This article was originally published in the April 2021 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Zambia - Angola
The mission to Mihava, Angola begins
As a part of his calling to saturate the Luvale Plains with the Gospel, ITMI partner, Johan Leach has helped equip and send local Zambians to reach the isolated villages that dot the flood plains west of the Zambezi River and across the Angola border.
Johan helps train and equip believers to share the Gospel on the plains. He also trains and equips leaders, or shepherds, to take responsibility for shepherding all those that come to faith within a certain area assigned to them. These are called “Hub Leaders.”
Johan Leach trains Hub Leaders for evangelism and discipleship.
One of the Hub leaders, Peter, set out to share the Gospel in a camp called Mihava on the Angola side of the Zambia-Angola border. When Peter arrived at his destination, the Chief in charge was happy to hear of Peter’s intentions to share the Gospel of Jesus in the area.
The Chief took Peter to the Angolan Migration post, where Peter again shared his intent to preach about Jesus. He told them he’d brought Bibles, evangelism materials, food and canoes for easy movement along one of the local rivers, the Lungevungu River.
The following day, Peter was summoned to the camp to meet with a superior officer who had some questions. Peter again shared about his mission to preach the Gospel in the communities there and that perhaps he could help drill boreholes that would provide fresh water for some of the villages.
“In no time I was sharing the Gospel with them,” Peter reported. Next, Peter was taken to Makena, “their big camp” and questioned again about his mission. Peter told them the same things he’d been telling the others.
He’d come to preach the Gospel.
But this time, Peter’s answers didn’t satisfy them. Peter was kept in custody there for two days, then transferred to another camp, Lumbala Ngimbu, where he was further interrogated. It seemed they did not believe what he was telling them.
They threatened to cut his hand off or send him to prison if he did not tell the truth.
“The only discussion I had with them was to share the Gospel with them, day and night,” Peter wrote, “On day five, they seemed to acknowledge my message. They started loving me and the Gospel of Jesus.”
Since his arrival, Peter had also been distributing the book of John. “The people are very hungry for the Word and requested more reading material and Bibles in Portuguese,” Peter said.
Views from a remote village on the Luvale Plains, similar to the one Peter visited.
The red tape run-around
The next day, Peter was released to go back to Mihava. But when he arrived, the officials there refused to allow him access to the canoes he’d brought.
They said he had to return to Lumbala Ngimbu for documents to permit him to carry on with his preaching activities.
So, Peter and the Chief went back to Lumbala Ngimbu, where the man in charge said he did not have a case against Peter and he had not needed to return after all. On his way back to Mihava, Peter was advised to take a short cut.
After walking this “short cut” for 10 hours, Peter realized he was lost in the bush of a foreign country.
Lost in the Angolan bush
Peter wandered in the bush for 12 hours with no water or food before he came to a road he recognized. Exhausted, he lay down to sleep. The next morning, he awoke and returned to Mihava. He told them at Mihava what the senior official said.
This time they believed Peter and agreed to give back his supplies, which they’d confiscated on the first day he arrived.
“These are some of the hardships and challenges I have undergone,” Peter surmises, “Nevertheless, these difficult days have yielded good results. Many people have heard the Gospel, come to God and they have Jesus as their personal Savior.”
Johan’s Hub Leaders are dedicated and faithful. They are equipped to carry the Gospel to the unreached villages in this area in a way no one else can.
Thirty-four new believers were added to the Body of Christ during this trip! This is the fruit of supporters, like you, coming alongside ITMI partners and joining together to see the Good News spread and take root in hearts and minds.
For those 34 who were once lost and now know Jesus, your sacrifice has meant everything!
About the Authors
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.
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