Mapalo “Blessings” Ndhlovu has been laboring to establish Faith Baptist Church in Twatasha, one of the poorer sections of Kitwe, the second-largest city in Zambia. The history of his church building is a strong image of the transformational power of the gospel. Just as the gospel has changed the purpose of that building, it is now changing people’s lives—and perhaps the entire community someday.
History of the Church Building
I would like to give the interesting history of Faith Baptist Church’s building in Twatasha. This property was bought by my sending church, Faith Baptist Church Garnaton, after they felt convinced that Twatasha was a growing place and needed a church plant.
Before I was even born, a man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) came to Zambia and bought a large plot of land. He built a bar so exquisite that it became famous throughout Zambia.
The owner used to invite musicians from DRC to come to his bar and play live music called ‘Rumba.’ He must have been the only one in Zambia who was doing this, because his bar became so popular that people from all over the country traveled just to have this experience. On the same property, the owner built guest houses for the musicians and those who wanted to spend a night at the bar. The facility also had a swimming pool, a green garden, and a restaurant. It was modern and clean; it hosted live music; and men and women were flocking there in great numbers. Business was booming.
Nothing on this earth, however, lasts forever. The owner of the bar got very sick and died. He had married about five women and had children from each. When he died, the children started sharing the property and the houses, but the bar was left abandoned. It sat for many years without anyone using it. Eventually, they started taking out every valuable thing that could be sold, like doors, windows, and the roofing. Nothing remained but the walls.
When my church felt the need to plant a church in Twatasha, we started by having Bible study under a tree. In our search for a more suitable place of meeting, we noticed this abandoned place that had been a bar long ago. We enquired from the daughter who was the current owner of the place. In the midst of those conversations, she was saved, and right now she is one of our faithful members at Faith Baptist Church Twatasha!
We can still see the mindset that was planted in this community years ago, especially in the widespread drunkenness. Would you believe that people here often start drinking beer at 8 o’clock in the morning? Teens find their pleasure in smoking, drinking, and fornication. Marriages at a very young age, due to pregnancy, are common. Please pray, dear friends.
Building Repairs Finally Finished
Our church thanks God for a wonderful prayer answered this year. We have been praying to finish repairing the rest of our building for a long time. Specifically, we have been praying to have our children’s Sunday School room covered. By God’s grace, HeartCry Missionary Society donated the funds to finish the roof on the building. Thankfully, the building is now looking very good as one completed structure. It is comforting to know that our children will be learning from inside a building, without having to run from the rains when they come.
Another Life Transformed
One of the hardest things with a new church is that most of the people are in their first steps of maturity, and that means more problems and more sin to confront. Yet even a new church gets to experience peaceful moments and see growth in people. One of our praises to God has been seeing Bana Shekinah, a regular church attender, growing in grace. We have been with this lady for about a year now. She got saved through women’s evangelism, and since then we have been watching closely over her. Thanks be to God, she has been faithfully attending the church meetings.
Here is a bit of this woman’s history: firstly, she is HIV positive and on medicine. She had a bad temper most of the time, and she used to fight often with her husband. Her husband is not saved and does not worship with us, but we keep on sharing God’s Word whenever we find him at home, and he freely talks with us. Just last month, he was confessing the great change he has seen in his wife. They are now living peacefully, and she does not argue with him like she did before. Even the neighbors are talking about the change they have seen in her! These things have brought great joy to my soul in seeing that God is at work.