Zambia a country in the southern part of Africa is known just like any other African country, a stronghold of African Tradition Religion especially practiced by the people who live in the villages. The influence of its colonizers, the British is seen mainly in the cities where most white settlers had much influence back then. The Gospel has reached well the people in the major cities but in all ways, the traditional practices of the locals have found its ways nevertheless. Those who live in the villages have taken themselves to be the preservers of the traditional and cultural practices and they have through generations adhered to such practices.
With Christian Ministries as TTN digging out the fetish beliefs that are influenced by cultural and traditional practices, laborers are few and this have given the need for the full exercise of an important ministry, missions. Through missions, the Word of God is being shared and lives transformed and a trail of believers created along the way where the missionaries stepped through.
In the recent outreach conducted in the 3 villages (Ngungu in the City of Kabwe, Mpika and Kafue fishing camps) visited, we noticed a great difference of how people respond to the Gospel, regardless of their background. In the cities, the people seem to outclass each other driven by pride and at the end miss the mark of their faith. However in the church visited, the congregation was so humble and they showed their hunger for the word of God, giving time the missionaries to share what they had with passion and care.
Mpika, a village overseen by one of the prominent local pastors, Maxwell, who has the passion of sharing the Gospel to his fellow villagers, has made a warm welcome to the missionary team. As the team had a lot to share with the villagers in Mpika, the responsible outreach leader Misheck Chama organized the team to setup the PA system to get everything going. During the first night, villagers were mobilized through the loud luring Gospel music played from the camp. By just the sound of the music, villagers flocked the village football pitch in their hundreds.
The night was not spent in vain as the program unveiled with powerful prayers and preaching followed by the screening of the all time best, Jesus’ film. The film seems to have touched souls as at the end, villagers in their hundreds flocked to give their lives to Christ. The night was closed in prayer as many were lead to Christ and others were prayed for and freed from their sickness and spiritual bondages.
In the following morning, the grace of God moved and those who had given their lives came in for discipleship and foundational Bible teachings shared by Jim McNamara who had travelled from Australia to show the love of God to the people of this remote village. The teachings were based on faith and as The Holy Spirit lead, everything was in harmony with what had happened the previous night giving chance those who had received Christ a clear understanding of The Word of God. The teachings continued during the day and the people showed their hunger as they committed their time to break for lunch and continued to be part of the sessions.
At daybreak, the mission team prepared another film, Passion of Christ which was watched by villagers in their numbers. The film gave a clear insight of how Christ had suffered for the sins of the world. Through the film, the faith of many villagers was strengthened and also before night break, those who didn’t have a chance to give their lives to Christ were given the chance and those who were in need of prayers were prayed for. It was a memorable experience as some of the villagers stayed up to 23:00 hours seeking for spiritual counseling and prayers even after the power generated lights were switched off.
As the need for the Gospel is at its peak, the team had a big day ahead in the fishing camps of the Kafue plains.
The village is not of permanent settlement but filled with temporary structures. The general populace of the village lives through illegal fishing in the great Kafue River especially the part that passes through the Blue Lagoon national reserve park. Fishing, buying and selling is the main activity of the fishing camps and one thing that is amazing is that the fishermen are ready to trade their fish not only with money but with anything they deem necessary for them.
The mission team had a chance to witness one fishermen trading part of his catch with a ride to the capital, Lusaka in a truck that had brought people who from the city to the fishing camps.
The presence of the missionaries in the village marked a great difference in the lives of many. The missionary team arrived a little bit after midday and discipleship teachings were conducted during that time with those who had accompanied the team from the Mpika village.
As the dusk came, everything was setup for the Jesus’ film and the sound of the music attracted hundreds from the camps. In that night only, a total of more than 280 individuals were present and more than 100 gave their lives to Christ. People were prayed for and demons casted out of those who were in spiritual bondages.
Teachings continued in the following day as planned and The Passion of Christ film was shown. It was a heart touching moment as the people showed their hunger for the Gospel. The team came to understand that besides missionary sent in by TTN Ministries no one seem to be interested in visiting the fishing camps sharing the Gospel. The TTN has committed itself to be the sole shepherd of the considered rowdy lives of the fishing camps. Its presence and missions in the fishing camps is effectively seen as sanity is coming to existence.
