DAY 1 – 2014 Zimbabwe International Convention
We wake with excitement as the first day has arrived for our reason of traveling 8000+ miles – Christian fellowship and Bible education with those from many nations, languages and ethnic groups. After another excellent breakfast provided by the hotel, the group at our hotel makes the bus trip to the stadium I visited a few days earlier. It looks far different from what I remember. The brothers and sisters really did a great job cleaning, repairing, painting, etc. Their efforts are greatly appreciated by all in attendance and the Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium personnel.
Before the session starts we enjoy the time to meet and greet our brothers and sisters from all over the world. Some Zimbabwean names really stood out as unique to me…Beauty, Godbless, Marvelous, Clever, Pretty and Simba, to name a few.
You may wonder how people of varied languages will be able to listen to discourses with the same content. Well, the stadium had 4 stages and sound from each stage was directed at each group in the language that reaches their mind and heart. The four languages were Ndebele, Shona, Zimbabwe Sign Language and English. The morning number in a attendance blew our minds…66, 791. It was amazing to see people steadily flowing into the stadium. You may find a source that says only one other event has filled the Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium to capacity. But as you can see from the numbers and the pictures below, this was the beginning of a historical event for Zimbabwe. One to be talked about positively, for years to come.
People had to be seated on portions of the track and field. We enjoyed an excellent discourse by Bro. Geoffrey Jackson that was also translated into Shona. He used many illustrations that Zimbabweans could relate to from backgrounds of agriculture and love for soccer.
During lunch I had time to meet many brothers and sisters from the 30+ countries represented at the convention. Some were faces I’ve seen and met and some were new. While venturing around, I noticed the revised New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was already in the Shona language. We read about it being available in 120+ languages, but to hold the Bible and see this different language, you really see how it’s made available for so many people to learn the truth held in its pages. The afternoon attendance was 68,916.