Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
Political Freedom pull quoteIn my last ministry update I wrote about reaching out with the Gospel to the people of the Lukulu District of Western Zambia. Once known as Barotseland, the Western Province incorporates the Barotse Plains—a wetland on the Zambezi River.
When the Zambezi and other tributaries flood, the maximum flooded area is around 10 750 km². The flood usually peaks in April, and recedes between May and July. July is when we can move in for ministry.
Soon after I sent my last newsletter, and I confirmed with a U.S. friend that the area had no history of violence or political turmoil, the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Barotse National Council (BNC) resolved that the Western Province should secede from the rest of Zambia.
Never a dull moment in Africa!
By God’s grace, violence was averted when the parties decided to stop their agitation for secession and instead opt for dialogue with the Government in the interest of peace and national unity.
The people of this area feel unloved and neglected, which is not surprising, considering the difficulty in reaching this area.
Please partner with us as we prepare to go and preach the Gospel and disciple believers in Western Zambia.
Lord willing, we aim to take in Bibles, Gospel tracts, used clothing and medicines to support the ministry effort.
John preaching to the Lukulu
After finding out that less than 3 percent of Christians share their faith, our men’s group is doing a wonderful job reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Inspired by Ron and Dave—who ministered with me in Africa last December—Gerald started encouraging men (including me) to meet together and openly practice our faith, rather than stifle the grace and power God has given us by settling for the role of Sunday pew-warmer. Many embraced the challenge and our group has not looked back.
Testimonies of ministry opportunities taking place at a pub, taxi rank, with business associates, tracts distributed at traffic lights, witnessing to family and friends and many more, are forthcoming.
I’ve lately read of the suffering and persecution endured by the Lord’s Apostles—and after them our brothers and sisters of the early Church. The struggles they overcame to produce the Word of God in languages that the common man could understand, is inspiring. Even today, more than 100,000 Christians are martyred each year for their faith in Jesus Christ. We should be convicted and emboldened. Truly, how can we not be involved in missions?
How can we, in good conscience, sit around and do nothing to further Christ’s kingdom on Earth? How can we question if we are really called to spread the Gospel while so many people in the Barotse Plains and tribes living in the Congolese jungles have never heard about the saving grace of Jesus Christ?
These same people know well what a can of Coke is. Even in these remote locations, they can get access to the soda—but not God’s Word. Yet, the African Church sleeps.
Am I called?
All Christians are called; the question we should rather be asking is: To which part of the field? Immediate family is a great start, work colleagues are another, as are sport teammates, social friends and many more. Our biggest challenge as African Christian men is that most of us struggle with cowardice, with making excuses, blaming our wives or even our children. We create excuses for not taking up the shield of faith and getting on with the work set before us.
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone…” Revelation 21:8
In fact, we think that playing church is actually for women and children—not for real men. ‘Real men’—and my African brothers know exactly what I’m writing about—all too often sit at the pub and drink their day away while their wives must go out and work and children beg in the market place.
So let us stop making excuses and stop blaming others, get to prayer, study the Bible and get on with discipling our African nations. Ancestral spirits will not be interceding for us when we stand before the judgment seat of the Creator of the Universe one day.
Missions are not what only Europeans can do. All Christians, including us Africans, are called to this work.
Our countries are in a mess; raping of women and babies, human sacrifices, witchcraft, murders (including the unborn), disrespect for elders, drugged child soldiers, injustice, covetousness and theft, adultery, sexual promiscuity, cannibalism and government officials who are unaware of the fact that they are not ‘God’s servants who do us good’, but rather evil powers who need to be resisted and voted out, all need to be dealt with by the preaching of the Gospel and Biblical discipleship.
Let’s stop blaming the Europeans, capitalists, Western governments and goodness knows who else, for the chaos in our continent and let’s take responsibility for ourselves. It’s time to stop begging and rather form partnerships, in business and ministry and get on with Biblical discipleship of the nations, which will bring the Lord’s blessing on our people.
One evangelist in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan has had both his feet cut off by Muslims – to stop him from reaching others with the Gospel; he is transported by donkey to preach the living Word.
So what is your and my excuse?
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” Isaiah 6:8
This—my Christian brothers in Africa, Asia, America and elsewhere—is the answer we want to cheerfully provide when the Living Christ calls us to service. Let us put down our fears, take up our crosses and follow Him.