By Bevan Makaka
THE global pandemic of Covid-19, currently ravishing our world, has caused many people to stop and think deeply about a lot of things.
I am one of those people.
I have spent many a night, reviewing my previous actions and contemplating on my next move. The one thing that has kept consistently playing in my mind is the idea that you have not started living until you start stretching your hand to help others.
I have to confess that this is not a new idea but one that has shaped my life for a while now.
Yes, since I was very young, I have always felt that any cause bigger than yourself, is one worth pursuing and that extending your hand out to help others is not only noble but necessary in order to address the challenges of our world.
However, my story would not be complete if I do not mention a man that I met some years back here in Dallas.
This man inspired me and shaped my thinking and saw things in me that I didn’t know were in me. His mentorship acted as a springboard to catapult me into most of the things that I am doing now.
After living in America for the better part of a decade, he left suddenly in 2006 to go back to Zimbabwe to pursue church work, responding to a call from God.
This man, Apostle Phillip Mkaratigwa, founder Latter House Church, a flourishing ministry in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe, doing its work, mainly in the rural areas.
It was amazing to see a man walk away from the glitzy and glamour of America to go and work in some of the most difficult places you can imagine just so that he could help others.
When I visited him in December last year and we travelled to some of the places he ministers in, where there are no real roads to talk about, in deep forests where puff adders are the talk of the village, I was convinced that this was a man who had found a cause bigger than himself.
What struck me the most was the satisfaction and peace that he had and the air of charisma that he exuded working in such harsh conditions.
I started the Bevan and Megan Foundation with people like him in mind.
Men and women of God who go where others run away from, who carry the Gospel at huge personal sacrifices to themselves and their families and yet never complain about it.
At a time where the Gospel is being peddled for profit and there are more prophets of gold than God, I found him and others like him quite refreshing.
It is for this reason that my wife and I’s foundation deliberately targets neglected people and forgotten communities that few pay attention to.
They are dotted all around the world and we felt that in my own country of birth, we could make a big difference even using very meagre resources.
Travelling around Zimbabwe I noticed that it did not take a lot to assist others. You don’t have to earn a lot of money in order to assist somebody in need. For example when I returned to the US after my brief visit to the motherland, I decided to cut back on my visits to restaurants in order to raise money for my philanthropic work.
I found out, much to my joy, that the little money I saved could buy mealie meal to feed a dozen families for a whole month. This I have continued to do and other well wishers have started noticing what I do and have started contributing to this noble cause and for that I will forever be grateful to them. In our outreach programs, we work with people that were already in the field helping others with their little resources.
We just boost their capacity and since they were already doing it, we can trust them to be faithful. In addition we employ a robust system of accounting just to make sure that things go according to plan.
Since we work mostly with churches, our endeavours also help in winning souls for the kingdom of God. As you know true pastors will never miss an opportunity to share the Gospel, so after delivering the good news to the stomach, they also give the Good News to the soul.
When that happens, I sleep a little better, knowing that I have played my part in changing lives. My hope is that more like minded people will join me in building disadvantaged folks’ lives.
Brick by brick.