How vision can produce hope, even in Zimbabwe

Her new nickname is Lazarus because she practically came back from the dead.

How vision can produce hope, even in Zimbabwe

Living without hope is a very dangerous place to be in. I know how easy it is to find yourself hopeless. What do you do when you find yourself hopeless or losing your faith? I’ve written about trying to hold on to faith whilst living in my country, Zimbabwe where fuel/gas queues, water shortages and power cuts are the order of the day.

Zechariah 9 verse 12 says:

Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.”

We’re being encouraged here to live in hope because God will restore double to us what was taken. What I’d like to do here is show you how having a vision can result in hope. I’ll do this by giving you a glimpse into one of the ways I keep hope alive in my life.

Proverbs 29 verse 18 says “where there is no vision the people perish.” As someone who is futuristic, I have a vision for my life. I like recording my vision in different ways. One of those ways is through what I call a vision letter. It is a letter that you write to someone and date it 5 or 10 years from now, or however long you wish. You tell this person you’re writing to what your life is like, where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re with. You would have to be as descriptive as possible. You’re basically dreaming on paper.

Before writing one I pray about it and ask the Holy Spirit, who has gone before me, to show me what He has seen. I’m going to share an example of a vision letter I wrote recently. Usually they are for me or a project I’m working on, in this case though it’s for Zimbabwe. I did one because with everything that’s happening now, I need to believe that things will change. If you’re Zimbabwean, I hope it will give you hope for our beloved country.

I wrote it in the voice of a journalist in Zimbabwe in 2024 where he describes a completely different country than the one he saw in 2019. Dream with me why don’t you?

Vision Letter for Zimbabwe:

May 29th 2024
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Article by Thubalakhe Gatsha.

I remember visiting this country 5 years ago and landing at a dark airport in Bulawayo because there was no electricity. I was shocked but the person I was sitting next to was not surprised because it had happened to her before.

Fuel queues were the order of the day, as were water shortages due to the lack of rain. Attempting to report on this was not something I was keen on doing. I knew it would make for a story that would sell because no one outside the country really knew how dire things were. I was reluctant because this was my city, my country, my home. Even though I now lived and worked in South Africa, Zimbabwe still had my heart. I felt like I was cheating on her and the worst part was she knew it.

I had work to do though so I wrote all about the despair that the people of Zimbabwe were facing. I wrote about the food price hikes and the fuel price hikes that were taking place weekly and in some cases on a daily basis. All this and people’s salaries remained the same. I couldn’t imagine how people were surviving.

Now, 5 years later I’m looking around and I feel as though I’m in a different country, a different city. Everyone I meet is smiling. I spoke to a woman earlier who when I passed her just handed me a chocolate. I asked her why and she said she was just happy because since she came back home 3 years ago from the diaspora, her life has turned around for her.

Seeing high rise buildings in Bulawayo is something new and yet here they are. It’s hardly 5 years since what is now known as “the great shift” in Zimbabwe and Bulawayo has turned into an economically vibrant city. I feel like I’m back in South Africa, only with a nearly non-existent crime rate.

 

Leaders from other countries are coming to Zimbabwe to try and make sense of how things turned around so quickly. It’s something unheard of that in what seemed like a split second, “the great shift” happened and before long it was as though some sort of steroids were injected into the country. It started to rain. Precious minerals were found. Entrepreneurs emerged with viable businesses. Inventions came out of the country. Investors were fighting to get a piece. It was rebuilding time and the people were ready to work together in unity and solidarity, every race and every tribe.

I’m faced with a country that was once called the bread basket of Africa in her former glory. After what she’s been through and the quick turn around, it’s no surprise her new nickname is Lazarus because she practically came back from the dead. (For real, not Elliot style.) People thought she was down and out but look at her go. I have a feeling she’s only just getting started.

I’m glad I’ve come back home. They called us traitors for a bit when we came back but Zimbabwe has taken us back like we never left. Us the diaspora returnees, whom she took back even after we sought love elsewhere. She’s a forgiving land you see. No wonder she’s so beautiful and flourishes the way she does.

When I interviewed a woman named Sibo Hlabangana, I asked her what she thought was the cause of the change in Zimbabwe in such a short space of time. Her answer was that Zimbabwe had been undergoing a Spiritual drought and after they cried out to God for forgiveness and mercy, He heard their prayer. She said God has opened His heart out to Zimbabwe and blessed her to show her favor among the nations. I was not much of a believer but seeing what God has done for this country, I’m left saying to myself, “Imagine what He could do for me.”

Back to 2019. Did you picture that with me? How are you keeping hope alive in your life? Why don’t you write a vision letter? If you decide to write one, remember to dream big. Your Father, God, owns it all and He can do anything. Why limit Him? Dream bigger than you’ve ever thought possible and then dream even bigger than that. Ask God what lies in your future and start imagining it. I believe imagination is a form of prayer. One day, you’ll find yourself living in your dreams.

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