The mission program that we came for here in Mwansabombwe has been very successful. This is a place where the palace for the Paramount Chief Kazembe of the Lunda people of Luapula Province is. We were only about 400m away from the palace to the place where we have been lodging.
Mwansabombwe is a district where you find a lot of witchcraft being practised. People spend all night drinking, smoking and all sorts of illicit behaviours. The place where we were lodging is the best among all the other lodges in town, but we witnessed a lot of prostitution and drunkenness, especially since some people from other districts have slowly started coming for the forthcoming Kuomboka Traditional Ceremony.
This was a by-faith type of mission trip because it was our first time in this part of the country and we did not really know where we were going. Now I know more about the people here.
After doing a follow-up visit to Chinsali church last week on Sunday, I went to Kasama to meet Gertrude who was travelling from Isoka, then we proceeded to Mwansabombwe the following week on Tuesday. We arrived in Kawambwa just after midnight. We spent the rest of the night in the bus at the station in Kawambwa. Then we proceeded the following morning, Wednesday, and arrived in Mwansabombwe around 06:00 am. Fortunately, we managed to find a place to stay.
God’s Good Timing
We thank the Lord that our arrival at this place was indeed timely. This is because had we delayed by a week to come we were not going to find a place to stay because, in a week’s time, this place will be invaded by people from all walks of life from within and outside Zambia, everyone will be busy preparing themselves to attend the traditional ceremony of the Lunda people of Kazembe of the Luapula Province. Also because of the same ceremony, it would have been difficult for the people to concentrate on our program as their minds would have been set on their traditional ceremony. The people who called me there would have been demoralised as they were eagerly looking forward to meeting with me.
We found Emmanuel Mumba, the contact person, together with four others, waiting to receive us at the bus station. They led us to the guest house where we were staying. Then they took us to his place for breakfast before I could join your friend, Bob, for their zoom meeting.
I realized that the group of listeners that requested me to come and meet with me stay about 3 kilometres away from the Central Business District along the road to Mansa.
Here are some highlights:
1. When we went to meet the District Commissioner at his office on Thursday, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with him and his Secretary. He only gave me 15 minutes because he was busy, but to my surprise, when he realised that he was not sure of his salvation, he gave me 15 more minutes. He hesitated to believe that salvation could only be obtained by believing alone without observing the law. He requested that I come another time to continue where we left off so that he is given some time to think about what he heard. Unfortunately, when I went to see him again on Friday, he was out of town. I have saved his contact number. As soon as I arrive home, I will call him to thank him for welcoming us to his district and to continue the message with him.
2. When we went to Emmanuel’s place, instead of finding 18 or fewer people, we found a group of 54 people waiting to hear from me under a tree within the school premises. It was my time to share Romans 3:26-28 and 4:4 and 5. The Headwoman was one among those who Emmanuel had invited to the meeting. Thankfully, she and many others in the group, by God’s power, decided to put their faith in Jesus only for their salvation. They were so excited that now that they were with me physically, they asked me a lot of questions about salvation by grace alone for their salvation. On Friday when they came back, we discussed the assurance of salvation (the suicide issue). They were all shocked to hear that. One of the ladies who has been born a Roman Catholic came and stood in the front to testify, this is what she said, “I was born and bred in the Roman Catholic Church, I never knew that I could be saved. From the time I started listening to this message on the radio, I was struggling in my life about what I should do about my faith as a Catholic. When I heard that you were coming, I decided to come and hear more from you. Now that all the questions that I had about what I believed have been answered, I have decided to accept Jesus as my Saviour. I will trust him and him alone”. Being a Chairlady for the women’s fellowship at that catholic congregation, this woman has since surrendered back her catholic uniforms to the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, a move that has shocked members of that community. She has been a top leader of the Catholic Women’s League at that centre. Another lady, who is actually the Head Woman of that community when she heard the gospel, came back on Sunday to declare that she will no longer be going to the Roman Catholic church because she has now received the gospel of salvation. Another one, among many of those who were Catholics but decided to give their lives to Christ, was a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Chairperson. He is giving praise to the Lord for having eternally forgiven him and for giving him eternal life. He is asking for prayers so that he can go and reconcile with his wife who left him because of his careless spending of the money which landed him into debts that he struggled to pay back. He said, if he had known the Lord before, he would not have had a rough time with his wife. His name is Chibulu.
