In light of recent events, we want to communicate with you in a thoughtful and godly manner about a decision from one of our U. S. ministry partners to temporarily suspend funding and outgoing teams to Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, this decision was communicated before Hands of Hope was given an opportunity to respond about its operational standards. At this time, we are in the process of evaluating both standards and protocols of the project that has been implicated. To reduce the spread of rumors and speculation as well as to protect the projects involved, we are choosing not to comment further at this time except to say that we take such implications seriously and are initiating appropriate internal investigations. Hands of Hope in Zimbabwe functions under a model of necessary accountability measures including the partnership of Social Welfare, Hands of Hope in-country staff, and participating churches. We will follow these accountability measures as they are needed.
Hands of Hope is continuing support of all projects and residential homes at this time but retains the ability to remove support and involve the appropriate authorities for instances of mismanagement while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of the children involved. However, we will not remove support or abandon our commitment to Zimbabwe church partners until such concerns meet the appropriate burden of evidence.
Hands of Hope is also in communication with the U.S. ministry partner’s board which is providing oversight of their ministry. We are encouraged by their recent assurances of fostering an environment where concerns from both sides can be heard and addressed.
On Monday, July 30, presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Zimbabwe. Parliamentary results showed the ruling Zanu-PF Party leading. The presidential result has yet to be declared. Yesterday’s news reports that troops have opened fire in the capital of Harare after opposition supporters went on the rampage. At least one is dead, and many are wounded. The MDC Alliance alleges that the ruling Zanu-PF Party rigged Monday's vote. European Union poll monitors have expressed concern over the length of time it is taking to declare the presidential result (BBC News). We have heard that people in Zimbabwe are anxiously waiting to see what happens.
As you can see, we are experiencing challenges stateside and on the field. We are asking you to join us in prayer for Zimbabwe, our churches, our pastors, our precious children, our HOH boards, and our partners here in the U.S. who support this ministry so faithfully. We are aware that we are in a spiritual battle, but we know that the name of the Lord is a strong tower and refuge to which we can run and not be afraid.
In the hands of the Savior of the world,
Glen & Patty