By Praxedes Jeremiah
Some Zimbabweans had an opportunity to worship, share their present and past experiences, and network at the just-ended Women of Dominion International Conference held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Just hearing the singing, praying and joyful chats in Shona and Ndebele, one could have easily thought this was a common church service somewhere in Zimbabwe.
The venue was in America where more than 200 Zimbabweans, mostly women, gathered for the 4th annual conference of the Women of Dominion.
For many Zimbabweans in the United States, such occasions are only associated with funerals and weddings.
Zimbabweans came from all over the U.S, for the three-day conference, bringing with them their open hearts and burdens to unload, but also to uplift their colleagues.
Keynote speaker Pastor Catherine Marurama, who lives in Dallas, Texas, drew cheers and applause for her uplifting testimony and candid confession of her weaknesses.
“I am talking about my own weakness, not somebody’s, that the Holy Spirit was telling me about,” said Pastor Catherine Marurama to applause. “Gossiping! I wasn’t gossiping with congregants, No. I am talking about gossip amongst pastors, lying to each other that we are only doing the work of God and yet we were mete gossiping but at a certain level which is sinning.”
There were many such testimonies with participants praising God for His mercy. The conference’s theme, ‘Ebenezzar’, uplifted their spirits.
Many participants who travelled to Ohio, came by bus, cars or flights, with friends, and some with their families, including children and husbands.
One of them was Linet Bushu, who said the trip was worth it because of the spiritual fulfillment she received.
“What I got here cannot be compared with anything,” she said. “I’m really blessed and happy that I made this journey. It was really worth it.”
A senior citizen Gogo Masakadza, who came with her daughter, said she was pleased and relieved to know that such gatherings took place in the USA.
Gogo Masakadza said she has been worried about her daughter’s spiritual growth and attachment to the Zimbabwean community.
Now her fears are gone.
“I was so happy to be here. What really touched me is the fact that pastors were really hitting home; advising our children in the Diaspora not to forget where they come from; not to forget to look after their elderly parents like me,” said Gogo Masakadza.
“My biggest prayer is may the Lord bless them, the Women of Dominion, their leaders, the pastors and encourage women in the Diaspora to participate because it is uplifting.”
Some participants like Anne Thokozani Ncube, a successful entrepreneur, who is into real estate, transport and other businesses, came from Zimbabwe.
The businesswoman said she attended the event in order to reconnect with her colleagues in the diaspora where she once lived before going back to Zimbabwe.
“After years, it has been great to re-connect spiritually and all with the great women from our country who are coming from all over the place,” said Ncube.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora say such gatherings provide healing while giving them a way to reconnect with their roots, eat traditional food, sing popular traditional hymns and reflect on the life they left back home, while moving forward in the diaspora.