I have decided to record the talks that I listen to during my journeys from Norton to Harare and back. Norton is 48km west of Harare. A big number of people who live in Norton, work in Harare. They commute everyday to and from Harare. It is during these journeys that I record stories that are shared when people are traveling. Most people here do not have a reading culture so the oral nature of us, take the upper hand.
Tuesday 11 November: The first issue raised was about the deteriorating situation of our economy. We were passing a farm just outside Norton owned by a retired army general Zvinavashe. The comment went like this, “Look its all wasteland. When whites were still here this land was ever green. Now it’s bare. They wait for rains. So people expect hunger to go away?” This guy went on, “Whites know how to run businesses. Put a white man at the Reserve Bank and you will see change from day one.”
The second issue which was shared by most of the people in the Combi was about relationships between Land Lords and Tenants. One woman started sharing about her troubles with her Land Lady. Those near her joined in the discussion until it spread to most of the Combi. The main issue raised was about Land Lords who raised rent because they were jealousy. It was alleged that once they saw you living well they begin to ask for help. For instance, they ask for cooking oil and other groceries which they do not return. When you ask back for what they would have taken you are treated badly or you are sent away. Another woman who joined in said that her rentals were 150 Rands per room per month but it was raised this month to 300 Rands per room per month. She declared that she was leaving that place. Christian Land Lords came under a very strong attack. One woman said that: “The worst Land Lords are Christians. I had a Land Lady who belonged to ZAOGA church. “These people cry when they worship but that is faking. They are just rough. At their homes they treat us like dogs. But listen to them when they pray, they are hypocrites.” Another woman nearby said that she had a Catholic Land Lady who had a position at Church and she alleged that she was so cruel. It was also alleged that some Land Lords also steal. “I had gone to church but my maid remained and my Land Lady thought we had all gone. She went into the house and was taking things and as she was caught red handed she started saying that her child had thrown her toy under the sofa,” she alleged.
The third issue was on witch craft. This issue developed from the Land Lord problems. The woman who raised the issue said that she once stayed at a place where the Land Lady was a witch. She alleged that when she had given birth her child used to cry uncontrollably. She could tell that there was somebody at the door. One day she woke up and opened the door and this woman moved away but she had seen her. A man told of a story when he caught his Land Lady on his door. When he opened the door she ran away through the window. Another woman interjected and said that it was impossible for one to see a witch and live again. She sighted so many instances when one came face to face with a witch and died. There was a time when a witch was spotted in Norton and people came to see the witch. The woman said that the first person to see that witch died three days later. The man besides me said that he once stayed at a place where there were lots of vegetables. A woman came wanting to buy vegetables and she was denied them. She went away but in the evening hell broke lose when around 3.00am there was noise outside of something which appeared was flapping ears like a donkey. No one could venture go outside. Early in the morning they saw the garden bare. All the vegetables had been cut and taken away.
After 50 minutes journey we arrived safely.
16 November Devotions
Moses pointed to the coming Messiah (Deuteronomy: 18 vs 14-22)
While the Old Testament is instructive and complete, it is also a prelude to the coming Christ the Messiah. The OT makes it clear that what was there was not perfect. It was only Christ the Messiah who was capable of making all things new. It is not surprising that when Christ came on the scene he was described by John the Baptist like the one, “…whose sandals I am not fit to carry.” Both Moses and John the Baptist elevate Jesus above all creation because He is God’s Son whom the voice of the spirit says, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:vs 17)
The people had asked Moses to protect them from God who was so powerful that at his sight they trembled. Moses assured them that God had a plan of sending someone like him. The conditions set for His coming was that the people would listen to Him. He would be the representative of God. He would dwell among them and His message would be true. Moses compares any messenger who brings false message as not from God and was not worth listening to.
When Peter had healed a crippled man and people responded like he was God he was quick to point the success of his work to Jesus whom they had crucified.(Acts 3 1-25). He says to them, “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.” (Vs 16). Salvation is for those that come to the Lord in repentance. God is ready to forgive our sins each time we come to him. God makes all things become new.
Christ comes with the message of love. He teaches people to love even their enemies contrary to what had been taught in the OT. In Matthew (5: vs 38-48) we are instructed by Christ not to revenge but even to go further to humble the evil doer by going an extra mile. This is the way to defeat the evil man. The enemy is not an object of hate but a subject of prayer. When we have started loving our enemies they cease to be enemies but become friends. That is the challenge of the message of God to us. This is made possible by the coming of Christ whom Moses pointed to. Christ is there for us to listen to Him and to obey His instructions to love one another. Moses will not turn in his grave when we follow the teachings of Christ.
Do we go into a struggle because we hate the oppressors or we do it because we love both the people and the oppressors? True liberation liberates both the oppressor and the oppressed. Whenever we are angered by our oppressors let us be reminded of this wonderful teaching of loving and praying for the enemy. This does not stop us from hating the wrong things done by the enemy. The enemy has to be wan over so that he/she also receives salvation. Then and then only will we get our reward for having converted the enemy. Moses the liberator of the people of Israel pointed to the coming Messiah as an example of all time. Jesus like Moses is a liberator. He came to set us free from the bondage of sin. God bless.