Zimbabwe pastor inspires locals

Ann Cousineau

Zimbabwe pastor inspires localsPastor Grace Zhanagazha of Zimbabwe inspired dozens of local women when she spoke at Desert Christian Center in early March. More than 60 local ladies joined 100 women from other churches who traveled to Oxnard for a March 15-17 Christian women’s retreat where Pastor Grace was the keynote speaker.

“Grace has impacted our lives here at DCC. She is full of God’s word and able to share it with us in such an impacting way. Her sweet and gentle spirit has touched us all,” said Cindy Schaden, a DCC senior pastor and leader of DCC’s Women’s ministry. “Grace spoke at our ‘It’s A Girl Thing’ meeting launching a new year of that ministry on March 2. We hold monthly get-togethers and in September we hold a citywide event, called ‘It’s A Girl Thing.’”

During her travels in the U.S., Grace is recognized as a dynamic preacher and motivational speaker. At home in Harare, Zimbabwe, Grace, a mother of three children, is also raising her late sister’s children.

In addition, she assists her husband in preaching and ministering to 17 churches in the city and in the miles of countryside around their home.

“I didn’t set out to be a preacher’s wife,” Grace said during a break between speaking engagements at a women’s retreat last weekend. “And, I did not expect to be called to preach myself.

“In Zimbabwe I split preaching visits of our 17 churches with Peter. Every Sunday we leave before sunup in order to reach all of them. I certainly never dreamed I’d be preaching to the nations like this. I love Jesus; He ministers to me as I minister.”

As they did during a previous visit in 2011, Pastors Grace and Peter Zhanagazha touched the hearts of many Ridgecrest families, friends, and students as they enjoyed their recent visit. They were also stars for a day at Gateway School when they demonstrated and shared cultural lessons with students there.

“I enjoyed my time with the ladies and children in Ridgecrest so much,” Grace said.

While teaching in Ridgecrest and during four retreat sessions at the Oxnard retreat, Grace compared differences she’s noticed between life and culture in Zimbabwe and America.

“Whenever I come to this country, I see so many options; so many things are readily available. In Africa, just getting power and water every day are prayer items,” she said. “When we know that teams are coming, we start fasting and praying to God long before they come, so that we may have enough water for the visitors coming in the summer.”

Story First Published: 2013-03-27