Time to bring everyone up to date…. It has been busy times in Zambia with the New Life Center ministries. As soon a Sandy and I returned to Zambia it was all about getting ready for the Holy Spirit Encounter gathering. All hands were on deck working around the clock. Over the last fourteen years the annual HSE gathering has been one of the highlights of the year! And this year definitely was one of the best. Rev Charles Mulemena (NLC Director) was able to receive a small grant from the Global Ministries of Evangelism office. This allowed transport money for new pastors to come and participate from the far reaching areas of Zambia. There were at least a hundred new faces at the HSE! There was even a choir from D.R.Congo that came and lead us in worship…wow! We had four special speakers this year that worked so well together. Rev Blake Lorenz, Rev Scott George, Rev Ken Suckling, and Rev. Robert Kilembo (our Zambian Assistant Bishop).
In Hebrews 10:24-25 Paul reminds us…
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
These verses sum up what the Holy Spirit Encounter is all about. Our dear Zambian pastors and church leaders sacrifice so much to be the pioneers as we build the foundation of this young UMC Zambian Conference. The living situation for most pastors is very difficult. The church families live in impoverished settings. To taken an offering for our pastors can be a real challenge. They need to be encouraged and reminded how important their calling really is. They need to know that they are loved, not only by God, but also by their co-workers in ministry. All of them have challenges. Many, over the years, have said to me personally, “I was ready to just quit. I’m so glad the HSE is here to keep me focused to do the work God has for me”. Many tell me, “Please tell all those that support this HSE gathering thank you!”
Each year we strive to put printed materials in everyone’s hands to take home. This is so very important. Rev George brought one of his books he wrote and the pastors LOVED it! A dear printer friend of mine, Rich Beattle, in Winter Park, Florida at American Heritage Press printed and gave the work-booklets that Rev. Lorenz taught from. Little things like these become big blessings to our pastors and leaders for years to come. Thank you!
One of the highlights of this year was a call for people to become “Messengers of Hope” to be trained to share that Jesus is returning. There were 41 people that came forward. They will be added with others that have been trained in evangelism. There are now over 150 people being trained. We believe God is calling us to open a “School of Evangelism”. That will be held here at NLC in the near future and hopefully grow throughout Zambia. This is something for you to pray about. It will be intense training for a month each year. The training will include how to… share your personal testimony, develop a strong private prayer life, develop a strong bible study life, public speaking skills, one-on-one witnessing, praying with another person, comforting someone on their death bed, praying for healing, discipling, mentoring… and much more. These areas of evangelism are really something that everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness of their sin needs to know how to do….amen!
We also traveled to Malawi for a crusade and distributing of PET bikes. I have already sent something out about that from Rev. Blake Lorenz. It was a great time and we’ve seen God’s hand at work in so many ways!
Sandy traveled with another work team from Faith UMC out of Ft. Myers, Florida. They took part in the HSE, but also came to work on their “Sister Church”. I’ll send more on that in a few days. What a special group and special ministry they were to Zambia…. Thank you!
I’ll stop here… enjoy the pictures! They don’t tell the whole story, but they help to give you a window into what you and God are doing in Zambia! You are loved!!
Delbert & Sandy and the NLC Staff