Lance and Christina describe themselves as “Zimbabwean peace warriors.” Working with the Trees of Peace ministry in Zimbabwe, they conduct trainings in conflict transformation across Africa utilizing experiential learning methodologies which they learned from their mentors, Dan and Sharon Buttry, IM global servants in peace and justice. In addition to their primary work of peace building and conflict transformation, the Muteyos develop leaders in a ministry of training and capacity building and oversee sustainable economic development projects. Lance and Christina share, “It is our belief that peace, justice, truth and mercy are ingredients for sustainable peace building.”
They write – Poverty is the major threat to peace and justice in our community. Unfortunately, this is deep, structural poverty that comes as a result of colonialism, neo-colonialism and internalized external oppression from our leaders. Amos 8, verse 6 prophetically puts it this way: “We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We’ll find someone poor who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave.” Therefore, since ancient days, the struggle of the poor has been real.
Zimbabwe is a very beautiful country of 14 million people in Southern Africa. … our people are extremely poor. Thousands of reasons are mentioned as the source of this abject poverty. I have realized that lack of will power, dedication and commitment among ourselves sinks us deeper into poverty – mostly mental poverty.
The economic situation during the last twenty years has been chaotic. The situation improved during 2009 – 2013, but this was short-lived. Zimbabwe suffered one of the worst periods of inflation in our country’s history, and today our inflation is second only to Venezuela … Thousands are dying of stress related illnesses. Prostitution, drug abuse, theft, domestic violence and corruption are on the rise.
Our Intervention – Trees of Peace Africa has been leading conflict transformation training to marginalized groups for many years through the “Global Mentoring Peace Project”. We recently partnered with International Ministries through the “Student Tuition Expense Program” (STEP) Children of Africa to provide school fees and uniforms, stationery, and peace training to village children and young people in Zimbabwe and Zambia. This education and training help prevent drug abuse, school dropouts, and HIV /AIDS. We have also supported emerging young leaders who lead, monitor, evaluate, and supervise STEP at a local level.
Additionally, we are promoting goat and chicken projects which provide basic life skills to villagers such as gardening, livestock rearing and tailoring. We intend to have our own tailoring/clothes making school so that children can learn to make their own uniforms and sell some clothes. Please pray for us. We believe that the fight against poverty is a fight against perennial dependency.
Read their full journal at https://www.internationalministries.org/stepping-into-steps-of-faith/