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Congratulations to IMM Trustee, Terry Garde, for successfully defending his PhD thesis last month. Terry joined us in 2012 soon after his arrival in the UK to commence his studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. He and his wife Barbara were born and raised in Zimbabwe, where he spent most of his adult life in the mining sector, ending up as Managing Director of a large chrome mining and smelting business.

He became a Christian in the 1970s while at the Bulawayo School of Mines and over the subsequent years grew increasingly interested in what mining, done from a Christian perspective, might look like. A friendship with Brian Oldreive, the founder of Farming God’s Way (now Foundations for Farming) in Zimbabwe resulted in the concept of ‘Mining God’s Way’ which is the subject of his research.

His thesis is titled ‘Mining God’s way: Towards mineral resource justice with artisanal gold miners in East Africa’ and explores practical theologies for mission with Christian miners to promote social, economic and environmental justice as creation care. Terry is very grateful for the Lord’s blessing over the years of study to achieve this result.

He also appreciates that the work has already started in Kenya through the Miner to Miner Ministries with the Rev. Cap Simon Okoyo (since 2015) and Joshua Read (a British mining engineer who joined us in 2019). This mission, sponsored by the IMM, will be regularly updated on our website.  

The IMM welcomes the arrival of Joshua Read who joins Terry Garde in the nascent Mining God’s Way mission to artisanal miners, wherever the Trinity may lead us. There are three prongs envisaged for the mission.

Firstly, and of keen interest to the IMM is that of evangelism and sharing the gospel to miners, especially in their workplace. Our hope is to set up MGW hubs in villages or towns within mining areas, starting in Masara, Migori County, Kenya. Here is called the Ming God’s Way Hotel, where the IMM spent £2000 in 2019 to equip a room for the Rev. Cap Simon Okoyo to use for pastoral work. His wife, Dorothy, is preparing and selling food to miners as a supporting enterprise, while the facility provides a safe place for miners to relax away from the 20 bars (and part time brothels) already in town. The Hub will also be a base for committed Christian miners to provide expertise and equipment to improve the safety and health of hundreds of underground miners in the vicinity. A local mining Christian businessman has allowed one shaft on his property to be labelled as the Mining God’s Way Shaft, visited during lock down by Simon, (pictured).

Secondly, fulfilling a need to provide fairer trading of gold between the mines and ethical jewellery customers. The vision is to build an online shopping and lifestyle facility that will promote a Christian avenue for the tech savvy population to access consumables in positively impactful ways. It is hoped that this business will be able to financially support other aspects of the MGW mission.  

Thirdly, creation care and the promotion of shalom as the flourishing of all species in the vicinity of artisanal gold mining. Here, the concern is the uncontrolled release of mercury used the processes of extracting gold from the host rocks, sands, soils and tailings. It is estimated that over 2000 tons of mercury are released either into watercourses or the atmosphere from artisanal mining, and this global pollution is of grave concern. MGW needs to engage with this activity through the development and provision of mercury-free processing equipment, probably as a non-profit or non-governmental organisation.

The IMM is pleased to be a part of these initiatives through Terry, Joshua, and Simon, and calls for your prayers that God will bless this work, done in His name!

 

 

 


 


                                                                                 

 

 

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