The Evangelical Alliance Mission: Chironga Mission
The Evangelical Alliance Mission
The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) chose Chironga near Mount Darwin in 1954 to build its Teacher Training Institute (TTI). This was in response to the government raising the standards for teachers. In addition to having an eighth-grade education, teachers would now also need two years of formal teacher training. In order to avoid closing down its primary schools, TEAM decided to build its own teacher training facility.
Missionaries Merle and Kay Bloom were sent to open the new mission station. They were joined by Clarence and Gladys Cedarholm, Emil and Phyllis Rillings, and Bill Wagner. A teacher training school, a primary school where the student teachers could “practice teach,” dormitories and staff housing were constructed by the end of the first dry season. The school opened January 1956. TTI closed just three years later due to lack of staff. It reopened in 1962, but was permanently closed in 1967 when the government again raised teacher standards. TEAM lacked the resources to continue to train student teachers at this level.
While TTI was temporarily closed, the buildings were used to open TEAM’s first medical clinic in Southern Rhodesia. The hospital was rudimentary, consisting of a “mud brick, grass-roofed structure, small wards and a vastly under-equipped operating room (OR) and laboratory.” There was no electricity. “Coleman lanterns, supplemented with hand-held flashlights, provided light in the OR.” The hospital was moved from its temporary location at Chironga to the Karanda Mission in 1961.
Chironga Mission was burnt by guerillas in 1973. And in 1974, three African schoolteachers at the mission were murdered in a guerrilla raid.
Other missionaries serving at Chironga include Russ and Marge Jackson, Rusty and Jo Sherwood and Helen Dunkeld.
- Ordinary People in God’s Hands – Diane Powell Hawkins
- Mark Loomis