By Theophilus Ngonidzaishe Gurupira
Who would know or have imagined seeing the hard of hearing singing songs of praise to the Lord? Yes! They did and they sang whole heartedly with great joy as smiles could be seen on their faces at the recently held Hard of Hearing two-day workshop held at Chikanga United Methodist Church, Mutare.
The workshop was funded by the United Methodist Women
through the auspices of the office of Mrs. Tendai Rebecca Gurupira, the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Ministry with Women, Children and Youth Coordinator. A similar workshop was held at Nyadire Central Primary School.
The Hard of Hearing two-day workshop was facilitated by Messers Makaya, Manunure and Graham. The event held at Chikanga UMC in the Mutare District of Zimbabwe East Annual Conference (ZEAC) attracted 54 deaf members from the community and other church members.
The deaf people face a lot of challenges in our African society, the main challenges they face is difficulty in expressing their feelings and communicate exactly what they want to those who can hear very well. Their plight is further worsened by the lack of interest in those with hearing capabilities to learn sign language. This makes them lose out in many activities including sermons preached in the church.
The plight of these people was raised by Agnes, a young lady who has great passion for these disadvantaged people. She shared about the deaf ministries at her church with the Ministry with Women, Children and Youth Mrs. Gurupira. This raised the need for intervention from her desk. In giving a hand to the deaf ministry at Chikanga Circuit, a workshop was held for the hard of hearing.
The Regional Missionary with the United Methodist Women (UMW), Mrs. Grace Musuka graced the occasion.
Various topics were taught at this workshop which included Effective Communication, Dressing, Praying the Lord’s Prayer and also “How to run small scale businesses”.
Mrs. Grace Musuka urged the hard of hearing to work hard and achieve their goals in life and she was also grateful for the work done at Chikanga UMC,”This is a success story, keep on working for the Lord is with you...”
The Poultry Project
The Ministry with Women, Children and Youth gave hope to the hard of hearing as they funded the poultry project which is to be run by the deaf and the proceeds will be used for expanding the project and helping out the deaf at this church.
“It is our wish that you will work tirelessly in making this project flourish and use it as your own gateway to venturing in small scale businesses and empower yourselves. Do not let this project end here at church make it expand and reach your homes and benefit from such projects” said Mrs. Gurupira
The Chikanga Pastor in Charge Rev. Togara Bhobho, also shared his joy with the deaf and said that “This project is going to attract a lot of those who are hard of hearing since there is something tangible to show that we care and think of them in our church” He also added that the workshop was of great help since the congregants at his parish can now communicate with the deaf making it easy for them to come for Sunday Services and participate actively in church.
The representative for the hard of hearing, Emma thanked the Ministry with Women, Children and Youth coordinator Mrs. Gurupira for her care and support through her office’s funding of the project and assured her that they will work hand in hand with the church in running the project. The saying that “Disability does not mean inability” was evidenced by the gifts of knitted blankets and African shirts they made for the coordinator and her team.
Such a move supports the theme for the United Methodist Church of making disciples for the Lord since it is accommodating those who are not thought of when we spread the word of God. Surely with can reach great heights if such projects are spread all over the nation.