Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I arrived at the seminary today to begin working on a M.A. in Intercultural Studies. It is an incredible opportunity to study missions along side African brothers and sisters who are out there doing the work of the kingdom. I am bit overwhelmed at the work load that lies ahead, but excited about what might come from it.
More and more here in Zambia I feel like I have far more to learn from Africans than I have to give them. With the struggles they face and the obstacles they overcome to start churches or to reach the lost in their community they truly seem to me to be giants in the faith. They seem like modern Paul’s and Barnabas’s and next to them I sort of feel like that cow we almost ran into today who couldn’t seem to distinguish between our 4x4 going 70 miles an hour and its own dear mother.
There are something like 20,000 pages of reading sitting on my desk right now, so I need to end this. First, let me add that my wonderful, sweet, wife Paula is in Lusaka this week – unable to make the trip as she is pregnant with our first child. She’s probably working harder than she should, probably not feeling as good as she would like, but she’s undoubtedly missed more than she knows. It will be a long month.
Remember, love deeply.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
It has been a busy week here. We had a former professor of mine from college, Daniel McNaughton, visiting this week and he taught a seminar on starting new churches. It was great stuff.
As often happens to me here, throughout the week I was challenged by nearly everything the Zambians did and said. One guy told of how he had planted 100 churches in about a 12 year period. He started when he came to Christ at the age of 18, and then immediately wondered if his mother, who died giving birth to him, had ever heard the Gospel. He decided he needed to go his home village and start a church there. He did, and the church was a success, and soon neighboring villages were asking him to start churches there because they saw a dramatic change in peoples lives. In 12 years this guy started 100 new churches in as many villages.
I thought about what things I had started in the last 12 years.
Not much. A few arguments. A lot of books. Many of them still unfinished. I’ve probably started 100 crossword puzzles. Not sure if I’ve ever finished one.
This guy started 100 churches.
Another guy talked about how when he was first starting out in ministry he prayed and fasted – FIVE days a week, for TWO YEARS! He said he only ate on weekends in order to have enough energy to preach.
I was expressing to another Zambian pastor how amazed I was at that, and he looked at me rather puzzled and said, “In Zambia you must fast a lot if you are going to overcome the spiritual attacks you face.” He then added, “I fast 22 days.”
“Wow. 22 days a year is a lot,” I said.
“No. 22 days a month,” he replied.
Friday, April 11, 2008
This is Brian’s story.
He pastors a small church just up the road from where we live in the small town of
Shortly after he arrived, the pastors of these two churches showed up at his home in the middle of the night, demanding to know who he was and what he was doing in town. It seemed they were threatened by his presence; probably afraid he would take members from their churches.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
One of the biggest adjustments to life in
I want them to know that they have let me down, and I want them to know that they are inefficient and that they should invest in a calendar or a watch or a sundial or something. And here in