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The Axe and the Tree: How Bloody Persecution Sowed the Seeds of New Life in Zimbabwe
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The Axe and the Tree: How Bloody Persecution Sowed the Seeds of New Life in Zimbabwe

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4.70  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A powerful account of costly mission in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, this book details how British missionaries Peter and Brenda Griffiths and their team set up a superb secondary school, only for guerrillas to massacre almost all the staff. Peter died prematurely of a brain tumor; Brenda was repeatedly robbed and ultimately fled the country in her seventies, leaving behind the ruin ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 17th 2017 by Lion Hudson
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Stephen Griffiths The title is taken from a Shona proverb. Of course there is an allusion to weapons used by killers in the book. There are also Biblical echoes in the…moreThe title is taken from a Shona proverb. Of course there is an allusion to weapons used by killers in the book. There are also Biblical echoes in the use of 'axe' and 'tree'. But ultimately the premise of the book is to subvert the original meaning of the proverb. (less)
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4.70  · 
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 ·  20 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Rebbie
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
The anticipated release date for this novel isn't until April 2017, but you might be able to get your hands on it through netgalley like I did.

If you do manage to snag a copy, please be prepared for the fact that this book is emotionally heavy. It is difficult to get through at points, especially if you're a particularly sensitive and compassionate person.

The novel is about Peter and Brenda Griffiths, a married couple from the United Kingdom who set out as missionaries to help the devastatingly
...more
Loretta
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book because I knew one of the young women, Mary Fisher, who had been massacred. This made it a very difficult read for me, but I wanted to know a little about the work she had gone to do.
I don't think it's a spoiler, because of the blurb, to say this book began and ended with hope, changed lives, and forgiveness.
So - is it a challenging read? Absolutely. (view spoiler)
...more
Yibbie
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Haunting – no, that’s not the right word. Inspiring, that’s better. Encouraging, that’s good too. Comforting, that works too. But none is adequate by itself. This book did all of those things to me.
This is a very rare book. Griffiths has written one of the most comprehensive biographies I’ve ever read. It doesn’t just focus on the lives of his parents or even just the mission group they worked with. The politics, culture, factions, military forces, and even international pressures that affecte
...more
Tanya
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Epic, long, horrifying and inspiring at the same time, this story is about forgiveness. It details the work of Peter and Brenda Griffith in Southern Africa. This couple invested so much blood, sweat and tears into the land of Zimbabwe just to see it almost destroyed by the hand of some guerrillas. However, those big sacrifices made a big difference.

This book is so rich in facts, interesting life stories, local history and world history, it has so many different characters that it took me a long
...more
Brian Kerr
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having spent over three years teaching in Manicaland, the Eastern province of Zimbabwe, this book caught my attention when it came out a couple of years ago. It is the story of the Elim mission in Eastern Zimbabwe and in particular of the murder of 8 Elim Pentecostal missionaries and 4 children in the Vumba region near Mutare in June 1978 during the War of Independence. It was harrowing to read at times but presented also is ample evidence that God has brought good out of the awful killings. Rec ...more
Rachel
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Moving.
Sandra
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not an easy read but worth it. I find it's difficult to get through the book. The beginning is a little slow to start but after a few chapters I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next.
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Mark
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was one of those books that I simultaneously wanted to hurry through to see what was happening and yet, wanted to slow down to savor and ponder. At the same time, while I knew what was coming (it’s in the subtitle of the book!) and wanted to push the book away because of that, it drew me in, taking care to prepare and usher me into the grisly reality of the evil of man on the most personal level as well as the macro level of the socio-political realm. Also in the subtitle but a pleasant sur ...more
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