By Benjamin Takavarasha (UK)
Chinhoyi – It was a day to remember for more than 100 disadvantaged children from Chinhoyi when the Rt Rev Raymond Mupandasekwa, the Catholic bishop for the diocese threw a Christmas party for them on December 19, 2020.
The children were drawn from all over Chinhoyi and Bishop Mupandasekwa was the guest of honour.
The party that saw the children enjoying a three-course meal was sponsored by a Zimbabwean UK based charity organisation called Behold Your Mother (Jn 19:27) ( www.beholdyourmother.org) also popularly referred to as Behold.
Behold Your Mother also made a pledge to support the children with their school fees. Bishop Mupandasekwa, a priest whose hallmark is standing for the poor is the patron of Behold Your Mother.
In his invitation cards to the party, Bishop Mupandasekwa reminded his would-be guests of the special place that children had in Jesus’ heart. He quoted Mark 9:36-37 which says, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me”.
The sponsors recognised the general gloom in the country, the acute poverty and the economic meltdown and hence the party was to put a cheer on the faces of the children.
The party may not have attracted media attention but for the 100 children it was an event of a lifetime. It boosted their confidence that they are loved. Mother Teresa would say hunger for love is more damning than physical hunger.
The occasion started with a Holy Mass led by the Vicar General, Rev Fr W Chenyika and the Secretary to the Bishop, Rev Fr Matambo also attended. The theme was around the children and it addressed issues to do with the prevention of Covid-19. The children took an integral part in the mass by way of readings, singing and dancing.
Bishop Mupandasekwa mingled with the children during the party, he got the kids to tell him their little stories and the stories of their lives. It was heart rending and a delight to see the bishop giving each of the children his attention.
It reminded me of Mathew 19:14 ; “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”
It is hard to imagine that this bishop is one of the most vilified for his public stance for the poor and marginalised. Sadly the vilification is sometimes echoed even in the church.
Charity chairperson, Joseph Foroma said the children at the party were just a small portion of the thousands of children around the country who are in the same predicament and all of them need attention. https://masvingomirror.com