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The Axe and the Tree

How bloody persecution sowed the seeds of new life in Zimbabwe

The moving and inspirational story of Elim Missionaries Peter and Brenda Griffiths written by their son Stephen. It's a powerful account of the 1978 Vumba massacre of Elim missionaries which records the aftermath of the tragedy and God’s faithfulness in building His church in Zimbabwe.

In obedience to God, Peter Griffiths leaves Wales to serve among Shona people in northeastern Rhodesia, a racially divided country. A rendezvous in the mountains sparks an unusual romance & then marriage with Brenda.
 
With a dedicated team of national & expatriate staff, they build up a multi-faceted work; education and healthcare while establishing a network of churches.  Unexpectedly, spiritual fire sweeps through the school in a student-led revival. 
 
But a war of independence gathers pace. The missionaries work alongside courageous national colleagues in a tiny enclave of peace, enfolded in violence. Helicopter gunships, thumping artillery &  mined roads mark a dramatic, frightening period.  Then horrible atrocity engulfs the team at the hands of young extremists.  

This is an inspiring story of Peter and Brenda’s courage, sacrifice, and faithfulness in God, who despite the atrocities, continues to build His church in Zimbabwe. 

It is a story of love & loss, of suffering & new life, of hatred & forgiveness, of following God's golden thread through the dark labyrinth of life.
 

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The Axe and the Tree - Ebook
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Tragedy, triumph, tenacity; grace and faith; suffering beyond words, with love for the Lord, his gospel and his people: this book has them all. A biography like this is never simply a joyful romp through a happy life, and you stare into hell as well as into heaven. But the thread of tenacious faith, no matter what, is visible from start to finish, and behind that the reality of God's love and grace that makes such faith a gift from himself. Read and pray for Zimbabwe.
Rose Dowsett, Vice-Chairman of the WEA's Mission Commission

I could not put the book down nor could I read it without tears in my eyes. The strength of the story that Steve tells is that he is also part of it, he knew the people he writes about and he brings each character to life as if they were alive today. I am indebted to his diligence in unearthing history and telling it accurately. This book will never be old.
Paul Hudson, Elim International Missions Director

This story of a Christian community, vividly brought to life through the memories of a missionary family, offers a compelling example of forgiveness and redemption in the face of one of the darkest moments of Zimbabwe's recent past. Through it we come to understand the deep roots of the Zimbabwean Church.
David Maxwell, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Your book moved us to tears. It is so well written, so well researched, and does not flinch from the hard political and theological questions raised by the massacre. A significant contribution to the history of Christian mission.
David and Rosemary Harley, OMF

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The Axe and the Tree - Ebook
The Axe and the Tree - Paperback
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