The Road to Reformation in Zambia PDF Print E-mail

Surrounded by marxist dictatorships such as Angola, Congo and Zimbabwe, Zambia is a most strategic country for Christian missions in Africa. For 27 years Zambia itself was a one-party socialist dictatorship exporting terrorism. Now Zambia is officially a Christian nation and potentially calvin gen miyandaa base for missionary outreach throughout the troubled and war-ravaged region.

Since 1987, Frontline Fellowship has been conducting evangelistic campaigns, Discipleship Training Courses and (since 1993) Biblical Worldview Seminars throughout Zambia. Now, Frontline Fellowship is establishing a new Mission Station committed to Reformation and Revival in Zambia.

From June to August a Frontline Fellowship team conducted a record breaking ministry marathon in Zambia. Calvin Lindstrom reports (Picture on right: Calvin Lindstrom with General Miyanda, the then Minister of Education)

By God’s grace I had the opportunity to minister in Zambia with Frontline Fellowship. Our work in Zambia consisted of leading twenty Biblical Worldview Seminars in various cities in Zambia. Seven of the seminars were held in government Teacher Training Colleges.

Through the efforts of the Minister of Education, Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, we were given permission to hold seminars in seven primary and secondary Teacher Training Colleges. The one-day seminars at the colleges were packed with hard hitting lectures – Worldviews in Conflict, Creation vs. Evolution, Biblical View of Education, God and Government, Poverty and Prosperity, and the testimony of the Persecuted Church in Sudan.

We boldly proclaimed the Name of Jesus Christ while exposing the idols of evolution and humanism. For some students, our message was more than they could handle and some would leave during the day. And yet, praise to God, there was always a good group of students (70-100) that remained through all the lectures. Some lecturers also attended our lectures at several of the colleges.

At one particular Training College, there were a number of the professors who were very interested in the seminar, the books and literature we offered. At this meeting, one of the professors opened the meeting in prayer declaring that Zambia is now a Christian nation. Afterwards, we were able to talk with several of the Religious Education professors and encourage them. The head of the Religious Education Department shared that he was now challenged that there can be no neutrality in life and education. Robert was also able to clearly articulate the Biblical position on capital punishment for murder in response to the professors question.

The thirteen other seminars were held in different cities in Zambia. At these seminars we were able to reach pastors, elders, businessmen, teachers, housewives, and students from various denominations. The two to three day seminars were packed with 16 or more lectures covering the application of God’s Word to all areas of life. The goal was to help lay a foundation for Reformation by showing the importance of God’s Law. One of the key messages was designed to get people to turn away from a doom and gloom, defeatist outlook and embrace a long-term vision to fulfil the Great Commission. As Christians we must be concerned with the future.

Zambia was granted its inde-pendence from Great Britain in October 1964. A humanist-socialist, Kenneth Kaunda, transformed the food exporting, mineral rich nation into one of the poorest nations in the world. Zambia then served as a springboard for revolutionaries hoping to overthrow Portuguese West Africa (Angola), Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), South West Africa (now Namibia), and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

At one particular Training College, there were a number of the professors who were very interested in the seminar, the books and literature we offered. At this meeting, one of the professors opened the meeting in prayer declaring that Zambia is now a Christian nation. Afterwards, we were able to talk with several of the Religious Education professors and encourage them. The head of the Religious Education Department shared that he was now challenged that there can be no neutrality in life and education. Robert was also able to clearly articulate the Biblical position on capital punishment for murder in response to the professors question.

The thirteen other seminars were held in different cities in Zambia. At these seminars we were able to reach pastors, elders, businessmen, teachers, housewives, and students from various denominations. The two to three day seminars were packed with 16 or more lectures covering the application of God’s Word to all areas of life. The goal was to help lay a foundation for Reformation by showing the importance of God’s Law. One of the key messages was designed to get people to turn away from a doom and gloom, defeatist outlook and embrace a long-term vision to fulfil the Great Commission. As Christians we must be concerned with the future.

Zambia was granted its inde-pendence from Great Britain in October 1964. A humanist-socialist, Kenneth Kaunda, transformed the food exporting, mineral rich nation into one of the poorest nations in the world. Zambia then served as a springboard for revolutionaries hoping to overthrow Portuguese West Africa (Angola), Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), South West Africa (now Namibia), and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

In 1991 a Christian, Frederick Chiluba, was elected President of Zambia. He declared Zambia a Christian nation. In 1996, the Constitution was amended declaring Zambia to be “a Christian nation”. However, Zambia’s government still has a long way to go to reverse the humanist policies of the past. The country is still in desperate poverty, economically and spiritually. Too many people still look to government as their provider – the result of 27 years of devastating socialism and decades of colonialism. While independent of Great Britain, Zambia is now almost a colony of the IMF and the World Bank.

