“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; them that are ill-treated, as being yourselves also in the body”- Hebrews 13:3 (ASV)
One of our 2010 graduates, Stanley Shereni, got in touch with us concerning the amazing work he is doing for our Lord Jesus back home in Zimbabwe. Stanley went home and started working in Prison Ministry where he has been involved with twenty out forty-six prisons in Zimbabwe that are in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Harare province. Stanley and his team aim at helping inmates change their behaviour through New Life Behaviour Courses and preaching the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are some of the successes they had in the year 2016;
- 6, 500 by 12 pages Courses were printed
- 1, 500 certificates were printed
- A total of 5, 627 inmates are in various levels of study in these courses. Starting from Unit one Lesson 1 (Who Am I?) To Unit 38 Lesson 3 (Is there a solution?)
- A total of 1500 were awarded certificates after completing lessons in the Sense of Self Series
- 4 Students have completed the whole series
- One has been released from prison and the prison authorities had to organize a farewell party for him because of good behaviour. He had served 22 years behind bars.
- Three have been rewarded for their good behaviour and are now serving their time in the open prison where they could go home on weekends and come back on Monday. To God be the Glory.
Through this work, the team has been blessed by carrying out 1, 425 baptisms in the previous year inside the prisons. Almost similar to what transpired to Paul and Silas when a prison officer got saved and was baptized (Acts 16:25-34), Stanley’s team also baptized seven prison officers during the year. There were also some who applied to go for bible school from the new converts in order to join the work of the kingdom. They also received a donation of 617 bible which they distributed in the prisons and some family members of the inmates.
This work has not been without challenges though. One of them was lack of adequate resources to support inmates with toiletries. Probably the biggest was what Jesus also talked about in Matthew 9:35-39 that, “The harvest is plentiful but labourers are few.” Stanley lamented that people are running away from prison ministry because they do not benefit anything financially. As a result, they began labelling him as a gold digger who has found ways to make easy money from American saints. However, it is the love of Christ burning inside him to see people saved that drives him and the other team members. Stanley needs our prayers and support as he continues to labour for God in proclaiming the gospel of salvation to those in prisons and helping them change their lives for the better.
His story is one of many stories that inspires us here at African Christian College to apply more of ourselves in our vision to equip African women and men for excellent service in the kingdom of God. To God be the all the glory.
NB: The other members working with Stanley are; Thomas Meki from Banket Church of Christ, Sam Mawawo from Kariba church, Richard James Phiri from Chidzuwi Church of Christ, Ringson Pisaunga from Katanda Church of Christ, and Malvern Kavenga also from Katanda Church of Christ.