Wednesday, 2 October 2013

General monthly UPDATE (written by Sydney)

RELOCATION – Lusaka to Mpika
Despite the delays we encountered in Lusaka before our departure, nonetheless; we travelled well despite the tire burst we experienced within Lusaka, which delayed us further.
When on our way, after driving for over 5hours; we had a near accident. The scenario was; there were about 3 Trucks in front of us; and since our viewing range was quite limited due to the trucks, there was a big stone right in the middle of the road which we couldn’t see. Thus we drove on it. We lost a bit of control on the vehicle, but finally managed to stop. The Car’s tire developed a bump as a result of the impact. Inspite of that, we managed to drive till Mpika. We arrived a little bit late in the night, by 10:30Pm. Upon arrival, we were received by one of the active member of our Church, and he took us to our lodging.
Our sending Church – LBC arranged our temporal accommodation at a lodge were we were supposed to live for 3months. This was done, to buy time for the house under construction to get completed. And since the lodge was expensive yet very small chalet was not spacious enough to contain our property once it came. We therefore resolved to move into the temporal house I showed or mentioned of during the time I gave a report on Mpika and accommodation @ GCBC as well as GBC in Indiana (I am sure Katryn has sent or uploaded some picture of Facebook Or check Kat’s blog for details).
Despite all these eventualities, we are settling in well. Though the water challenges still lingers, although the need is being met twice per-week, because the Church member is fetching water for us on Wednesdays & Fridays.
Besides that; the work of ministry is up and running. Though there is much to work on and organize. There are many dysfunctional ministries, uncommitted members needing encouraging, the sick needing consolation and many other Church related challenges needing my attention. But nonetheless, we are excited to be a part of what God is doing and is going to do thru our feeble efforts.
On the Lord’s day; I am preaching thru the beatitudes morning services. I am doing a series I have called: – “The necessary attitudes for Kingdom citizenship” – from Matt. 5:3-12. Then the afternoon services, we have continued our study thru Acts. 2:42-47 – on “Orthodox Christianity”. Over and above, the response has so far been quite encouraging.
I held the first meeting with the deacons the other Saturday. I had an encouraging time with these precious brothers – Mr. Laket Mulenga & Mr. Kenneth Kapesa. Unfortunately, we could not finish going thru the agenda, thus we had meet on Tuesday last week at 6:20pm to finish up the remaining pointers. Of which we did. Besides that, I have commenced a mentorship corner for the deacons. In that, I have assigned books to each deacon to read about the Church and Leadership. And every time we have staff meetings the last Saturday of every month, we will be discussing each book’s chapter in response. The books are: “The Trellis and the Vine” – by Tony Payne & “Exemplary leadership” – by Jerry Wragg. I am also studying along thru Don Fortner’s book called – ‘The Church of God”. My aim is to develop and sustain the culture of reading with the leadership.
Last week Friday, Katryn met with the ladies with a view of getting to know the ladies of the church, and if possible plan for a ladies book study (Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges) for the days to come. Of which the ladies have welcomed Kat’s proposal. Therefore she has already prepared and given them (ladies) the hand-outs, and they are going to be meeting next coming Friday [more updates from Kat concerning this]
Last Saturday, I also met the leaders of various Church ministries. This was so essentially, with the purpose of getting to know them, to encourage them for their faithful services they rendered over the past years. As part of the agenda, I hopped to assess if there are certain functional ministries which can be resuscitated before this year ends. If not, then our objective plan were to have all the ministries commenced by next year January, and therefore, devote the time between now and December to training up ministry leaders. But secondly, because the ministries can only run properly once scheduled for, we want to come up with a year calendar, since currently there hasn’t been none.
I also wanted to inquire of the causes that have made the Church ministries to crumble to the ground, the state of lifelessness; devoid of vitality (within the Church and the community. I desired to establish the ultimate reason/s that has led the Church on the path of downgrade. And by identifying the deficiencies and concertedly as a Church, to look at finding the way forward in establishing a health Church, though not perfect. Thus to accomplish this agenda, I proposed to start doing a book study on leadership by Al Mohler – ‘The Conviction to lead’ – with the ministry leaders. And we later on resolved that if we were to do a book study with not only the ministry leaders but the Church membership at large, then; why not resume the Home Fellowship Groups? And the idea was widely and hastily welcomed.
Thus, on Sunday I met with men that have led the HFG before in their respectable homes. I inquired of them if recommencing the HFG in their areas was such a fine idea; and it was affirmative. And that is something my wife and I are thankful to the Lord for.
So, the HFGs are resuming next week Wednesday @ 5:30pm. We will be doing a series study on – The Doctrine of God. The reason for this study, is to help the Church awaken a sense of awe concerning God in the hearts, so that we may be taken back to the first love, by developing a deeper knowledge of Him; the knowledge that will find its expression by building a well-founded Christian worldview around God; leading to effective evangelism as well as improving our private and corporate worship. This also is something you can be praying with us for.
There other exciting thing again is; I will also be conducting a somewhat leadership Mutual-mentorship with the HFG leaders, yet we will all be participating in teaching/mentoring one another. This is purported for the equipping of the leaders as well as creating a platform for developing a culture of reading just as– “Iron sharpens Iron, so a man sharpens another…” – Prov. 27:17. This mutual-mentorship program begins on the 12th of October, 2013; where I will give a somewhat keynote study of the book. This program will be running middle-week of every month.
To accomplish this task, we will each be taking turns, by reading a chapter or two. And then whenever we meet, the leader for the apportioned day would have read the portion of the book beforehand; glean some lessons and study questions from the book to share with the group. Therefore, for us to ensure the smooth running of this program, I will draw up a schedule and a basic study guide for each chapter for the leaders to use.
On the other flip side of the coin, week before last Saturday morning, after our Church morning prayer meeting; Katryn attended the literacy class. And there she took noted some challenging needs the ministry is going thru, in terms of staff and material for both the kids and the teachers. We are trying thus to organize the necessary materials for the 1st thru the 5th graders as the Lord leads.
Therefore, after all these, where we are currently with respect to our settlement; Kat and I are daring to build relational bridges with the church membership and ease in in stabilizing the Church.
We are also thankful to God, that the first Sunday thru to last week, we recorded a larger attendance of about 50 people in our morning service. The other Sunday and the Sunday that followed, we were about 35-46 in attendance. And what that means is that; the chairs were just about enough for the attendees, the Hymnals were a challenge also because they are not enough.
The immediate need we are currently facing is the completion of the sanctuary. As a Church, beginning last year, we have raised half the money for the roofing. And the rains are commencing by next month. And considering the measure/size of the old sanctuary is growing smaller and smaller each day that passes. And the fact that the HFGs are starting next week, that will certainly encourage neighborhood evangelism, which will in turn bring about many people into the Church. Please would you pray with us in this vein.
We are thankful to the Lord for the financial support we received from one our sister Churches from Lusaka, given toward the building. You can rejoice with us.
We also want to thank God for the attempts we made last Sunday to preach in English/Bemba. Though it was hard the dare, yet it was worth it. Continue praying that the Lord may grant His servant who preaches to be simple and clear in speech, that the gospel will continue being delivered concisely thru the demonstration of the Spirit’s power to bring about salvation.
But overall, we are so grateful to God for entrusting us with this work of ministry. And in all these things we have nothing to say but only to ascribe glory to Him, and Him alone?
Lastly join in with us, as Katryn and I stand indebted to Lusaka Baptist Church brethren and the eldership for this rare opportunity they have granted to us to serve the Lord here in Mpika, for the sanctification of the saints and salvation of the sinners, all to His glory.

