Our 40 years of mission in Harare

Our 40 years of mission in Harare

Geoff and Erica Saunders are retiring and returning to the UK after serving as Elim missionaries in Zimbabwe for more than 40 years.

Elim Prospect Church in Harare interviewed them and kindly provided us with a selection of highlights.

Geoff, where did you receive your call to be a missionary?

I suppose that comes in stages because you can’t be called until you’re a believer, and I became a Christian in my first year at university studying mathematics.

Then, a few years later, on a Christian camp Loren Cunningham was the speaker and he challenged us to take up missionary work.

At the end of his message, he invited those who wanted to give themselves to missionary work to stand and I stood up.

I went for careers counselling at the end of my university course and told the counsellor I wanted to be a missionary.

He said, “It would be good if you become a teacher. As a maths teacher you can go anywhere. Lots of countries are closed to missionaries, but if you become a maths teacher you’ll have the opportunity to get into a country and then exercise whatever ministry you can.”

So I trained as a teacher.

You started your missionary work in Zimbabwe in the early 1980s, just barely two years after the Vumba Massacre. Were you not afraid to come to Zimbabwe?

No. I don’t know whether it’s the carelessness of youth, but I wasn’t. In fact, I was teaching in London in 1978 when those missionaries were murdered and I heard the news and my reaction was, we can’t allow the devil to win.

If they need teachers to take their place, then I’m willing to go.


Read the whole article in context in the March 2024 issue of Direction Magazine.

Direction Magazine

Direction is the official monthly publication of the Elim Pentecostal Churches in the UK, and is packed with all Elim's latest news, inspiration, vision and teaching. Find the latest edition and many back issues of Direction here.

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