Thursday we went to the evening service at church, as part of their missions conference. It was neat to hear the different men give a report on the works that they are involved in. So once a year, the different missionaries that the church supports, gather together for a week of prayer and reporting and conference.
Chitawe Reformed Baptist Church. If you remember in the video, this was the church that had a handwritten sign on a hut-type of structure.
The pastor Matthew Banda gave a report and spoke through a translator.
Their church has 10 members with a total of about 20 attending. They have a ministry to women and then to the girls of the community that are coming of age.
They have several challenges, the first being that their roof on their building collapsed
The second is that most people cannot read
And the third he mentioned was that most people also during the farming season don’t attend church.
There is a great need for literature tracts in their own tribal language.
They desire to start up some literacy classes as an outreach in their community.
They ask for prayer for growth in numbers but spiritually as well. Prayer for unity as a church, and salvation of the lost.
Sinda Reformed Baptist Church
Pastor German Banda
This church is located in the eastern province in the town of Sinda. The area is divided into 2 sections each having their own chief.
There are 34 members. 5 people were recently baptized and converted as fruit from their door to door evangelism.
Ministry to Ethiopia
Pastor Victor Kenyanza along with Eric Singogo. ( I probably didn’t spell this right)
They went and worked with Addis Kidan Baptist Church, which is an association of about 65 churches.
They are seeking to lay the foundations of the faith in the opportunities they have had to preach and teach the gospel to these charismatic and Arminian churches. They are seeking to have true reformation in doctrine and life.
When they were there last time, he said they could see them warming up to the truth of the Word. They have said this is an unprecedented opportunity to work in Ethiopia among the muslim.
There is a great need for literature in the Aramaic Language.
He mentioned just even how the churches in Zambia got wind of reformed teaching and doctrine through books and literature that was accessible to them in English.
He quoted William Carey at the beginning of his report. “Attempt great things for God…”
When we got home from the meeting Alice and Barbara were cooking dinner. I asked about the nshima she was making and said we would like to try it if they had enough.
Typically Zambians eat dinner much later than we do. So they will have an evening meeting at 6 or so, and then not eat dinner until they get home at 8.
Just this week that has been a bit of a challenge trying to figure out something for dinner and then eat before 5 :15, when we have to leave to go somewhere. So Thursday night we ate oatmeal at 5 and then left. So when we got home they shared dinner with us.
Since it was a true Zambian Dinner, they prepared the pitcher and bowl for us to wash our hands in at the table, and then the meal was served and we ate with our hands. They had Nshima, Chicken with what they would call a relish, ( just a sauce with the chicken) and then a vegetable called rape. Which looks like spinach or collared greens or something like that. A leafy vegetable cooked down with onions and something else in it.
We heard that the offer to the landlord was accepted on the house we saw. This was great news, and so now on Monday James will go in to look at the contract, with Logan Nyasulu (the realtor from church).
He saw the house with us the second time in the week and said it was a good house, good area and a good price, what it was originally listed at. Then if we got the even lower price offer we asked, that would be a bonus. So we got the bonus! The house has been vacant for a while so it is very overgrown with weeds, tall grass and who knows what else is out there. It looks to have had an order and plan for the garden ( which is what the yard is called) and a walkway path somewhere, but we will see.
The landlord is supposed to be responsible for maintain it and painting it and getting everything in working order again. So James mentioned we’d like to move in by the 8th, but it might be later after that. Once it is “ours” we will have to buy beds and appliances and furniture for the house.
Then after that, we are hopeful to get washer and dryer hookups, ( water and electric to the area) so that we can have that “luxury”. Right now that is one thing I am missing most!
Once the load of clothes were dry from the initial handwashing/ drying experience, then we had to iron the laundry. There is a certain type of bug that could potentially lays its eggs on the clothes that are on the line and then somehow get into your skin. It’s a possibility, not a probability, but I didn’t want to take the chance, since we were already had trouble with the mosquitos. So I started to iron the clothes. Everything. We first had to buy an iron at the store. Once we bought it then I tried to iron a few things and the electrical plugs here at this house do not work well. So it would turn on and off then on again. After a day or two, I realized the most reliable plugs in the house are in the kitchen. So the girls each took a turn ironing and then I did some as well.
