“I want to help my country remember Him in these times”
Abednigo and Tairsei at the ocean for
the first time
With a strong calling to ministry, Abednigo and Tairesi Musona left all they knew in Zimbabwe to commit themselves to training at Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary (NETS) in Namibia. The couple’s children, Ebenezer and Blessing, are staying with grandparents while Abednigo and Tairesi pursue their ministry passions: pastoral care and women’s ministry, respectively.
Their home country faces many challenges, including a 90% unemployment rate, hyperinflation, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the scarcity of theologically trained leaders. Zimbabwe’s widespread instability threatens theological training, as “funding in the present economic environment is scarce to non-existent. Pray for effective teaching and discipling of those called to serve the Lord.”
Abednigo explained why theological training is such a crucial skill set in his context: “There is much instability and want in our country. The people need truth that they can stand on, a solid rock to trust, when it seems that the world is crumbling around them. The Word Himself is
this truth. I want to help my country remember Him in these times.”
Rev. Victor Nakah, ThD, OC Africa Regional Director
Abednigo hopes to complete his Master’s degree by distance education when he gets back to Zimbabwe at the end of this year; however, funding is an issue, as their church pays them very little, and feeding their family is difficult enough. “Funding challenges in Africa are very difficult,” says Rev. Victor Nakah, ThD, OC Africa Regional Director. “Students can’t afford enrollment fees. Schools can’t afford to pay their professors, and there are many other challenges, but you do see the commitment and focus of those that are there. In Africa, you see their campus communities doing some incredible things as they are extremely humble people.”
Abednigo and Tairesi are the perfect example of humble workers for the Lord, sacrificing much to receive ministry
NETS has been training leaders for the Church since
1991, shortly after Namibia won its independence
training and returning home to preach an unadulterated Gospel: one that acknowledges Christ in the good times and in the difficult times that Zimbabwe now finds itself in.
Current realities of the region
- The AIDS pandemic is one of the world’s worst cases. Thankfully, prevalence rates have declined to around 14%, but over 2,000 are still dying per week, and there are around 1 million AIDS orphans.
- Hyperinflation and economic meltdown have driven millions into gripping poverty from which there seems no escape. Hyperinflation reached astounding proportions, possibly up to 1,000,000,000% (1 billion) per year with the printing of $500 trillion notes. The government removed 12 zeros from the currency. A loaf of bread in 2008 was a bargain at just 10 million Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD).
- Christian 78%, 19% Ethnoreligious, 1% Muslim
- 62% of the population lives on $2/day.
- Over half of the population is unemployed. Migration to the cities to find work creates shantytowns.
- Namibia has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world. The malaria problem seems to be compounded by the AIDS epidemic. Some research shows that the risk of contracting malaria and subsequent death are greater if a person is also infected with HIV.
- Christian 91%, 4.5% Ethnoreligious
Neighboring countries – Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique
- HIV/AIDS – some of the highest prevalence rates in the world: #1 Swaziland, #2 Botswana, #4 South Africa (#5 Zimbabwe, #7 Namibia) and #8 Mozambique. “Many churches have to hire pastors just for funerals,” says Rev. Victor Nakah, ThD, OC Africa Regional Director.
- Malaria and tuberculosis are also significant problems.
- Poverty – 54% of the Mozambique population lives below the poverty line; 81% of the Swaziland population lives on $2/day; 23% of the South African population is unemployed with 43% living on $2/day. This affects the ability to educate leaders for the Church and care for the population.
- AIDS has devastated the country, creating a situation so dire that former President Festus Mogae stated, “We are threatened with extinction.”
- The legacy of apartheid continues to impact the nation. Despite progress in some areas, inequalities and injustices of the past continue to shape the future. Poverty, economic inequality, rape and violent crime rates also fuel hopelessness and anarchy.
- There are around 500,000 new HIV/AIDS infections every year and nearly 2 million AIDS orphans. Nearly half of those with HIV have access to antiretroviral medications, but half of those with HIV also have tuberculosis, greatly increasing mortality rates.
- Swaziland has the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the world with 26% of adults affected. 61% of all deaths can be attributed to HIV/AIDS. Antiretroviral medications are available for free; however, the country’s health minister said last month that state hospitals only have a 2 month supply, and there is a severe shortage of adequate care facilities. Widespread poverty exacerbates the suffering.
- Continuing natural disasters over the last several years disrupt development and destroy infrastructure, not to mention take many lives.
 Operation World (2010)
 Newsweek magazine
 United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2009
 The CIA World Factbook
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 The Associated Press
Date: 8/4/2011 4:50:39 PM