Political unrest adds tension to missionary trip


I have finally arrived in Zimbabwe, Africa, and have been here for close to a week. We are located in the city of Bulawayo, and I absolutely love it here.

This month, we are working with an organization called Youth for Christ that centers around youth and their position in the body of Christ. They work to make sure that every young person in every people group in every nation has the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church.

They do many activities, such as creative arts, camps, leadership training and sports ministry. They have a center where youth come throughout the day and spend time to simply get off of the streets in Zimbabwe. I am very excited this month to work with the youth of Zimbabwe, and I know the Lord is going to work through my team and me while we are here.

Before coming to Zimbabwe and the first few days here, I had such an excitement to be here that was unlike India or Nepal. I had such a peace and confirmation from the Lord that this month was going to be something special.

But actually, it has looked quite different than what I expected. The political unrest and situation that is going on in Zimbabwe has actually prevented us from doing a lot of ministry. The current situation in Zimbabwe is becoming unsafe, and so we have to be very cautious in our footsteps. We are safe, and we will continue to be. It’s just a situation that we have to be very cautious about and aware of while being here. So this changes what ministry looks like while being here.

This month is a lot of behind-the-scenes work preparing events for later in the month, such as Wacky Olympics, Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreat, programs for visiting a girls teen orphanage and preparing for programs at a local school. We also are doing administrative work at the organization.

While doing the behind-the-scenes work and not being able to do a lot of ministry can be kind of discouraging, I know that the Lord’s hand is in all of it.

While talking through some of our frustrations as a team, we decided that these were no longer frustrations, but these were blessings from God, that this month is more about ministering to the people around us that we spend each and every day with.

Maybe this month looks a lot more like spending quality time with my team and diving deeper with the Lord together. Maybe this month looks like not actually leaving the building to do ministry but pouring into the people in the building.

Through this, the Lord is teaching me to find ministry and to search for ministry. My team is my church, and we do ministry in our church, right? Maybe this is a month where my team is my ministry and we grow stronger together for what the Lord has for us next month.

Youth for Christ is such a powerful organization, and I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit so strongly here. The Youth for Christ volunteers and people who work here have shown us the Lord in more ways than they know.

Each morning, we gather with them to do worship and devotions, and it has been some of the most Spirit-led devotions that I have ever experienced. It has been a time of going deeper with the Lord with some of the sweetest Zimbabweans that I have yet to meet.

My team and I are staying positive through this situation, and we feel the presence of the Lord with us. We know that the Lord’s hand is in all of this, and he is working through our team and in our hearts more than ever this month. My team and I are so excited and looking forward to the events that we have worked so hard to plan, and we are praying that the political situation allows us to proceed with these events.

Please join me in prayer for the Zimbabwean government and political situations that are happening here, and please pray for the Lord to work through my team during this situation and this month.

I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support.

Keia Blair is a Seymour native who attends Cincinnati Christian University. During her nine-month mission trip around the world, she is submitting a series of blogs that will appear in The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

No posts to display