GA News: Peacemaking and International Issues Committee approves resolution on support of the church in Zimbabwe

In all the voting, unrest, and violence of Zimbabwe in recent weeks, a poll of a different type emerged from the deliberations of the peacemaking and International Issues committee Tuesday (June 24).

“It was good news that at least in this election, Mugabe got no votes,” said a Zimbabwean church leader who, for security reasons, cannot be named. The reaction came as the committee approved a resolution support the church in Zimbabwe, Overture 1-15, On Support for the Presbyterian Church in Zimbabwe from the Presbytery of Denver. It will be presented the whole Assembly later. “The best thing is that the church has spoken through this committee and the message is that God is with us,” said the church leader who spoke to the committee about the atrocities in his country.

Committee members and members of the press attending the open meeting were instructed that the four presenters who came from Zimbabwe would not give their names, but simply introduce themselves saying, “I’m an ecumenical visitor from Zimbabwe” because of the concern of retribution for their witness.

The first presenter, a woman, said: “It is a painful experience to wake up almost every morning and not know what to feed your children.”
A second Zimbabwean woman began, “Let me start by telling you that the way things are in Zimbabwe are simply unbelievable.” She proceeded to share with the committee that women are being beaten in front of their children, raped in broad daylight, and that all involved are losing their dignity.  In her request to the committee the woman said, “I’m appealing to my brothers and sisters to stand solid with us for the future of our country and our children.”

“Thank you for allowing me to speak,” said the third speaker, a man who is a minister from Zimbabwe. “I’m so happy because what I see in this overture is embodying the spirit of this assembly as well as the mission of the church in general, and that is to do justice.”

“I am one of the church leaders in Zimbabwe,” began the fourth man to testify before the committee, “and since I have been here in the U.S. twice they have gone looking for me because like you the church in Zimbabwe believes that what the Lord requires of us is to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.”