John Clifford
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Zambia Mission Update – September 2013

 

Vehicle Challenges

During September a Frontline Fellowship Team travelled to Zambia to conduct Discipleship Seminars and continue with arrangements for the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference.

After the first day of travel, our vehicle's universal joint loudly gave notice that its expiry date had dawned. We are thankful to the Lord for His protection on the vehicle and His grace in finding the right parts and good help. The odometer on our vehicle clicked over the 300,000 km mark which announced the phase to prepare for the unexpected.

David Livingstone 200 Missions Conference

While in the town of Livingstone, our team made preparations for the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference that will take place during 13 - 18 November 2013. Frontline Fellowship will host this Conference in Livingstone, Zambia. We met with the principal and chaplain of the David Livingstone Teacher's Training College, the minister of the David Livingstone Memorial Presbyterian Church, the manager of the Tourism Board in Livingstone, and the site manager of the Victoria Falls. 

2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone - Missionary, medical doctor, slave liberator and Explorer, "the best friend Africa ever had." 

Conference Presentations

During this conference we will focus our attention on the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Presentations at the Conference will include:

  • What we can learn from the lives and examples of great Missionaries of the past, including an in-depth study on the life and legacy of Dr. David Livingstone,
  • Priorities for Missions today,
  • How to evangelise people clinging to false religions,
  • How to evangelise using the Ten Commandments, as the schoolmaster to lead people to Christ,
  • Great Revivals in history,
  • and much more.

Please consider joining us for this landmark event. There will be no conference fees, but all the participants will be responsible for their own transport, accommodation and food.

Books for Libraries

We donated books to chaplains, libraries, Bible colleges and pastors. The material was well received and the recipients expressed their appreciation for the books. One chaplain was overjoyed, and he said that the books would help him start his own personal Christian library. We donated books from respected authors such as Dr. R.J Rushdoony, Dr. David Noebel, Dr. Peter Hammond and Dr. Robert Morey.

Africa Overland Mission Team

We met up with our Africa Overland Mission Team in Livingstone, on their way to Namibia. We provided them with literature for the last part of their ministry and we encouraged one another. We were uplifted by their testimonies of God's grace and His provision and work in the lives of the people in the countries where they ministered. Over the past 7 months they have crossed 14 international borders, travelled through and ministered in 11 countries, conducted more than 390 meetings, and distributed almost 3 tonnes of Gospel literature and Discipleship training material including Bibles, tracts, books, audio CDs, DVDs, posters, and MegaVoice solar-charged audio Bibles.

Christian Action Network Conference

We had a meeting with Christian Action Network members in Zambia and elected a new chairman and secretary for the Christian Action Zambia committee. We urged the members of Christian Action Zambia to be salt and light in their communities and country. The country of Zambia is at a crossroads and Christians cannot afford to be silent.

Ministry

Our team ministered to pastors, elders, church members and children in southern and central Zambia. We were able to minister in both cities and rural areas. Some of the greatest needs which the church in Zambia include: Gospel preaching and discipleship training. Our team set out to meet these needs. 

The Ten Commandments

Frequently, people will try to keep the Ten Commandments in order to merit their own Salvation. Other times, people will throw the Ten Commandments out the window, claiming that God's Law has nothing to do with Christians. It seems as though there is little understanding of the Ten Commandments and its place in the Christian Faith. We spent much time teaching that the Ten Commandments is our school master which leads us to Christ, so that we might be justified by Faith. 

"Therefore the Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24.

We used pictures to illustrate the Commandments and taught the course participants how to memorise them. We also dealt extensively with each Commandment, showing how each one applies to us today and how each one of us has broken most, if not all of these moral Laws.

Teaching the Ten Commandments may have been the most productive ministry we did. One Bishop said "From now on I am going to teach the Ten Commandments to my church every Sunday." 

Dangerous Doctrines

It is so important to carefully examine what we believe and why we believe it. In many African churches, there is a very flimsy view of Salvation. The common view of Salvation can be summarized by the following statement: "You are saved by praying and confessing your sins, but if you sin after you confess your sins you will go to hell until you confess your sins again." There is very little emphasis on the power of God to resurrect the spiritually dead and to keep them in the palm of His hand until they are glorified in Heaven.

"Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." Romans 8:30.

Overcoming Challenges

Besides the usual communication challenges one faces during cross-cultural Missions, we had many other obstacles to overcome. While in Livingstone, our whole team came down with stomach sickness but despite some discomfort and pain, we continued with the ministry as planned. We were preaching with fevers, stomach aches, headaches, sore throats, etc. John also lost his voice for two days and was reduced to being a hoarse whisperer! By God’s grace he was able to preach twice on the next Sunday.

While presenting a Reformation Conference in Lusaka, we had to compete with the booming noises from a wedding, only a few meters away from our venue and a noisy tipper truck dumping its very dusty load right outside the door! We were confronted with many distractions, yet we were able to conduct some very productive ministry. Praise be to God for the success of the ministry. We thank the Lord for the restoration of our health and providing us with strength for His service.

Successful Sermons

The most frustrating obstacle one faces as a teacher, is when people do not understand the concepts and principles you are trying to teach. This has been a constant battle when dealing with various topics, especially Salvation. Many people struggle with the doctrine of Salvation by Grace alone, through Faith alone.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

During this Mission, it seemed as though everything we taught was being absorbed by the people. We were pleased with the positive responses and enthusiasm displayed by those attending the lectures and sermons.

