A Missionary Mindset
In Spring 2007, Captains Terry and Rutendo Masango were featured in an article “In the U.S. and Not of It.” Originally from Zimbabwe, they came to train as Salvation Army officers in the United States. Now corps officers in El Cajon, Calif., they have two daughters, 13 and 7. But they have never forgotten where they came from. Terry writes about their commitment.We were both born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa. We stared extreme poverty, disease, and hunger in the face daily. Many nights we went to bed with empty stomachs, only to hear them growl the next morning in class.
The 19th–century missionary to southern Africa, David Livingstone, once said, “God had an only Son and He made Him a missionary.” Our Lord Jesus Christ was a missionary to our lost world, and I believe our faith and our corps function best when we are sharing that faith with others and developing a true missionary mindset. It is only then that we can truly see and appreciate how greatly we have been blessed and understand how fleeting materialism is. What we find is that our real wealth comes through a healthy relationship with Christ and our brothers and sisters throughout the world. We find that we are all called to be missionaries, no matter where we live, and our world is beginning to see that.
And as we stand between Zimbabwe and the U.S., we bring a developing–world mindset to a developed–world ministry. We understand God wants us to link those two worlds. We are conduits of grace, linking the material blessings of the developed world with the spiritual blessings of the developing world.
While I do not stare the conditions of my past in the face each day anymore, my friends, relatives, and former corps members do. Over the years I have lost many relatives and friends to malnutrition, hunger, HIV/AIDS, and inadequate medical care. We bring teams to Zimbabwe not only to provide for some of the needs there, but also to show our teams that they are also losing brothers and sisters in Christ every day and have the power to do something about it.
During our recent mission trip to Zimbabwe [the third since 2009, with two taken from a previous appointment in Renton, Wash.], we visited various corps engaging in huge building projects to house all the new soldiers being enrolled regularly. … It was a breath of fresh air watching God grow His church, and to be a part of enabling their growth.
The Masangos have been in El Cajon since June 2011, where their attendance on Sundays hovers around 183. Two years ago, they began to emphasize discipleship. They also have a ‘wonderful partnership’ with the local Adult Rehabilitation Center. The Masangos’ eldest daughter was part of the Bible Bowl team that recently won a territorial competition.
The Zimbabwe team donates 76 goats to the Mungate Corps Home League ladies; each received a male and female goat. Says Terry Masango, ‘Goats and other livestock are a source of wealth in Africa. The families will no longer have to buy milk, and the goats will provide meat when needed. Families can sell the goats’ offspring to raise funds for school fees. The goats’ skins can be used as sleeping mats. The skins can also be used to make drums that the families can sell.’