Posted by: Titus Presler | November 17, 2010

Continuing property struggles in Harare prompt call to prayer

Today’s request for prayer from the Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of the Diocese of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa – the entity that continues to be a member of the Anglican Communion – notes the alienation of a number of church properties but also the successful turning back of an attempt by renegade Bp. Nolbert Kunonga to take over Gaul Theological College, a seminary of the province, in Harare.

Prayer Update – 17/11/2010

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings from the Diocese of Harare (CPCA). We want to thank you all very much for your continued prayer support and for journeying with us thus far. Your solidarity with the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe is greatly appreciated. Our people continue to endure the harsh exile from their churches but cry “for how long.” While some denominations have offered some of our congregations use of their church buildings, others (few) we hear rent our buildings from Dr. Kunonga. A number still meet in the open air. This is the beginning of our rainy season and
obviously while we want it to rain we wish it would not rain on a Sunday.

There haven’t been any running battles with the police lately because our people have stopped insisting on worshiping in their church buildings. A lot of our church buildings are now being used by Dr. Kunonga as schools and colleges while vestries have been turned into residential homes. What was once sacred space for us is now profane space.

Yesterday Dr. Kunonga’s people wanted to take over our National Anglican Theological College (Bishop Gaul College) in Harare where we train our priests. When Dr. Kunonga’s people told the acting principal and the students that they had come to take the college, the principal and students went into prayer.

An eye witness had this to say about what she observed, “I was a stunned participant of today’s attempted takeover of Bishop Gaul College. The praise and worship and prayers the boys [seminarians] went into drove those interlopers right out of the common room to stand in groups outside whispering. Oh yes – the Spirit of
the Lord is upon all those young men in training. I was so proud to be associated with them all.”

For the first time in a very long time, the police protected our students from Kunonga’s people and told them that they could not accomplish their mission because they needed three things: (1) proof of ownership, (2) Court judgments that showed that they had been given our properties and (3) Court eviction Order. They were told to leave our premises and stop wasting police time. They left and have not come back today. Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is gracious; and his mercy endures forever!

We continue to wait for a date when our cases will be heard in the Supreme Court.
Please continue to pray with us.

Please pray for:
1. A just end to our current struggles and a peaceful return to our churches.
2. A date to be set for the hearing of our cases in the Supreme Court.
3. The finances needed to meet our legal expenses.
4. Our people to remain courageous in the face of great adversity.
5. The ministry of the church under difficult conditions.
6. The clergy and laity of the diocese as they seek to fulfil their ministries in our context.
7. A favourable rainy season
8. Give thanks for the faithfulness and resilience of the people of our diocese.

Thank you.

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