What an amazing day of services we had today at Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola!  This week has been fantastic.  

On Wednesday we had 18 people attend our midweek Bible study and prayer meeting – one of them a returning visitor.  Most of our people walk to church, so our midweek service is at 4pm because we want to be sure that they get home safely before dark.  We meet outside in one of the Sunday School rooms and we have 20 minutes of singing, 20 minutes of question and answer Bible study, and then take prayer requests and break into small groups and pray for 20 minutes.  Usually folks are on their way home by 5pm.  This week we had some excellent questions brought up for discussion.  The Bible study was great!

On Saturday morning after the men’s prayer meeting we had 7 men stay for soul-winning and visitation.  We passed out hundreds of tracts and church brochures.  

Last Sunday we had 6 brand new visitors!  What a blessing.  During the invitation on Sunday morning the altar was full as folks humbled themselves and spent time talking to the Lord and making decisions.  The spirit in the church was encouraging.

This Sunday was just as good!  The church building was full and the spirit was again encouraging.  We love to worship our Savior.  In Sunday school I taught about the chronology of Jesus’ crucifixion and the resurrection.  In the morning service I preached on “How the Resurrection Verifies Jesus is Jehovah”.  After the service we had a meal on the grounds with fried chicken and various salads.  The food was delicious and the fellowship was wonderful!

Our Christians have many prayer requests: children who need to return to the Lord, lost relatives to be saved, travel mercies, family issues and much more.  One special request was for a neighbor who was involved in a road traffic accident where 2 people were killed, another asked prayer for a friend who was hospitalized with post-partum depression.  Many of the youth are concerned about their schooling, and some of the recent graduates are struggling to find work.  As you pray, please remember your Zambian brothers and sisters and their needs.

One of the issues that we must work with and through in our ministry is a second profession of faith.  Sometimes a church member will come under conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding their salvation.  They realize that in their past, what they thought saved them, usually a prayer, or something else, did not lead to genuine salvation.  After counseling they make a decision that instead of trusting in a long ago prayer (that they often do not remember), they want to genuinely accept Christ as their Savior, enter into a relationship with Him, and be sure about it.  

If they have doubts we encourage this.  Personally, I struggled with this a lot in my teens and early 20’s.  The problem is that once they receive assurance of their salvation they are embarrassed to make a second profession of faith and get baptized again.  Since they long ago made a profession and were baptized, they fear the reaction if they do it a second time.  This was also a problem that I had.  

Please pray with us that we will have wisdom as we deal with folks.  We want Christians to KNOW that they are saved – The Lord does too. He is very specific in 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 

Pray for our dear Christians that they will have the courage to publicly profess their faith in Christ now that they have truly accepted Him as their Savior.  

The truth is, that if you are struggling with a similar situation, your pastor and your church family will be overjoyed to learn that you have now truly accepted the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior and want to follow Him in believer’s baptism.  It is just our pride and fear trying to stop us from doing what we know is right.

I certainly miss Jill a lot. We are able to communicate daily with texts and email, and even video chat with FaceTime.  That is really a blessing.  The time difference makes it tricky, but we manage.  I have been keeping very busy with 6 month’s worth of record keeping and paperwork plus maintenance on vehicles, church buildings, and our house.  It keeps me busy all day long.

Many have asked how Jill’s foot is doing and I am happy to report that it continues to improve.  Slowly the range of motion in her foot is increasing.  She still has numbness in the front of her calf and if she has to walk for long distances she has to wear her brace because her foot gets tired quickly but we praise the Lord for the improvement.  Please continue praying for her complete recovery.

Anna is doing a bit better.  Jill is keeping a close eye on her.  Now that Anna is out of the dorm Jill is able to cook for her and supervise her down time and make sure that she is getting the rest that she needs.  On a recent doctor visit the doctor informed us that Anna’s mononucleosis is a very serious case.  He tested her blood for a certain antibody and the normal range of results should have been between 18 and 22 – Anna’s results were 363!  He said that her recovery will take months.  On the plus side, he said that a common virus that is usually found with mononucleosis is absent in Anna’s results so we praise the Lord for that as well.  Please continue in prayer for Anna.  Pray that she will get the rest that needs and that her spleen will reduce in size and the injured rib from coughing will be healed.

We have a special request regarding Judah too.  Judah has a love for the medical profession and is applying to a nursing school this fall.  He is waiting on a letter from the VA to verify his eligibility.  Will you please pray with us that this letter will be received in a timely manner?  We praise the Lord for our son.  We are proud of all of our children.

Jill and I greatly appreciate your kind letters and emails.  It is definitely hard maintaining two households and being away from each other.  Your notes of encouragement and assurances of your prayers means a lot to us.  Thank you.

This week we received an email from one of our prayer partners in Central Illinois.  She wanted us to see the pictures that she and her son colored from our furlough.  They were very good.  It was a blessing to know that even though we are in Zambia folks are still thinking of us.

Thank you so much for your partnership with us in the ministry that the Lord has given us here in Zambia.  Your faithful support and prayers are an encouragement to us.