We just returned from our first trip to Nambaaza!! Wow! What a trip! God has gone before us in ways we could never have expected. We are awed by His provision and power. Let me share with you what we experienced and how God has been working in Nambaaza. There is way too much to share it all, but I'll give you the highlights.
I can't adequately express to you are joy at being reunited with our Zambian friends in Nambaaza. There were hugs, laughter, smiles, and tears. We are so thankful for a loving reception. We stopped at the headman's house on our way to the farm we were going to be staying on for the weekend. When I got out of the car at the headman's house I heard a scream and I was instantly swept up in a hug from Theresa Hanakoma. Those of you who have seen our presentation will remember that God used Theresa to take the gospel to Nambaaza. She is very dear to my heart and it was so wonderful to see her again. The headman was very surprised at the affection and friendship we had already developed in Nambaaza. God has chosen to give us favor in the headman's eyes and we were blessed by our time with him this weekend.
We met with Chief Shenzongo on Saturday. Much prayer and preparation had gone into this visit. About three years ago the Chief had given land to our ministry to be developed in Nambaaza. Because the Chambers were the only ones here in Zambia at that time little more than a church has been built on the property. We had been hearing that the Chief was getting frustrated with the lack of development and was threatening to take away the land he had given us and revoke his invitation to work in his area. It was intimidating going into our meeting knowing that he was already displeased with us. We prayed and discussed with the Zambian believers the things we should say and do while we were in the Chief's presence. When we got there the first thing the Chief said to us was that we are very slow in doing things. Talk about an introduction!!! Jamie humbly asked if he could share with the Chief all we had been doing in the last two years to try to return to Zambia as soon as possible and the many hindrances we have encountered in the last two years. The Chief listened with much understanding and surprise at all that has happened. In the end he said that he was humbled by our explanation and realized there was more to what was required of us than he had originally thought. He said that once our house is constructed in Nambaaza he would like to personally come and survey the land. If at that point he decides we need more land he would grant it to us. He said we are welcome here and he believes that our presence in Nambaaza "will chase the devil away". God went before us in the presence of the Chief and granted us favor in his eyes. It was an enormous answer to prayer.
On Sunday we attended Kaponde Baptist Church in Nambaaza. There is no pastor, but the believers meet together on Sunday to read God's word together. Jamie shared with the adults for Sunday school one of the lessons from New Tribes missions. Then Pastor Arthur preached the main service. After singing songs together before Sunday school Pastor Arthur announced that I was going to be taking the children. It was a complete surprise to me! I had no idea what to do. Thankfully Pastor Arthur's wife, Beatrice, was with me. She told me that the children typically memorize scripture and then learn from the bible. I asked what scriptures they had memorized and none of them knew any. Beatrice went over John 3:16 with the children until they remembered it very well. I then asked if they knew what that verse meant. They had no idea. So I asked Who God is. They had no idea. Jesus? No idea. OKAY... I had a lot of explaining to do. God provided me a wonderful opportunity to share with these children a God Who loves them more than anything and sacrificed His Son for their sins. Then I again had an unexpected opportunity to teach the children during the main service. We started with the days of creation and they just loved it. Then we went outside to look for things that God has made. One boy said God had made the dirt. I asked what the dirt did. He said it grows food for them to eat. I was able to explain how God provides for them. The trees provided fire and shade for them. The birds produce eggs and meat for them. They were amazed that God would love and provide for them. God burdened my heart so much for these dear children.
Please pray for the people of Nambaaza. God is working there in wonderful ways and we are blessed beyond understanding to be a tiny part of it. The people of Nambaaza need our prayers and encouragement.
Thank you for all your prayers for this trip. The Chief has asked us to return before the rains to show the Jesus Film in his village. We will be going back in a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving to show this movie to them. Please pray that God would be going ahead of us again and working in the hearts and lives of the people. Please pray that everything would work out for this trip. There are a lot of technicalities involved from the generator and sound system, to the rains that are coming slowly. We are excited to see all that God is going to do and blessed to share it with you.
I'll post pictures from our trip soon.