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Pastor Sikiani: Doing great work in tough times
Taurai Maduna, Kubatana.net
September 19, 2006

View photo essay on Pastor Sikiyani and the orphans

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Pastor Diamond Sikiani from Great Harvest Disciple Ministry in Goromonzi
Pastor Diamond Sikiani from Great Harvest Disciple Ministry in Goromonzi

"Each man for himself and God for us all", is what Zimbabweans are saying to each other as they struggle to make ends meet. With inflation hovering at 1200%, unemployment at more than 70% and with hundreds dying of HIV/AIDS every week, these are tough times.

However, Zimbabwe has some good people, like Pastor Diamond Sikiani, that have devoted their lives to assisting their fellow countrymen . In 1962 Pastor Sikiani began working for the Lord, saying it was a calling. In 1980, the Lord urged him to take up Bible studies and in three years he became a minister spreading the word of the Lord across Zimbabwe. In 2000, the Lord called on Pastor Sikiani to assist orphans who were struggling in the rural areas. He said he told the Lord that he did not have the money to do this but the Lord said he would provide him with money. listen to audio file

Pastor Sikiani finally settled in the Rusike area of Goromonzi, 20km from Harare. Well known in his community, his homestead is referred to as the "pink house", because the church he established is painted bright pink. Great Harvest Disciple Ministry, is the name of the church founded by the Pastor. He said most of the people that attend the church are from the local community, many are orphans. In response to what keeps him going despite all the challenges he faces, the pastor replied, "If everything is led by God, nothing can fail".

Pastor Sikiani in discussion with volunteers who include Caroline Lapham (extreme right)
Pastor Sikiani in discussion with volunteers who include Caroline Lapham (extreme right)
The great work that the Pastor Sikiani is doing has attracted support from well wishers, the majority being in Harare. Caroline Lapham is a volunteer who has worked with Pastor Sikiani for over a year. She said she got to know Pastor Sikiani through her church. One of the ways that Caroline has been assisting is setting up a database of the children that need assistance in the Goromonzi area. listen to audio file

A total of 600 children have been entered into the database so far. Some of the children are orphans and come from child headed households. Caroline said she hopes to use this information to look for people who can assist the children with school fees, uniforms and food. Caroline said working on the database hasn't been an easy task.

Some of the children that have come to seek assistance from Pastor Sikiyani
Some of the children that have come to seek assistance from Pastor Sikiani

She has to interview over 600 children and take their photographs, but her work has been made easier with the assistance of students at Gateway High School in Harare. Before the interviews take place, Pastor Sikiani informs his community about the dates in advance and people come from far away places to take part in the exercise. Whilst in Goromonzi they sleep at Pastor Sikiani's homestead where they are also fed. On her recent visit to Pastor Sikiyani's church, Caroline and her colleagues took three big traditional pots that will be used for feeding children at the pre-school which is also housed in the church .

Robert Kazunga is another volunteer from Harare. He has been working with the local community in the various committees that have been set up. He said these committees co-ordinate the work done in the community. Robert said the response from the community has been good. "The community now realises that for development to take place they need to be involved," he said. listen to audio file

After the interviews, the children are provided with lunch. To some, this is the highlight of the day.
Stanbic Bank has also chipped in by providing funds to electrify the church and the sinking of a borehole which provides pumped water. Pastor Sikiyani also believes in the importance of self-sustainability and has set up a vegetable garden in an effort to grow food for the church.

Pastor Sikiani said that the church would be grateful to people who can assist with clothes, uniforms and school fees.

Those interested in assisting Pastor Sikiani can contact Pastor Kumbu Phiri at info@elshammah.co.zw or Caroline Lapham on +263-4-885013.

Read more about the Goromonzi Project which was set up by Janet Shaw http://aarghmag.com/goromonzi/goromonziindex.html

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