|Livingstone 200 Mission|
It was quite a contrast from my first visit to Livingstone in Zambia. In 1987 I had been arrested and abused. The Frontline Mission team I was leading had been arrested at Kazangulu after refusing to bribe Zambian officials. After an excruciating day and night of abuse at the hands of the Zambian security forces, we were thrown into filthy cells where the overpowering stench was nauseating. After a night of being attacked by swarms of mosquitos, my skin had been turned into relief maps of angry red bumps and bites. Then blindfolded and shackled, we were taken to Lusaka where weeks of interrogations and incarceration followed. That was October 1987, when Zambia was a one-party dictatorship under Kenneth Kaunda's UNIP. Their official policy was socialist humanism.
Zambia went through a dramatic transformation in October 1991, as 26 years of Kaunda's dictatorship came to an end in the country's first free multi-party elections since independence. The new president, Frederick Chiluba declared Zambia a Christian country and initiated national days of Repentance, prayer and thanksgiving.
I have had many wonderful opportunities for ministry, fellowship and worship in Zambia since then, ministering in churches, schools, teacher training colleges, to members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers, meeting with the President of Zambia, the ministers of Home Affairs, Information, Education and Foreign Affairs and ministering on radio and television, in prisons and military bases.
This time I was in Zambia for the Livingstone Mission, which included the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference and outreaches and services in the area. 2013 is the Livingstone Bicentennial. Throughout Africa, and in many other parts of the world, special events have been arranged to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Missionary Pioneer, Dr. David Livingstone.
The Livingstone Mission also coincided with the anniversary of Dr. David Livingstone's sighting, mapping and naming of Victoria Falls, 16 November 1855. This historically significant milestone was marked by a special commemorative service at Victoria Falls on 16 November, with national television and radio covering the service.
The Mayor of Livingstone arranged for a television interview with me in front of Livingstone Museum and for free access to the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls World Heritage site for all those who wanted to participate in our Livingstone commemoration service. This was certainly the most historically significant time at the most visually spectacular venue, to celebrate the life and legacy of the best friend Africa ever had: Dr. David Livingstone.
Literature for Livingstone
Frontline missionaries drove up from Limpopo Province and from our Mission headquarters in Cape Town, Livingstone House. Approximately 2 tonnes of Bibles, New Testaments, Gospels, Theological and Discipleship books, audio-visual materials and Evangelistic tracts were distributed during the Livingstone 200 Mission in Zambia. Many dynamic ministries, missions, churches and schools were blessed with hundreds of Bibles and books for their outreaches, leaders, faculty, students and Evangelistic outreaches.
On Sunday, 17 November, Frontline missionaries preached at 8 different venues. This included 6 different congregations in the morning and the David Livingstone College of Education chapel in the afternoon. I ended up presenting 3 sermons and one lecture on Sunday.
The Livingstone 200 Mission consisted of 50 meetings, including 3 radio and 4 TV interviews, 5 film screenings, 15 lectures at the conference and more at the David Livingstone Teacher Training College, presentations at school assemblies and outreaches on the streets of Livingstone.
Driving up to the event, Frontline missionaries saw wild dogs, zebra, impala, gemsbok, springbok, ostriches, wildebeest, giraffe, elephants, rhino and lions. At our campsite along one of the tributaries of the Zambezi, we heard and saw hippos who grazed near our tents, crocodiles, either sunning themselves on the banks of the river, or swimming past, baboons, monkeys, a snake, eagles, storks, egrets and a bush baby.
Celebrating Livingstone's Faith and Legacy
The high point of the Livingstone Mission was the Livingstone 200 service on 16 November at Victoria Falls. Scripture readings, prayers and testimonies were presented by a Nigerian delegate, an American missionary, South African missionaries and Zambian pastors and Evangelists representing a wide range of denominational affiliations from Presbyterian, Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Reformed, Evangelical and independent congregations, ministries and missions. Soon we were receiving phone calls from friends in other parts of Zambia, overjoyed at seeing the service covered on ZNBC (the national TV).
Amongst the written responses we have already received from participants in the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference, are: "My eyes have been opened and inspired by the life of this great missionary Dr. David Livingstone"; "Inspiring, eye-opening, challenging!"; "Very good and necessary new insights from well researched lectures and literature"; "Very informative, eye-opening and soul-searching. Revived!"; "Excellent!"; "Challenged and inspired!"; "Very practical"; "I was impressed by the whole programme and learned so many things that I must do as a disciple"; "My ministry of Evangelism has been transformed!"; "Everything that you have presented has inspired my Christian life. The way you have presented this course I have never seen before or attended anything like this in my Christian life. Thank God! May God bless you!"; "Every presentation and film has inspired my life and I thank God for every presentation!"; "Very beneficial! Encouraged in faith Missions work and have a clear historical understanding of missions and challenges."; "It has been encouraging. I have benefited from the truth and the literature that has been given."; "Well organised"; "I have learned effective Evangelism from the Way of the Master and Evangelism Explosion Workshop"; "Very informative. Very awakening. Well researched! Well done!"; "We learnt things that we had never come across before!"; "Inspired to prayer and action!".
The Livingstone 200 Missions Manual (100 pages including 15 historic black and white pictures, sketches, maps and 4 pages in full colour) is available from Christian Liberty Books. This Missions Manual is also available as an E-Book.
Audio Visual Data Disc
As the presentations were recorded, we will soon be able to offer an audio MP3 of the conference presentations and DVDs of the various presentations. The Livingstone 200 Missions Conference Data Disc (includes 55 audio messages, 33 PowerPoint presentations, the Great Commission Manual, the Discipleship Training Manual, the Muslim Evangelism Workshop Manual, the Chaplains Handbook and Chaplains Prayerbook, along with 72 supplementary lectures notes), is all available on one data DVD.
You can also view one of the presentations: The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone PowerPoint on Slideshare.
The Challenge of Livingstone Today
The text of the sermon: The Challenge of Livingstone Today, which I presented at Livingstone 200 service at Victoria Falls on 16 November, can be read on www.livingstonefellowship.co.za and will soon be uploaded on SermonAudio.com.
Photographs on Social Media
The footage gathered by our Africa Overland Mission team across 29,000km, ministering in 12 countries, including at numerous sights where Dr. Livingstone first preached the Gospel, will be edited into a new video documentary: In the Footsteps of David Livingstone.
Nordskog Publishing has also requested me to complete a book on The Life and Legacy of David Livingstone, which we hope to have published early next year.
Before leaving Livingstone, I visited the police station where I had been beaten, blindfolded, handcuffed and shackled, back in 1987. This time it was to deliver and distribute a box of Bibles, tracts and magazines to the policemen there.
For more details and audio-visual resources on The Life and Legacy of David Livingstone, visit www.livingstone200.org.
"That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11
Dr. Peter Hammond