Some years ago, a young man by the name of Israel Kamudzandu found his way to the life of Bethel UMC. Some of you may remember Israel, while others who have joined us after his time here may not. I was just a young lad when Israel was passing through these doors. It has been a few years since he was with us on a regular basis.
Israel touched the lives of many when he was with Bethel and was passionate about his home in Africa. He knew that there were a number of challenges that faced those that were left behind at home. A part of these challenges led him to begin the support of a lone orphanage in the Old Mutare Mission in Zimbabwe. At the time, it was just a single building that housed children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in the area. Over the years, it has become much more.
While Israel is no longer directly connected to the mission as he was many years ago, it has become a passion of many in the congregation to support this worthy ministry that has helped not only many children, but also families over the last few years.
The Old Mutare Mission has become more than just an orphanage. While it continues to support children that have been affected by the AIDS epidemic in the area, it now takes on children of all situations. The mission is also home to a hospital, a church, schools, and a dental clinic. It has grown as the need has grown.
Each Easter and Christmas we support this mission with what we call “Israel’s Easter Lillies” and “Israel’s Christmas Poinsettias”. In exchange for live flowers on the altar for these holidays, we invite you to donate to this mission ‘In Honor of’ or ‘In Memory of” someone near to your heart. All the funds will be used directly by the mission. As we pay our apportionment or “tithe” to the United Methodist Church, that takes care of all of the administrative costs while each donated dollar goes directly to those that need it most. We invite you to support this worthwhile mission this season and in the years to come.