We are always asked by different people, “What is your daily routine like?” To be honest, that’s a very hard question to answer because, depending on the time of the year and season (wet or dry), it will change. However, one thing that never changes in full time mission service is the need to be ready. Bishop Wakadilo, the first bishop we severed under in 1991 in Zaire / D.R.Congo, said to us, “You are now missionaries. You should be prepared to do three things at a moment’s notice…. to preach, to pray, and to die. Not much has changed from those instructions over the last 20 years, because no matter what time of the year it is, we stay ready to do whatever God has for us at a moment’s notice.
What I would like to do is to give you a picture of what I mean by what has happened in the last two months at a moment’s notice!
Just one week after having the National Youth Conference, Aug 15th (click here), we had three wonderful ladies here from Heritage UMC in Clearwater, Florida. They were Marsha Mullet, Jean Kendra, and Nancy Harrington. They came to work with the “Kid’s Bible Camp” and the women of Grace UMC in Kamatipa. They did an amazing job with over 200 kids from the different villages, churches, and orphanages in the area. It was also a very special time for all of us as the women from Grace UMC brought a friend and had a great time of fellowship. It’s wonderful to see children fall in love with Jesus and give their lives to Him. This is the third time Heritage has sent a team over to Zambia. Digging the foundation and preparing to build Grace UMC was what two of these ladies worked on last year and it was wonderful to see their Sister Church built and being used for worship and other weekly events.
Then, a container filled with bales of used clothing came in. These bales of clothing are to be used to help our pastors, pastor’s widows, and their families. We have been asking for sponsorship to help with a match gift so our pastors can get started in this new ministry enterprise. It has been wonderful to see the way it’s changing their lives and their homes. We thank God for everyone that has been helping with this sponsorship match gift. We still need more sponsors to help with this, if you are interested. The story about this new enterprise even ran in the Florida UMC Conference newsletter and also posted our website (click here).
Then we had our dear friends from the Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF), Dennis McLain, Bob Dubose, Neal Cheek, and Chris Hash for a few days. GCF has helped us for years with the PET Handicap Bike ministry and the GCF Global Learning labs. We thank God for GCF. While they were here we were able to travel to Ndola and gave out 40 PETs to those in need at the Zambian Association for the Disabled. PET Zambia partners with a number of different organizations in Zambia to help us find those in need. This ministry helps so many people each year and we thank each of you that stand with this ministry. We are still building 50 or more PETs each month thanks to your partnership.
After that, Sandy and I traveled to the far North East corner of Zambia to Kasama, Mbala and Mpulungu. We will be building a Sister Church in Kasama the first of next year. The old mud church they are trying to worship in has been condemned by the City Council. We needed to go see the church site and talk with the Pastor and District Superintendent. While in that area we visited a few waterfalls. Zambia has 21 waterfalls throughout the country. We have only seen about 3 of them. Sandy has become quite the photographer over the years. One day she might publish a book of the sites “scene” by her in Africa. Also, while we were up in that area, Zambia had their Presidential Elections. Once again Zambia has a new President, Mr. Sata. We thank God for the peaceful way the country ran their elections. We’ve seen so many problems with presidential elections while we lived in Congo. It’s a joy to be live in a country of peace!
I, Delbert, have been a traveling preacher each Sunday to all the different churches in the Nkana district. This is one of the joys I have personally as a missionary. They love having me come and I love going. I get to see first hand how the church is growing. I hear about their concerns as a church and meet one on one with the pastors. I get to pray with them and even lay hands on them and ask God to Baptize them in the Holy Spirit and heal the lives of the churches and the bodies, physically and spiritually, of each person. I get to see God at work in ways that words can’t really explain. I want you to know, God is at work right here, right now. This is the real stuff that is making all the difference for the future of the church and communities in Zambia.
NOW… let me add this right here too. Many people say to me, “I really admire what you and Sandy are doing in Africa and the sacrifice you have been making”. I thank everyone that says that because there are times it has been incredibly hard for us. However, the ones you and I should really admire are the ones we can’t hold a candle to. They are our African pastors and their families. You can’t imagine the kind of hardship they live with. Poverty, hunger, sickness, and death are something they live with each day. The church congregations can’t take care of them like they should because they too don’t have the ways and means. I ask myself all the time, why in the world do our pastors keep pressing on in the ministry? They could go find better ways to make a living. When I ask them about this, the response is always the same…”God will take care of us. He has called us to this time and place”. I don’t just admire them, I stand in awe of them. And Sandy and I will do all that we can to stand side by side with them, asking and begging God to lead us all in ministry until we see Him face to face.
