The last two Sundays we have had one person saved each Sunday. It has been a true blessing. I love it when someone comes to listen, and then goes home to ponder what they have heard and then comes back the next Sunday to listen some more. To then see them walk the aisle and shake the altar worker’s hand and be ushered out to a private room is a wonderful feeling.
At Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola, every person who expresses an interest in salvation is dealt with individually in private after the service. We do not do “raise your hand, bow your head and repeat this prayer after me”. We want folks to understand thoroughly what salvation is all about and to see with their own eyes the scriptures as a trained soul-winner goes through the simple plan of salvation with them. On average our soul-winners spend about 20 minutes per individual sharing and explaining the plan of salvation.
Today was a down day for us attendance-wise, but there was a great spirit and our Sunday School lesson was lively and interactive and the sermon was very well received.
On Saturday Jill had a ladies meeting with the women of the church and they had a great time. Along with the lesson and singing and encouragement Jill always tries to do a craft with our church ladies. They do not have much skill because they have never done these things before, but there is great interest and enjoyment. Yesterday, Jill introduced the ladies to Australian CrossStitch. Jill brought a bunch of little hoops back from the US and yesterday the ladies were earnestly trying new stitches. It will take a lot of patience and practice, but the ladies just loved the activity and they love Jill.
During the ladies meeting I took some of the young men of the church out soul-winning. We passed out many brochures and tracts. These guys were nervous but quickly gained boldness to speak to folks. Very few tracts were rejected and many people promised to visit in the future. Saturday in Zambia is the day when much house cleaning and laundry is done. Of course, when I say laundry, I mean washing clothes by hand and hanging it out to dry. Hard work. It is also the day when little children get their weekly outdoor baths in a tub of cold water. In the cold season we are in now it is common to hear wails of little boys and girls as they fight their mothers when bath time comes.
I am sad to report that the young girl *Tammy from our church who recently gave birth, has abandoned her daughter. Two weeks after the complicated delivery *Tammy left the baby with her aunt who raised her and has run away. The aunt has named the little girl Zoeyola, which means “pure”. Please pray for this situation. This is a lot of responsibility for the aunt who has 3 children of her own – one in university and the youngest 15 years old.
During the ladies meeting I received a phone call from the husband of one of the ladies who has been visiting our church. The man’s wife and adult daughter were planning to attend the ladies meeting but earlier that morning his mother-in-law had been assaulted at her home and the wife and daughter had taken her to the hospital for treatment. It is sad to hear of an 80+ year old woman being assaulted that way.
This morning as Jill and I were preparing to leave for church there was a knock at our gate and a construction worker asked us if we had power in our house. We told him yes and asked why and he explained that while grading the road in front of our house they snagged the underground electricity cable that powers our house and ripped it out of the ground. Fortunately, no one was injured, but either Jill or I had to stay to be available to talk to the electricity company workers when they came. We flipped a coin and I won, so I was able to go to church to preach. (Just kidding, there was no coin flipping!) As it turns out the electricity company never showed up. Maybe they will come by tomorrow?
Please pray for the Lord’s Work here in Zambia. There is a huge problem with alcohol abuse. Zambia is a Christian nation (in name, at least) but in the evenings, even on weekdays, the noise of the carousing and partying comes at a low roar over the valley from the city bars and clubs to our home and is shockingly loud. Even church members have serious addictions to alcohol, and the churches just turn a blind eye to the problem. Kitchen parties, the Zambian term for a wedding shower, are prone to drunken revelings. So much so that Jill refuses to attend because of the alcohol and drunkenness of the guests. So many people say that they are Christians but have no relationship with the Savior. It is difficult to reach such folks with the Gospel. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will go before us and will soften hearts to hear a Gospel witness.
While in the United States last month Jill was able to get a brace for her “drop foot”. It is a huge help, but I am praying that the Lord will heal the nerve in her leg and cause the brace to not be needed. Will you please join me in prayer for complete healing of Jill’s foot?
It is hard to believe that the year is already half past and that in the next month we will have our annual Teen Camp and then in early September we will return to the United States for a 6 month furlough. Time is passing quickly and there is much to be done. Please pray for us that the Lord will guide us and help all of our preparations to be effective and constructive.
Thank you for your partnership with us in the Lord’s Work in Zambia. Your prayers are essential. You are a vital part of the progress here.