PHOENIX, Arizona – Just when they thought that they had established church planting efforts in all of the unreached groups in Zimbabwe, leaders of the global missions group, ZimZam, attended a Finishing the Task conference sponsored by the Alliance for the Unreached.
ZimZam was established with a vision “to see every people group in the world engage with an indigenously-led church planting movement.” The missions group, based in Phoenix, has focused primarily in the African countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Hence, the name ZimZam.
At the conference, they were surprised to see that the latest list of Unengaged, Unreached People Groups contained two groups in Zimbabwe. Even more unexpected was the finding that those two groups were not native to Zimbabwe but were Chinese.
At this point, the Chinese communities are not large – usually less than 500 each – but they are growing.
China has been investing heavily in African nations and their economies, introducing a wide variety of jobs, and providing labor to help build infrastructure. The country has also been sending teachers to help native people learn the Chinese language and accept the assimilation of the Chinese into their culture.
ZimZam uses several approaches to church planting. One of the methods they have successfully employed in Zimbabwe has been through using Awana clubs to reach children whose parents are busy working, leaving their children at home with nothing meaningful to do.
The children share their experience of learning about God’s love for them with their parents, thus opening the doors to their families. ZimZam then provides Biblical teaching and trains indigenous leaders to establish local churches. The organization anticipates using the same strategy to reach the Chinese communities in the country.
ZimZam President and CEO, Dave Meyers, recognized that “Wherever I go in Africa, Chinese are there . . . building roads . . . building infrastructure. God . . . has given us an open road . . . to be able to talk to them, present the Gospel, see kids reached . . . and new churches being planted.”
Looking forward, he envisions at least some of the Chinese in Africa returning to their own country as witnesses of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- Missions Network News, Serving the last unreached people groups in Zimbabwe and Zambia
- ZimZam Global website
- The Alliance for the Unreached website
- Finishing the Task website