Zimbabwe pastor begins farming initiative to help hospitals

Gweru Province, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe's Gweru Province, times are tough. Southern Africa experienced a severe drought this past summer, and the Gweru Province is no different. Food instability caused by the drought has affected the provincial hospital's ability to feed its patients. 

Pastor Noah Sibanda from Gweru on the Zimbabwe West District had a vision from his university days. He had a dream of farming solely based on fulfilling the compassionate part of ministry — a farm that provides for the needs of the community, not just an individual or a family. 

Last year, a friend who is also a worshipper at his church invited Sibanda to his farm. Sibanda shared his vision with this friend, telling him about the compassionate ministry idea he had. He agreed to allow the Mkoba Church of the Nazarene to use part of his land for this farming purpose. A borehole (well) was drilled and the planting began. 

"So far, we have planted more than a hectare (about 2.47 acres) of green vegetables and tomatoes," Sibanda said. "With so many vegetables, we decided to fulfill part of our vision. We have started to donate our vegetables to the hospital in our community." 

This hospital can have anywhere from 750 to 1,200 people hospitalized and bed-ridden on any given day. With drought and hardships facing many people, there is acute food shortages at this hospital.

"Our vegetables came in handy to the hospital," Sibanda said. "For the last two weeks we have been taking these large amounts to feed the sick people at both the hospital and the isolation hospital here in Gweru. We call it compassion in action." 

On average, Sibanda and his team donate many kilograms of vegetables to various hospitals per week. 

In addition to their work at the hospitals, each Sunday they are able to give many kilograms of vegetables to widows and orphans in the church and community.

"The principle is simple," Sibanda said. "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have." 

Sibanda has bigger plans to reach their entire community for Christ through compassionate ministries.

--Church of the Nazarene Africa Region via Out of Africa

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