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.