Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blog thoughts from our director in Zambia...


I just wanted to include a blog from our director Glenn Ripley which I think gives some great insight into what I will be doing in Africa and the ministry which Action Zambia has in Zambia...

The post describes a trip he took to Lusaka, Zambia (during his furlough) with his adopted Zambian daughter, Grace to get her US citizenship and the fruit that came out of that trip...

My trip to Lusaka was significant in at least 3 ways: first, and perhaps most importantly, God used it to confirm His call on our lives to continue ministry in Zambia. Throughout our 2-month stay I was visited by a steady stream of pastors who, sometimes with literal tears, pleaded for us to come "home" soon to continue our work. It was quite touching to hear these dear friends talk about how Action Zambia had impacted their lives and how much they care for me and Liese. It's one thing to believe you're called to be a missionary, but to hear this adamantly confirmed by those you've come to serve is a true blessing!

Secondly, I met with elders from four Christian Brethren (CMML) churches in the area around the AZ Ministry Center (aka "the farm") regarding a new church plant in Kasupe, almost literally on our doorstep at the farm. In addition to supporting the new church, these men expressed a keen desire for me to work with the leadership of their churches when we return to Lusaka. This is a big answer to prayer, since AZ is church-based in its ministry philosophy and we have been looking for a good church near the farm with whom to partner, and because I have been praying about where to focus my own ministry. With the arrival of Graham Melville and his family this month, Steve Allen and his family next month, and Tracy Singleton and his wife in early 2008, our pastoral leadership development work will really be picking up steam. Based on this meeting, it is likely that I will personally focus on these 5 churches.

Lastly, God may have opened a new, amazing door for ministry in the southern province of Zambia, the area where we've built our Koinonia Village. I'll write more on this later, but the short version is that I met with the Christian chieftainess of the area and she enthusiastically gave AZ her blessing to proclaim the gospel, carry on Christian leadership seminars with her headmen, and, basically, conduct any ministry we feel led to do in any of the 200 villages in her kingdom! Since our current AZ team is fully engaged in the Lusaka area, God would have to provide additional workers that feel called to rural ministry in order to really pursue this. This would be a bit of a departure for AZ, since we've always concentrated on Lusaka, but may be too big of an opportunity to pass up. Of 237 chiefs in Zambia, only 2 or 3 are believers, and this could be a huge opportunity for the gospel. Pray for Chieftainess Mwenda and her kingdom and for whether and how God might have AZ work with this people group in the coming years!

No comments: