There is an area outside Harare called Chitungwiza. Within that area is Unit D. Within Unit D is Faith Assembly of God. Construction on the church building for Faith Assembly is nearing an end. But that isn’t the story.
I was chatting with Pastor Lloyd Chamisa about Faith Assembly and the progress on the work. He told me the story of the property where the church building now stands. Before the church purchased the land, it was overgrown, “swampish” land, used as a public latrine in many spots. In the middle of the land was a large tree. A footpath meandered from the road through the property, passed the tree, and out the other side. It was this footpath and tree that made the reputation of the land.
When the church folks began clearing the land, many people from the houses across the street came to speak with Pastor Chamisa. They thanked him for leading his church to get the property. More emphatically, they thanked him for clearing the land and cutting down that big tree. One lady said, “I lost a child by that tree.” Another woman told of physical atrocities she endured near that tree. Others came and spoke of attacks by thieves as they passed the tree, where they were robbed of cell phones, wallets, purses, anything perceived to have value. And, then, there were the stories of rape and murder that occurred near the tree.
The church needed land, so they purchased this plot. Unknown to them, they were not only finding a place where they can meet, but they were ending the horror of pain and misery associated with that plot and that tree.
A place of robbery, rape and murder has been converted to a place of hope, peace and life – sounds like the very transformation that occurs when people yield their lives to Jesus Christ and receive His gift of salvation.