A tribute to the Apostle to the Children of Zimbabwe
Moosa Moses Kasimonje
Mr Kas came into my life in a big way in 1994 when one evening he and his wife, Amai Kas walked into the Alpha course I was about to begin running. He had obviously been slightly dragged there by Almighty God. I took an immediate liking to him.
In 1994 while the Anglican church was tearing itself apart over the antics of a bishop Moosa Kasimonje’s arrival was something of a surprise to me because in the press I was a real bad person and I found that in this man lay a deep intention to work things out for himself. I immediately connected and over the weeks he came to a delightful faith in Christ. On one occasion he asked me to go to and bless his restaurant business. I duly did. It went bust.
God had better things in store for Moosa than making money and in the time he began to meet street children in down town Harare. God was working on Mr Kas taking him to a singularly deep faith and, for me, this was the result of his dear wife’s earnest and powerful intercessions him. As he spent time with the street children a new calling was starting to develop in him. By the time he got a serious job offer he was thinking more of working with the children and after prayer decided to do that. My church offered the support we could and the Just Children Foundation was born.
Having been influenced to live by faith in my life I encouraged Moosa to live the same and read what Geoge Muller of Bristol had done for the children of his time over a century ago. Thus began for the two of us an amazing friendship and a life of seeing the glorious loving Father prove again and again that he is “Father of the fatherless”.
From one man working part time and then full time the work has grown to over 50 staff and thousands of children has been taken off the streets and on to a better future. Three of the children have become head boys or girls of their senior schools but more importantly once a child is on our programme there is an 85% probability that they never return to the street.
Other dimensions to the work are
- an orphanage for those who do not have anywhere to go
- foster care programme that enable the children stay in their villages whenever the Aids pandemic carries off the parents and the grandparents are too old to take over parenting.
- A home for abandoned babies – an increasing problem as the economy breaks down.
- Sourcing food in Botswana and South Africa
What were the secrets of his obvious success as the Executive Director and as an Apostle to the children.
Firstly, full on focus on the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Mr Kas was the kind of man that one sees rarely in the faith. A man who would have Jesus only and settled only on the power and glory that come by faith on the one true God.
Secondly, Mr Kas had a teachable spirit. I watch with considerable delight as Mr Kas was taught by the Spirit of God to trust him only and entirely. I saw his early mistakes of running ahead and helping God out. I watch as he learned to depend on the Father’s goodness.
Thirdly, Mr Kas was able to draw in the best. Early on the wife of a leader from the Norwegian embassy saw that this man was going to do a significant work, she joined him as a volunteer and she set up the systems which have to be in place if you are going to do a thorough work. Mr Kas was able to inspire her to work incredibly hard and she put in place the basics that the foundation needed. While she was one of the early great people to join the foundation, he attracted into his team people like Ellen., Philani, Christine Martha and latterly Florence Kaseke. The board of governors meetings started to change from seeing the problems to seeing the possibilities and that was one of Mr Kas’s strengths, inspiring leadership that creates and unites a great team and you off you past and present have your own special remembrances of his team building qualities.
Fourthly, he was a man of vision, a man of the big picture, he didn’t just look at the small, he looked at the big, he was a catalyst bringing together leaders for this type of ministry from throughout Southern Africa. He built networks to hone the ministry which included people from Oxford and Pakistan.
Fifthly, Mr Kas understood about training. The team that we have at JCF are arguably the best trained in any NGO or para-church organisation in Zimbabwe. He trained himself and he trained others, he moved his team from simply loving of people to a professional focus and expected his team to exhibit the same kind of professionalism as he himself displayed.
Sixthly, his family support has been amazing, Noma and his children and his friends and St Luke’s church and then the wider church loved to support and encourage him and I know that he deeply appreciated the support that came from all the different sectors but most especially his wife and family’s loving support.
Seventhly, Mr Kas was his own man, he made up his own mind and to me this was his greatness - he respected other people’s opinions but he made his own mind up. There have been times when well meaning Christians sought to give Moosa and I advice that they thought we needed. Mr Kas and I would sit in my office at ZCDT and he would tell me the latest and the two of us would laugh. The problem was he was working at the coal face and he knew so much more than those away from the mine. When the fiasco of the Anglican church reached its climax and I left who was the man who came to see me often Mr Kas – he did not care what others thought – he had decided that he was going to show us love and encouragement and he did just that.
Eightly, he succeeded because he loved the children. Well I can remember the times Mr Kas would report what he had heard or seen with tears in his eyes. His reports on the successes of the children –like when they came back a young people and joined the organisation as workers not victims – simply made him burst with joy. He loved it every time a child was successfully united with a family again, he loved it when even one was off the street and onto a better future.
Ninthly, he was man of Faith. Mr Kas simply and undeniably believed in God. When speaking to Christians from the West it was this faith that struck them and which for many seemed dull and irrelevant. But it was this faith that won the miracles, it was this faith that saw that which is impossible be possible. It was this faith that when there was literally nothing but God to feed the children caused him to call on the Father and the Father rescued him again and again.
A good man.
We will miss him terribly – friends like Moosa a rare finds in life. He goes to the Father and no doubt will continue interceding for the work and for this country he loved.