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Article by Colin Scott, COCOA Director, GMP
I visit Boniface Mpofu, from Showers of Blessing in Zimbabwe, annually to see the new boreholes he has drilled and to hear how the communities are making use of them. So it was a privilege for GMP to host Boniface here for his first time in Australia during May! Boniface travelled to NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia to share with various churches, conferences and groups.
Boniface shared the stories of transformation and the impact boreholes have on rural villages in Zimbabwe such as Rupemba, a community which, after receiving a borehole, asked to have a church so their children could learn the values and spirituality that Boniface had demonstrated to them through the provision of safe water. Boniface also shared the importance of participation, ownership and sustainability in development projects as well as informing how Showers of Blessing and COCOA are working together to find the best way to support rural communities through the current drought in Zimbabwe. Ros Stafford-Green from Marion Church of Christ, SA, shared that it was “great to see his enthusiasm for the project and also the caring way in which he ensures it is owned by the villages and how they become responsible for its ongoing success”. A visitor from another country, sharing stories, has a big impact. At the Murray Bridge Church of Christ (SA), Pastor Grant Spangenberg shared an affinity with Boniface’s rural work as people also “living in the country”. He was encouraged by Boniface’s presence: “While we hear and read about it, and pray for the work, to actually have someone with us, gives legs to all that we hear, see and do”. Southern Illawarra Church (NSW) was also encouraged when Boniface shared photos of the bore at Msipa, for which the church had raised funds .
Brian and Eleanor from South Australia found out that Showers of Blessing does more than “drilling bores”. Community work like boreholes and church work like evangelism, are both God’s work and it is God that makes them effective together. People were moved by Boniface’s visit. Doug Walladge, minister at Salisbury East Church of Christ (SA) appreciated “Boniface’s quiet passion for helping communities without seeking recognition for the good work achieved through his activity”. James Bowden, SA/NT State Youth Minister, also shared that “Boniface was a great inspiration and encouragement. There is much to celebrate in what Showers of Blessing has already achieved and there is much we can do to support their ongoing work”.
Boniface had opportunities to see some tourist spots in Australia. One example was his trip to The Three Sisters (NSW). Later, he showed me photos of Yenga in Zimbabwe with very similar rock formations. “See,” he said, “Australia is just like Zimbabwe”.
We are glad that Boniface enjoyed his visit to Australia, particularly wanting to pass on his thanks to young people who had given up their drinks to raise money for Safe Water September. Showers of Blessing and COCOA will continue working together to find the best way to support rural communities through the drought. Thank you for your warm welcome to Boniface and your continued support of this work.
Safe Water September
In just a few months Safe Water September (SWS) will be under way and the funds raised from that will go to support the work that Boniface does. Have a think about taking the challenge this year, and invite others to take up the challenge or support you. For more information please visit www.safewaterseptember.org.au.