Hope for Zimbabwe through Education
The Petra Schools in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, provide an education of as high a quality and as low a cost as possible to about 1,200 children aged 5 to 19. The Petra Schools have a Christian ethos, and welcome children without regard to race, colour, gender or religion. They have a priority of providing places for those with special educational or financial needs. The purpose of the Petra Schools is "The Formation of Christian Character." ways to help
This year Chris has begun a new phase of his Christian ministry, which is already proving the most challenging, but also the most encouraging and fruitful, of his entire ministry. He is no longer Rector of the Petra Schools, but has the new role of Overseas Ambassador, which includes raising support and building overseas links for Petra. Free from the administrative burden and the stress of having overall responsibility for running the Petra Schools and Whitestone Chapel, he is now able to follow God's original call to him to be a pastor and teacher.
He is still working very closely with Petra and Whitestone, but emphasizing pastoral availability to meet anyone from the church, schools or community, who would like a listening ear and someone to talk to. For example, twice a week he sits under a tree at Petra where the students know that anyone can come to talk to him in confidence. A constant stream of teenagers and children come with questions that are personal and relational, and very often honest and searching inquiries about what it means to believe in God and live a life that pleases him.
Chris is also continuing to preach and speak regularly at the schools and church, to lead Bible study groups, to offer special courses, and to run the youth group called Seven Ups and the annual Aslan Camp, which minister to hundreds of children and teenagers each year.
While Petra and Whitestone are totally supportive of this, they simply do not have the resources, in an unprecedented time of economic stress in Zimbabwe, to give financial support. From now on, Chris will need to raise his own personal support to enable his ministries to continue, as well as support for Petra and Whitestone.
July. 2014 read more
It is always sad when one of our Petra families has to leave. One of our Form 2 girls, who has never missed my Wednesday evening Bible study over the last two years, is emigrating tomorrow because of her father's serious illness. But it was enormously encouraging to read her letter this morning, and realize that what God gave her at Petra will always be part of her life. Here is an extract from her letter:
"During my time at Petra I always looked forward to a corny joke on a Friday morning in assembly. I woke up on Monday ready to go and have a blast singing my heart out to the Lord with all of my friends. I wanted to go to house devotions to hear about how we could improve our faith and etiquette as young men and women. read more
I always look forward to taking our Form 1 pupils to the Matopo Hills over three days after their first month in High School, as I did two weeks ago. It gives me a chance to get to know them, and them time to have fun climbing the kopjes, swimming in streams, getting down on their hands and knees to explore the life in the rock pools, looking for game (we saw zebras, impala, kudu, warthog, klipspringer and baboons), and getting wet and muddy sliding down a rock slide.
One of the Form 1 boys, David, greeted me with a huge grin, and told me how thrilled he is to be at Petra High School. It is a kind of miracle that David (not his real name) was there at all. I got to know him when he came on the Aslan Camp three years ago, but since then his life has been disastrous. His mother and step father went through a very angry divorce, in which David was mixed up because his mother accused his step father of physically abusing him. After the divorce he went to live with his grandparents, because his mother has a wild social life and took no interest in him. The grandparents got impatient with the mother's giving no support at all, so they dumped the boy at his mother's lawyer. The mother, forced to take David in, left him alone most evenings, often in the dark because we have daily power cuts. David was especially distressed that he could never complete home work. read more
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