Written by Moreblessing Loxton
I was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, in a small place called Banket, in Mashonaland West. I was the fourth child in a family of eight girls and one boy. From a very early age I learnt to work on farms and in people’s houses to earn some money to help my parents to pay school fees and also for general home upkeep. From a very early age, I also assumed responsibility to help my mother looking after five of my young siblings when my father died.
After high school, I got an opportunity to study civil engineering through a programme that was being sponsored by the Ministry of Transport in Zimbabwe. I was paid a small wage whilst studying, so that was perfect for my personal family circumstances. I could still help my mother to raise my younger siblings was I was gaining a qualification. After graduating, I was offered a job at the Department of Roads in Harare. I worked for the Department of Roads for eighteen years before moving to the UK.
In 2004, I found an opportunity to go and study for a master’s degree in Highways Engineering and Management at the University of Birmingham. I knew God had opened this door for me when I got sponsorship from a local bank for payment of tuition. My sponsors wanted me to show commitment to the course, so they only offered to pay tuition and they asked me to fund my own travelling and sustenance. As I had deferred entry for four years already, I thought the offer was a reasonable deal, so I accepted and moved to the UK to take up my studies. I left my two children, my daughter then 11 and my son who was eighteen months old with my mother.
When I got to the UK life proved to be very tough. I was attending a very demanding course and I needed to work to sustain myself and send money back home to my mother to look after my two children. I attended university during the day and I worked in nursing and care homes during the night. I also worked in warehouses sorting bananas for supermarkets during the weekends. These were painful jobs. I was finding life very difficult and stressful juggling studies, work and supporting my family back home. I kept praying telling God that I was finding everything painful and difficult.
One night a had a dream; I saw a small very thin brown tree growing out of dry cracked parched ground. The tree had three small green leaves showing that it was alive but just very thin and miserable. I woke up from that dream in the middle of the night and did not think much of it. I fell asleep and I had another dream; this time I saw a very big tree with big branches, green leaves and beautiful flowers. It was a magnificent tree. When I woke up in the morning I didn’t think much of it. As the day went of those two images kept coming to my mind. As I started thinking, I felt the Holy Spirit was saying to me, “At the moment life is tough and you feel like that little miserable tree. However, if you remain rooted in me I will make you grow and you will be like that big magnificent tree….” I grasped that promise and I started working on my studies diligently and going to work with hope that things will get better because God had said it.
I had uploaded my CV on the internet and towards the end of my studies, I started getting some calls expressing interest in my CV. I attended two job interviews in Birmingham and they both made offers. By that time the economy in Zimbabwe was deteriorating, so I decided to accept one of the job offers and I started working for the Highways Agency in Birmingham as Service Delivery Manager for motorways and bridge structures in the Midlands region. I arranged for my children to come to join me in the UK. By this time I had other children from the extended family that I had started looking after in Zimbabwe. That grew from my immediate siblings, to extended family and then to other children that I came across and I felt I could help. God blessed me with several high profile jobs during my stay in the UK. After about thirteen years, I started having a desire to go back home to Zimbabwe. I was beginning to feel more and more passionate about the work that I had been doing supporting under privileged children and widows. I started praying to God saying, “God I really want to go back home closer to the charity work that I am doing. However, for me to be able to look after other people, I need to be able to provide for my own children first. So if it is your will that I go back to Zimbabwe, please give me a job to go back to…..” There were not any opportunities coming up but this desire kept growing and burning in me. One day I saw a job advert for a role in Zambia. I thought I could do the job; it was for a Border Infrastructure Expert at the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) based in Lusaka, Zambia. I applied for the job and got an interview. The interview outcomes took very long to come so I kept praying for the right opportunity to come. One night, a friend of mine, Comfort Ingram called me and said, “I just felt I wanted to pray with you. What do you want us to pray for?” I said to Comfort, “I am desiring to go back home so I would like God to give me a job close to home, a job that will sustain my family but also enable me to do the charity work that I am beginning to be drawn more and more to…..” So Comfort prayed and I agreed with her. The very next day I got an offer for the job that I had interviewed for several weeks back in Zambia. God answered that prayer in a very amazing way; Zambia is very close to my home Zimbabwe. The two countries share border and my mother lives about two and a half hours’ drive from Lusaka. How close can it get?
The programme that I was offered to lead is to construct and improve border posts infrastructure at five borders around Zambia. The objective of the programme is to support small scale cross border traders, facilitating trade across the COMESA region. This is work that I am passionate about, making a difference to the poor of the poorest. The small scale cross border traders are mainly women who run informal businesses in buying and selling goods across the borders. Improving the border infrastructure will support these women and some men to trade with ease and cross the borders in a much faster and efficient manner and this will improve the livelihoods of the communities that rely on cross border trade.
I have also been granted diplomatic status, which means I can move freely within all the twenty one COMESA countries without restrictions across the borders. I can go back and forth Zimbabwe and Zambia doing the charity work; supporting the children and widows in rural Zimbabwe with much ease than when I was in the UK. God is a miracle working God and he gives us the desires of our hearts. He is interested in every minute detail of our desires and he is also full of humour when he answers our prayers. I was so surprised and grateful at the same time when Comfort and I prayed and God answered our prayer word for word…. How great and amazing is our God. He still keeps on doing great things. I am still believing Him for greater things and I am believing that God is still growing that tree that he showed me several years ago in a dream when I was in a dry parched place. God lifted me and planted my feet on higher ground and I am still believing him for more growth in my life and those around me. If he is doing it for me, he can do it for you.
It has been two months and a bit since I started my new job in Zambia. I am excited about the prospects and opportunities that the job will bring. However, the devil is still at work. He is fighting day and night trying to scare me and discourage me. The Holy Spirit keeps reminding me that, “…we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places…” There is so much corruption, resistance, resentment and all the negative things going on in the office and at the border posts. I am very certain that God opened this door and I wake up every day excited and expectant at what He has in store for me. I have given the organisation some feedback on my experience so far since the recruitment exercise and the weeks that I have been here. This hasn’t gone well with most of the senior people. There are some people who have acknowledged and confirmed the issues that I have raised in my feedback and they are supporting me. However, some of the senior people are threatening that I should be fired because I have caused commotion within the organisation. I believe I have said the right things with utmost respect and humility and God will fight my battles for me in this regard. I will value your prayers as I settle in this role and also continue to do some charity work in Zimbabwe. I will send you an update soon.
God bless you all.