Economic Woes Create Spiritual Hunger in Zimbabwe

An international evangelist says the devastating toll of Zimbabwe’s fiscal drought and resulting food shortage has sparked an unprecedented spiritual hunger among residents in the downtrodden southern African nation.

Though much of the media attention about Zimbabwe has focused on the nation’s political upheaval, Christopher Alam, founder of Dynamis World Ministries, said hundreds of thousands of people have packed fields in Zimbabwe during his recent crusades. Despite sanctions, high inflation and a tumultuous fight for political control under way, Alam said many are being saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit.

“Every night at the altar call we saw huge multitudes receive the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior,” he said. “There is nothing in this world like seeing such multitudes pressing forward to meet the Savior, who alone has the power to give sinners the gift of eternal life.”

Alam said that each evening he doesn’t lay hands on attendees but only preaches the gospel. “People are so hungry spiritually,” he told Charisma. “We saw many wonderful miracles, as the Lord gave great grace and confirmed the gospel message with signs following.

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“We saw many demon-possessed delivered, and blind, deaf and crippled people were healed.”

Alam recalls that during the most recent crusade in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, patients at the nearby hospital asked if they could be released to attend the meeting. Their doctors could not discharge them, but asked Alam to pray a special prayer for the patients.

Alam said the evening after he prayed for the patients, hospital officials reported many healings. “About half the patients had been healed by the power of God,” he said. “In fact, the doctors had spent that morning examining and discharging all those patients because they were now healed and well.”

But Alam says that many more people outside the hospital are suffering from the country’s economic ills.

Zimbabwe currently boasts the highest inflation rate in the world at 11 million percent. Many in the nation, once known as the “bread basket” of the region, are now eating only one meal a day, Alam said. Clean water and medical supplies are scarce.

In addition, gasoline and diesel prices have soared, and an average bus fare to work costs a few days’ wages for Zimbabweans. Alam said that regardless of the barriers, Zimbabweans are coming to the crusades in droves.

“There are people who walk two hours a day to work and two hours back; and after that, they would walk about 10 miles to come to the crusade,” Alam told Charisma. “It’s very humbling to see the [spiritual] hunger those people have.”

During the Victoria Falls crusade, Alam said the young people were chanting through the streets, “‘If this is what church is like, that is where we want to be.’”

Alam said their statement sends a sobering message to churches in America, which he described as “self-centered.”

“Sinners are not seeking a ‘fast-food, drive-through’ style of Christianity, with a concert-style worship followed by a short ‘life coach’ style message affirming them and then sending them home,” he said. “Sinners are seeking Jesus of Nazareth.”

With many of the nation’s water wells depleted, Dynamis World Ministries is meeting practical needs by building wells in each city where crusades have been held. The ministry also provides food to area pastors to distribute to those in need. Alam said it has been difficult to get food to the area because food banks around the world have been strained by the effects of numerous natural disasters.

Alam has plans for two more crusades in Zimbabwe before the year ends.

“When all else fails, people look to God for answers; such is the situation in Zimbabwe today,” he said. “People are hungry for Jesus, and we must preach the gospel to them. It is harvest time in Zimbabwe.” 

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