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Members at the annual meeting in Bulawayo
Sixty brothers and sisters from all 29 ecclesias and isolated groups attended a very happy weekend in Bulawayo in March for the CBM Zimbabwe annual meeting of representatives. All aspects of ecclesial life were discussed. The recent challenges in Zimbabwe had stimulated a network of visiting local brothers and sisters who brought both spiritual and physical welfare to all parts of the country. Postal communication between students and their tutors outside Zimbabwe had been very poor at times, but ecclesias having been advised of keen students in their neighbourhood were able to give local help and encouragement. The Lord has continued to bless us with a goodly number of new members (37 in the past year).
There were now 25 Sunday Schools with 348 scholars in Zimbabwe, which closely matches the number of ecclesias and brothers and sisters. In past years the Bulawayo Sunday School had not met on the Sunday of the AGM weekend, to allow the visitors more time for formal Bible study. This year Sunday School did meet and visiting brothers attended too, and saw the importance of this aspect of ecclesial life. All, both young and old, were given a slip with the 16 characteristics of love (and of the Lord Himself) from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, for them to learn by heart.
There was Bible study during the weekend, led by Jeremy Hulme, who drew lessons from the life of Jacob.
Joshua Pakali from Beitbridge was one of several isolated members who made a special effort to come to Bulawayo to share fellowship with their brothers and sisters. It was therefore with great sadness to learn that he died during the following week. Colleagues found him in his final sleep, on his bed, when they investigated his absence from work. Joshua had been weak for some time from the after affects of TB and its treatment. He was just 40, but in the 17 years since his baptism, had preached widely both in his home town of Kariba, and more recently in Beitbridge following a work move. His quiet, yet determined and infectious love of the Truth will be remembered by all who knew him. It was a privilege to have known him. We look forward to being with him again in the coming Kingdom.
John Butler, 1 June 2009
|"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)|