Pastor Mubita introduced himself to me after our celebration service on our last Sunday afternoon in Mongu. He had preached a spirited, direct and timely sermon to the youth who had gathered and I was happy to meet him. We chatted for several minutes before he had to leave, and he had much to say, but it was these words which have stuck with me ever since:
"No one ever comes here. But, you have come!"
When I asked him what he meant, he explained that the Western Province of Zambia is neglected, that missionaries and mission teams almost always go elsewhere in Zambia. He added that the sort of intensive training we do simply never comes to them. When I reassured him that we had made a three year commitment to the Mongu area, he was delighted.
As we have traveled and ministered over the last 12 years in Zambia's Western Province, I must say that we have almost never encountered anyone doing the kind of training we do. Sadly, then, I was not surprised to hear his words.
Earlier in our stay in Mongu, we'd had the privilege of meeting with Bishop Manyando (United Church of Zambia, Western Province). He also decried the lack of sound theological training available to the people of Western Province. It is, in his estimation, a desperate situation.
Our hearts break when we see this need, especially because we meet such amazing individuals on every one of our trips, men and women with the heart and intellect for serious study, men and women who love Jesus and his church, and who lead with such vigor when they are empowered.
Thank you for enabling us to do what we do. Thank you for coming with us through your support and prayer. We're incredibly grateful!