Stolen Goats

Sylvester has no interest in the evangelistic meetings—until his family’s 20 goats go missing.

I had heard about the evangelistic campaign being conducted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in our settlement. I had even been invited, but I didn’t see the importance of attending the meetings. In fact, I vowed that I would not attend. When my neighbors kept saying good things about the meetings, I decided to have a little fun: I would go to the campaign site and make a disturbance. I drank plenty of alcohol before I arrived, and I made lots of noise and insulted the ushers. That was just how my family was; we never went to church, and we liked to drink beer. 

Despite my unruliness, the Bible instructors came back to our house to again invite my family to the meetings. I was so annoyed that I chased them off my parents’ property. Little did I know of God’s plans. He has His own way, and those that He loves He chastens! 

Six days after I chased the Bible teachers off, our family’s treasured goats were stolen from our kraal—all 20 of them. Heartbreak and horror seized us; we had counted on those goats for our income and survival. We ran up and down every road we could think of, looking for the goats, but we could not trace them. We didn’t know where to go and what to do next! Would we all starve? It certainly never crossed our minds that this theft could be a blessing.

As a last resort, we went to the evangelistic meeting site Friday evening to request that an announcement be made about our goats. The person we talked to told us that we had come too late to get our announcement in at the beginning of the meeting, but that someone would share it at the end of the sermon. I sat down and waited eagerly for the end of the service, wanting to be sure the memo about our stolen goats came through clearly. 

That night the preacher spoke on Ecclesiastes 3:1–8, emphasizing that there is a season for everything. I was touched. He went on to tell about the life of Job: how Job had lost all his material possessions and yet remained faithful to God. The preacher said that at times God moves us out of our comfort zones in order for His will to be done. 

That message changed my life and turned me in a new direction. When the minister made an appeal, I went forward and stated that I wanted to learn more about the God he had spoken about. I attended all the rest of the meetings and joined the baptismal class. Recently, I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, along with many others!

After my baptism, I received a phone call that our goats had been found. The one who had stolen them ran away and abandoned the goats in the bush after too many people came through the area where he had the goats tied, waiting to be sold. In the end, the Lord saved my life from sin and restored our goats to us as well! 

God is faithful and very gracious. He can use any method to cause His will to be done. Now that I have found Christ, the joy that fills my heart is beyond description. He has changed my story. I didn’t know what I was missing until I experienced it, but now I am finally free. Praise God from whom all blessing flow! Please keep praying for me and for the many around me who need to receive Christ.  


Told by Sylvester Nchimunya to Hilary Moonga, pastor of 31 churches in the Monze district of Zambia.

How You Can Help
Pray for the evangelistic work Pastor Moonga is doing in Zambia. 

Pray for Sylvester’s faith as he grows in the Lord. 

Give to purchase Bibles, fund evangelism and build churches in Zambia by sending your check marked “Zambia” to: 

Mission Projects International 
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

To give securely online, visit: