Zimbabwe’s government arrested nearly four dozen people for allegedly plotting an Egyptian-styled coup.
However, news reports indicated that those arrested were watching videos of the protests. There is some concern that the exposure to the uprising could plant similar seeds in Zimbabwe, where discontent is rife.
President Robert Mugabe has been in power since 1980, but in the last decade his country has been in an unprecedented economic crisis. Over the last few months, proposed election plans led to clashes between supporters of the ruling party and those of the main opposition, but whether or not they were enough to oust Mugabe is doubtful because of tight control of the security forces.
Dean Yoder with Christian World Outreach spoke with a staff member on Wednesday morning. “It’s day by day. Right now, things have subsided. I don’t want to say ‘peaceful’-that gives the wrong impression, but it is much better than it was.”
Asked if unrest has had a disruptive effect on their outreach, Yoder said, “At the very peak of the violence and rioting, yes, because it’s difficult to travel around, and you have to be careful when you are out.”
Disruption has an immediate impact on the people Christian World Outreach is helping. Yoder explains, “We feed 500 AIDS orphans. We take care of them, feed them, clothe them, and educate them. Every weekend, we take them to our facility for a weekend retreat where they are taught the Gospel.”
CWO is a trusted name in Zimbabwe. The ministry began working there in 2004, and aside from helping AIDS orphans, they hold leadership development programs.
The goal of leadership training is to provide individuals with skills that can be used to improve the conditions in churches, schools, and communities. Pastors learn how to deal with the practical and spiritual questions people are facing on a daily basis.
With the conditions ripe for mass anti-government protests, “pray for the safety, obviously, of our staff there, that they would be safe as they travel around. Pray for the children because often they are victims of the circumstance.”