When presented with truth, Howard faces a difficult choice.
In the remote area of Mbila in Zambia live communities full of subsistence farmers whose only occupation is growing food for their families—mostly corn, the staple food of the country. People in rural areas like this still practice polygamy. After all, the more wives, the more laborers for the farm! Local culture and traditional law both support polygamy as well as other practices that seem primitive and backward to people in more populated areas.
To this area, our Bible workers set out to conduct an evangelistic campaign. The public meetings would last three weeks, but the Bible workers started home visitation a week ahead of time. Praying to God for guidance, they visited the regional headman, who received them warmly. “We have only one church here—the Zion Church,” he said. “Having another church might be good for us.”
The workers prayed even harder after that! The Zion Church promotes Spiritualism and polygamy. How would their message be received?
As the workers went door-to-door inviting people to the meetings, many people promised to attend—among them Howard, a successful farmer with lots of property. Howard owned many heads of cattle and harvested close to 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of corn each year. People looked up to him. The workers were excited to see him listening carefully during each of the messages!
Howard received the Sabbath truth and joined the baptismal class. Then, during the second week of the meetings, he invited our team to visit his home. “I have something to discuss with you,” he said.
At his home, Howard welcomed the workers in. “I wanted to talk with you about my decision to follow Christ,” he said. “I have a major challenge: I am married to two wives. If I were to join your church, would I need to abandon one of them?” Howard asked his question calmly and thoughtfully.
“This is a challenge for many men in your area,” the workers told him. “Would you like us to study the Bible with you personally? We could show you God’s ideal for marriage.”
“Yes,” Howard agreed. “I do want to learn more about God.”
The workers studied marriage with Howard gently yet honestly. At the end of the study, they asked him to make a decision. “I will follow the Bible’s teachings on marriage,” he said. “Please come back in two days. I will need to sit down and talk with my wives.”
During those two days, the workers prayed especially for Howard. They knew the second wife, who had herself come from a notable family, would not want to leave. Her resistance would be difficult for Howard. But Howard followed through. He told his two wives that because of the truth he had learned from God’s Word, he would be remaining with his first wife only. “My second wife was bitter,” he said, “but I told her that our salvation depends on it.”
Howard went to the traditional court to dissolve the marriage. Then he built his former wife a house on her parents’ property and gave her 60 heads of cattle. The marriage now over, Howard was baptized together with his first wife—born again and set free!
Besides Howard and his wife, 84 others were also baptized at the end of the campaign. Many are still in the valley of decision, in need the Lord’s transforming grace. We thank God for the new church He planted in this area!
Hilary Moonga is a pastor of many churches in the Monze district of Zambia.
How You Can Help
Pray for the evangelistic work Pastor Moonga and his team are doing in Zambia.
Pray for Brother Howard as he begins his new life in Christ!
Give. Funds are needed to provide Bibles to new believers, build churches, support church planters and purchase a light duty truck to transport workers and equipment. Send your check marked “Zambia,” “Zambia Bibles” or “Zambia Workers” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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