Zimbabwean Missionary share her work in Cambodia

Mparutsa is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. She serves in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the community health, agriculture, and microenterprise coordinator with the Cambodia Mission Initiative.

Mparutsa was born in a mission hospital in Mutoko, Zimbabwe, and has been in mission all her life, serving primarily in health ministries. As a child she followed her mother and father as they served in local congregations; they planted in her a seed about ministry.

She had enjoyed 15 years with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies when Irene said to God she was ready to do what God wanted. In 1999 she was trained as a missioner of hope through the Board of Global Ministries, but instead took a position through Christian Outreach Relief and Development as health coordinator to train health center staff in villages in Cambodia, a three-year assignment that turned her toward missionary service. From 2003-2006 Mparutsa served in community-based health care in Cambodia. She was commissioned and began her current assignment in 2006.

Mparutsa shares about her work in Cambodia, "It is the most fulfilling work I could ever imagine when I work with a pastor to help a family in his village to find care for the child who has stopped attending school because of thalassemia (an inherited blood disease which causes anemia), or help a poor family get treatment from a public hospital, or work together with health staff for the good of the community. Coming to work with church, I am with local pastors and church members, village chiefs, local authorities and volunteers engaging communities to work together."

While the world is her home, Mparutsa remains a citizen of Zimbabwe and counts the Zimbabwe West Annual Conference as her own. She speaks Shona, English, French, Zulu, Nyanja and Khmer, the latter being the language of Cambodia.

Trained as a nurse, midwife and public health professional in England and Norway, Irene has worked in Zimbabwe, Zambia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Irene shares one of her favorite verses, Acts 3:6, "Silver and gold have I none."

"Coming from Africa I encountered people who questioned me, ‘What do you bring to Cambodia?’ I had to think. I know now. It is not about what I bring. It is about the power of the Risen Christ in what I do."