As I sat in Pastor Conrad Mbewe’s office talking with Kabwata Baptist’s pastoral interns, I never imagined that one of them would be gone four months later. I certainly could not imagine that he would be murdered. Violent crime was very rare during my years in Zambia.
I always look forward to meeting the interns—hearing their stories and wondering what God has planned for their futures. But the life of one of those interns I met in the summer, Andrew Mulendema, was taken on December 29, and he entered into the joyous rest of his Master.
Andrew was trying to help a friend sell a minivan through a business contact. They found a buyer in southern Zambia, where Andrew and his contact took the van to meet the interested party. The “buyer” lured them into the bush, shot and killed both men, and stole the van. At this time, I do not know if the murderer has been caught.
Andrew leaves behind a wife, who is pregnant, and three sons. He was a member of Chilanga Baptist Church and completed the pastoral internship at KBC with a desire to serve the Lord in ministry. Please pray for his family and church as they grieve their loss—for grace, nearness, and hope.
Andrew’s death is, of course, a reminder to us all of life’s brevity and the need to serve our Lord while we have life, breath, and strength. But, as Brother Paul recently pointed out in a staff meeting, Andrew’s murder also reminds us that we are in a real spiritual war. Yes, our God is sovereign; but we have a real enemy who seeks to destroy soldiers of the King by any means available. Let us be alert, stand firm, and pray without ceasing for the spread of the gospel. Let us love, serve, and pray for our indigenous missionaries while we are able.