Monday, 25 June 2012

A week of work in Zambia

The past week has been a full one with both of us teaching a lot. Dean has taken a group through eldership training, with lots of great questions being asked along the way. This showed that they really engaged with the teaching, an answer to prayer.

Dean teaching the Madodana and CYF
On Saturday we team-taught a Bible overview to another congregation in Lusaka. Dean spoke while Sandy illustrated on a blackboard. Many of the congregation were busy taking notes and copying the pictures and, again, they had great and thoughtful questions. They said it will help them as they read their Bibles to see where each passage fits into the "big picture".

On the same day, Dean gave a summary of the gospel from Romans 1:1-5 to a group of men (the Madodana/Men's Guild) and youth (CYF: Christian Youth Fellowship). Before long, questions started coming on spiritual gifts and especially speaking in tongues. We had a really helpful discussion and search of the scriptures together to find the answers. While it wasn't exactly on topic, clearly this is a real hot button issue for Zambian youth at the moment. Less than Biblical teaching on spiritual gifts has taken many youth out of the church.

During the week, Sandy taught Grades 1-3 at the Matero church's community school. This freed up the only teacher there to concentrate on the nursery-prep children. Teaching children whose second language is English was rather challenging but we got there in the end! The children are absolutely delightful and have stolen Sandy's heart. Tomorrow will see Sandy back at the school for more teaching and Dean will be running a seminar on 1-1 discipleship.

Some of Sandy's Grade 1-3 students
Giant skipping rope from Aus was a hit!
If you don't have a playground, use a dumped mini-bus!!

Friday saw Dean spending the day with the General Secretary, Rev Maleka Kabandama, at the Synod Office. Due to the power being off, they had plenty of time to talk with each other and Rev Mtonga. Rev Mtonga is one of the first four trained Zambian ministers for the CCAP 31 years ago. We talked outside, partly because the power was off, but also because the contents of the container we sent fills the lounge room! Distribution is to commence soon as they only received clearance from Customs last week.

Rev Kabandama's lounge room. The rest of the house is similarly full at present

While Dean was yapping with the GS, Sandy was busy teaching the Umanyano (Women's Guild) an in-depth study of the Apostles' Creed. She had taught part of this when we were last in Zambia in 2007, so it was great to teach the entire series this time.

Sandy with the Women's Guild. Can you find her?

Advertising Thobwa on a Zambian billboard, someone's wall.
On Sunday Dean led and preached at the smaller English service at Matero, then we travelled to the slum area of George. Here in the midst of heart-breaking poverty, Dean preached again on the cost of discipleship. Ponde, a charismatic and Godly young man, interpreted enthusiastically. We were welcomed so warmly by these precious people. They spent 15 minutes singing and dancing while each one came to shake our hands. Our little bit of chinyanja language came in very handy here! After the service we were "treated" to a local drink they were having for morning tea. The version we had was made of millet, maize and plenty of sugar, called Thobwa. A little gritty due to the husks, we presume, and lukewarm. The kids loved it!


We are also having many classic African experiences whilst here. For instance, last Wednesday we spent the whole day chasing for permission to minister in the prisons next week. We were sent from one department to another, just to be sent back to the other department again, and then told we actually had to write a letter to each department. Our host, the General Secretary of the Presbyterian church here, would not be deterred! We went backwards and forwards several times chasing the paper trail to the permission we're seeking. Permission is still pending.....

4 comments:

  1. Great to hear of your faithful and busy ministry for the Lord in Zambia Dean - God bless and keep and strengthen you both, and bear much fruit through your teaching. Love CLinton & Kirsti

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  2. Love hearing of the work that God is doing through his faithful ones...PTL...

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  3. What a wonderful week you've had there. Praise God for the opportunities that are coming to you both in Zambia. We love to read about it all, and can only try to imagine what it's like there. God bless you both, and all you meet in Zambia.
    Brian & Anne

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