THERE were two interesting letters received from Zimbabwe recently, telling of a visit to Binga, where there are three small preaching stations. Readers may remember that our people at Binga (they are of the Tonga tribe) at one time inhabited the very fertile valley through which the Zambezi river flowed, and where there was an abundance of fish and wildlife. Some years ago the Rhodesian government (as it was then) decided to build a huge dam in the river valley in order to supply the whole country with electricity. The people in the valley were warned to leave and given a time limit, but they were most reluctant to leave. A few even lost their lives, when the valley was flooded to form the great Zambezi Dam. Some hundreds of them eventually travelled to the place we call Binga, where the soil is hard and unproductive, and where there is little wildlife. So even now they are a poor, desolate people.
It is almost 11 years since our Mission began working among them. Recently, Miss Norma MacLean, who is presently the administrator in the Mission Office, Bulawayo, had the opportunity to travel by Mission lorry to Binga to visit the people there for the first time. The lorry carried a load of maize, which had been bought with a donation of £100 for Binga, plus a load of cement for building work in connection with the church at Samende, one of the preaching stations. The lorry “trundled” for a total of 11 hours on the rough road to and from Binga, but Norma considered it very worthwhile.
Mr. James Mpofu, who is in charge of building and transport on the Mission, was at Binga that same week. He and his brother Stanford took the services over the weekend. About 50 women and children attended at Samende and Nsenga, but there was only one man at each place. Norma writes, “Mr. Mpofu has a real affection for the place and enjoys preaching to the people. It would be good if he could spend more time there. The Presbytery tries to send an elder once a month. Manpower is so short but the need is so great.”
Mr Stanford Mpofu, James Mpofu’s brother, is now working at Thembiso Childrens’ Home, Bulawayo, as its superintendent. We hope he will be made a blessing there. He was ordained as an elder recently at Nkai, and no doubt will be a help in the Bulawayo congregation also.
The staff at Ingwenya are looking forward to the arrival, in January, D.V., of Miss Sheena Ross, daughter of Rev. Neil and Mrs Ross, Dingwall. She has been appointed as a teacher in the John Tallach Secondary School.