Irene Chingwaru eats with two of her surviving children at Ngangu United Methodist Church in Ngangu, Zimbabwe, after Cyclone Idai ravaged the region in March. She and her husband lost two sons, ages 9 and 14, in the cyclone. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.
By Kudzai Chingwe
May 1, 2019 | NGANGU, Zimbabwe (UMNS)
As relief efforts continue in parts of Zimbabwe ravaged by Cyclone Idai in March, local pastors are tending to survivors’ spiritual needs.
Those who lost loved ones, homes and belongings are struggling to pick up the pieces, and pastors in Zimbabwe are doing their best to help.
The Rev. Stephen Chitiyo, pastor in charge for the Chimanimani East Circuit stationed at Ngangu United Methodist Church, swiftly offered accommodations in the sanctuary to the homeless and injured in the aftermath of the cyclone, which killed more than 900 people in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
He also provided space to hold bodies awaiting identification and burial.
“I had to program (two hours daily) as time for counseling sessions, because at one time in the sanctuary, there were bodies, the injured and the homeless. I had to either do individual or group counseling, depending on the situation, and set aside time to bury the dead,” said the soft-spoken Chitiyo.