Welcome to our newest blog feature – Profile. Here we hope to feature some of the faces you’ll see around Harvest City Church and dig a bit deeper into who they are and how they live for Christ in their daily lives.
How long have you been married?
We have been married for 23 years.
How many children do you have?
God blessed us with four children, three girls and one boy. Sandy is the firstborn and she’s married to Shingirai. They live in South Africa with their three children. Candy is second, married to James. They live in Kent and are expecting their first child. Russell is third and is still at home with us. Agnes is now staying with Candy in Kent and studying for her law degree.
How long have you been partners at Harvest City Church?
We started coming to HCC in April 2007 and we completed partnership in 2008. We’re happy to still be in church doing God’s work.
How has your life changed since you left your native Zimbabwe?
Erica: Life has changed so much since we were in Zimbabwe! Even though we had good jobs – Crispen used to work for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and I was working at Kadoma General Hospital – we were unable to look after our four children, two of Crispen’s brothers and our in-laws. The only things we could afford were food and to pay our bills. We were left with nothing to save for the future.
What do you do for a living?
Crispen: I am an electrician by trade, but at present I work at Leicester General Hospital as Materials Management Assistant in the Supplies Department. My job involves ordering items used in the wards and theatres.
Erica: I am a theatre nurse in Emergency Theatres and Obstetrics at Leicester Royal Infirmary. My job is to provide instruments and assist surgeons during operations.
Describe a typical day at work. What’s your favourite part?
Crispen: The best part of my day is when I go around the wards and theatres and find members of staff happy, telling me that they are not short of anything to use and hearing that staff have been busy delivery babies. I praise God for the strength and guidance He has given me to be able to do this job well.
Erica: My typical day is full of surprises which make it difficult to plan my work. My department receive cases from Accident and Emergency, so we get a lot of referrals and critically ill patients. We also do elective and emergency obstetric operations. My favourite part of the day is when an operation is successful.
How did you decide on this particular job/career path?
Crispen: I was studying for a Masters in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Loughborough University in 2007, but I had to leave the course when I failed to raise the fees because of my immigration status. I used to work night shifts at ASDA and attend university during the day which meant I would often miss the Tuesday night service. Erica advised me to look for a job in the NHS and I applied for my current position. The good thing about this job is that I work Monday to Friday and I’m now able to attend church all the time.
Erica: I used to work as a state certified nurse when I was in Zimbabwe. When we moved here my qualification was not recognised and was I was advised to retrain for three years. I applied for a bursary but couldn’t get one in England because they had stopped giving bursaries to non-EU students. Thank God, I managed to get the bursary in Scotland a year before they stopped it there too. The whole family had to move from Leicester to Dumfries. We were there for three years. After completing the course I got a job at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and we moved back to Leicester.
What do you think are some of the key factors that have kept you on the right path with God?
Crispen: Since I gave my heart to the Lord I always wake up early in the morning to read His word and pray before I do anything else. On my way to work, whether I am walking or driving, I listen to gospel music on my phone. I also set aside one day a week for fasting and seeking God’s guidance. I have managed to make Jesus the centre of my life and I make sure I am always in His house.
Erica: Looking back, my life was empty, full of hardship and lacked direction. I went through difficult moments looking after a large family and not knowing what I was doing. I felt better when I began to understand the word of God and surrender my problems to Him. Now, each day is full of praise and thanking God for changing my life. I face each day’s challenges without fear because I put God in His rightful place by praying for guidance. I always listen to my gospel music and Bible when I am walking, on the bus, train or at home. My perfect quiet time is when I am home alone and I enjoy God’s presence when I read the Bible. I pray and sing whilst doing my housework. What an amazing God we serve!