A DROMORE man recently returned from strife-torn Zimbabwe is to lead the local Elim Church in remembering a missionary group brutally murdered in the African nation 30 years ago.

Nine missionaries and their four children were slaughtered in the Vumba massacre during the struggle for independence in Zimbabwe - formerly Rhodesia - a struggle involving the Zimbabwe African Peoples' Union, United African National Council and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front.

Among the dead were Cullybackey man Roy Lynn, his wife Joyce and their three week-old baby Pamela.

Mark Morrison, a member of Dromore Elim Missions Committee, recently travelled to Zimbabwe to pave the way for a local missionary team tasked with refurbishing an Elim Church hospital at Katerere.

As well as carrying out a technical survey, sound engineer and father-of-three Mark visited primary and secondary schools in the rural area of Inyanga, on the border of Mozambique, a mission station at Penhalonga which has a church, school and a school for children with hearing and speech impairments.

During the trip the Dromore man also shot a documentary-style video, among other things commemorating the Vumba massacre.

Mark's DVD, which documents the legacy left by the missionaries - including the Katerere hospital, churches and schools - will be shown during a service of remembrance at Dromore Elim Church on Sunday, June 22, to which everyone will be made welcome.

A spokesperson said, "The current political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe is regularly at the forefront of today's news, even though we probably only hear a fraction of the abuse and daily struggle for survival that the local people face."

During the service, which begins at 11am, an offering will be taken to help raise funds for the refurbishment and extension of the headquarters church in Mutare, dedicated 30 years ago as a Memorial Church to the murdered missionaries.