Last week two faculty members and I traveled 60km into the Zambian bush to visit an old mission station in the village of Lwela. It’s a pretty old mission, founded by western missionaries in the late 30’s. All of the missionaries have left but the work continues! There is an active church of about 200 along with a health center. Both are lead by Zambian Christians. This station highlights a new opportunity for Christians in Zambia. As western missionaries retire and leave this country, the works they started are facing a challenge: will Zambian Christians carry on the work or will these institutions flounder. It’s a real challenge but it brings with it some very real opportunities. Historically the Zambian church has been dependent on the leadership, skills, and money provided by western missionaries. God has used this reality to get the gospel into Zambia. It has been successful. This is not an unreached field. Levy Kasoma, principal of the Samfya Bible School, estimates that there are around one thousand Christian brethren churches in Zambia! One of the unintended consequences of this arrangement is that a certain kind of dependency has developed where by Zambian Christians feel they can’t do things without western direction. It’s almost like a self-esteem problem. An inferiority complex if you will. But now the missionaries are gone. Apparently in this province, Luapula, there are two western missionaries left. It is a singular opportunity for the Zambian church to stand up on it’s own two feet and trust God for the strength to lead. He can help them do it. Is there a place for western help? I believe there is, but it will look different than it did 100 years ago.
- Pray for the Christian community in Lwela.
- Pray for the ministry of the health center (see pics). Their slogan is “We treat, but Jesus heals!” Many workers in the health center are sent their by the government. They are not saved. Pray that they will come to Christ and that they will NOT hinder the ministry of the Christians who work there.
- Pray for the Board that is providing the leadership and vision for this large project. They need wisdom.
- Pray for the Samfya Bible School graduates in that community (See attached pic – they are kind of like many of you just a little older!).