The training in Zambia went very well. Thank you for your prayers and support! Both Marlien’s courses – Community Health Worker Training (CHWT) and Language Acquisition Made Practical (LAMP) – were very well received. The missionary students had just returned from a cross cultural missions outreach to the rural areas around Lake Tanganyika. As the CHWT progressed, they realised that they had observed many forms of sicknesses and diseases but, due to a lack of knowledge, they were unable to help the people. Most of the students had struggled to communicate, since they were not able to speak Bemba or other local languages. They commented that they had felt so helpless in these situations. Once equipped with new knowledge and skills, many of the students are now looking forward to returning to the villages to put into practice what they had just learnt. We also encourage students to pray for the sick and often they do see miracles when going out. However, it still remains more powerful to learn a tribe’s language, share the gospel in a way that they can understand, and disciple them in all areas of life. Many diseases in the developing world can be prevented by renewing the people’s minds through basic health education. Learning the language of the people group you reach out to not only helps with communication, but is also the most important way of bonding with the people and gaining their respect. Missionaries who can show the love of Christ by ministering to the physical needs, will find an open door to minister to the spiritual needs as well.
The missionary students attending the classes represented nations from the ends of the earth, including Papua New Guinea, Germany, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa and, of course, Zambia. We were especially blessed to have in our classes a young pastor from Madagascar who had worked with friends of ours from World Mission Centre during the late 1990’s.
Gavin presented the God’s Vision God’s Mission Course during the afternoons and evenings so that people from outside the Operation Mobilisation mission base could also attend. These classes often went on late because of the lively discussions. We received very positive feedback from the students as well as the mission leaders. A number of students showed an interest in teaching the material themselves, while we also received invitations to present classes in Tanzania and Madagascar.
Our next God’s Vision God’s Mission class was rescheduled for later in the month because of an unexpected by-election in Mpulungu which would have disrupted the classes. We took the opportunity to travel by train from Kapiri Mposhi (a town 70km north of Kabwe) to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. When we planned our trip to Zambia this year, we felt that we should trust the Lord for an opportunity to visit Tanzania. In many ways, this was a big step of faith. It was awesome to see how everything worked out. We arrived in Dar es Salaam before dawn and immediately took a ferry across to Zanzibar. Although this island has a rich history and natural beauty, it is an almost completely Muslim region.
Before starting the God’s Vision God’s Mission course in Mpulungu, we spent 2 days in a village called Nzovwe which is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika (a 2 hour boat trip from Mpulungu). This village consists of about 200 people. Charles Chansa, a former ProChristo missions student who completed our courses some years ago, moved to Nzovwe with his family. He is the only missionary reaching out there. It was a great blessing and privilege to spend time with them on their mission field and see the work they are doing. Some of the disciples from the village even joined us for the GVGM teachings in Mpulungu. The class went very well and again we realised how important it is to mobilise and train faithful men and women to teach others. Every city, town and village, every tribe, language, people and nation need a revelation of Jesus Christ!
During the nearly 8000km of travel (mainly by public transport) we met many new people and have many new opportunities for teaching. We also met up with many of our old students and friends who are now missionaries and church planters in the field.