Recently returning from an extensive ministry trip across southern Africa, herewith an overview of our impressions, especially after not being able to visit much of our work during COVID lockdown restrictions. Despite the odds and challenges caused by the pandemic, my impression was positive seeing growth and maturity among our leaders and teams.
In general the national infrastructure across Zambia had held up. The dark and heavy cloud of despair that we previously experienced just before the last national elections when in a landslide vote, the nation got rid of a very destructive and corrupt president and government, was now gone. Although there still seemed to be some impatience with the slow progress towards resolving lingering financial problems, there seemed to be new hope for the future. Especially church leaders were encouraged by the new president’s stance on Christianity, having eased restrictions placed upon the Church by the previous administration.
Likewise, with Ministry I felt a sense of maturity and even growth. Despite the fact that we personally had not been able to visit and help take care of things for quite some time, every detail towards our arrival seemed to be taken care of. We conducted 4 graduations across the country, which each required a lot of organization. Yet arriving at each venue I was struck by how well everything had been planned and executed. That was so refreshing to observe. I was encouraged by the realization that our students, leadership teams, staff and co-workers, and even our orphans had all grown significantly stronger and more responsible in their own right.
Overall, I was very encouraged with the ministry, and where we are situated right now. The team is growing and continually maturing. The Bible School program continues to enrol and graduate as many enthusiastic emerging Christian Leaders as we can afford to help sponsor and train. The children in the orphan program are being well cared for by our dedicated team of full-time caretakers and volunteers. Clearly the children are succeeding both spiritually and academically – most of them doing even better at school than many of their non-orphan peers. Our team is doing a great job and we are most grateful for the blessings that the Lord keeps pouring down on our precious children and the caregivers. In the same way, our pastors, church planters, evangelists and orphan students at College and University, are all doing us proud. And for that we are most grateful to the Lord!
The Great Commission is the ultimate task that we’ve been charged with undertaking as Believers and Disciples of Jesus Christ. And therefore, our enduring challenge must be the fulfilment of that Task. . And so it’s appropriate to ask the question: “How close are we to completing the goal of reaching the world with the Gospel?” Or, put another way, and as our children so often ask when on a long journey: “Are we there yet?”
But, reality evidences that we are not there yet! There are still many regions, cultures, tribes, casts and People groups that need to be reached before we can conclude that Christ’s commission to “make disciples of all nations” has been reached. Therefore, please continue to pray for us, while also strengthening our arms through your continued contributions towards this work. We’re not there yet in Africa. But we are making progress through God’s infinite goodness and mercy!
Thank you for your part in helping to make all of this possible.
Elijah Msondo our orphan graduated from High School in 2019. AFnet sponsored him through Trade School to get skills training in carpentry. He just now graduated with an associate’s degree in Biblical studies through our Pastoral training program and is pastoring new church plant outside Mansa.
Mildred, a former orphan whom we sent to Teacher’s Training College, after graduating with her teacher’s credential, returned to our orphan center as one of our teachers. What a thrill to have her as part of our full-time staff now!