3. God gave me another grace. During our door-to-door evangelism with Emmanuel, we came across two sick people. One of them had been bedridden for over three years because of a swollen left leg. He had been living a life of bitterness ever since because he strongly believed that he had been cursed by some of his relatives. He never wanted anyone to tell him about God. He had been going to the hospital but nothing changed. When we arrived at his house, his wife went inside to plead with him to allow us to speak to him the word of God. By God’s grace, he allowed us in. After explaining everything to me, I asked him if he would allow us to pray for him, and he agreed. Then I reminded him that there are two different lives that one has to live, a temporal life and eternal life. I asked him if he had heard anything about eternal life. He said, I know there are people who talk about eternal life, but no one will ever live that life because people think they will go to heaven by regularly attending church when they know that their lives are evil. No one can live eternal life after death. I said to him that you want us to pray for you so that you can get healed physically, but do you know that even if God healed you, you would still get sick again and die? When he said, yes, I then shared the gospel of grace that leads to eternal life. Then he said, I would rather die with this sickness and go to heaven to be with God than be healed of this sickness and go to hell. I then reminded him that we will pray for your healing, if wills, you will get healed. But if God says no, you still need to continue praising him even in that condition because he has given you eternal life to live. I was amazed to see him accepting Jesus as his personal saviour and Lord. Then we prayed for him for healing and we left. We also came across another person, a lady who has been struggling for over ten years with severe stomach pain. After sharing the gospel of salvation with her, she accepted the gospel. Then we prayed for her so that God in His full of mercy, could heal her. We were amazed, the two patients came to Emmanuel in the morning to testify that God had healed them. The swelling and the pain had gone and the woman had received healing. We left the two and their relatives praising God for what he had done for these two patients.
4. We also did a radio program at the nearest radio station in Kawambwa district on Friday. Two-hour live was done on Friday 10hrs to 12hrs and the one-hour recorded program was played on Saturday evening from 20hrs to 21 hrs. We had a lot of calls from the listeners who wanted to understand why good deeds should not be part of the work of our salvation and why one not lose their salvation even after they have committed some sin. This was because most of the listeners did not start listening from the beginning. This was why I had to take two hours live on the radio to explain the gospel and I invited them to listen to what I had recorded for the following day, Saturday and to ZNBC every Friday evening. The technician on duty by the name of Shakwamba was converted. He promised to be announcing the airing of the recorded program on Saturday for free.
5. When Sunday came, we found the classroom which had been given to us by the school management to use for free, well cleaned by some of the ladies that came to Christ. 38 people came to worship with us. I spent the two hours teaching them about the assurance of salvation before leaving them. We then made a circle, held hands together, and I prayed for them before leaving them. This moment made these brothers and sisters in the Lord feel emotional as they wanted us to stay for more days. This was one of the most successful programs where I saw God’s grace upon us as we did the ministry together with my dear wife, Gertrude. Please thank our brothers and sisters in Australia for their prayers and financial support for this ministry.
One of the biggest roadblocks to this ministry was transport. We did not know where we were going. We spent a lot of time and money waiting for transport as we made two connections to go to Mwansabombwe. There is only one vehicle that goes to Kasama once or after two days. It starts off from Isoka when it is full. You have to be at the station to wait until it is full, or you risk being left. We needed to connect from Kasama the following day. Again there is only one bus that goes to Kawambwa once per day. It leaves Kasama after 17hrs. It then arrives in Kawambwa around midnight. Then we had to jump on another bus to Mwansabombwe in the early hours of the next day. When we discovered that the people who invited us lived about 3 km away from where we were lodging, we had no option but to start using public transport to go there every morning for ministry. When we discovered that the nearest radio station was in Kawambwa, about 60km from Mwansabombwe, we decided not to be going there every day for live radio programs because of limited resources. Also, we could not do live programs during the evening when everyone is settled down to listen because it would have resulted in us spending the night there thereby affecting the meetings with the group we went there for.
Challenge of New Leaders
Another challenge is that I chose five people to lead the church in the interim. But these people need a lot of guidance as it is going to be their first time teaching others the word of God, and they need to do it correctly. As infants in the Lord, we expect them to be making a lot of mistakes.
Pray especially for Emmanuel and Chibulu, that the Spirit of God will give them grace to easily grasp the teachings that I will be presenting to them once a week through the phone so that they will not be struggling to teach the church every Sunday until they are ‘fully baked’ to do the work even without me. I have adopted the method that you use. You have been training me to train others, it has worked very well. I will do the same with others. That way the gospel will spread.
Pray for Pastor Kelvin Mulofwa of Mansa Central Evangelical church who came to join us from Mansa. He has developed a lot of interest in learning from me the doctrine of salvation and how to do it. He seems to be teachable.
Sorry for making the update long. I will end here for now. But I will continue updating you as we proceed further.
Please send my love to all the brothers and sisters, and don’t forget to pass my love to Mama Kay.
Yours in Christ,