I must say it was discouraging because you spend the whole day ( or week even) doing something that normally would get done in an hour.
So tomorrow I will start the laundry again. It is a bit ironic though I must say, because Ironing has never been something I have enjoyed, or even done back home very often.
Friday, James also met with a man in the church that sells cars. He buys them in South Africa, imported from Japan and then drives them back here, and recommended to James a good vehicle. So when we go up to Ndola, or Lord Willing, Namibi or Malawi, or out to the bush in Petauke, we should have reliable transportation.
Our friends the Allens, have the same type of vehicle and said that they were able to get one that was an Automatic, with Air conditioning and seat belts. So that would be great.
I do not do very well driving a standard. And then to have the added difficulties of driving here in another country I couldn’t see myself driving for awhile. But that was encouraging that they do have sell the automatics. So hopefully he will be able to find one for us.
In any case, it should be another week or two and then we can have our own vehicle and the kids can each have a seat and a seat belt. I was discussing with Stephanie Allen, about the seatbelts and back home that was always a big deal, for me to have the kids in the right car seats and belts, etc.
Then we were heading over to the swimming pool with them on Saturday, a few blocks down the road and the kids all sat in the back of the truck, and having a blast.
Today, we woke up to the kids extremely burnt and blistered and feeling bad from the sun yesterday.
We spent the next couple hours trying to relieve the pain and looking up home remedies for treating sunburn. James ran out to the store to get some things for the kids and by the time he got back, they were felling better and so we decided to go ahead and try to make the morning service. Even now, the Guffey's just stopped by to give us some cream to put on the kids. Brad is a doctor and so he just came over with some cream and looked at Emma. Such an encouragement and blessing. (James got the gate, so he was the gatekeeper tonight, and didn't hear them honking the horn.)
We arrived a bit late, along with others who were late, and were ushered to some seats near the front.
It was very hot inside and not just by my standards. Pastor Mbewe mentioned something about not having the electricity or water today. The church is a large building with lots of ceiling fans and about 4 other fans built into the walls that circulate air as well. Last week we sat right under a fan and it was warmer but comfortable enough. But today it was just hot. Along with the sunburn which makes you feel even hotter. So it was a tough day for that. I told James when we left, and got into the airconditioned vehicle, that I was thankful that it was this week and not last week when we first arrived.
The speaker for the Missions Conference this week was Cees Molenar from Petauke, in the Eastern Province. He and his wife Mirjam have 4 children. He teaches pastors at Covenant College, which is in the bush, outside of Petauke. It was encouraging to hear him preach and to meet his family. They are from the Netherlands and have been in Zambia for 4 years. Those from RBC Lou might remember Brian Devries who is now in Pteoria South Africa. Brian and Cees are friends and studied together back in the states. So it was great to meet them and hear of their work in the rural areas.
After the service today they had a lunch together, which was cooked by the women in the church. So we stayed and ate lunch. The kids did well again today, even though Emma was quite embarrassed to be so burnt and blistery. She learned a few names of some girls that have been friendly to her and sat with them to eat, as well as with the Molenar’s daughter Rhoda.
Sarah was able to talk with some girls today as well, and they were kind to invite her to eat with them too. Ian found a few boys his age and sat with them and found out that they attend the school at the church also. There was a group of little boys that came up to Jackson and Caleb and were talking to them. Then they reached over and were touching their hair. Emma said a few girls did the same to her. She said she didn’t mind, but would like to see what their hair feels like too. So I told her to ask them next time.
After the service as we were leaving a little boy shouted out, “Hey white people…white people…goodbye white people!” And Jackson said, “Good bye friend”. And then told me, “he said I was his friend”.
It was another good day at church, and we have been so encouraged especially this week to see all that the church here is involved in and their vision and work in missions and their heart to reach the lost.