Article Courtesy, House of Hope Orphanage
Pastor Allinson Da Costa is going to make his eighth trip to a rural district Gweru, Zimbabwe in the African continent on May 6th,2015 where he will continue building the capacity for the House of Hope Orphanage he launched in 2011 which currently houses eight orphans and two caregivers.
Da Costa is responding to a humanitarian crisis of 2009 that left almost half of Zimbabwe’s population (5.5 million people) unable to feed their families and reliant on food aid to survive. Childhood is unfortunately a time of struggle and hardship for many Zimbabwean children. This is reflected in the rise in cases of child-headed families.
According to UNICEF reports one in six children in Zimbabwe has lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. The country has the second highest orphan rate in the world. There are about 100,000 child-headed households in the country.
This can be reversed by building the capacity of the communities the orphans belong to. With donations given by individuals in St. Kitts and Nevis and institutions such as churches and well wishers, House of Hope is trying to reach a cross section of orphans in Gweru.
“When I made my first missionary trip to Zimbabwe in 1998, the Lord burdened my heart concerning the needs of orphans. The problem of HIV/AIDS has produced thousands of orphans in Africa. During my sixth visit to Zimbabwe in July 2008, I became completely convinced that now is the time to help these precious children who are suffering,” Da Costa said during an interview.
Pastor Da Costa sends US700 every month to the orphanage he helped establish and travels to establish projects that will ensure the sustainability of the orphanage such as farming and livestock keeping.
The trip he is making in 2015 trip is crucial. He hopes to coordinate the digging of a water well as there is an ongoing drought. He will require US4,000 to get the well done. A volunteer from Canada will offer technical knowhow.
This time round, Pastor Da Costa is taking his seventh trip to Zimbabwe as a full time missionary having resigned from being a full time pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church, in Nevis which he has pastor for 20 years. He is a former graduate of Caribbean based Blue Waters theological college.
Asked how he let go the church he has pastured for two decades, he said, “I did not own the church. The church belongs to God. The team I have left behind is doing a good job.”
Pastor Da Costa is married and has four adult children. He became a Born Again Christian as adolescence and attributes his strong Christian upbringing to his mother. His father died when he was a baby. Since he became a Christian, he developed a desire for missions and especially to the African continent. He learnt about the continent through his geography lessons.
“I was always fascinated by Africa. I made my first trip in 1998. What moved me most was the number of orphans. I fell in love with Africans they are warm and receptive,” he said. During his current visit, he will also visit Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Swaziland. In these countries, he will preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he will also distribute hundreds of Gospel tracts.
Pastor Da Costa has called on his fellow Caribbean Christian believers to support missions to countries that are not yet reached. He holds the conviction that the Caribbean region is over evangelized. He said at times when the church of Jesus Christ remains in its comfort zone and refuses to reach out, it is sometimes dispersed through divine ways.
He is hopeful that he will raise sufficient funds by May 6th the date he flies to Zimbabwe to help him build the capacity of the orphanage. Pastor Da Costa can be reached at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1-869-469-5680 or cell phone 1-869-766-5250.