In February 2016, Senanga Baptist Church celebrated their third anniversary. Senanga is Kabwata Baptist Church’s first church-plant among the Lozi people in the remote region of Western Province, Zambia. This is the region where my brother and I, with our families, ministered from 2009 to 2011. During those three years as cross-cultural missionaries, we saw very little fruit. In contrast, HeartCry’s first indigenous Lozi missionary, Poniso Kuyumbana, is seeing an average of 75-100 people at their worship service on a weekly basis after three years.
Pastor Poniso held his first meeting in Senanga in February 2013, with eleven in attendance. During the first year, Senanga Baptist Church attendance grew to twenty-seven, and one man was converted. In the second year, average attendance remained around thirty. Another young man was converted, but much to the church’s disappointment, both men moved away before being baptized.One very noteworthy step in 2014 was the sending of Isaac Bipanda to Kabwata Baptist Church for pastoral internship.
The church’s third year, 2015, saw significant growth in attendance to seventy-five. A third man was converted, but he too moved away for work before being baptized. Two women were also converted in that year; finally, on January 31, 2016, Senanga Baptist Church celebrated their first baptismal service. Also of significance, Vasco Kafuti was the second Lozi man to be sent for pastoral internship at Kabwata Baptist Church.
Mid-way through 2016, weekly attendance now averages close to a hundred. Another man was recently converted and is now preparing for baptism and church membership. Pastor Poniso is receiving several requests from around the region for more churches to be planted in surrounding towns and villages. In fact, he is preparing to send one of the men he has discipled to start a church in another town called Kaoma.
Many years of prayer for the Lozi people by HeartCry supporters are now bearing visible fruit. Pastor Conrad Mbewe is very excited about the progress of the church plant in Senanga. Please pray for them as they seek to construct a church building and continue training more men to spread the gospel and plant more churches among the Lozi of Western Zambia.