It's good to be home! South Africa was warm and welcoming, but Zambia is our African home base. When I think of South Africa, I think of it as a Western country with Africans living in it, perhaps because we've spent most of our time in the Pretoria area. When I think of Zambia, I think of it as an African country with Westerners living in it. I know I'm painting with a broad brush, but I think it fits.
After our travel day last Wednesday to Livingstone, Zambia, we settled into Nshima Towers, a lovely new lodge with a great staff. Thanks, Percy!
Abby and I then met with Pastor Imasiku and his wife, Cindy, on Thursday. We enjoyed a cup of tea and a good discussion about the training he wanted us to do. They explained that they were in the midst of planting a new church and building their core team. They went on to tell us that their approach is different from a typical Zambian church plant, stressing a team approach with a balance of spiritual and social development, including ministries to the poor and teaching the arts. Exciting!
Would we train the team in church planting and pastoral care? That was the question from Pastor Imasiku and Cindy. Percy Muleba, our "Director," had prepared us for this meeting so we quickly and enthusiastically agreed.
Friday evening, we began our training, ending with a delicious nshima, chicken and greens supper. The class will be small which suits our teaching style and the students are highly motivated and very gifted. We continued training on Saturday evening and will pick up again tonight (Monday) thru Thursday.
Sunday, Pastor Imasiku and his team took us back to Musokotwane, about an hour outside Livingstone, where we had trained church leaders from two Assemblies of God (AOG) churches last year for two weeks.
At the Musokotwane church, Pastor Imasiku led a great Bible study on learning to abound in love from Philippians 1, we then sang and danced in a spirited time of praise and worship, then Abby preached on God's radical love from Isaiah 43:1-4 and I preached on the nature of discipleship from John 1:35-42. We ended with more praise and worship. It was awesome.
Following worship, leaders from the second AOG church joined the Musokotwane leaders for training. I focused on turning leadership on its head, i.e. on biblical servanthood. This led to a spirited discussion on the implications of leaders living out Jesus' example and challenge in John 13:1-17 (Jesus washes the disciples' feet).
We arrived home about 5:30pm exhausted but blessed, and grateful that the Lord lets us do this. Thank you for your support and encouragement. You are with us!
Please pray for us as we continue training Pastor Imasiku's core leaders and as we plan for our next phase, training leaders in Mwandi.