- Churches in the Chitungwiza Marondera district of Zimbabwe study and spread the word of God in their communities.
- The district initially trained 40 class leaders and now has 161 classes in operation.
- The program emerges at a time when the country is suffering from economic, social and political crises.
Churches in the Chitungwiza Marondera district of Zimbabwe are making disciples of Jesus Christ in their communities through in-depth Bible study.
The district initially trained 40 class leaders through the Community Bible Study International program, and now has 161 active classes.
Trained teachers emphasize and demonstrate the underlying premise of the biblical text, as well as its practical application in participants’ lives.
The Bible program “is a tool for people to learn how to read the word of God, study the word of God, and apply it to their lives so it can transform them from within,” Janet said. Liebe, part of Community Bible Study International. United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Ebenezer United Methodist Church member Kurai Baureni leads a community Bible study class in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. Chitungwiza Marondera District has trained 40 class leaders under the International Community Bible Study Program, and today 161 classes are functioning. Photo by Priscilla Muzerengwa, UM News.
Community Bible Study International was started in the United States in 1975 and now has thousands of participants around the world.
By studying Bible chapters in small groups, participants gain new knowledge and build confidence in the scriptures. Leaders pray and encourage students to connect with each other and grow spiritually.
The community Bible study evangelism mission is an extension of the church’s current discipleship ministry, said Reverend Alan Gurupira, administrative assistant to the Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa.
“It is so beneficial that they come, come on board to help us reach more people, to be able to influence our people in the desire to study the Bible, in the desire also to understand it and to practice what the The Bible teaches us,” Gurupira said.
Chenayi Kumuterera, coordinator of Community Bible Study International in Zimbabwe and contributor to UM News, said the initiative will help promote the gospel in the episcopal area, while allowing the church to better understand the needs of the community. .
“It will help their communities to love and care for each other no matter what they are going through,” Kumuterera said. “It will encourage each personal contact with Christ and better understand or feel the presence of God in each situation.”
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The program emerges at a time when the country is suffering from economic, social and political crises.
“People have lost hope in the government. People have lost hope even in their Bible itself, wondering, “Is God still with us?” St. Barnabas and nearby Ebenezer United Methodist trained members to travel to their communities to begin Bible studies.
Reverend Godknows Risinamhodzi, Superintendent of Chitungwiza Marondera District, loves that the Community Bible Study International program puts God at the center.
“He consults people to invite God into all our situations and also pray for our leaders, pray for our governance and pray for our communities,” he said.
Members desirous of having a formal forum for Bible study applauded the introduction of the International Bible Study Program.
Erica Kashaya, 73, a member of St. Barnabas, said it was a wonderful school that gave attendees a deeper understanding of the Bible by allowing them to ask questions.
“I learned that God keeps his promises, which encouraged me to face obstacles with optimism,” Kashaya said.
Young men participate in a community Bible study class in Chitungwiza. Participants learn to read and understand the Bible in small groups. Photo by Priscilla Muzerengwa, UM News.
Tsisti Murapa, president of evangelism at St. Barnabas, said the instruction inspired her and she looks forward to more sessions. “It opened our eyes to understand how we can apply the Bible in our daily lives,” she said.
Edmore Muzvimwe, lay leader at Ebenezer UMC, said the community Bible study will inspire confidence in church members.
“Our members lacked the desire to study the Bible, which resulted in a lack of faith in the word and an inability to rely on it in difficult times,” he said. “This will go a long way in restoring our faith in the Bible.”
The program has been endorsed by Reverend Sophirina Sign, Director of Connectional Ministries for the Zimbabwe Eastern Conference, as an effective method of Bible study with the community. She hopes to expand the ministry throughout the episcopal area.
On September 27-28, an Episcopal Area “train the trainers” workshop was held for five leaders from each district. They will serve as class leaders, who will be responsible for spreading instruction in their respective districts.
Sign said the aim is to reach all people in Zimbabwe, regardless of denomination – including those who are not religious – so that they too can have a tool to study the Bible in depth.
Muzerengwa is a presenter for the Zimbabwe East annual conference.
Media contact: Julie Dwyer at [email protected]. To read more news from The United Methodist Church, subscribe to free daily or weekly digests.