I am an African Mennonite. It happens that I am also White—my grandparents moved to Zimbabwe in 1921, and my parents moved back to Zambia in 1946. I grew up in Zimbabwe and was baptized into the Brethren in Christ Church (the part of the Mennonite family I come from) in 1964. I went back to Zimbabwe in 1972 as a young man just out of college, and then again from 1988 to 1992 with my family. I have lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe for about 22 years. It is the place I came to faith in Christ and the place where my heart is at home. We have Paraguayan Mennonites and we have Mexican Mennonites in our church—many of us now Canadian. Well, I am an African Mennonite, white skin and all. This morning I speak on behalf of my Mennonite brothers and sisters across Africa. My experience is limited to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and even there I speak from only my perspective; but I will say what I can as clearly and honestly as I can.
I remember a youth gospel team from Lobengula Church. They travelled into the Matopos to preach to people in the villages. The people refused to listen, saying, "we have to plant our fields!" The young people agreed and helped them cultivate the ground and plant their fields; then the villagers were ready to listen. Life is a whole, physical and spiritual together.