United Church of God

Visiting Interested Group in Gokwe, Zimbabwe

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Visiting Interested Group in Gokwe, Zimbabwe

In May I had the opportunity to visit a member in Gokwe. Gokwe is the largest province in Zimbabwe and is the home of Emmanuel Gorondo and his wife, Matilda. They have four children. The languages spoken there are Tonga, Ndebele and Shona.

What was interesting about this trip was that I was visiting the descendants of a man who in the past had seven wives and 27 children. This man had been receiving The Plain Truth and Good News magazines. Through what he learned he started a church teaching people to observe the Sabbath and Holy Days. He died some years later, and his children are still endeavoring to observe the ways of God.

Between 1995 and 1997 they wrote letters wanting to be affiliated with the Church of God. Ministers from several Church of God groups visited them. Mr. Gorondo and others later requested a visit from a United Church of God representative, and I was asked to travel to Gokwe to visit with them.

I left Bulawayo on May 18 at 5 a.m. I traveled by bus on a road that had not been maintained. We traveled at 70 to 80 kilometers (about 45 to 50 miles) an hour and arrived at Gokwe at about 8.p.m. By this time it was very dark. Fortunately Mr. Gorondo, who had been waiting for five hours for our bus to arrive, was there to meet me. We then walked for four hours to reach his home.

During our discussions, the family members became convinced that the United Church of God was the church their father had spoken about. This area has three groups that want to meet with us. Unfortunately I only met with one of these groups. This group has the largest number of members.

On the Sabbath I gave a Bible study to 20 people on repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. Some of the questions asked were: "What should I do to become a member of the UCGIA?" "Should we speak in tongues?" "Should we prophesy?" "How can a Christian keep God's laws?"

The following day one man and four ladies requested baptism, and I was able to encourage them to read the literature preparing them for baptism. André van Belkum will visit with them and baptize those who are ready at a later stage.

Mr. Gorondo and I left at 6:30 p.m. and my bus arrived at midnight. The following morning I reached home at 11 covered in dust and tired but very appreciative of God's blessing on a successful trip. UN