Hi to you all,
Zimbabwe is going through a very difficult time. We have just heard that the branch has had to release 24 brothers from Bethel. That will bring the Bethel family down to about 60 odd. Some will go into the special pioneer work and others back to supporting a local congregation. That is seven married couples and ten single brothers. Others may be asked to leave if the economic situation does not improve.
The branch has also had to cut back on a large number of special pioneers. So far this does not include me....!!! Additionally the whole Kingdom Hall building program has stopped and all construction brothers sent home. So far the program has built about 450 new Kingdom Halls for about 530 congregations under this assistance to countries with limited resources program.
The reason for all this is the deplorable economic situation that the country and branch has to work under. Our inflation is so high that by the time money comes in to the country, goes through the banking system and goes out to be used it has lost its value. At present US $1.00 is sitting at Z$100 billion. It will be worse this afternoon..!! So you may think, for example, that you are going to receive the equivalent of US$10. By the time you actually get it the value has dropped to a few cents. We can only draw Z$100 billion a day in cash if the banks have cash. Checks and swipe cards are limited.
We have not had bread in months. Fuel is scarcely available but only in foreign money. No mealie meal, the basic food item for the locals, no sugar, flour, salt, cooking oil, etc. Electricity and water are often off for long periods. Some areas for months and months. So it is all very trying. The whole country is on its knees and the politicians do nothing to help. But then this is Satan's system. On the positive side. We had our Kingdom Hall dedicated on Saturday. 239 came from the two congregations that will use it. One English and one Shona. The Hall itself was a major effort. The site is on clay soil and so we had to go down with eleven reinforced concrete pillars about three meters. It took as long to build our Hall as it took the brothers to build our new Assembly Hall. 15 months.....!! Just had a new peak of over 33,000 which is very encouraging as about five million have left the country for greener pastures in Europe, America, Australia and South Africa due to the problems here. So a peak in publishers is welcome news.
Just came back from doing some rural witnessing today. We have not been out to our calls in the rural area of our territory due to the political intimidations that has been going on with the elections. Many brothers have had a very difficult time and some loosing everything. Typical of Satan. The brothers warned us not to go out there.
But today it was quiet and we were very well received. The Truth is still good to some here.
Sadly we may have to leave before the year is out as we can no longer manage economically and medically. The three of us will move to England. The Medical Aid Societies, we have been relying on to assist with medical expenses, have collapsed. Along with most other institutions. It has been so sad to see such a beautiful country go down the drain...but then the whole world will soon be following suit. But we are well. A____ had a cold and cough but now coming out of that.
So keep all the brothers here in your prayers, they need them. We will continue to fight the fine fight. Your faithfulness is such an encouragement to us.
Warm regards, P
The Watchtower is a multi-billion dollar organization and yet these brothers have to rely on worldly organizations for assistance. Shameful!