The Gospel Shock
A down-and-out young man finds Christ, starting a ripple of new conversions.
In the interior African country of Zambia lived a young man with a very sad existence—until Jesus radically changed his life. Rodney’s father passed away when Rodney was just three, leaving the boy to grow up in a harsh environment while his mother struggled to earn a living.
Rodney’s culture believes that the spirits of their departed ancestors are in charge of human affairs. Also, polygamy is esteemed in Zambia, and HIV/AIDS runs rampant. With the despair around him, Rodney lost hope at a very young age, and soon sank into the misery of alcoholism. His life in ruins, he sometimes contemplated ending his earthly struggle.
One day a gospel team came to Rodney’s village and requested permission from the headman to conduct an evangelistic campaign. On Wednesday evening during the series, a certain young man came in drunk. I remember that day. I was preaching on the love of God as revealed by the cross, and I stressed the point that had it not been for that old rugged cross and the man Jesus Christ, we all were destined for destruction—except that because of that cross, that contest with evil, our destiny can be changed forever. As I preached, I could feel the power of God and I knew He had some special purpose for that sermon.
After the message, Rodney came to the front crying. He told us how miserable his life had been and how he longed to live with the hope of the Jesus that had been preached that night. The young man requested Bible studies, and with each study his desire to know Jesus grew. After many weeks of life-changing Bible lessons, Rodney was baptized. His conversion sent a gospel shock throughout the area as the people saw, with surprise, that even down-and-outers can receive Christ. A few months later, five of Rodney’s friends were baptized, and they too became ambassadors of the cross.
With the state of Zambia as it is, we feel we have no option but to engage in evangelistic activities! Here in my mission district, in 2018, we conducted evangelistic campaigns in 45 locations, baptizing 3,989 souls. In 2019, we focused on nurturing these new converts, running revival efforts over and over—and we also baptized 700 additional souls. In this culture, the challenge has been to keep the new converts in the faith. We have realized that they need to be grounded in the truth by having their own Bibles to read. As they continue in God’s Word, they can see how the Bible’s teachings counter their deeply ingrained cultural beliefs. Also in an effort to retain new believers, we have planted new congregations for them to worship with, and we look forward to building permanent structures for these churches.
The headmen and chiefs of the villages have greatly appreciated our work. They can see how the gospel has transformed the lives of the people in their territories, even helping to reduce the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These authorities have appealed to us to continue conducting evangelistic campaigns so that many can be converted to the gospel of Christ. To God be the glory!
We would gladly welcome your help in building churches, distributing Bibles, and conducting evangelistic efforts. Just $10 can buy a Bible in our local language. Our target is to distribute as many as possible. Thank you in advance for being willing to help!
Hilary Moonga is a pastor of 45 churches in the Monze district of Zambia.
How You Can Help
Pray for the evangelistic work Pastor Moonga is doing in Zambia.
Pray for all those reading the Bible for the first time.
Give to the work in Zambia by sending your check marked “Zambia” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
To give online, visit: