In this article, Pastor Joshua Lungu (left) looks back over the last 2 years of pioneering a new church-plant in Northern Province, Zambia:
“As 2018 draws to a close, I would like to acknowledge that it has been God who started with us, is with us now, and will always be with us. It is also a good time for me to reflect on what God has done in our church over the past one year and ten months. I came to Kasama on the 10th of January, 2017. I did not know anyone in the town – no friends and no relatives. I was coming to plant a church in a new place – new culture and new people. It was very daunting, filled with a lot of uncertainty, wondering whether my mission in Kasama would be a success. What kept me focused was the strong belief that the Lord had called me to Northern Province. Almighty God, who called me to this land, is going to accomplish mighty things in His time. My watch word was ‘faithfulness’ – I was simply to be faithful to what God had called me to do in Kasama.
The first three weeks were spent in widespread evangelism on the streets of Kasama, talking to people about Christ and telling them why I had come. The people were receptive and most of them promised to come to our first church service. On 12thFebruary we had our first church meeting. Unfortunately, only one person turned up! Nevertheless, we conducted our church service as if a lot of people were in attendance.
It was surprising to see people promise to come, yet not come. Here was an early lesson, not to rely on myself, but on God who is able to draw people to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. For us the role is simply to be faithful in reaching out to lost souls (John 6:44). The second week, our meeting attendance grew from two to seven, and the numbers continued to grow. Today, after one year and ten months, attendance fluctuates between 30 and 55 people. (below)
In our third week a young man, Brian Bwalya, visited our church. The word of God that he had heard from one of the attendees of the church prompted him to visit the church. From that moment, his life was no longer the same. He was touched very much by the preaching of God’s word and the one-to-one sessions I had with him. This young man, who had been so sure that he was a Christian, suddenly realized through God’s word that he was not. The truth from God’s word stared him in the face, bringing much conviction. The illumination from God’s word awakened in him a higher view of God, a higher view of God’s word, and a deeper understanding of what sin is.
His passion for the things of God was so amazing – his love for God, for God’s people, and for God’s word. His desire for a holy life was just astounding. I watched this happening in the midst of other people who had no fear of God. They would hear God’s word, but would not respond at all, and their lives were marred by hypocrisy and unfaithfulness. These people were attending our church services, yet preferred religiousness over having a firm and genuine faith in God. God, by His grace and mercy, had clearly chosen this young man. Here was a young man who was humble, available, faithful, teachable, and always ready to serve. God’s work in Brian could be seen touching every aspect of his life.
Brian Bwalya (right) has continued to grow in his Christianity by God’s grace. After completing his certificate in General Agriculture in 2017, Brian felt convicted of God’s call upon his life. He enrolled to study theology at Proclamation Institute of Zambia. He has recently completed that course and will soon start his internship at Kabwata Baptist Church in January 2019. Please pray for Brian as he seeks the Lord’s will and prepares himself for whatever work the Lord may have for him.”
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. Robert and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By Robert Shepherd