By Mat Lombard (Destiny Leadership Academy Class of 2018)
Everybody was exited and awake by 5am on Tuesday the 14th of August, we had high expectations for what the mission would hold for all of us.
We had packed the night before so we prayed and climbed into our vehicles, I personally drove Victor Roberts Hilux which was a joy. The drive up to Zim was long, and I mean LONG, most drivers drove in approximately three hour intervals and swapped with another driver but a special mention needs to go out to the beast himself, Wayne. Wayne drove the entire way there and the entire way back, I tapped out after three hours as did most drivers. After about 20 hours in the vehicles, crossing boarders etcetera, we arrived at the Kings’ house. The Kings are absolute legends and hosted most of the team throughout our stay in Zimbabwe. Most of the team only stayed one night at the Kings house before departing in the morning to various towns across Zimbabwe for a week. I was part of the Gweru squad.
Gweru, or at least the part of Gweru we stayed at, is a very poor subsistence farming community where a common sight is a wooden cart being pulled by four donkeys and the rarest sight is a car of any kind. My squad stayed in a house and we were blessed to sleep on beds. I want to say that we blessed this community but it felt as though they were the ones blessing us, we had seen that they had a small building project going and we offered to help but they refused and instead wanted us to lead their church services while we stayed there, because we were there they came out once a day for the duration of our stay. Most of my team ended up preaching twice, once during the week and once on Sunday when we split up and went to some other churches in the area. The church I was at had four walls, that’s all, just four walls. No seats, no roof, no floor. One thing I can take away from Gweru is their hunger to know more about God, and they just wanted to learn from us, but I think we learned more from them.
As my squad arrived back we heard that one of our vehicles had been damaged due to circumstances out of the drivers control and we can only thank God for keeping everybody safe on the roads during the mission and even just during DLA as a whole.
Next we were to set up and serve at the Bulawayo equip, set up was what we had expected but what struck me was that the church was operating out of a tent and right next to the tent was the incomplete building that the church was going to use in the future, the building is huge, the seating capacity of the building is probably five times the capacity of the tent and they had the faith that it would one day be filled. The equip from what I heard was amazing but I left early on day two of the trip to go to Harare to serve at a youth event in one of the townships surrounding Harare.
To be honest this time in Harare before the Equip was a period of rest, the youth event only started at 6pm which meant we had the days off and at night we stayed with our hosts who were honestly so kind and hospitable. The youth event itself was also very fun, I ended up being a judge during their talent show which was a very fun experience, and there was definately some talent showcased.
The Harare Equip had barely any set up and only a little work to be done during the Equip so we could join in on the sessions and I can truly day that the Spirit was there and that I did not leave Harare the same.
After the Harare Equip the entire DLA team was off to Botswana, some of the team spent a night in a town near the border but the rest of us went to Gaberone and just spent time at a church there. The day before we left we joined on an outreach programme that fed a rural community but on the way there unfortunately the car I was driving’s engine cut out and that meant that the brakes didnt work as well and I ended up bumping into one of our cars in front of me. The other car wasn’t damaged but the white Avansa was cracked in the plastic all around the front, and Wayne being a beast simply used a screw driver, made a fire in a can and welded the plastic back together.
The morning after we had a much shorter drive back home, I love Zimbabwe and Botswana but I was really happy to be home again.