Children's Ministry

The enthusiasm of the children was encouraging. Apart from the extensive Sunday School teaching done by Michelle on the Sundays, we also had children who were eager to learn more about God and His Word during the evenings, when our ministry was completed for the day. On more than one occasion, excited children came asking us to come and teach them! They wanted to learn more memory verses and understand what the verses meant. At times they would even stop us from playing with them to teach them more about the Bible. One little girl said "God's Word is more important than your life."

The Lordship of Christ in all Areas of Life

God's Word has Divine instruction for all areas of life. We did a number of different presentations dealing with a range of theological and practical principles and instructions. Some of the lectures included: "Full Salvation", "Repentance", "God and Government", "Discipline", "The Greatness of the Great Commission", "Poverty – Its Causes and Cure", and more. In total, we conducted 51 meetings.

Some Concerning Observations

  • Zambia and Zimbabwe jointly hosted the recent meetings of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Livingstone and a great effort was made to welcome the going-on-90-years-old, Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe.
  • The Lusaka International Airport was renamed to be Kenneth Kaunda International, one of the first places to be re-named after Michael Chilufya Sata became president.
  • A growing dissatisfaction with their president is evident from the Zambian people. Recently, subsidies on food and fuel were withdrawn. When a group of pastors sought to peacefully protest, they were denied a permit to do so. Later, when they met together, they were intimidated to be silent by a mob of 100 thugs inside the church where they prayed. Some of them were hospitalized after they were beaten with whips and axe handles. Some of the pastors are on record stating that these thugs were identified as PF supporters.
  • Anyone wanting to do pubic speaking needs a state permit in advance and should be sure that he will be watched.
  • In Zambia, under the banner of "children's rights", families have already lost their Biblical responsibility to discipline their children in the way that the Bible commands.
  • The Zambian fuel price has gone up by R3.11 since our Mission in April, putting it around the R18/litre mark. This also coincides with the removal of the fuel subsidy.
  • Entering the country by road, with a motor car (depending on the engine size), we have to pay R300-00 for "carbon tax", $20 (that is US Dollars) for "road tax" and also R80-00 for a local "council levy".
  • Accommodation is also heavily taxed, to the point where it is cheaper to tour and use luxury accommodation in Israel than in Zambia.
  • We saw many Chinese people working on road construction contracts and also noticed Chinese construction machinery and vehicles and exclusive Chinese neighbourhoods.
  • A little girl was kidnapped from her home and fortunately found the next day, in a remote area, her hands and feet bound with wire. Human trafficking is on the increase.
  • Some of the richer "bishops" (or celebrity pastors) rarely visit the poorer branches of their churches, and when they do, they do not stay in the houses of the village pastors, or offer them a ride in their cars. The office of a pastor has been elevated to the status of a celebrity that demands a nice car, and bodyguards.

Since David's first visit to Zambia in 1991, the social life in the country has changed dramatically. During the communist days of Kaunda, the people were oppressed and the economy, social structure, roads, and towns were in shambles. Although the people were very poor, they realized their dependency on God. Today, the balance has shifted so that most people seem comfortable, the country is prospering but worship services have become superficial and preaching is lacking in depth and often without Biblical foundation.

Sata and Mugabe

It is alarming to learn who the friends of the president of Zambia are. After the rigged election in Zimbabwe, with the AU and SADC turning a blind eye and the apathy of the rest of the world, one should ask what Sata has gleaned from his Marxist friend, Mugabe's terrorism and destruction in Zimbabwe and what he is planning for his country. Does he plan to reinstate a socialist model and intimidate all those who dare speak out against him? He also has the same help as Mugabe from the Chinese, who no doubt are busy with a new Asian colonisation of the country. The high road taxes and heavily taxed accommodation suggests greed and covetousness.

"Although the country has officially been a Christian country since 1991, it is sad to see that this has not made a more significant impact on the country." (Operation World)

Humanist Pressure

Zambia has been under external and internal pressure to adopt a secular constitution and despite its Christian foundation, the laws seems to be relaxed on moral issues. The gradual increase of prostitution and the tolerance of pornography, will lead to a rise in human trafficking. This is confirmed by the incident of the kidnapped girl and other cases of people disappearing. It is equally sad to learn that "bishops", or rather, the overseers are not overseeing and seemed to be more interested in their own status and comfort than the spiritual welfare of their members. Is the church being moulded by the world to conform and compromise to its demands?

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God". Romans 12:1-2.

When the Church loses its saltiness it can expect that their precious freedoms will be lost on several fronts and regression into paganism will progressively take place.

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." Matthew 5:13.

Pray for Zambia

We are optimistic that God can turn any situation around very quickly. We will keep on ministering to the people of Zambia with the expectation that they will rise up and stop the infiltration of humanism. It is a joy and privilege to serve those leaders who are honest, hard-working and faithful to God's call on their lives. Please pray with us that more Zambian's will be obedient to the Great Commission and that Revival will come to individuals, families, churches and communities and those churches will become Mission centres and start sending out Missionaries from Zambia.

"Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth." Psalm 67:4.

David and Michelle Frew

John Clifford

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
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Website: www.frontline.org.za

 
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