In my first few days in Johannesburg I got to know a couple from Zimbabwe who had come down to meet me during my stay. They are an older couple, hot on the path of living out the life of Jesus and we enjoyed so much swapping stories and the things God has shown us in our journeys. They were such a joy to be with, especially given the dire circumstances where they live.
The revolution in Zimbabwe has been devastating. Now run by a dictator who bulldozes the homes of anyone who disagrees with him, the economy has collapsed. Crime is rampant and today the Zimbabwe dollar trades for $30,000.00 US and it costs more than a million dollars just to go get groceries and food is incredibly scarce. Over 90% of the white population has fled the country in recent years to find better conditions elsewhere.
They told me a story about a friend of theirs, a dentist that had moved to Australia some years earlier as the country was collapsing. After he was there a few years he felt God ask him, “Why are you here?” As he thought about the trouble in his home country and the better life he was able to make for his family in Australia. Then the Lord continue to speak to him. “You can live in a first-world country naturally but spiritually it is a third world country. Or you can live in a third-world country in the natural but in actuality is a first world country spiritually.” Within a few months he moved back to Zimbabwe where he remains today.
The courage and passion of people who are led by God to stay in a country so broken, when most of their friends have fled was inspiring to me. Pray for them and others throughout Zimbabwe who live in the midst of such incredible need yet continue to grow so deeply in the life of Jesus.