After four nights on various buses and having travelled more than 5000km by public transport, we have just returned from a wonderful time of teaching, training and preaching in the Central and Northern Provinces of Zambia. Our visit was blessed with the privilege of teaching seasoned missionaries, church planters, pastors and mission students, as well as ministering in churches and to the sick and lost.
Upon arriving in Kabwe, Marlien presented the Community Health Worker Training Course to help equip the ProChristo/OM mission students. These newly trained church planters will soon enter various mission fields where they will be faced with the challenge of meeting the felt needs of the people. Having knowledge of Community Health, they will be able to effectively reach out in love and find opportunities to share the gospel of Christ.
At the same time I presented a God’s Vision God’s Mission course to a group of German, American and Zambian missionaries in Kabwe. After the course I accompanied some of them to a village about 100km east of Kabwe where we preached the kingdom of God and went about from hut to hut praying for the sick and telling them about Jesus. A number of people were healed and some testified in the church the next day. It was wonderful to experience the rural hospitality, the people’s hunger for the truth, the missionaries’ zeal, as well as the first summer rains which started just before midnight and poured straight through the roof.
During our second week in Kabwe, Marlien also presented the Brewster’s LAMP Course (Language Acquisition Made Practical). This is part of the mission students’ final preparation before going out into the mission field. One of the students said: “I have learned the importance of bonding in language acquisition and how to learn a new language easily using the LAMP method. I believe that this course will assist me a lot in the mission field to be able to communicate to the locals the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!” – Greenford Mumba
By the end of the LAMP course we were on the road again, this time 900km north to Mpulungu on the southern shore of Lake Tanganyika where a number of former students are reaching out as missionaries. It was a blessing to see them again and to witness their humble commitment and the way in which they apply what they have been taught. Before starting the God’s Vision God’s Mission course, we spent a day with our missionary friends out on the lake which is more than 1000m deep. This was an amazing experience! Later that afternoon we returned to Mpulungu to hear that we had survived an earthquake (actually a “lake-quake”!) of 5.5 on the Richter scale without even noticing it! However, it seemed strange to our friends that the water was so murky that day.
The southernmost tip of Lake Tanganyika has a very rich history of missionary activity. The Niamkolo Church was built by the London Missionary Society in 1895, but more than 100years later there is still much work to be done for the sake of the kingdom of God in this place. The population of Mpulungu is about 90 000, but there are only 32 small congregations of Christians in the town. The God’s Vision God’s Mission course was very well received by the local pastors who represented most of the various denominations in the town. The pastors and missionaries attending the course have seen God’s Vision, they have understood discipleship and the kingdom of God, and now we must pray that they will be effective in working together to transform their congregations, families and towns even the many hundreds of villages around the lake. We have been invited to return again next year.
While in Mpulungu, we were joined by a young man from SA who had been part of one of the weekly God’s Vision God’s Mission Bible studies in Pretoria. We hope that as we continue with the weekly course many others will also be inspired to join us on future mission trips. Please pray about attending one of the weekly GVGM Bible Studies in Pretoria from February or the fulltime course at a venue near Pretoria from 25-29 January. These teachings will help you understand God’s unchanging plan and purpose, which was hidden before the cross, fulfilled on the cross and revealed after the cross. Our focus in the year ahead is to equip faithful teachers to teach others just as Paul taught Timothy to teach faithful men who then taught others (see 2Tim 2:2).