Dakarayi grew up believing that if you wanted to be a pastor, then that was the only thing that you could be. You would have to go to Bible College and become a professional in ministry. He did an apprenticeship with a local company and went to college at Mutare Technical College. He had felt God call him for service in ministry in his teen years, the fact that he was doing an apprenticeship that had nothing to do with spreading the word in a “professional” way weighed heavily on his heart; so he reached out and contacted his youth pastor, who was at the time studying in South Africa. The man sent Dakarayi a pamphlet on Operation Mobilization (OM). Operation Mobilization works in over 110 countries, motivating and equipping people to share God’s love with people all over the world. OM seeks to help plant and strengthen churches, especially in areas of the world where Christ is least known (OM website). Thankful for this realization, Dakarayi completed his apprenticeship in 1996, worked in town called Bindura and moved back to Harare in 1998 to serve with Operation Mobilization.
For five years, Dakarayi and his wife, Kudakwashe, worked with Operation Mobilization doing short-term missions, and working in the offices. He also implemented the Operation Mobilization’s program in the church and eventually became a pastor. In 2003, Dakarayi and his family moved to Norton, helped to plant the Dunanis Revival Centre church and stayed there for four years. Though Dakarayi had a heart for the people and communities in Norton, he felt called to Banket in 2007, where Operation Mobilization’s new base was. In 2009, Operation Mobilize moved its base back to Harare, but the Dereras remained working with the local church and carried on training and teaching. In 2010, Dakarayi went to his first Foundations for Farming training and had such a passion for it, that he became one of the trainers and began teaching into the community.
In 2011, Dakarayi fell very sick. The doctors did not (and still do not) know what caused it, or how to help him, but his strength was failing fast. Though his family and friends feared for him, Derera knew that he would not die, because he felt another call from God on his life. Crying out to the Lord, he said “Lord, I cannot let this sickness bring me down. And it will not, because you have called me to continue”.
This new call Dakarayi has on his heart is for the Muslim communities in South Sudan. Though he has never been there, nor does he know anyone who lives there, he will still obey God and go where he has been called. South Sudan is a Christian nation, but there are several Islamic communities within it. There is a Foundations for Farming training station that has been set up there, but it lacks an experienced trainer on the ground, and so Dakarayi is stepping up to fill that role. He has already started learning Arabic from one of the head Muslim leaders in Banket, and says the acceptance that he has already seen was like a sign from God that the message of the Bible and the gospel will be heard. Dakarayi has four children, Anesu (20), Laura (19), Dakarayi (18), and Atirangarira (6), but only the younger two are travelling with him and his wife.
Many years ago, when Dakarayi was being discipled at a youth camp, he read a book called “Called to Die”, which focuses on dying to oneself and living for Christ. This is a man who has truly committed his entire life to following God’s will for him; even though it is uncomfortable and at times heart breaking.
Dakarayi and his family ask for prayer for God’s grace, provision, and courage to raise two children in a strange country. Though in the past few months, Dakarayi has received partial healing from his illness, they also ask for complete healing of Dakarayi’s body as he is still struggling with the sickness that limits his strength. As brothers and sisters in Christ, may we keep Dakarayi and his family in our prayers as they step into the promises God has for them.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and staff they comfort me.” –Psalm 23:4