The elderly shook their heads in understanding. Teachers and evangelists from the east bank of the Zambezi River were visiting their village.
The teachers traced back the dark past of ancestral and pagan worship of the villages to where they are finding themselves now….set free. Set free by the Good News.
The Good News that there is one God who loves them. One God who sees their needs and hears their cries. One God who moved people across the world to provide them with access to clean, safe water.
One God who stays the same yesterday, today and forever - unlike the temperamental nature of their ancestor "gods."
One God who wants them to flourish and created good things for them to enjoy - good things like community, virtues and the ability for a varied diet of nutrients. He doesn't forbid them from partaking of these goods that they have mistaken as "only for white men."
ITMI's Johan Leach and four trained Zambian evangelists made a 3 week trek to visit 5 villages sequestered between the Zambezi River on the East and the Angola border to the West.
"With new eyes they now observe their surroundings, with liberated minds they see the creative potential they have and with new energy in their bones they eagerly look to the future."
This visit was a part of Johan's plan to strategically reach the entire area with the gospel.
The Teams and Their Goals
Team Two was made up of two of Johan's co-workers, Samkele and Mungole, who Johan has equipped and trained to reach the villages West of the Zambezi.
Sakahilumundele Village has just recently received the Gospel and a church plant has taken place! Team One was there to provide some foundational teaching, along with the Borehole construction and a veggie garden project.
After leaving Team Two in Sakahilumundele, Team One preceded to Samwila. Johan was accompanied by his co-workers, Davy and Joel.
Samwila is a strategic location for Johan's ministry. The Gospel has taken root, and a church has been planted. Samwila has already received a borehole through ITMI's partnership with Johan.
Team One's main objective in Samwila: discipleship training and equipping.
The teams other goals?
- reach out to some various villages and homesteads up the valley from Samwila
- show the Jesus film
- expose the villagers to some documentary videos about various locations in the world revealing how people live in those places.
On arrival, we set up camp and that evening briefed the Headman (part of the Church Plant), and the other members, on our program. Samwila would be our base from where we would deploy daily and return to in the evenings.
As always we had great fun interacting with the kids remembering what our Lord said to the disciples…. 'Suffer not these little ones to come to me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.' Believe me when I tell you….I felt my age!"
Discipleship training went well. We covered topics such as “What is a Christian?, What is a Disciple?, Discipline, A Changed Lifestyle - from sitting in the dirt, to sitting at the Lords Table.”
We ensured that they understood that as Christ washed us with His Blood thus cleansing us from ALL sin, so too do we need to start cleaning up our outward appearances, for if God has truly cleansed us inside then surely this needs to be manifested in our change of behavior as well as cleanliness.
The teaching and preaching was well received.
With new eyes they now observe their surroundings, with liberated minds they see the creative potential they have and with new energy in their bones they eagerly look to the future.
With the introduction of borehole water, community veggie gardens with veggies they have not seen before and Lesley planning on teaching them some new cooking skills, we believe that together in Christ their lives will be a shining example to all who are still in darkness.
With this new found ‘Love’ they need to love themselves and live different, clean lives, both on the outside as well as the inside.
ITMI's Johan Leach and co-workers pray for one of the villagers.
On arrival we set up camp in Samwila.
Five New Wells
Finding reliable well-digging teams willing to traverse into this area has been a challenge, but Johan reported that the two drilling teams had good work ethic.
Due to the rains, one team got slogged down and couldn't transport their equipment across a wet plain. Others might turn around and give up.
Instead, within 24 hours, they hired an ox cart and overcame the obstacle.
Borehole installation is difficult, dirty work.
Here are the locations of the new boreholes!
Borehole #1: Sakahilumundele Village – S 13°10’59.2” E022°35’47.1”
Borehole #2: Kakala Village – S 13°08’24.5” E022°28’41.7”
One of Johan's co-workers, evangelist Davy, shares the Good news with the villagers.
Borehole #3: Masumba Village – S 13°03’32.4” E022°25’37.4”
Johan Leach and a happy village leader.
Johan's co-worker, Davy, shares the Gospel with the overjoyed village.
Borehole #4: Masombo Village – S 13°03’46.6” E022°23’28.9
Davy shows the villagers how to plant seeds that they can now water.
Masumba and Masombo are very isolated, near the Angola border.
When we arrived at the villages (Masumba and Masombo) their joy was unspeakable.
I got the feeling they did not believe that we would carry through with our commitment at bringing water to their village. When we discussed the veggie garden project I was shocked to be told that they have never grown any veggies in their lives and how do they go about it?
It is times like these when I reflect on the privilege of growing up in a first world country.
Borehole #5: Kawelele Village – S 13°09’06.2” E022°16’58.7”
Johan and a village man happily holding his Bible.
These photos and Johan's heartfelt thanks can never do justice to the gratitude and joy felt by the villagers.
Thank you to our USA Pilgrims and partners of In Touch Mission International who amidst their own needs and struggles of fire and storm disasters, unprecedented in American history, still gave from their hearts ensuring five more villages have water availability.
Once more a BIG thank you for all your effort at ensuring another five well-points be placed on the plains thereby relieving the ever present burden of the many kilometres having to be walked by mainly the women in bringing water to their homes.
We thank our Heavenly Father for the Big Hearts of the contributors in making a real difference in the lives of many and pray for an abundant blessing from our Lord in their lives and those of their loved ones.
Thanks for your prayers and partnership allowing us to do this impactful work!!