|MINISTRY IN ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE - November 2010|
This report was completed by a new Frontline Missionary Field Worker:
"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth” Psalm 67:1-4
We entered an area that was described to us as primitive and neglected. Although the area is not untouched by religious influences, it is truly a spiritual needy part of Zambia. Our goals were to establish the true spiritual need, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to identify possible leaders to partner with, to plot the different villages in the area on a map and to work on a strategy to reach the people of this area in the future.
We launched the outreach from Lukulu where we met with the local church. They have a vision to reach out in the rural area and two of the members accompanied us as our interpreters. We crossed the Zambezi River, drove from there along the Lungwebungwe River, a strong tributary of the Zambezi. Our strategy was to map the villages en route to the Angola border and then minister the Word of God in the villages and make contact with their leaders on the way back.
We visited and mapped 55 villages and shared the gospel in 26 of them. On our way, we handed out many Lozi and Luvale tracts. We gave Biblical Principles for Africa and The Apostles Creed books to the chiefs that we met.
At every opportunity, we took enough time to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ starting in Genesis, explaining why we are all sinners in God's eyes and therefore in desperate need of a Saviour who complies with God's standard. In most villages, we had positive responses to the Gospel. Many of the Lozi and Luvale villages were wary of us at first as it was the very first time that missionaries had visited the area North-West of the town of Mitete. There is a huge need for Bibles in this area. Most of the leaders do not have their own Bible and as we discussed Biblical matters with them realised that they do not have a basic knowledge of the content of the Bible.
The sandy roads between the villages demanded constant concentration that tested the vehicles' abilities to the limit. We camped next to the Lungwebungwe River every evening where we experienced beautiful sunsets.
We ministered to the leaders from various church groups on our return to Lukulu.
On the final day in the area, the team ministered at a village about 60km south of Lukulu, on the following topics: the Fear of God, Prayer, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, Unity and Uncompromising Leadership. The local chief attended the preaching and teaching and the spiritual leaders saw this as an acceptance of the work done by them. On this day, the chief granted a request by the Ruvusi church for a plot of ground to construct a building.
We conducted a Leadership Training course for 3 days at pastor Reuben’s church with representatives of ten local churches. Michael spoke on Fearing God, Repentance, Way of the Master, and Be Doers of the Word. I spoke on What is a Christian?, The Heart of the Gospel, Christian can Change the World, Suffering, To Know God and to Make Him Known, and Leaders for Africa. I also introduced the William Carey Bible Institute and encouraged them to enrol. We gave each church a Leadership Pack, which included a library of great Christian books.
During Saturday afternoon, we had an outreach to a local village. The participants had an opportunity to put the Way of the Master into practice. Afterwards we had a good feedback session and all the leaders were very excited about the afternoon’s events.
Our hosts treated us very well and we had good discussions in the evenings over dinner with the leaders of the Reconciliation Ministries International. They discussed the fact that the Lusaka leaders do not include them in the programs during Dr Hammond’s visits. They were also very interested in our warnings about God TV and TBN’s false teachers/prophets who are highly esteemed by most village pastors. We also encouraged them to be leaders of integrity that are committed to the whole truth of the Word of God and not to fall into the devil’s trap of compromising the truth to accommodate sinners for the sake of money, as many struggling pastors do.
On Sunday morning, we ministered at two different churches. Michael ministered at an evangelistic crusade, which marked the opening of a church in the area. The church took over an old bar and now use it for worship. This is a sign of the impact that the Gospel is making in this area.
We believe that Eastern Zambia is a worthwhile area to invest in, as the leaders were very receptive to Bible teaching and hungry for God’s Word. Pastor Reuben is a hard working farmer and provides well for his family. He manually plants large cassava, popcorn, sugar cane and rice fields, and keeps livestock. He is also building his own church building with bricks that his church members manufacture themselves.
Ministry in Zimbabwe
Considering the 4-hour delay our pervious team had at this border post, we were tense about crossing into Zimbabwe. The border post was very quiet and many of the officials were influenced by excessive spirited refreshments. The customs officials did not even get up from their chairs to check the vehicle at the gate, but just waved me through!
The Home schoolers I stayed with had just had one of their vehicles stolen. They asked for prayer as a friend’s residential house was recently invaded. As a children’s ministry, they are still not at ease in Zimbabwe. They are constantly mindful to keep a very low profile in the community, as they are unsure about their safety. They indicated that they need a place in a neighbouring country where they could swiftly withdraw to for an extended ‘holiday’ if needs be. They stay in a neighbourhood where they might struggle to stay under ‘the radar’ if residential invasions start occurring on a widespread basis.
