership will be a blessing to both churches.
The story so far
- February 2016 – Scott Marques and Renee Cunningham (director of the Ebenezer farming project) visited King’s to discuss future partnership.
- March 2016 - a small team from King’s visited River of Life and some of the many outreach projects which the church has initiated in the community. They also spent time at the Ebenezer Project, a residential training centre near Bulawayo that offers Christian discipleship and equips young people in business and farming skills. Ebenezer has a strong connection with River of Life and the Zimbabwe churches and has received recognition nationally.
- April 2016 – Zimbabwe Partnership Team (ZPT) steering group established at King’s to spearhead the initiative and plan for future involvement.
- May 2016 - Following the visit in March 2016, King’s raised an amazing £35,000 to go towards providing essential transport for the Ebenezer Project and building much needed staff accommodation.
- March 2017 – Fay Thompson and Yvonne Steel, members of King’s who are both former headteachers, visit Zimbabwe for a fact-finding trip with a focus on education.
- November 2017 - Steve and Deb Tibbert visited Harare again, along with William Dalziel, an elder of King's and member of the ZPT. Their visit coincided with a weekend of significant political change in the country and you can read Steve's report on the trip here.
- Chirstmas 2017 - Money raised at our Christmas carol services sent to fill a short-term funding gap for much needed staff at the Crossover school project.
- Following their trip in 2017, Yvonne Steel and Fay Thompson will return to Zimbabwe at the end of February to run some training for teachers. Whilst there, they will explore how we can partner most effectively to develop a Pathway from Pre-Skills to Productivity, linking the education and Ebenezer projects.
- In March this year, the senior leadership team from River of Life will spend a week with us at King's, and Scott Marques will be visiting in April.
- In November, Steve and Deb Tibbert plan to visit Harare again.
How can you be involved?
- Pray for the growing partnership between our churches and for our friends in Zimbabwe who are reaching and serving their communities with such faith and commitment.
- Pray for the nation of Zimbabwe and its future following the recent political changes.
- Consider joining the Heart for Africa group led by Fay Thompson and Yvonne Steel.