On Sunday, January 24, we visited two church plants in the Lusaka area. In the morning, we visited Pastor Wege Sinyangwe, who is planting a vernacular-speaking church in Chilanga, a town just south of Lusaka. The schoolroom where they meet was filled with a healthy mix of men, women, young people, and children. The schoolroom was also filled with Wege’s booming voice as he preached from the book of Acts with great conviction and enthusiasm. Though the singing and preaching was primarily in Nyanja, with occasional phrases in English, Joyce and I truly enjoyed worshiping with them. After the morning meeting, Wege’s sending church, Mount Makulu, graciously hosted us for a meal.
After lunch, we traveled back into the south side of Lusaka to meet Pastor German Banda. After planting a church in Sinda, a town in Eastern Province, German relocated to plant another church in John Laing. John Laing is a poorer, densely populated community on the south side of Lusaka. These poor, high-density areas are favorite targets of the prosperity cults. People eagerly flock to any so-called ‘man of God’ who promises them wealth and healing if they will generously give to him.
In the midst of so much false Christianity, German persistently labors to establish a biblical church that offers the true gospel to perishing sinners. I was pleasantly surprised to see the size of his Sunday night crowd, especially considering the fact that recent rains had flooded the streets of John Laing, making travel difficult and unpleasant. Brother German led an informal Bible study on the topic of eldership. Lively discussion followed some of the questions, such as “How many elders should a church have?”, “Can women be elders?”, and “When is an elder disqualified by the conduct of his children?” Once again, the teaching and discussion was in Nyanja, but it was delightful to watch German guide the discussion and take the people back to the Bible again and again.
Most of our day Monday was filled with discussions with Pastor Conrad Mbewe. It was incredibly helpful and enlightening to quiz him for hours about the mission work in Africa. On Monday night we had a dinner meeting with members of Kabwata Baptist Church’s missions committee, before departing Zambia on Tuesday for South Africa. Another highlight on Monday was the opportunity to meet and talk with the current pastoral interns at KBC: Simon from Tanzania, David from Kenya, Maiwakhe from South Africa, and Vasco from western Zambia. David is from Naphtally Ogallo’s church, our missionary in Eldoret, Kenya. I was especially thrilled to learn that Vasco is the second Lozi man to be sent to the internship program by Poniso Kuyumbana, our missionary in Senanga, Zambia.