Velaphi and his wife, Stella, are natives of Zimbabwe. They have three adult children who are members of the Lord's church. Velaphi is a sound gospel preacher and an incredibly hard worker. The Mlangenis are friends of the Baker family.

Zimbabwe is a nation of 12 million people, most of whom are extremely poor. Famine, and economy riddled by inflation and AIDS are particular problems in this country.

The Zimbabwe work began in July, 2002. It is overseen by the Rainbow church of Christ in Gadsden, Alabama and is supported by several congregations in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. Part of the $25,000 annual budget goes toward providing food for the hungry and helping orphans whose parents died of AIDS. The work currently has a shortfall and is in need of additional monthly support. Highlights of the work since it began include:

Over 1,200 baptisms, including 192 this year.

A World Bible School office correspondence ministry that has several thousand students.

A Drip Irrigation program that teaches people to grow crops in areas that receive very little rainfall. This program also feeds the people spiritually as evidenced by 24 baptisms in November resulting directly from this ministry.

A weekly, prime-time Sunday evening radio program broadcast by World Radio over a 20-station network reaching a potential audience of over 12 million people.

A nationwide annual Youth Lectureship attended by more than 500 young people from 58 congregations of the Lord's church in Zimbabwe.

An annual Women's Lectureship attended by more than 500 women.

A new prison ministry with 315 prisoners enrolled in World Bible School correspondence courses.

We will receive monthly progress reports from the Mlangenis, which we'll post on the bulletin board to keep the congregation up-to-date.