18 May 2022.
John Rowse writes:
Dear Praying Friends,
My Quick Update
Here is the latest from our dear friend, Moses Makanta. I’ve highlighted some key prayer points. Do pray that he will find some time to rest. He receives many phone calls, sometimes up to midnight. Pray that the Lord will uphold him, and protect him.
I am still hoping to get back for another 3-months stint in August – maybe September. People all around us are being infected with covid—all four of our kids now, with Timothy being the latest (it doesn’t sound too serious—like the others, he’d had three vaccinations). Thankfully, Kay and I have so far been spared: we have our fourth shot today (plus one for flu).
Thank you all for your continued backing,
Listeners Meeting Together
The team of listeners that I mentioned about in one of my previous updates at a place called Mulanga, south-east of Chinsali district where there is a Catholic Mission station, have continued meeting together to listen to the messages on the ZNBC Radio. They have also continued to meet for fellowships every Sunday morning. The number has gone up to eighteen on average per meeting. These people are coming from among the Catholics. They are saying that they are hearing the truth about salvation by grace alone for themselves for the first time in their lives. This evening, our time, their leader, Newton Mulenga, called me. He told me that one of the listeners said that the Roman Catholic teaching that he had been brought up with that teaches that water baptism can wash away the sins has proved to be wrong based on the teachings of the Bible that salvation is by faith through the death of Jesus on the cross, and not through baptism or any other sacrament. The Priest in Charge of the Mission Station has heard about this group. Other Catholics went and reported this development to him but he hasn’t said anything about it. They have asked me to go and meet them physically at their place and teach them more. When resources to do so are made available, my wife and I will make a trip to the place which is about 230 km from Isoka. I will go and assess the situation to see if we can plant a new church there.
Former Head Teacher Converted
A former headteacher of the biggest primary school in Isoka by the name of Sikwinza gave his life to Christ through a radio program on Iso FM radio. Sikwinza was shocked when he heard the truth about salvation by grace about a week and some days ago. He has been serving as a church elder in one of the oldest Protestant churches in Isoka but he had no idea what it means to be saved by grace. He strongly believed that God was going to look at the good and faithful service that he had been rendering to the church plus the water baptism which he received by his Pastor when he was young. After understanding and accepting the gospel, Sikwinza and I have been meeting, sometimes at his house while at other times he comes to my house for more teaching on salvation and its assurance. Please pray for this man that the Lord will continue to grow him in his relationship with God.
Another Head Teacher
Again another Former Head Teacher who retired from the same primary school recently and who also lives in Isoka, followed me to my house to find out more about why a genuine believer who commits suicide should go to heaven. Zulu is a staunch catholic churchgoer. He strongly believed that a person can receive God’s mercy upon being baptised with water by a priest. The person who commits suicide is cursed by God and cannot go to heaven. After carefully explaining the gospel to him, Zulu was shocked. He then confessed to me that it was the first time he had heard this message. Zulu is not too far away from where I stay in the same compound. We have agreed to have Bible study together at least once a week. Zulu was a teacher of my firstborn daughter years back. He remembered how I refused to allow my daughter to have her wedding officiated in the Roman Catholic Church when her husband, who is catholic, demanded it. Mr Zulu then asked me whether or not this was the reason why I refused. I told him that, Roman Catholicism is totally in disagreement with the teaching of the Bible on salvation.
My trip to northwestern, Zambia
When the Chambishi Evangelical Church on the Copper Belt learned that I was going to pass through their town to go to Kasempa in Northwestern Province for our church’s National Church Council on 25 April, they requested that I travel some days earlier so that I could go and preach at their church on 24 April. They asked me to teach on what happens to a true believer who commits suicide. This is as a result of the radio program that I present on the national radio, ZNBC, which they listen to every Friday evening.
Questions Flow on Justification
Instead of having a normal church service, the program was adjusted to give me more time to exhaust the topic. The topic was hot. But thankfully the majority of members present were very much convinced. One of the Deaconesses later confessed that she had been judging other people, especially those who commit suicide, without first looking at herself. That day she admitted that she is not yet fully holy, it is only the righteousness of Christ that can take a genuine believer to heaven and not good works. A retired Pastor from Kitwe evangelical church, Henry Mukonda who is now running a Bible school in Kitwe, but remains a member of Chambishi ECZ, was very much impressed with how I handled the topic. He told everyone that this is a Bible-based truth that should not be ignored. He thanked me for the clearly presented message. Two of his students whom he brought to church, one of whom actually came from Muyombe, called me after church and thanked me for the clear teaching on justification by faith apart from the observance of the law. A lot of them saved my number and promised me that they will not only be listening to the radio programme but will also be praying for me and the programme.
Funeral of Suicide Victim
The following day, the 25th, I proceeded to Kasempa in Northwestern Province. During the five day meeting, I realised that a lot of pastors and other leaders who were there have been listening to my ZNBC Radio and they were excited to see me. We discussed a lot about what happened to a believer who dies before confessing their last, especially the sin of murdering yourself. The discussions about this topic were being done outside the business of the house. Some Pastors were confessing that they have been afraid of conducting funerals of church members who committed suicide. Two days later, the Presiding Bishop interrupted the meeting to make an announcement. An Elder in Kaoma who was a brother to a Regional Bishop in Kaoma had just committed suicide there. The Regional Bishop Jim Lindi was now leaving the meeting to go and attend the funeral. Then someone commented that this is what we have been discussing here. When I spoke to the Regional Bishop of the Zambezi Region about what he would do because he was the one nearer to Kaoma, he said, he himself was going to conduct the funeral. I was encouraged when I heard this.
Last Sunday I had a meeting with my church leaders where we agreed that I will be going out with groups of men, women and youth to take the message of the gospel which has not been heard before. My prayer is to see every individual believer talking and walking the gospel.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support.