Friday, January 18, 2019

Now that's what I call a crisis!

Please pray for the people of Zimbabwe. While we in Britain feel the effects of political uncertainty and deadlock over Brexit, we should be grateful that we are not oppressed by a militaristic regime intent on suppressing dialogue and protest. The dear people of Zimbabwe are suffering 90% unemployment, the doubling of fuel prices overnight, runaway inflation and food shortages. According to BBC news this morning, hundreds of people have been arrested arbitrarily and people with guns are roaming the city streets. Police reportedly stand by and watch looting, whilst roads and shops are closed, along with banks and government departments.

Also, like in North Korea and other totalitarian regimes, the authorities have blocked the Internet and prevented WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook from being used in order to control news to the outside world as well as to prevent citizens from communicating with one another. Meanwhile the President is reported to be away in Russia seeking assistance in building up his military and other such aid. What a tragedy for a once proud nation that used to be known as the bread basket of southern Africa and now looks more like a basket case.

What can the outside world do? It is unclear. Sanctions usually only hurt suffering populations even more. But maybe pressure can be put by international investors and governments to force change. Until then, I hope that the world will pray and ask God to be merciful to that nation once again and send the rain of His Spirit on the church there, giving wisdom and great grace to the leaders and people who are enduring this situation. The God of the Bible says: "If my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health". (2 Chron 7:14 The Message). Let's pray that will happen today.