|She is ‘wired’ up differently!|
|Thursday, 12 July 2012 10:45|
This is how author and founder of interdenominational organisation Elshaddai Ministries International Dr Patience Hove aptly puts it when asked to describe herself.
Indeed, this “high voltage wiring” and sort of “admirable weirdness” has given Dr Hove enough energy to build families through prayer. The long journey began in 1994 when Elshaddai Women’s Fellowship, which is one of the five facets of Elshaddai International, was born.
“We would pray for our families and God has answered and continues to answer us. Everyday we see family members being saved. We now meet during the first Saturday of every month at the Transformational Centre. We have two sessions in the morning and afternoon. The morning session focuses on issues affecting women and their families. We also have a question and answer session during this time,” said Dr Hove.
“We have a programme for everyday and it tackles different things. For example, on Monday we introduce a new theme, Tuesday is for intercessions, Wednesday is set aside for Bible study, Thursday focuses on family issues and Friday is celebration day. This ministry is growing and we have heard so many testimonies of how God has impacted on people’s lives,” she added.
Dr Hove revealed that Elshaddai Couples Ministry was formed in 2000 to tackle social problems affecting the home. She said they realised that their vision of building families in prayer could not be achieved without the involvement of husbands.
She pointed out that ECM’s goal is to strengthen the headship of the father, the administrative position of the mother and obedience of children. ECM organises and hosts a variety of programmes and events every year. These include couples’ braai and social gatherings at lakes, parks, resort areas and indoors at the Elshaddai Transformation Centre in Ruwa.
The outdoor events are designed to provide an open and friendly atmosphere where biblical teachings about God’s purpose of marriage are delivered. There are also discussions on all issues that affect marriages, like bringing up children, romance and intimacy, financial issues, commitment and communication, as well as relationships with in-laws.
A hungry family is an unhappy family and to defeat this, Dr Hove came up with a number of income-generating small businesses through Elshaddai Voluntary Organisation in 2002. Some of the beneficiaries under this organisation are HIV positive and affected women.
“Members from areas like Njanja have been empowered and are now involved in projects like peanut butter making and market gardening to look after their families,” she added.
EVO members meet once a month to pray for their businesses and share ideas. They have also been helping orphans and vulnerable children with school fees.
“Membership is growing. All the houses meet at House of Grace Ruwa Transformational Centre on the last Sunday of every month for Thanksgiving Sunday,” explained Dr Hove.
She pointed out that their ministry has bought three stands to build transformational centres countrywide.
“The people in these areas are contributing to moulding bricks. They have already built Blair toilets and shelters and are meeting these centres for their prayer meetings,” she added.
She explained that the halfway home would identify girls who have been abused in school or at home.
Their ministry has grown and they have networks in England whose pastors come to Zimbabwean conventions every February. They also have branches in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa.
Zimbabwe and did a doctorate with Bakke Graduate University in Seattle,US, through a block tutorial scholarship.
“A lot of women behave like men when they are in management positions. Be a woman and bring out your womanhood in an organisation behaving, talking and working like a woman and do better than a man.
“Let us be women and be accepted as such. Women have to support each other and not pull each other down. They do not like to support each other even in politics. A female candidate will rarely get votes from women.”
“We must not say that now that I am in a leadership position, I will pull down others. There is need for forums where women can meet on their own. Men meet for golf and do all sorts of things together. Women do not meet just to discuss issues pertaining to them in leadership. They meet for kitchen teas where they do not have the forum to talk about business,” she added.
She confesses: “I believe Beijing was taken wrongly in Zimbabwe because when it happened the agenda was for the West. There was no Zimbabwean agenda . . . We need to take all frameworks that people make internationally, bring them home and pick what is acceptable in our culture. What is it that the rural woman should say about it? When talking about Zimbabwean women, not focusing on urban only but also what the rural one needs.”
As a reverend of such a large organisation, Dr Hove has seen the ugly face of domestic violence through some couples she counsels. She said she looks at domestic violence from a different point of view.
“The first thing I ask the woman is why she got hit. There are some women who are verbally abusive to their husbands. I will not tell such a woman to run away and go to the police but ask why she is always getting beaten up and we discuss and try to help the woman change her personality. We will help her live in harmony with her husband because that is what the Bible says.
“When I work with her and see she has changed but is still being beaten up, I ask the husband to come and we talk about the issue. Some may be suffering from depression and there are things that are happening at family level pushing the man to be violent. If he needs cleansing or clinical help we do so. I am not quick to send people to divorce or separate,” added Dr Hove.
She said she has seen men who are beaten by women and such cases are on the increase.
Dr Hove was born in a field in Njanja and her father died when she was one. Her mother left the country for England to study leaving her in the care of her maternal grandmother, Anna Mutasa Mvere.
Sadly her grandmother died when she was nine and she had to move in with relatives.
Dr Hove said God kept her reading and writing and she has written 19 books so far and is working towards finishing the 20th entitled “Woman: God’s Idea”.
She attended Founders High School for her secondary education and was the first African prefect at the school in 1979. She married her husband at 18 and later studied A-Level through correspondence. She was to later earn diplomas, degrees and masters degrees through her hard work.
“I will be travelling to the Bahamas, and from there to England then to a women’s conference in Kenya. I will also address a Sadc women’s conference in Namibia in September,” she added.
Their organisation gets money through subscriptions and tithes and offerings, and they do not have a donor.
American Church, something the Americans used to do years back,” she boasted.
She has two grandsons, Mukudzeishe Michael (4) and Mutendeshe Michael (1).
Above all her day ends with prayer.