It's amazing how the Lord connects Christians to one another. In 2014, we met Joanna Hatton, a member of Centre Presbyterian Church in Mooresville, NC, who grew up on the mission field in Zambia. She enthusiastically connected Percy and us to a friend of hers in Mongu, Zambia, Yuyi "Blessing" Collins Mundia, a young Vineyard pastor. Percy followed through and got to know Pastor Yuyi who asked us to come train his church leaders. So, from Nangweshi it was off to Mongu...
July 28: Percy had arranged with a fellow lodger in Nangweshi to drive us to Mongu. He suggested a two hour short-cut over dirt roads to Senanga from where we could jump on a good paved road for the last hour or so to Mongu. Sounded good to us , so we climbed in to his nice Ford Ranger extended cap pickup truck and off we went.
It was a beautiful drive, highlighted by a short ferry crossing. The vast plains that flood during the rainy season were dry and the vistas along the way were just beautiful. We arrived at our lodge in Mongu a bit dusty, but glad we had taken the short-cut. And, our lodge had flush toilets. What more could we want? LOL!
That afternoon, we met Yuyi's parents and several of his siblings, delightful people who warmly welcomed us to Mongu. Yuyi's mother looked stragely familiar when we met her and we were amazed to discover that her eldest daughter, Beatrice, was one of our "3 Weeks Intensive Training" students in Sesheke in 2014! Small world!
July 29-30: We spent Saturday training Pastor Yuyi's young leaders, about 15 or so in all, who were excited and responsive. Our class was joined by two of our former students, Live School graduates Bosco and Moses, who have been planting a new church in Mongu. This is Bosco's second church plant since he completed Live school. His first church, deep in the bush, is thriving and he's left it in the hands of capable elders while he launches this new church. Moses recently lost his wife to cancer and had joined Bosco for a couple of months to encourage him and get, as he put it, some refreshment after his wife's long and difficult battle.
Percy's wife, Muyunda, joined us on Saturday, as well, after a long drive from Mwandi. It was good to see her and fun to have her with us for the weekend.
On Sunday, Abby led Pastor Yuyi's Bible study before worship, then headed to Bosco's church to preach! I stayed and preached at the Vineyard church. Then, following a lovely lunch, I taught a final seminar. Abby had returned by then as had Bosco, Moses and several of their leaders. It was a great day.
July 31: We met for several hours with Bosco and Moses to discuss the future of training in Western Province, Zambia and our future plans for training in Angola. Percy and the local Inyambo Mission Center (IMC) board have asked Bosco to head up training efforts on the ground in Western Province while Percy (and we) turn our attention to Angola next year. With the help of three great experienced leaders, Pastors Yamba, Sikute and Lewis, we are confident in Bosco's leadership.
Moses is an Angolan refugee who is about to return to Angola this fall after a seventeen year absence. He was a student in our 2014 Sesheke class. During his wife's struggle with cancer, he had finally been able to connect with his family after all these years who thought he had been killed in the civil war. He will be one of our connectors in Angola as we look to the future there.
That evening, we had dinner with Pastor Yuyi and his wife, Mercy to hear more about their work and get to know them better. They're a lovely couple and their heart for mission and church planting was evident.
August 1: We traveled to Livingstone, a long, bumpy and exhausting eight hour drive using three different cabs. We arrived at our beloved Fawlty Towers ready for a good night's sleep and a day or two of rest. Sadly, as we drove in to Livingstone, Abby came down with stomach flu.
Please pray for Pastor Yuyi and his family and the Vineyard churches in the Mongus area, and for Bosco and Moses as they plant their new church!