Rev Dr. Christopher Munikwa and his wife, Elina

The state support in this lock-down time is channelled to our citizens in need, meaning that another tragedy is taking place in our midst – the more than 4.5 million immigrants, a big proportion of whom are ‘illegal’ and employed in the informal sector, who can not benefit from our governmental support. Read an article in a Dutch daily newspaper written by our GZB colleague, Willem-Henri den Hartog and Dr Johanneke Kroesbergen of the University of Pretoria:

On our question of how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the Zimbabwean community and in particular their church members in South Africa, Rev. Dr. Christopher Munikwa, pastor of our sister church in Zimbabwe, the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ), living in Johannesburg and serving the RCZ congregations in Gauteng and in the Cape, answers, “Most of the Zimbabweans are not able to get food hampers being given to the needy in South Africa. We have a challenge in that our services have not been running since end of March in line with the National Lockdown as announced by the President. The situation we are in today is frightening because of the high level of uncertainty.

“The financial income of our congregation has been impacted as has been the income of some of our members. Many are working in die hospitality industry and in restourants.  During the past month of April we have been helping our members who are not able to support their families because of loss of income. Through our Compassionate and Community Ministry Team we have come up with a Compassionate COVID-19 hamper initiative to help out in our own small way, those affected by the pandemic.

“Our members have managed to contribute towards supporting others who are in dire need for some of our members are not having food on their tables at the moment. We have helped a number of families to date with food parcels. We wish to continue with this compassionate ministry as our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us as Kingdom disciples. The Bible says, ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another’ {Ephesians 4:32}.

“I am encouraging our RCZ members in SA to learn from the Macedonian churches’ grace of giving to inspire and motivate us even in our own situation of the coronavirus and practice it. The Bible says that the churches in Macedonia gave from their own will and gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability. Their grace of giving was sacrificial for they gave even out of their extreme poverty {2 Corinthians 8:1-4}.”

“We value the relationship that we have with you. As part of the RCZ we cherish the support we have received from the Commission for Witness.”


Kobus Odendaal