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Christadelphians and villagers at Mbereshi, near Kazembe
I recently had the privilege of spending five weeks in Zambia and am very thankful for the experience. The time was spent meeting contacts made through the correspondence course, holding Sunday schools, interviewing candidates for baptism and sharing fellowship with brothers and sisters.
Not having been to Africa before, I was extremely apprehensive, having heard mostly 'horror' stories, but the encouragement, support and prayers we received were an incredible help; it was also wonderful to feel God's guidance and care so powerfully. We were protected from illness and violence, we always had enough to eat and drink, and we felt we were guided in discussions.
Zambia itself seemed laid-back and litter-strewn. I loved it! I loved the way that things so important in our society just do not matter there. I loved sitting on the ground under a tree to remember the Lord Jesus Christ with chickens, goats and pigs scratching round our feet; I loved witnessing baptisms in rivers where the local women were washing cassava; I loved sitting in a meeting room where the sunlight dappled through the grass roof - and grass and insects fell on you every time the wind blew! I loved the hospitality and generosity of the people we met, who were so willing to share what they had.
Although their lives are generally less cluttered than ours, Zambians have their own difficulties to cope with; when the village well dries up they have to walk several kilometres to a stream and carry the water back in tubs on their heads; when they are sick, they have no access to medication or hospital treatment; people try to make a living to support a family by sitting at the roadside selling vegetables or dried fish - they have no regular income.
Time and again we were reminded of the Apostle Paul and his 'care' of the first century ecclesias; the believers in Zambia are mostly still 'babes' and with little experience to draw on when trying to solve their problems. They need encouragement and support to help them grow and become strong - brothers like Reuben Kaambua, who travelled 360 km. overnight to be baptized and had to leave immediately afterwards to travel home where he will be in isolation, and contacts like Joseph Kaluba, who cycled for eight hours over 90 km. of rough dirt tracks to meet us and ask questions about the Bible. These all need our prayers.
|"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)|