NOW, one last thing that’s fresh in my mind… Starting Oct. 5th until yesterday Oct.20th , we traveled all over the far North West area of Zambia holding crusades in Mwinilunga, Zambezi, Kabompo and Chililabombwe. Evangelist Blake Lorenz was here for the second time this year. Blake has accepted the position from our young Provisional United Methodist Conference as our Conference Evangelist. We thank God for the commitment and vision God has given him. Blake has been helping our young conference for over ten years now. As we traveled we also had a team of Zambian Evangelists with us, Charles, Grayson, Shadreck, and David. What a team of mighty men of God !
There were a sea of people, both day and night, that heard the good news of Christ Jesus and hundreds of them gave their lives to Him. Many were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and many were touched by the healing hand of God!
One of the highlights of these crusades was an invitation given to us to come to Chief KANYAMA MAKANDA-KANDA’s Palace in the Mwinilunga district. Each year at this time they have a special tribal Rain Festival for “praying for the rains”. This was a four-day event and they asked us to come with our evangelism team and hold a crusade at the festival. The ceremony of bringing in their offering was a wonderful sight to see. It is their way of saying thank you to God for the bumper crops they received this year. This turned out to be one of the greatest opened doors in ministry I have even seen. For changing, not only the hearts of people at the festival, but also for changing the course of many of the 200 plus Chiefdoms in Zambia in the years to come. Much can be said about this, in fact I could write a book about it. God is truly doing something new and unknown. Chief Kanyama is a true man of God and wants his people to follow Jesus Christ and to be completely Baptized in the Holy Spirit. His speech at the festival was a Historical speech. I was given a copy of it, a must read… (click here).
The crusade at ZAMBEZI was also another wonderful time. Again, many gave their lives to Christ and saw His hands at work. We met with the pastors and leaders of that district and had long conversations about all that God has done and will do in the future. This has been a district filled with disappointments and confusion over the last few years. It was good to talk with everyone and hear their voice of concern and renew their vision with hope in God alone.
Zambezi is also home to the United Methodist’s “Lord’s Mountain Orphanage” that was founded by Rev. Bernard Yav and his lovely wife Betty. They are missionaries from the D.R.Congo. What a blessing it was to see all that God has done over the last few years. They are serving and have been parents to about 40 children for over ten years now. I’m hoping to travel with Bernard to the US next year so you can meet him and hear about the vision for the orphanage and what God is doing in Zambezi....wow !
The crusade at KABOMPO was just outstanding as well. Again, many were saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit and healed. This had to be like it was in the day of Pentecost. Kabompo is where a Sister Church was built earlier this year. They should have it completed by the end of this year. To see how God can use a small church structure to bring spiritual renewal, as well as just telling the old-old story of Jesus and His love, is wonderfully amazing! I have the best job in the world ! You can read more about the Kabompa sister church (click here).
We came back home to the NAKANA district in time to hold Sunday services, morning & evening, at St. Andrews UMC (another sister church) in CHILILABOMBWE. Thank you Jesus for all we have seen You do.
Then, Wednesday and Thursday of this week we were here at the New Life Center. We held a gathering of the 54 Evangelists we have been training and had a special training time for them. These men & women are sold out for Jesus. They can preach and lead anyone to Christ if they are willing to hear about Him. They are also traveling around weekly and helping our pastors in the local churches. There are great plans to visit each United Methodist Church in Zambia. They are even starting new congregations and churches. We closed our training session by anointing each evangelist with oil. Our Assistant Bishop, Rev. Kilembo, came and helped with this special service. I’m telling you, it was wonderful! We took a map of Zambia and had each evangelist stand on it as we anointed them. The power of God was over all of us! I thank God for what I see happening in Zambia. I thank you for being a part of this through your prayers, investments, and your service. May God just anoint you with His love and leading. It’s our prayer that your life will be changed because of what God is doing in Zambia!
I know this was a long one, but hopefully it meant something to you. I’ll close with a prayer request... Sandy and I will be traveling to Florida for the holidays. Please keep us in prayer for our special time with family and friends. We need a break and a time of rest….
We know that the season of Holidays are just around the corner. We want to wish all of you God’s very best as we Thank God for giving us His Love in the only way He could, through Christ Jesus our Savior. As we all look into the unknown future of 2012 we pray that each of you are ready to experience God in a new way. As for Delbert & Sandy, we are ready at a moment’s notice !
We love each one of you…
Delbert & Sandy