Partner in the Zimbabwe Mission
Donations by Hardwick Church
Parishioners of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Hardwick were pleased with the final report, which came in last week, on the $2500 in assistance they had sent to Zimbabwe in 2019. The money had been hand-delivered to a large urban church, the Church of the Ascension in Bulawayo; and the congregants there used it to organize two visits to a small, impoverished parish in the parched rural countryside, St. Matthew’s. The first was a caravan of medical workers and other volunteers, providing services as well as much-needed food and medicine; the second, this February, brought enough food parcels for 60 families.
St. Matthew’s situation was especially desperate because the congregation comprises mostly elderly grandparents and children. The parents of the children are either working far from home, have abandoned their children to the care of the grandparents, or have succumbed to AIDS. Worse yet, the whole of Zimbabwe is experiencing a severe drought, so most crops have failed. According to UN sources, 90 per cent of Zimbabwean children aged six to 24 months are not consuming the minimum acceptable diet.
The partnership with Zimbabwe has been ongoing since 2015, when the rector of the Bulawayo church, Father Shingi, made a trip to Vermont. Neil and Mickie Richardson of St. John’s Church in Randolph hosted him and organized his visit to the Hardwick church, where he led the Sunday service and preached. Since then the congregation has set aside an annual amount in its budget to assist those in Zimbabwe, and parishioners have supplemented it individually. Neil and Mickie will visit St. John the Baptist Church on March 15, 2020, and interested community members are invited to hear his report during coffee hour after the 10 a.m. service. For more information, please call the church on Wednesdays at
(802) 472-5979 or