According to the general survey, the fishing camps are known to be the beehives of alcohol and drug abuse with prostitution and other adulterous affairs common in the camps. These practices seem to be passed from generation to generation as the fishing camps have the majority of the populace living in a family set up. The young are growing surrounded with such practices and deeming it normal in their community. As some have been rooted in nomadic life (as the camps move from time to time due to the rise or fall of water) there seem to be no hope for the future generation to move out from this life as they inherit the lifestyle of their elders.
As the fishing camps are far from the reach of many, as well the nomadic lifestyle of the fishermen and their families, many people seem to ignore the existence of these brethren who are in need of salvation.
On the visit to the camps, the first day on arrival, a lot of people were curious and they were keen to know the visitors’ mission. As the camp for the team was setup, the local children flocked in to take a close glance and this gave the adults a chance to take a close look as well in disguise of looking for their young ones. As the word of the missionaries’ presence passed through, during the night when the power generator was put up to light the camp, people flocked in as the high volume gospel music was being played. As the dark start blanket the night, a movie of the life of Christ was played and during its running, people could be heard making comments of repentance and by the end of the movie, a total of more than 200 people came forward to give their lives to Christ.
During the alter call, the team had a chance to pray for hundreds and the hand of God was witnessed by those present as demons were cast out and those who were afflicted instantly healed. The missionaries’ presence made the people decide to live a life different from their past as during the afternoon sessions, some Nicodemusly approached the missionaries in the verge to seek spiritual advice and guidance in regards to their personal lives.
The days spent in Kafue fishing camps were action filled as the missionaries were fully occupied serving the locals by sharing the love of God through preaching the Gospel and teachings. On the departure from the fishing
camp, the locals were so moved and felt a void being created in their midst, but through the promise of the guidance of The Holy Spirit all were comforted as the local church leaders promised to take care of the transformed flock.
To round up the missionary trip, a visit to the Kabwe Central Hospital was conducted with the company of the brethren from the Kabwe Chapel. Surely in life when one is well, the outside world means nothing in life. In the hospital where one is surrounded by people with different sickness, one wish for the presence of a well brethren to give hope and share with them the happenings of the outside world.
As the visit was focused on giving the sick hope for healing in Christ’s name, the Word of God was also shared to those who had never had a chance to hear it. During the visit, some people were excited to know that they were people out there who care for them. They felt healed and had the courage to share their life experience and what took them to the hospital. This was a touching moment as the missionaries heard different stories but what was exciting was that apart from being in different worlds, the Word of God unified all. In some cases, others seem to be linked to cult beliefs and they felt threatened by the existence of the visitors. In all the efforts more than 50 people were reached by the word of God in one ward and in all the wards visited, 32 gave their lives to Christ in response to the Gospel shared.
The outreach was an eye opener on how hungry the people are for the Word of God. Sometimes it is necessary to move out from our comfort zone and share the Word of God with those who are in need. It also necessary to give a hand with resources one has, and the things considered little, mean the world to those who are in need. The people lacked the knowledge of salvation in Christ, and during this outreach when the missionaries shared the word, they grasped it and treasured as the only thing they had that can deliver them from sin to righteousness.
We would like to thank all the brethren that made the outreach a success. Your support was no in vain, but in truth, it went much further and changed and mended broken lives back to Christ.
- Misheck,Jim and Eugenio and on picture.
- Peter after the arrival at one of the local pastor’s home, Maxwell
- Jim resting on the back of the truck after about 8 hours of travelling from Kabwe. Behind is a makeshift laundry line he made after washing his shirt.
- Jim resting upon arriving at Ps Maxwell’s home.
- Jim dancing to a praise song during the teaching session.
- Village women committed themselves to prepare meals for all the participants of the outreach.
- Way to the Kafue fishing camp, the car (nicknamed Pathfinder: A 1988 Nissan Navara) had a breakdown when the front wheels were binding.
- Praying for one of the demon possessed women in Kafue fishing camps.
- Multitudes receiving Christ soon after showing a movie on Christ in Kafue fishing camps.
- Jim handing the royal guard a present for the chief, an Australian made whip.