Grace Samkange comes from a prominent Methodist family in Zimbabwe. She moved to Oxford to work as a radiographer, hoping to return when conditions in Zimbabwe improve. She has found Methodism in Oxford different from Methodism back home – but God has been with her.
Grace grew up in Zimbabwe in the 1960s, in a Methodist family on a farm. She describes house meetings every Wednesday and bedtime prayers in the Shona language. When she got older, she went to a Catholic school.
Church Meetings and school 1.53′
After finishing school, Grace trained as a radiographer and worked in a hospital in Bulawayo. She attended various churches and became a member of the Methodist women’s movement, the Ruwadzano. In this extract, she describes how her faith helped her in her job.
Work and Faith 1.09′
But as the economy in Zimbabwe declined, x-ray machines could not be repaired and Grace could not give the service she wanted to give. So, she decided to leave her children behind and go to England for just two years, working in an Oxford hospital. But unfortunately, things did not improve in Zimbabwe – and the two years turned into eighteen.
Moving from Zimbabwe to Oxford was not easy but at Wesley Memorial Church she was welcomed by Nigel and Mary Gilson, who had been missionaries in Zimbabwe (which used to be known as Rhodesia). Grace felt at home – although the services were not the same. They were more formal and people didn’t always stay after services to get to know you.
Wesley Mem 2.10′
In this last extract, Grace describes how sometimes during services or when she’s working at the hospital, she gets glimpses of the presence of God. She also felt a presence on a recent trip to Israel.
Glimpses of God 1.06′