On Thursday, April 10, the Rev Manford Mloyi was ordained and inducted at Zenka in the Nkayi district in Zimbabwe, when Rev K Watkins preached from Ezekiel 48 to a congregation of 300. Some 30 years have passed since this charge last had a minister and Rev P Mzamo and the men of Zenka congregation have laboured manfully over the years to maintain a witness both in Zenka and its outlaying preaching stations. We pray for a blessing under Mr Mloyi’s preaching. The Lord’s promise is: “I will be as the dew unto Israel”.
On the following Saturday, April 12, Rev Sipho Khumalo was ordained and inducted to the charge of Bulawayo when a congregation of 400 heard Mr Watkins preach on Rev 1:16. Sipho in Ndebele means gift and our prayer is that the gospel may be preached with the gift of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. One of the teachers present relates the sense of joy there was in both congregations. No doubt a fuller account will appear later, DV.
Despite the reported unrest in Zimbabwe at large, the Mission staff appear able to go about their business freely. Their greatest restriction is lack of fuel. Basic commodities are in intermittent and uncertain supply, but aid agencies have been able to deliver food. The Famine Relief Fund set up by the Church has been of help in areas where we have congregations, and Miss Coote writes of “lovely heavy rains falling for the second day”. It is hoped that a good harvest will be forthcoming this year.
At Mbuma, Rev P Mzamo’s health has been indifferent and he has had to have six weeks’ rest. He is now much recovered and took a full part in the inductions noted above. It will be of great help to him to have Mr Mloyi comparatively nearby at Zenka. Dr Benschop is on leave at the moment and Miss Coote is the only permanent expatriate member of staff at the Mbuma Hospital. Miss T Ringelberg is helping there for three months, but at the moment we are very dependent on local African nurses. Two Dutch nurses are waiting for work permits, but in the meantime the plan is for Miss P van de Ridder to come down from Kenya shortly so that Miss Coote can go on furlough. We are also pleased that Mrs C A Murray is able to go to Mbuma for three months at the end of April. In Mashonaland, Rev Z Mazwabo now has the help of another local missionary, Mr Mashavakure, in the work and witness of our church in Zvishavane.
The teachers at Ingwenya have taken a close interest in a young pupil named Sly Jaricha at the school who has Hodgkin’s disease. The estimated cost of his treatment is £7000, which will include a trip to Johannesburg for specialist attention. The teachers have borne the expense so far and the disease has responded well but if anyone wishes to help, contributions should be sent directly to the General Treasurer marked Sly Medical Fund or put in any church collection plate in an envelope similarly marked.
In Kenya, the staff are looking forward to having Mr Nedson Banda with them for six months, Mr Banda, who is from Malawi, has finished his studies for the ministry in this country. It is hoped that he will obtain first-hand experience in Kenya of the work of a mission station before returning to settle in Malawi.
The cry still goes out from our African Missions: “Brethren pray for us”.
Rev J R Tallach
John Tallach Secondary School
It is almost 100 years now since the Rev J B Radasi began education at Ingwenya. Over the decades since then, that education has expanded and developed in the hands of those who followed the teaching of Scripture: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might”. We now, in 2003, have a worthy heritage from those who have gone before. The John Tallach Secondary School is comparable to the best schools in the country and is renowned far and wide throughout Zimbabwe for its academic success. In the large province of Matabeleland North we have the second highest pass rate for the O Level examinations – 92% in 2002.
John Tallach School is a well-established and successful 4-year secondary school with around 600 pupils. Approximately 75% of the pupils board at school all term while the remaining 25% are local children who attend daily. The pupils join us at the end of their primary education and remain with us until they have completed their O Level examinations at the end of Form 4. We have boys and girls from a wide variety of backgrounds: some are from Free Presbyterian homes; many are from various other church backgrounds; and others have no church background at all. Some are from very privileged backgrounds; others are struggling from term to term to meet the school fees. Some children are academically very gifted, but the majority are of average ability. All are at that fascinating stage of emerging into early adulthood: they are bright, lively, exuberant teenagers with needy souls. The children are with us at a critical period in their lives when they are forming ideas and preparing for their futures. We have unrivalled access to influence them at this impressionable age in the hope that their ideas will be guided by the gospel and that, in their preparations for the future, they will be directed to man’s chief end, which is to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever.
The question may be asked as to how we are able to influence them? We have complete freedom to teach Bible Knowledge and run the school according to the beliefs and practices of the Church. Bible Knowledge is taught for four periods a week to all classes. Form 1 begin with Genesis and Exodus and in Form 2 proceed to Gospel of Mark. In Forms 3 and 4 the national curriculum in Luke/Acts is followed. This is an excellent O Level course, so all pupils at the school sit an O Level in Religious Studies. In addition, worship is held with the children morning and evening and attendance at church services is compulsory; in fact the weekly prayer meeting is part of the school timetable. In Sabbath school, the children learn the Shorter Catechism and verses from the Psalms and other Scriptures.
All of this gives a precious opportunity to influence lives for Christ, but in order to fulfill this obligation there is a continuing need for teaching staff who are committed to our beliefs and practices. We have a full complement of 25 teachers supplied by the Government. We are thankful that these teachers are very supportive of the ethos of the school and are dedicated and professional in their daily work within their own subject areas, but few of them belong to the Free Presbyterian Church. However, we still have the right to employ people from our own church for religious instruction.
Currently only four Zimbabwean members of staff belong to the Church; the Headmaster is a church member, and three others are regular adherents in the Bulawayo congregation. Since each of these teachers also has a commitment to their own subject area, it is not possible for them to cover all the Bible classes on the curriculum; Mr Ncube, the Headmaster, is the most experienced teacher of Ndebele, Mrs Moyo also teaches Ndebele, Miss Dube is a Maths teacher and Mr Dube is heavily involved in teaching History and Ndebele – hence the continuing dependence on expatriate teachers from the Church. We are particularly interested in anyone who can teach Computer Studies and/or Science. In order to be acceptable to the Ministry of Education applicants, should have a university degree in the specified teaching subjects. Teacher training is not necessary but would obviously be an advantage.
Apart from Bible Knowledge, the full curriculum includes English, Ndebele/ Shona, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Computer Studies, Accounts, Agriculture, Fashion and Fabrics, and Woodwork. On a secular level many words could be used to describe the experience of teaching at John Tallach School: challenging, rewarding, competitive. But on the spiritual level much more than academic success or personal satisfaction is to be achieved. Multitudes all over the world are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, while here at Ingwenya everything is in place which, with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, can make the children wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Is there anyone who will hear the call of the Lord: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” and who will answer, “Here am I; send me”?
N B MacLean