Service to Humanity is Service to God

Highlands Ward, Harare Zimbabwe Stake, Carry Out Mormon Helping Hands Activity

News Release

Members of the Highlands Ward gathered up bags of rubbish along a section Glenara Road, a major artery in the Harare suburb of Highlands, in a short Mormon Helping Hands activity that attracted some unexpected attention.

“We wanted to organize some short projects that we could carry out more often,” explained Bishop Dennie Tamboweneyi.

            

Sixty or 70 members of the ward came and within two hours, large sections of unkempt grass were cut, and dozens of plastic bags were filled with rubbish and neatly stacked to be picked up.

A television camera operator arrived and began shooting footage, asking questions as he videotaped. “What is this group?” and “Why are they are cleaning up?” were his first questions. After a short discussion, he asked, “How much are they being paid?” When told it was free volunteer labor from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he asked, “How did their ‘pastor’ get them to come?” Bishop Tamboweneyi replied matter-of-factly, “We announced it in our meeting and they came.” Further discussion followed, and the videographer said he was “amazed at the depth of commitment” and would like to learn more. The full-time missionaries quickly wrote down his name and contact information.

Another man, Solomon, happened to pass by, and he also asked, “How much are these people being paid?” When he learned they were all volunteers, he joined in. After a while he asked the name of the church and the missionaries “magically” appeared and arranged a meeting.

 

Noise from the passing traffic mixed with the shouts and laughter of the Latter-day Saints as they worked in the warm Zimbabwean January summer sun. Plenty of chatting and bantering accompanied the work as the leaders circulated good-naturedly keeping everyone on task.

“The work always goes fast when we’re all here together,” said Blessing Masi, a Relief Society instructor.                    “It’s fun work, but it’s satisfying to do some public service. I’d like to do more of these things,” Joyline Tamboweneyi added.

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