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Visit to Asian Rural Institute

It was great to discuss with ARI Director- Ms Tomoko Arakawa in her office as well as with other staff members. She was excited about the prospect of training participants from African Methodist partners since many Africans were being trained at ARI. The three pillars of ARI are servant leadership, foodlife and community of learning.

Every Friday and Tuesday mornings, participants harvest farm products as well as collect chicken eggs and milk for the kitchen staff. This helps the kitchen staff in planning the weekly menus plus making only necessary shopping trips. All farm produce are organic and participants learn that food and life cannot be separated.

At the start of each day, after ten minutes exercise done communally, all staff, participants and volunteers help with campus cleaning since there are no employed support staff. Then we have breakfast, feed livestock and proceed to the chapel for an hour’s gathering. This morning we had up to 80 people present many of which were University undergraduates and short term guests.
Please see photo below.

Shalom
Bunmi Olayisade
Africa Partnership Coordinator

Sent from my iPad

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Visit to Asian Rural Institute

Below are gap year students from Germany, America and Japan picking soyabeans before packaging for sale. This is one of the income generating initiatives at ARI. Their produce are immensely popular Because all farm produce here are organic. Volunteers from Britain are welcome.

I also had the privilege to visit the feed mill where various pig feed were milled and bagged for farm use. Participants learn how to source local resources

Thank you

Blessings

Bunmi Olayisade
Africa Partnership Coordinator

Sent from my iPad

Partnership visit to ARI

It was interesting to hear participants discussing the significance and challenges of organic farming in various global farming contexts in the classroom. I had the privilege of observing and listening particularly from African participants.

We later visited group allotments where organic farming is taught and encouraged. Students encounter practical problems and evolve possible solutions. It was a great session.

Problems often stir up solutions if considered long enough by faith.

Shalom
Bunmi Olayisade
Africa Partnership Coordinator

Sent from my iPad

Visit to Asia Rural Institute, Tochigi – Japan

Great to be here! I arrived at Tochigi today with the hope of having meetings with staff and participants of ARI. I was warmly received by Kathy and others in spite of today being a public holiday.

I look forward to a fruitful week with lots of interactions and participatory activities.

Blessings
Bunmi Olayisade
Africa Partnership Coordinator

Sent from my iPad

The 40th annual conference of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe

It was a joy and a privilege to be able to bring greetings to the 40th annual conference of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe which met last week in Masvingo. It was also good to spend time with Rev Margaret James who was the first woman to be ordained in MCZ 40 years ago and Rev Margaret Mawire, the first woman District Chair, who has more recently been Director at the Mathew Rusike Children’s Home. I was also pleased to meet staff from MeDRA, the Methodist Relief and Development Agency.

On Sunday, a number of us went early to the Great Zimbabwe national monument after which this country is named. Then the morning worship included the ordination of 13 ministers, three of them women. Five new Bishops were also appointed, including the first woman Bishop for 20 years. I am left with a lasting impression of spirit-filled worship, beautiful singing, faithful commitment to God in the midst of great challenges, and the amazing joy and generosity of the Zimbabwe Methodists.

Pictured is two parts of Great Zimbabwe heritage site, conference in session and MeDRA staff and banner.

By Alison Judd, President of The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women

‘Warmed Hearts’ in Zimbabwe

‘Warmed hearts’ has been the theme of the celebration of 40 years of Autonomous mission in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and we have certainly experienced a warm glow in our hearts these last few days. Since the opening ceremony on Thursday evening, the National Sports Stadium in Harare has seen up to 40,000 Methodists singing, dancing, praying, being inspired by Bible-based preaching and worship, culminating in an excellent sermon by General Secretary, Revd Dr J Dube, and communion for everyone on Sunday morning. Time and again, speakers have acknowledged the guidance and provision of a faithful God over many years. The expressions of joy and trust in God in the face of many challenges, particularly the economic situation, have been matched by the generosity shown to us as visitors. It has also been good to see a number of the UK Zimbabwe Methodist Fellowship here with their Chaplain Rev Cleopas Sibanda. Today, with World Federation Area President Sipiwe Chisvo as our guide, we have enjoyed visits to the Connexional Offices, the Women’s Centre and the Matthew Rusike Children’s Home, where Revd Margaret Mawire is Director.

By Alison Judd, President of The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women

 

Alison Judd writes on her visit to Zimbabwe

What a terrific welcome awaited us as Les and I emerged from the Airport in Harare. The World Federation Area President for South and East Africa, Sipiwe Chisvo, lives nearby and with a large and vocal group of Methodist women from the local Unit had come to greet us.

Today being Sunday we visited two fledgeling churches on our way to Harvest celebrations at Nyatsime Methodist Church, (pictured) bringing greetings at each one and delighting to join in vibrant worship including energetic dancing and fervent prayer. We have already experienced wonderful hospitality from the Methodist Women’s Fellowship here and have been reminded we are part of a global family through Christ. What a perfect way to spend our first day in Zimbabwe.

From Alison Judd, President of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women