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A warm welcome in Zambia

Preparing for baptism Preparing for baptism

Africa was supposed to be warm, but as I stepped off the plane in Lusaka one Tuesday in July it was far from the case. I waited in a chilly airport lounge for Andrew and Josie Walker.

To go from the comfort of the UK to a mud hut somewhere outside Lusaka is very much a culture shock. Another is people’s desire to know more about the Bible. I met two preachers who wanted to learn more of the Scriptures. Andrew and Josie had already spoken to them, but such was their thirst that Andrew gave them a talk based on Acts 1.

The following day we left the motel and drove to Kolomo, where we were met by Harry Hambula who had waited for two hours for us to arrive. We unpacked and then spoke to a contact called Stephen. We sat out under sun shelters, but still we had to wrap up warm.

The next day was much sunnier. Kelly Simayumbula had arrived overnight and we set off to Siamutete. The church here is quite large and very friendly. Alfred Mututwe, the secretary, had met us in town and travelled back with us. Sitting in the load bay of a pick-up truck is a great way to get to know a brother and we were getting along well by the time we arrived at Siamutete.

Alfred’s house and land are next to the meeting room and here a number of members were waiting to see us. Alfred, Kelly and Andrew conducted interviews whilst Josie and I talked to contacts. We were blessed to be able to witness three baptisms and we shared a meal with our new brothers and sisters before heading back to Kolomo.

The next day we travelled for three hours down dirt roads to Kanyanga, the home of Johnny Jimima and Phanuel. Here we talked to people who had previously met with Kelly and Harry. The contacts were all very interested to know what we believe; especially those who were Seventh-day Adventists.

Next day was a much easier drive to the church at Njinka. The day consisted of short Bible classes and Josie talked to the sisters on health. Then on Sunday we attended no less than three Breaking of Bread services: the first in Kolomo Town, then two in Siamutete.

Africa is not a place for making too many firm plans; even those made prayerfully are liable to change. This was plain to see on our second visit to Njinka. The well there was suffering from a lack of water and we took with us people from the company who had sunk it. We talked to the well engineers and decided extra lengths of pipe would needed.

This was my first visit to Africa and while the weather was not as warm as I had been led to believe, the warmth of the members more than made up for it.

Simon Sheppard
from The Bible Missionary No. 187 (January 2008)

Information about Zambia