(Photographed by April Butler - Image courtesy of GAIN USA)
"The drought continues to be a challenge," Ragan stated. "Most of the people there are subsistence farmers. In other words, they live off the land. Because of the incredible droughts that they're having--and continue to have, it really affects their lifestyle."
But the challenges of widespread hunger aren't stopping people from satisfying their spiritual hunger. GAIN USA partners with Campus Crusade for Christ in Zimbabwe, and Ragan said a crusade took place during their trip. Thousands attended the open-air service, and when Christian workers gave an opportunity for attendants to accept Jesus as their Savior, many responded.
"We saw over 500 people come forward," said Ragan. "It's just phenomenal."
Ragan added that actions speak louder than words in Zimbabwe.
"Sometimes it's a little difficult for us to understand on the U.S. side," explained Ragan, "but in most countries, community transformation is the most important thing.
"They hear the Gospel, but they want to see it as well."
Ragah said that entering a community with the attitude of a humble servant spurs unbelievers to ask two questions: Who are you and why are you here?
"And that opens up a tremendous door for our staff on the ground to share the full Gospel message of Jesus Christ," Ragan said.
But daily ministry in a crisis zone can be wearisome.
"They get their encouragement from knowing that believers around the world are praying for them," said Ragan. Ask the Lord to strengthen GAIN USA workers and encourage them to persevere.
Campus Crusade and GAIN USA ministers to a village with approximately 130,000 citizens. One need they saw on this trip, Ragan explained, was the need for local medical care. Right now, sick or injured villagers must trek over 6 miles for medical attention.
Ragan said GAIN USA has found an area of land on which to build the clinic, but they need your help to move forward with this project.
"We are asking our donors and friends and partners to sponsor a square foot," he said. "We've got it broken down to about $31 per square foot to build a fully-functional medical clinic."