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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Camp native raising funds for African school

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Myra Smith stands amidst the supplies that have been generously donated for the three-year Bible College in Zimbabwe. These supplies will soon be loaded onto a cargo ship for their three-month journey to Zimbabwe.
Myra and Bobby Smith are on a mission, to bring churches to the people of Africa. After a recent month-long visit, they added a secondary project -- rehabilitating a three-year Bible College in Zimbabwe.

"I've been to South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We've built dozens of churches and tabernacles and plan on continuing to do that. But on our last trip to Zimbabwe, I saw this three-year Bible College and the condition it was in, just tugged at my heart," said Smith, a native of Camp, Ark.

The school, which has approximately 30 students plus staff, has only one working refrigerator, a stove with only two burners that work, faulty plumbing, cracked walls, torn curtains and very few resources.

This is the three-year Assembly of God Bible College, located in Zimbabwe. The Smiths are raising donations to make needed repairs at the college, including updating the kitchen appliances and remodeling the dorm showers and bathrooms.
"This is a three-year Bible College; it's not a mud hut somewhere. This is a three-year Bible College for the whole country," said Smith.

So, when they returned to the states, Smith set up a fundraising effort called The Zimbabwe Project 2009, with the goal of raising $50,000 to complete the necessary repairs. They have raised $16,500 so far, and hope to continue their efforts through the late summer and fall, in anticipation of their return to Zimbabwe in November of this year.

The Smiths aren't official missionaries, just people who have heard the call and taken on the mission of bringing churches and tabernacles to the people of Africa. Working alongside the Assemblies of God World Missions and their missionaries in the field, the Smiths have built dozens of churches and made a real difference in the communities they've built in.

Myra and Bobby Smith on site at one of the tabernacles they've built in Botswana, at the edge of the Kalahari. The Smiths and their crew erected the roof, trusses and supports, while the villagers completed the floors and walls.
"It's a life's work; it's not just a one time trip. Not everyone can do it, but for me it's my heart's work," said Smith. "These people in Africa are so humble and so loving, and so hungry for God. They're so grateful for everything. These students (at the Bible College) are the ones who will be the pastors in these villages, spreading the word."

Currently, the students pay tuition, assist with food and are responsible for bringing all of their own toiletries. Many times, their local churches and communities help them by donating supplies for them to attend the school.

The Zimbabwe Project 2009 donations can be sent to: Assembly of God World Missions, 1145 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, Mo. 65802, or locally to Zimbabwe Project 2009, P.O. Box 1409, West Plains, Mo., 65775. Checks can be made payable to: AGWM Bible School Project. For more information on the Zimbabwe Project 2009, contact Myra and Bobby Smith at bms2hearts4africa@yahoo.com or 417-293-4798.

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