As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, Kabwata Baptist Church has established a new residence for their extensive internship program. They will now be able to bring men to Zambia from various countries throughout Africa and house them while they are trained through Kabwata’s preacher’s college. At the first of this year, HeartCry assisted KBC in securing their first house for this residence program. Over the last month, we have also assisted them in purchasing a second house which is needed for the growing ministry. Together, these two houses will be able to hold at least six interns and their families.
Work among the Lozi in the Western Province of Zambia continues moving ahead. Brother Conrad Mbewe recently emailed us this picture of the vehicle HeartCry had purchased for the Reeces’ initial work among the Lozi. Along with the picture, he attached the following words: “I have just received this from Charles Bota, one of our elders. He is presently in Mongu, Western Province, and has sent this photo showing Binwell Chibesa and his wife standing next to the HeartCry-donated vehicle. We hope you do not mind us keeping the name on the car. It has a special meaning to the brethren in the Western Province. You can tell from all the sand that this is the Western Province of Zambia!” It is encouraging to know from our end that this vehicle is still serving its original, sanctified purpose: carrying the gospel to the Lozi! Please pray for Pastor Binwell and KBC as they continue to advance the cause of Christ in the Western Province.
To bring this update to a close, I will share with you the contents of an email from Malawi missionary Frank Maxson regarding the late HeartCry missionary Percy Chisenga and the work he left behind. It is a testimony to the Lord’s past and continued goodness to His church in Malawi.
The Legacy of Percy Chisenga
by Frank Maxson
In light of the departure of our dear brother Percy Chisenga, I desire to share a few words in retrospect. I thank God for the way He opened the door for me to know and labor together in Malawi with our dear departed brother. I first met Percy at a pastors conference in Zambia in 1999. Little did we know at that time what the future would hold for us together. All I can say from that brief, casual meeting is that I took a liking to Percy from the very beginning. I was impressed with this quiet, sober-minded, and theologically minded brother.
After moving a home Bible study out of our sitting room in Zomba, Malawi to a school classroom at CHESA Private Primary School, I began to see a need for help from like-minded brethren. Therefore, I travelled to Chipata, where I met with the elders and deacons of Chipata Calvary Baptist Church. They understood the call and sent Percy along with Brother Mutimushi to minister to us and to scout out the land. In short, Percy heard the call of the Lord, and he “sold the farm” in Chipata (quite literally) and moved his family and belongings to Zomba.
From the outset of his ministry in Zomba, Percy labored to preach in the language of Nyanja. He brought to us a well-exercised gift of expository preaching with a strong emphasis on preaching Christ. He had a pastor’s heart, a theological mind, and a love for lost souls. Percy and I met every Wednesday for our weekly “elders’ meeting.” Our prayer times were a blessing to my spiritual life. Here was a man who believed in prayer, who loved prayer, and who kept his eye on Christ as he prayed. My life was enriched by our times together.
Percy was diligent in visiting the flock, following up on visitors, and reaching out to the community of unsaved people around us. He was faithful in preaching the Word systematically and expositionally. He always had an eye for the young men who showed any promise in leadership, and he organized a group of them for lessons on leadership and preaching. He saw the need for men to catch a higher vision.
There are racehorses, and there are plodders in the equestrian world. Percy would have been classified as a plodder. He did nothing in a hurry. Nearly everything he did was slow and deliberate. He read slowly. He talked slowly. He preached slowly. He walked slowly. But lack of speed was no hindrance to progress. Percy diligently kept at any task at hand until it was completed.
In His Providence, God took Percy home at a time when we would have thought the work was not quite ready for autonomy. But the church in Zomba had a solid doctrinal foundation laid in the preaching, teaching, and counseling ministry of Percy Chisenga. Upon his departure to heaven, the church chose to ordain two elders and three deacons, and they are now autonomous.
I wish to thank Kabwata Baptist for standing in the gap and for taking up the support of Percy and the oversight of the fledgling work in Zomba during her growth in infancy. Grace Baptist Church in Zomba owes a debt of gratitude to you for your sacrifices and prayers. May God bless you and increase your labors for His glory. I also thank the men of HeartCry who had the vision for supporting an indigenous missionary in Africa. God bless your labors.