Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FROM THE SEED TO THE ROOT...

 While serving here, Mike and I have been questioned often by Zambians.  One of their top questions is, "Where is your church?"  We live in the town (boma) of Kaoma.  It is in the center of the Western Province of Zambia and is the largest district in the country.  We can drive for hours and still actually be in Kaoma.  We have touched several places in Kaoma and there are four with active Baptist churches.  There are many, many "churches" within the boma.  Church denominations are very territorial among the people here in Zambia.  Baptist is a very new church within the Western Province.  Lusaka, the capital city, the East, and in a few other areas there are a large number of Baptist churches.  Most areas that we visit, much of what will be said in whispers among the village people after we leave, is that the Baptists are Satanists.  They will base this on absolutely nothing, only fear from other local churches that the Baptist denomination will come in a take over as "church."  We have prayed about a church in the boma.  Several months ago a man came to us just wanting to start a Bible Study.  After many discussions, he opened his home as a place to meet and he began to invite local people.   
This was the first Sunday afternoon of Bible Study.
It grew bit by bit (kamendende kamendende).

It wasn't long before discussions at the Bible Study each week would lead to "where are we going to put this church?"  The discussions would always include the "rains are coming soon" and "no one will take us seriously just meeting at someone's house."  These concerns would be true.  The rains will return in October and we wouldn't be able to fit everyone in Austin's home.  Also, and on a much more serious note, is the fact that no one would take them serious without a permanent structure as a meeting place.  I have sat in many of our churches and felt the great concern of the members to show their community that they want to be serious followers of Jesus.  To them this includes a permanent structure representing them as a body of believers.  As we began to pray about this situation, the answer found us.  Austin was approached by a lady asking about our church and she recommended a place.  Within a few days we were able to secure the school room to meet in each week.  We decided to kick off our first Sunday by setting up a viewing of the "Jesus" film the  night before.

Mike, David and Evie prepare the film screen.
When Evie wasn't helping, she was busy confusing Chipango with sign language.  Evie is enjoying learning sign language.  Sign language is as confusing to Chipango as speaking Mbunda is to Evie, so it is all fair. heehee
(Imagine our surprise to find out that this school building we are now renting is also a school for the deaf children of Kaoma.  Evie is pleased!)
The make-shift screen is up and ready.
Kennedy Ciyesu, the choir leader from Katunda, was excited about leading the combined choirs.  Not to mention how he enjoyed hearing himself through the PA system.
Chipango, Evie and Alice are ready.  Even though you cannot tell by Evie's attire, it was terribly cold.  Evie has given Alice her coat to cover her legs.
You know you must be special when I allow you to use this blanket.  A close friend of our family, Kakoma,  was freezing and was just wearing a lightweight shirt.  Good thing he didn't mind leopard print, much less that it is pink.

There was much singing and dancing before the film as people began to arrive.

The prayer of salvation was on the screen during a time Mike spent speaking to the crowd.  Later when he went to visit a man who attended the church the next day, that man said that he memorized the prayer and wrote it down when he arrived back at his home that night.  That same man came forward the next day and gave his life to Christ.


Though it is hard to see in this photo taken in the dark, nearly 300 people were present.
... and the next day.  The room we have found to rent for the beginning of the church was already full on the first day.  We say "GOOD PROBLEM".  The disabled school located behind the hospital has allowed us to rent this room for the beginning meeting of Kaoma Central Baptist Church.  It is a wonderful location and building.  It even has indoor toilets.  We have to carry water to use them, but they are actual toilets that flush and are indoors.
Grace Muzala has been instrumental in working with members of the Bible Study to form the choir for Kaoma Central Bible Study.  The choir is an integral part of the Zambian church life.
Several members of Katunda Baptist Church, a three hour walk away, came to celebrate in the first day of their new sister church.  What a special time for believers spread across this province to come together and realize they have each other.  The members of their choir came before the new group to lead them in song.  What a privilege to see them united this way.
Tyler and Kasenya undertake the biggest game of Duck, Duck, Goose I have ever seen.
In true fashion, the handshake line!  Such wonderful day to see the fellowship of new believers.

There you have it!  The first Sunday of Kaoma Central Baptist Church.   

1 comment:

Beautiful Feet said...

Looks like the Lord is doing awesome things through your sweet family. Really enjoy reading the blogs, keep writing. We will keep praying!