Virginia pastor remembers national partner and friend

Last September, I found myself doing something out of the ordinary. I held onto the branches of a tree while my friend, Jonathan Munhutu, picked the last remaining fruit off the branches. The persimmons on this tree had ripened some time before, so the fruit was hard to find. To be honest, I would have passed it by had Jonathan not been with me.

These persimmons were small and dry. To me, they just didn’t seem worth the effort to get such a small amount of edible fruit. For Jonathan, though, they were worth whatever it took. In fact, we would stop and get a handful of persimmons every time we passed that tree during the week.

In my time serving alongside Baba Munhutu in the villages of Zimbabwe, I saw that this was how he approached much more than just persimmons. As we would visit from home to home, I was always amazed at the passionate way he shared the gospel with any who would listen. God used his animated style and his unshakable tenacity to bear fruit for His kingdom. It was fruit I would often have passed by — people who seemed to give the right answers yet who didn’t really know Christ; people who would try to change the subject because they didn’t want to discuss faith. Time after time and visit after visit, I watched God use this man to harvest fruit that most would have missed.

As I stood holding the branch for Jonathan to pick fruit, we didn’t know that Jonathan would not see another September persimmon harvest in this life. As I prayed while Jonathan shared the gospel, we didn’t realize that would be the last time I would serve alongside him. However, God brought Jonathan home to be with Him in April 2019.

For Jonathan, the harvest season is over and now it is time to rest. My life has been forever impacted by this incredible man who loved to pick fruit that others would miss. May God continue to raise up many others who have the heart Jonathan displayed.