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Source text - English My father was born in 1957 and my mother in 1962. Since they grew up during the wartime in Zimbabwe, they both left school at very young ages. They got married the traditional way, started living in Chipinge, and in 1979, the first child Shamiso was born. Mother started attending a local church (United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe, known as U.C.C.Z). From that time onwards, she became very devoted to the church and she also did her best to help the family attend the church. Father attended the church for only one day but he stopped attending because he didn’t find it helpful going there. My brother Anton and my sister Unah were born in 1984 and 1990 respective. I was born in 1992. We grew up attending the church, but my brother and I later stopped when I was about 13. By then, our family had grown to 9 children. We grew up in a humble home, and since my parents are subsistence farmers, we worked hard in the fields, growing crops for the family. The excess crops were sold for us to get school fees and other necessities. In February, 2000, the Eastern part of Zimbabwe was hit by the longest-lived Indian Ocean tropical cyclone on record, Cyclone Leon–Eline. The storm maintained a well-defined structure as it crossed into Zimbabwe late on February 22, and progressed across Southern Africa. The heavy rains caused rivers to overflow their banks, and the floods covered roads and caused several houses to collapse.
Although the cyclone didn’t damage our home, the floods washed away our damaged crops and we were left in dire poverty. Our land was covered with sand, and we had nowhere to farm. The years that followed were of droughts, and my parents always struggled to put food on the table for the family. I couldn’t be more saddened and sickened by those events. Many times, I wondered whether there was a God who really cared, and there was nowhere to find comfort.