from Mission Network News

An hour long commute every day is what awaits Gregg and Donna Fort from their home in the city of Gweru as they minister to the Ndebele people. This is nothing in comparison to the four hours some of the Ndebele people walk to get to the church.

The Forts are the only church-planting missionaries for the 12 million people residing in Zimbabwe. Gregg and Donna Fort, associated with Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB), have been missionaries to Zimbabwe for several years, but the going has been far from easy.

According to the 2010 Report on International Freedom issued by the United States Department of State, the country of Zimbabwe has blocked church members from attending services, disrupted preaching held in outdoor premises, and arrested church leaders on false charges, just to name a few cases.

All of these may seem like overwhelming difficulties, but Gregg and Donna Fort have persevered. For the first several years of their ministry, there were only two churches planted. It became discouraging, as well, because those two churches were not growing spiritually. But then, with persistence in prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Forts started to see growth in one of those churches.

In the last few years, three more churches have been planted, and the Forts are overjoyed to see young Christians growing in the Lord. The churches held a combined service, and 99 new believers came to Christ and were baptized.

Now, twice a month members from all five churches gather together for a time of fellowship and growth together in Christ. Donna currently leads the new believers’ discipleship class, and Gregg and Pastor Ncube from Gweru conduct leadership training for church leaders. They are currently working on plans for planting a sixth church in the area.

IMB continually sends both humanitarian and volunteer relief to Zimbabwe. The Forts are grateful for the donations through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that have continued to allow them to live and minister in Zimbabwe.