HeartCry supports the pastoral internship program of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. Pastor Conrad Mbewe sent us an assessment of the 2016 program. As you will hear, future pastors from all across Africa are being influenced through this internship.
"Our 2016 internship program opened with six interns: David Oure from Kenya, Mzwakhe Qozeleni from South Africa, Edison Kanjala from Zimbabwe, David and Samuel Kasonde from Zambia, and Vasco Kafuti from Zambia. Peter Joshua from Nigeria joined them in April. So, the 2016 interns represented five (5) countries—Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Over all, the program was a success. There were a few challenges that we faced as discussed below. In this picture, the six pastoral interns pose for a picture with the two Kabwata Baptist Church pastors.
There were a number of challenges in 2016. Thieves broke into one of the intern houses (here in photo) and stole a laptop and a phone from one of the interns. The experience from this incidence and many others “birthed” a one-week orientation for interns at the beginning of every year. This was instituted in January 2017.
We had to suspend one of the Zambians from the internship program due to fraud. Kabwata Baptist Church lays a heavy emphasis on the importance of integrity for every man of God. This was lacking in our brother, and so with heavy hearts the elders had to dismiss him from the program. Please pray for him as he comes to your memory.
Mzwakhe Qozeleni, from South Africa, had to go back before the end of the program. His going back was very painful for the children in our church school (Eagles Nest). His integration with the children’s ministry of Kabwata Baptist Church was very evident. Our joy as a church was to know that we were investing in the life of a brother for the greater good of the universal church. Sadly, he had to leave because his church back home recalled him. His church became uncomfortable when he began to question some practices in his home church.
Each time the pastors met with the interns, there were testimonies of growth. The most encouraging testimony was to hear almost all of these men say, “My time at Kabwata Baptist Church has challenged me to think biblically.” Here are two personal testimonies from the interns:
Peter Joshua (pictured here with Pastor Mbewe in Nigeria): “I came to Kabwata Baptist Church (KBC) from the London Theological Seminary (LTS) as a final year student. The internship for me was an opportunity to deepen my walk with God and to come under a Reformed church tutelage, to practically lay hold on some of the things that may not be learnt in the classroom. In addition to that, I was seeking for an honest, practical example of how a Reformed congregation can exist in an African context; such an example was non-existent in the part of Nigeria where I come from. My time at KBC answered all my questions and even went beyond expectation.”
Samuel Kasonde: “My internship at KBC was very helpful to my Christian faith and walk. It was an eye opener in terms of how the church functions through its ministries. I was attached to both Media and Play Park Ministries. In the Media Ministry, I was helped to see how such a ministry operates in terms of recording and airing sermons on radio so that the world at large is ministered to and evangelised. The Play Park Ministry is an avenue through which souls are won through evangelistic efforts taking place at a play park in the neighbourhood by interacting with them and getting into their lives. Through this ministry, I was able to talk to people with confidence and courage and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”