For those who have followed HeartCry’s ministry in Africa for at least a decade, you know of our investment among the Lozi people of Western Zambia. For us, every step of progress in the Lozi church is a major milestone. So we were thrilled to receive the news that our supported church among the Lozi, Senanga Baptist Church, had ordained and sent out the first church-planter from their midst. Brother Kabinjula Chinunga was set apart as pastor of the church in Sesheke. Again, for those familiar with HeartCry’s history among the Lozi, Sesheke was the nearest town to the Reeces’ bush camp. Pastor Poniso Kuyumbana wrote the following to me last week:
“Let me share the story of a man who has been used by God to work alongside me from November 2016 to August 2020.
The Liseli Baptist Church in Sesheke, Zambia was a church plant of Kabwata Baptist Church, their second church plant among the Lozi people of Western Zambia. Liseli Baptist Church Sesheke had no pastor for over three years. When the first pastor’s contract could not be renewed, Kabwata Baptist Church handed over the day-to-day oversight to Senanga Baptist Church and Mongu Central Baptist Church. The two churches took turns preaching and conducting oversight in Sesheke, yet Senanga Baptist Church got the ‘lion’s share’ of the work due to our proximity to Sesheke. As pastor in Senanga, I was much involved in the work, sometimes for weeks or a month at a time, and sometimes I was able to send others to Sesheke.
Mr. Chinunga was always eager to be sent to Sesheke for ministry. Through his efforts, we have the Mubita family joining as regular congregants of Liseli Baptist Church Sesheke. Mr. Chinunga also was instrumental in discipling a young man, Mushiba, teaching him how to lead congregational singing and how to approach people in evangelistic outreach. When a conflict arose between two sisters, he took important action to resolve their differences and led them to reconcile.
In May 2020, Mr. Chinunga felt a deep desire to go into full-time ministry. He shared it with his local leaders, who had already known his gifts and call to ministry. He also wrote a letter to the elders of Kabwata Baptist Church through Elder Bota, who was in charge of Sesheke. The elders sent the Missions Coordinator to assess his suitability for the work in Sesheke. He interviewed Mr. Chinunga and myself, then interviewed congregants in Sesheke who affirmed their desire of having Mr. Chinunga as their pastor.
The elders of Kabwata Baptist Church accepted Chinunga’s application and also agreed to hand over the church to Senanga Baptist Church as our first church plant. An ordination service was set to be held on 2nd August 2020. KBC’s Missions Coordinator and two elders came. Elder Bota came to officially hand over the Sesheke church to Senanga, and Elder Sakwiya also came to witness the church that he oversees setting apart their first missionary.”