“The secret of our success in the work of God will be found in the harmonious working of our people. There must be concentrated action. Every member of the body of Christ must act his part in the cause of God, according to the ability that God has given him. We must press together against obstructions and difficulties, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart.” Christian Service, 75.
This month’s letter comes to you later than usual because I have been in Zambia! About 1.3 million Adventists reside in this country of almost 20 million, which means approximately every 15th person you meet is a Seventh-day Adventist. Yet there are many more to be warned.
In 1903, W. H. Anderson pioneered the work of bringing the Three Angels’ Messages to this part of South-Central Africa. He believed that success in the work depended on every member of the church playing an active role in soul winning. This same spirit still pervades the church more than a hundred years later!
Pastor Hillary Moonga, whose work I became acquainted with during my visit, has 16 churches under his direction. Of these, seven are churches he has planted since becoming the district pastor! Not content to settle down and simply shepherd these congregations, Pastor Hillary plans to plant at least five more churches over the next two years through conducting evangelistic meetings. He will then train the elders and deacons to work in the communities around them, and will show them how to train the lay members to labor for souls.
Gem is an elder in a rural church established last year through evangelistic meetings presented by a lay member. After follow-up Bible studies, a handful of people were baptized, including Gem’s wife. Gem, however, resisted joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Gem loved eating pork and struggled with the Biblical teaching about our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit. Worshipping on Saturday posed a big challenge to him as well. After many visits from the new converts, Gem finally agreed to Bible studies in his home; and after months of them praying and fasting for him, he finally accepted the truths of the Adventist message.
Today, Gem is the most active member in this countryside church and a strong believer in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. He has brought scores of people to the Lord through personal Bible studies. Church membership is now over 150, besides many visitors who attend every Sabbath!
This scenario has played out many times over in the churches who have adopted Elder Anderson’s approach. Please keep this exciting work in your prayers as we team up with Pastor Hillary to proclaim the everlasting gospel in Southern Zambia!
Many of the rural churches need our help building permanent church structures, which cost about $5,000 each. Bibles are needed in the local dialect to empower the laity to labor among their communities. In addition, we hope to hire two Bible workers to assist Pastor Hillary in his evangelistic endeavors. Please consider joining the team to advance the Three Angels’ Messages in Zambia! Mark your donations “Zambia Bible Workers,” “Zambia Churches” or Zambia Evangelism.”
Yours in spreading the gospel message!