Yesterday marked the midday of our trip. Despite a few bumps in the road that were determined yesterday, the master plan is starting to take shape. Our relationships with each other and with the locals have been growing, and our purpose here is evident. God has been revealing Himself to me personally and to the group in amazing ways, and I am so thankful!
Ministry is often messy, especially because humans are involved. The enemy likes to create conflict and division in order to keep us from serving God and reaching people. Our bumps in the road have been related to this truth, but are very possible to overcome. A ministry like Samfya Bible School is made up of several parts (i.e. – local staff, foreign missionaries, donors, etc.) that need to work together to accomplish the ultimate goal. When any of these parts are divided or are not willing to sacrifice personal preference for the greater good, conflict can arise. Thankfully, we serve a big God who saw this conflict coming and who has us here for a purpose. I do not have time to share too much detail about the many moving parts here, but we are confident that God will use the master plan we are developing to bring those parts together in vision. God has a way of timing things perfectly!
Please pray that the enemy will have no place to cause divisions in this ministry and that all the participants will remain united in their efforts to reach people in Zambia and the Congo.
To give you an idea of how this ministry is affecting people, I would like to tell you about a man named Charles who is a graduate of this school. He just came back from visiting the 3 churches that he is equipping and encouraging in rural areas of the Congo. To get to these churches requires him to travel several miles by bicycle from the major road in Zambia south of Samfya, then by boat across a vast wetland to get to the Congo and then hike several miles to these rural villages. It took him 5 days to get to the 3 churches, and during that time, 27 people came to know Christ! Charles shared that each church has only one Bible that they share among the believers in their village and that one of the churches has some structural problems with the church building. Efforts are being made from this ministry to meet needs by bringing Bibles in the local language (Bemba), which will be sold for an incredibly reduced and affordable price to the people of the village. They are being sold, because they have realized that giving the Bibles away can actually cause the Bibles to become a form of currency among the villages. Also, the little money that will be raised from the donated Bibles will go to fix the structural problems of the church building. Graduates like Charles also bring sustainability to these rural villages by teaching carpentry, sewing, and agricultural skills. I was incredibly encouraged by my conversation with him!
Please pray that Charles and other graduates like Charles will continue to be strengthened and encouraged to reach people for Christ!