We were tricked! The rains had stopped for two weeks and we thought that they were over, but today was overcast with little spatterings of rain here and there. The benefit of this is that it was a nice cool day – the kind of day where you almost need a sweater.
By numbers our attendance was down a bit today, but in spirit the church was full. We finished our Sunday School lessons on the Ark of Noah and it was amazing to see eyes light up as many in the congregation realized that the Ark was not only God’s instrument of judgement but also His instrument of salvation. There were so many parallels to be seen in how the ark was a method of physical salvation in Noah’s day and how Jesus alone is our source of spiritual salvation today.
It is amazing how I can study and prepare a sermon on one topic, but then once I start preaching, it turns out to be about a different, better topic. That is what happened to me today. My text was Galatians 4:4-7 and I was going to preach about God’s plan of salvation from the beginning of creation, but then ended up preaching about our adoption in Christ. And as usual, when I go where the Spirit leads, the outcome is so much better!
Last week while I was working at The Friends of Zambia Library and Learning Center on our church property, a man stopped by to talk to me. He wanted to know if I had some extra reading books for his small children, and as the Lord would have it, I did have some extras that we were not going to use in the library and gave him about 10. This also gave me an opportunity to witness to him a bit, but he was in a hurry to get back to his city (about an hour away) and I thought that would be the last that I heard from him.
As the Lord would have it, he phoned me on Thursday. He had gotten my number from the church brochure I had given him and had a question. “Pastor Andrew”, he started, “My family and I go to a pentacostal church in our town, but I work and sometimes I cannot make the services. Sometimes we are very busy on Sunday morning and arrive a bit late at church.” He continued, “Today a pastor from my church called me and said that our church is starting a new program to encourage faithfulness and so from now on if anyone is late they have to pay $5. If they miss the Sunday they have to pay $10. Pastor Andrew, do you think that is scriptural?” I assured him that it was not, and jokingly suggested that if we did that at our church our bank account would be maxed out! He then asked me if I could refer him to a good church in his town. I was able to do just that and gave his name and number to the pastor there who followed up with him on Saturday and today he visited their church with his family. Please pray for the salvation if necessary and spiritual growth of this family.
Today in church I shared this with the congregation and asked my translator if that was amazing. He said yes, and added that his grandmother who lives out in the bush (rural area) has to pay the Catholic priest $5 when she wants him to pray for her. Just like in Jesus’ day it is sad to see that often Religion = Money. I am so glad that I have a relationship with Jesus instead!
Yesterday Jill had her monthly ladies’ meeting. The ladies love Jill so much, and they enjoy her teaching and fellowship. It is so encouraging to see the women of Calvary Baptist Church excited about learning about the Bible and our Lord.
Please pray for the members of Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola. Some of our members are ill and some are traveling this week. Sadly, we also have some former members who have strayed and gotten into sin and are now in a serious crisis of health. We love them and pray that the Lord will help them physically and that they will return to the Lord.
One of the traditions that we have at Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola is the birthday box. Each month we celebrate the birthdays of church members and their children by allowing them to choose a small gift from the box. In the box are small trinkets – school supplies, nail polish, toys, small tools, notepads, books, hair care items, etc. Once they choose a gift we sing the Christian birthday song to them and then pray for them. Even the adults look forward to it. It is just one way that we try to make our Christian brothers and sisters feel special, and Calvary Baptist Church to feel like home.
Please pray for Jill and Anna as they pack and get ready for their trip to the US. Anna is down to her final week. Also please pray for Allison and Andrea as they have finals this week. Both girls are doing very well in their studies and are looking forward to summer break. All three will be working full-time this summer.
Please continue praying for Jill’s foot. We are still praying that the nerve will heal and that she will regain complete use of her foot.
Thank you so much for your partnership with our family here in Zambia. We need your prayers. Please join with us this week in prayer for the requests mentioned in this update. We pray that the Lord blesses you and you serve Him where He has placed you.