During the three years that Joyce and I lived in southern and western Zambia, we regularly heard about the Copperbelt region of northern Zambia, but we never made it north of Lusaka. At last, we finally were able to visit there. As the name suggests, this is where most of the copper mining in Zambia is located. The region is currently experiencing economic hardship, but has known periods of prosperity in the past. The Reformed Baptist movement has a long history in cities such as Chingola, Kitwe, and Ndola. HeartCry is currently supporting a couple of Bemba-speaking church plants in the region.
With KBC missions coordinator, Misheck Kumwenda, as our faithful and entertaining guide, we set off on our whirlwind tour of the Copperbelt. The first missionary we visited was Matthews Fikati in Chambishi. Matthews showed us the piece of land that HeartCry purchased for the construction of their church building, followed by a quick visit to his home to meet his wife and their new baby girl. Then we were off and running again to the Twatasha area of Kitwe, where Mapalo (Blessings) Ndhlovu is planting Faith Baptist Church.
Mapalo explained the amazing history of Faith Baptist’s church building (I’ll save that for a later blog post). He shared with us the occasional encouragements and frequent discouragements in their ministry there, particularly among the children and teens. After lunch, Mapalo and Mukwamba took us on a walking tour of Twatasha. What a great experience, to actually visit the homes of church members and families they are evangelizing.
The third Copperbelt missionary we visited was Marshal Kasongo in the Chipulukusu area of Ndola, where he is planting Mapalo Reformed Baptist Church. Marshal took us to see the church building that they are constructing, where some of the church members had gathered to greet us. After visiting with them, Marshal and his wife took us on a walking tour of the town. The tour included the houses where each of them had grown up. As we did with Mapalo in Twatasha, we again visited some homes of church members and families that are being evangelized.
As we drove back to Lusaka on Saturday evening, we were so encouraged. It was clearly evident that all of these missionary families were faithfully laboring for the Lord and lives were being impacted by the gospel.