Pastor German Banda is planting John Laing Reformed Baptist Church in one of the poorer areas of Lusaka. In the midst of poverty, hardship, broken families, and false religion, German is seeing the power of the Gospel transform lives:

“We are grateful to the Lord for the conversions we have experienced for the past few weeks. Let me start with Mr. Shimumbi. I knew him through his daughter, 8 years old, who is a regular attendee of our Bible Club every Saturday. For some time, I have been sharing the gospel with his family who are Seventh Day Adventist. Four weeks ago, a vehicle ran over his left foot. He has been bedridden with an external device fixed to his leg to help heal the broken joints.

Last week as I visited him, when the man saw me, I saw excitement on his face that I had never seen before. It was like he would jump out of the sofa to hug me! He said, ‘’Pastor German, would you believe that despite my illness the Lord has forgiven my sins?” I asked when such a wonderful work of grace happened. I was told, ‘’It happened last night, for I prayed to the Lord for the forgiveness of my sins. I know that now I am a free man from sin because Jesus Christ has saved me.’’ You will see his photo lying on a sofa.

Another one is Mrs. Phiri. She was abandoned by her husband three years ago. She was left with two daughters and three sons. She gave her conversion testimony in church on Sunday. You will see her photo sitting in front, before the congregation, while Pastor German was interviewing her about her conversion and church members were given time to ask her questions. It was a happy Sunday to us as a body of Christ. Pray with us.

I have more good news about Oswald, 15 years old, abandoned by both his parents. Oswald was supposed to be in grade 8 this year, but was almost beaten by his father when he asked for school fees. When I was coming to John Laing in 2012, Oswald was only 8 years old, and he was already involved in scandalous behaviors – insulting adults, fighting, and stealing. He stole in our home twice, for we were trying to bring him closer for the gospel. He stole at church several times. Twice the church leaders had banned him from attending the Sunday worship services or to be found within church premises.

For two years he was attending a different congregation and then he came back asking for forgiveness so that he could continue attending our church. He was allowed to return, but in 2015 he was banned for a third time after he stole electrical appliances from our church. Again in 2016 he came back to ask forgiveness and was allowed in.

Toward the end of 2016 and the whole of 2017, Oswald became a very good boy and was very active and helpful at church. He personally told me that he liked the preaching in our church better than other churches where he would flee each time he was chased from our church. Earlier this year, about 40 adults and children from our church attended a local conference, and Oswald was part of the group. Whilst there on a Sunday, before the preaching, but during the Bible study, Oswald seems to have been saved.

He had no peace; he was bothered in his heart, and he looked for me but was told that I was unwell and resting at home. He came to our home, found me lying on a sofa, and began narrating the story. I couldn’t pay much attention for I was not feeling well. I asked him to stop and arrange for another day when I felt better. When that day came, he followed me to the office at church, and told me all that happened. We read Scriptures to assure him that God will always forgive even the worst sinners. I encouraged him to read the Bible and pray every day.

Oswald is ready to share his conversion testimony with the church and very much wants to be in a baptism class. Due to his previous bad reputation at church and in the community, the brethren will struggle to believe his testimony. Pray for the church to love and help Oswald.

Finally, we rejoice that our second-born child, Francis Banda (red and black striped sweater), professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only that, Miss Nkhoma also professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and she, together with Francis, testified in the congregation on the Lord’s day. Pray for them as soon they will be put in the baptism class.”