The Holy Spirit Encounter (HSE) is a gathering that started in 2001 for the purpose of encouraging our local United Methodist pastors, their families, and key church leaders. The hope was to give new vision and power from the Holy Spirit for growing the United Methodist Church in Zambia. It has grown over the years to an annual gathering where even pastors, seminary students, and church leaders from other denominations attend. It is held at the New Life Center. It is normally a four-day gathering.
Evangelist, Rev. Blake Lorenz from Orlando Florida, has helped lead us over the years by bringing his teams to work with the HSE. Other regular speakers have included Rev. Scott George from the USA and Rev. Kenneth Suckling from Zambia/England. We believe this is one of the key reasons why the church is growing in spiritual depth and in numbers.
The New Life Youth Empowerment & Discipleship Ministry (NLYEDM) is a Christian ministry for the young people throughout Zambia and Sub-Sahara Africa. It was founded in April 2007 by Rev. Charles & Barbra Mulemena. The NLYEDM was founded with the mission of “Reviving, discipling, empowering, and provoking young people for effective missions in Africa, and Zambia in particular.”
As a ministry, we also recognize the need to address the vices of poverty, corruption, and HIV/AIDS among the younger generation. We therefore have a great task to prayerfully and faithfully raise a Christ-centered, visionary, and purpose-driven generation that redefines life in a more Biblical and holistic way.
Each year, New Life Center hosts the Annual Youth Camp that brings together the church’s youth. The Youth Camp uses this time to introduce the young people to the saving knowledge of Jesus, to provide strong Biblical teachings for their everyday growth and discipleship, to help the youth discern God’s calling and purpose for their lives, and to share the challenges of the African church so they can be taken to the Lord in prayer.
This Annual Youth Camp includes many local Zambian speakers as well as guest speakers from the USA. The Youth Camp often has around 300 attendees. It’s an important tool for the youth to learn and grow into godly leaders for the church and recognize, through fellowship with other youth, that they are a vital part of the growing church.
With the assistance of work teams and children’s ministry workers from the local churches, New Life Center helps organize Kid’s Bible Camps to pour into the spiritual lives of children. The camps are generally two to three days filled with songs, Bible stories, crafts, and games. We highly value this time to give the kids a foundation in faith and Biblical teaching. It is not uncommon to have over 200 children at each Bible camp! The kids have a wonderful time and leave knowing they are loved by Jesus and the church.
Kid’s Bible Camps are usually held annually at the New Life Center. We bring the children of the local churches to the New Life Center and have a wonderful time of fellowship, food, and fun in a secure and comfortable environment. It can also be modified and presented at the local churches that were unable to attend which allows the camp to also be used as an evangelism tool for the communities.
Many years ago, Delbert Groves saw the need to train and raise up more church members in evangelism. Many church members were learning about how to grow in their own faith but were not learning how to effectively share the Gospel with others.
During one of the Holy Spirit Encounters Pastor Blake Lorenz gave a challenge to the congregation for those that were called to evangelism to come forward. He was expecting a couple people to come forward and when 57 people came forward, we had a great start for an evangelism team!
The New Life Center (NLC) has hosted two Evangelism Trainings to specifically meet this growing need. We are seeing these believers go out and multiply themselves as the Bible commands us to do! We hope to continue this important training.
Several years ago, the NLC organized a small Holy Spirit Encounter conference in Mwinilunga, an area in the northwest region of Zambia, with Pastor Blake Lorenz as the main speaker. One of our UMC pastors in that area attended and was so inspired by the teachings that he told his local chief, Chief Kanyama, about Blake and the conference. This led to an invitation being extended to Blake to speak at the Kanyama Rain Festival.
Originally it was a pagan festival asking the gods for rain for the year. Chief Kanyama decided to change the focus of this festival. As a Christian, he began to use the festival to honor and thank the one true God for the rains. He wanted it to become a time of evangelism and revival. The gifts the people brought for the festival – food, money, blankets, etc. – are later given to the hospitals, clinics, and the needy in their community.
Along with Rev. Delbert Groves, Rev. Charles Mulemena, Rev. Greyson Mwahila, and Evangelist Shadrick Shabate, Pastor Blake Lorenz attended his first Rain Festival in Kanyama to share the Gospel in the days leading up to the Rain Festival and on the day of the festival itself. He has attended almost every year since to be a part of this event. Other church leaders from around the world and from Zambia have attended with Blake throughout the years. We have seen tremendous blessings and revival in this area as God is working. There are now other Chiefs in the surrounding areas that are seeing the difference of what God is doing in people’s lives and their communities and have asked for these teachings to come to their areas as well.