The Zimbabwe Partnership officially was formed on June 11, 2010, when Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA) and Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference (WPAUMC) signed a covenant agreement in the spirit of Chabadza, a Shona word that describes a community spirit of helping someone you know who is already at work.
Building on the history of WPAUMC support for Zimbabwe through development of Africa University in Mutare and the more recent efforts of The Nyadire Connection, the agreement provides that the two episcopal areas will work together to:
- Conducting a bi-annual Lay Leadership School in Zimbabwe led by resource people from both the Western PA and Zimbabwe.
- Developing a Zimbabwe Immersion program for people from the UMC-Western PA to spend significant time in Zimbabwe to learn church growth, discipleship, and leadership dynamics and to further guide the Partnership
- Assisting in the strategic funding and/or construction of churches, parsonages, clinics, and other facilities to make the good news of God’s love real in Zimbabwe.
- Ensuring support of the office of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (West) Communications and Projects Coordinator.
- Increasing the utilization of fallow, arable land according to the Zimbabwe Farm and Agriculture Development Program, beginning at the Nyadire Mission Centre farm.
- Providing better, continuous, safe, and sustainable water and electrical supply, starting at the Nyadire Mission Centre Hospital.
- Providing mosquito bed nets for distribution in seeking to fulfill the goals of the Imagine No Malaria – Nothing But Nets programs.
- Working with the UMC-Zimbabwe Health Board to achieve their goals and objectives for a healthier Zimbabwe.
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