However, there have been dramatic changes in the recent years. When Peter Hammond, the Director of Frontline Fellowship, was in Zambia in the 1980’s one had to pass through 34 roadblocks to get from Livingstone through to Malawi. At each roadblock the guards felt free to strip vehicles, steal personal items, and generally threaten every traveller. Having cocked AK-47’s stuck in his stomach, neck, mouth, ears, nostrils and eyeballs, was part of travelling across socialist Zambia in those days. As Peter Hammond described the 1980’s in Zambia:

One could not just freely organise public meetings. Every meeting had to be cleared with the local police, who could be extremely obstructionist and unhelpful.

It was a vicious police state. The prisons were filled with people who had never even been charged, let alone tried in court.

The schools taught Humanism, Atheism, Evolutionism and Marxism.

Outspoken critics of the government often disappeared, never to be seen again.

Torture in the prisons was common.

In many respects, the contrast between socialist Zambia under Kenneth Kaunda and “Christian” Zambia under Frederick Chiluba is like night and day. For anyone who didn’t see, or read, of Zambia in the old days, and who is used to the efficiency and prosperity of America, Zambia today would seem most disappointing. However, compared to neighbouring African states, or compared to how Zambia was in the 1980’s the transformation has already been remarkable. The freedom of speech, movement, press, association and freedom for Christian schools are recent developments that cannot be ignored.

The work of Reformation is more than holding a “revival” weekend tent meeting or holding twenty Worldview Seminars. God works through generations. The work of Reformation can take hundreds of years. This is certainly the testimony of the great Protestant Reformation. Nations did not change overnight. Thousands were martyred. Battles were fought. Thousands of sermons needed to be preached. For nations to be discipled takes lifetimes of work.

As Peter has reminded us, the work of Reformation in England advanced somewhat under Henry VIII; it was established much firmer under King Edward VI. England reverted back to Catholicism with the wave of persecution under “Bloody Mary”. But, finally, the Reformation was securely entrenched under Queen Elizabeth I. However, it still took much more work under the Stewarts, especially during the English Civil War, and under the influence of Cromwell before the Reformation in England truly matured. It will not take less effort and dedication to secure a similar result in Zambia.

The next generation must be diligently trained. We must have a long-term vision! There are no quick fix solutions in Zambia. We emphasised that the key to national prosperity is more than just simple faith. God requires faith along with obedience, planning and diligent work. According to Deuteronomy 28 God blesses and judges nations.

The work of Reformation is similar to building a new house. First the old structure and rubble must be bulldozed away. This process is often painful, difficult and certainly not glamorous. After this occurs, the new structure can be raised. There are many opportunities in Zambia not available in America. Abortion and homosexuality are now illegal in Zambia. Modesty and humility characterise most Zambians. Thankfully, they only have a few TV channels. And, best of all, there are Christians who recognise the problems and are working to implement Biblical solutions.

Of course, if we are going to see lasting changes, then as Bible believing Christians we are going to have to be involved in more mission work. The principle of sowing and reaping continues to hold true. Why don’t we see more nations working for the implementation of Biblical principles? Well, not enough seeds have been planted yet.

Whilst in Zambia, we met a number of individuals who were working in Christian education. Frontline has brought in many great Christian books for distribution throughout Zambia. We were able to place some of these books in the hands of pastors, teachers and government leaders. General Miyanda, the Minister of Education, addressed our Lusaka seminar and stayed for several of the lectures.

How can we continue to work for Reformation in Zambia? First we need to have a long-term and realistic vision. Presenting one seminar will not change any country. If we are going to see lasting change, then we must have a long-term commitment.

Seminars and conferences have an important role in laying foundations. Hopefully in the near future, a Biblical Worldview Seminar can be presented in the Zambian Parliament, similar to the recent Biblical Worldview Seminar held by Frontline Fellowship at the South Africa Parliament. Planning a conference specifically on Homeschooling and Christian Education is also very necessary. The current Minister of Education is very interested in Christian education. I had the opportunity to talk with him. He is especially interested in home-schooling and how it might work in Zambia. Frontline has developed many good contacts and will be continuing to hold seminars and meetings in Zambia. Continue to pray and support the work of Frontline as they establish a permanent mission station, help launch a Christian school and work for Reformation in Zambia.

Third, it will be necessary to develop a Bible College and a Teacher Training College. Zambians are hungry for sound teaching. It will take some time to develop such a ministry, but something permanent needs to be established. Pray that a training centre or college will become a reality. Would you be interested in working for several years in establishing such a ministry? If so, then get in contact with Frontline Fellowship. They are attempting to purchase a training college and support Zambian Christians in establishing a Christian Teachers Training College. They recognise the necessity of Christian Teachers and a Bible based curriculum. It is people who are already doing something that we need to help and encourage and influence with sound Biblical instruction. Even more Bible based books must be provided to meet the great spiritual hunger and need.

Continue to pray and have a long term vision as we work for true Reformation in Zambia and throughout Africa. Let us continue to train our children to have a long-term vision.

"The Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever." Revelation 11:15

P. Calvin Lindstrom is a science teacher at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL. This was his second mission outreach to Africa with Frontline Fellowship. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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