I met with a pastor who was very excited to host a Biblical Worldview Seminar (BWS) for 15 village pastors that he is teaching. I gave him a copy of Biblical Principles for Africa (and also 15 copies for the group of pastors), Power of Prayer Handbook, Reforming Our Families, The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Century of Reformation, God Indeed, Searching Questions, and Security and Survival in Unstable Times.
I visited a Christian Vocational College that does Bible training courses and camps for kids. They are also busy building a children's home, and do pastors training. When I visited them in May, I gave them some books for their training courses (Christian Teachers Training Manual) and books for pastors. They are struggling and praying for someone with integrity to come alongside them to help run the ministry, raise support and develop the vision.
I also visited a Mission with a Bible College, hospital, and school. This mission base was badly damaged during the war. Some soldiers climbed on the chapel roof to tear it apart but fell off because of the steep slope and saw it as an act of God against them, so the chapel, which is now used as the library, was spared. Later the mission was rebuilt and were put back to use.
I had the opportunity to address the staff and students on ‘Why it is Necessary to have a Biblical Worldview”, but I was sternly cautioned not to speak out against the country’s government, its politicians or to say anything that can be twisted to be political. The principal is familiar with some of Frontline Fellowship’s activities. He has also heard Dr. Hammond speak in South Africa. Therefore he was concerned that a lecture from us might endanger their position and/or lives.
Audio Visual Ministry
I gave the Bible College one Saber Audio Visual Bible. They are very excited about it. They send their students out on a regular basis to evangelize, and the Saber will be put to good use in this regard.
I did get the impression that most people in Zimbabwe are not at ease about the political, economical and social situation. Nobody is sure about their safety, property and their future, not even those in remote and rural areas.
I delivered another Sabre Audio Bible and Flipcharts to an evangelist in Manicaland who came highly recommended. He was very excited about this ministry tool and asked me to thank the donors.
I also delivered a box of books to a pastor who invited me to preach at his church. I preached on ‘What is a Christian?
Boxes with Love
I attended a family fun day at the local Church where I met some of the pensioners that received our ‘Boxes with Love’ in the past. All of them asked me to convey their deep appreciation for the “…thoughtful expressions of love”. One lady said that she always feels like a little child with a big present when she receives the box. Another said that there was a very tough time when the boxes, not only helped them have a few meals to eat, but it also gave them so much hope “just to know that someone cares enough to send us some help”. They also thanked me from their hearts for the literature that we included. Some of the books have changed hands a few times as they are passed on to others to read.
During the morning I had a meeting with a Zimbabwean pastor who is very excited to host a BWS in his church. Because of the ‘Boxes with Love’ we have an open door at this church as many of the pensioners who benefit from this ministry, attend his church.
I asked the pastor, what the spiritual state of the people are at present. He responded that sadly, most people are indifferent to the Gospel and churchgoers are lukewarm and uncommitted. The fact that they are in a major national crisis does not seem to move the people to repentance and a realization of their need for God.
Morgenster Mission is under the leadership of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. It was established in 1891and presently there are 2000 people living at this mission. Morgenster has the oldest RCZ congregation in Zimbabwe with 1500 members. At Morgenster there are 11 different RCZ departments operational. A school for the deaf, a teachers college (with 120 staff and 1000 students), a hospital (with 240 beds, 4 doctors and an eye specialist), a high school (350 students), primary school(400 students) and the Bible College (100 students and staff) are some of these departments. Morgenster used to operate a printing press that supplied 75% of Zimbabwe’s printed media.
In 1952 the Shona Bible, which was translated by the Morgenster Missionaries, was released and a monument, that resembles a candle, was erected to commemorate this historical occasion.
The Veritas Bible College is used to teach lay pastors to do good exegesis of the Bible, which does not require extensive training. They have different groups training with Veritas – even a prison ministry.
They have a huge need for Bibles and pens for prison ministry. Chaplains requested Shona Bibles for hundreds of inmates. Most prisoners might not be criminals, but rather political detainees. They need Bible teaching.
I want to thank the Lord for the ministry that I was able to do in Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of a focussed and dedicated team and for His protection of us in the field, and our families at home. May God's Name be glorified; His Kingdom come and His will be done as it is in Heaven.
All praise be to God for protecting Mike who contracted malaria in Zambia. He has recovered and is well again.
Thank you to all my supporters who prayed for us and made financial contributions, making it possible for me to do this outreach. May God bless you.
In Zambia my Land Rover's radiator tank cracked. A friend in South Africa prayed that God would help us. He then managed to arrange a new tank and linked up with the SA pilot's network and an SAA pilot delivered it to me in Lusaka! Thank you, Cobus and Christo. Praise be to God!
“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!" Psalm 67:5-7