May He alone reward all of you graciously – LBC; GCBC & GBC – abundantly as it seems befitting to Him.

Prayer items:
  • The Lord to calm our hearts (Kat and I) as we labor among these dear ones
  • Pray for me, that I may be faithful in leading God’s flock
  • Pray that the Lord would knit our hearts as a Church
  • Remembers us as EBC with the meetings scheduled in this month as we strive to build a health and functional Christian community:
      • Staff meeting
      • Katryn’s meeting with the Ladies that God would be gracious to them even as they focus on the future-state of ladies fellowship
      • My meetings with: HFG leaders for mentorship; each month with the deacons as we do book review that God would be honored in using our feeble efforts to build his Church; Church member needing husbandry counseling. In, thru all these strivings, the Lord God would give us wisdom even as we will be seeking to establish all the Church ministries.
  • Pulpit ministry, that the preaching would be clear and convicting, leading to repentance those that sit under the charge of the gospel
  • Pray for stability of the church
  • For God’s wisdom on how to go about the Vernacular service as we have already attempted
  • Pray for our accommodation that it would be ready by the proposed time (1st Dec. 2013)
  • Pray for the Church building requiring financial support. We’ve raised half the money for the roof. But we desire to furnish the entire building soon if the Lord wills.

1 comment:

  1. Always a joy to see what the Lord is doing there and how He is using you. Praying for you:-) Prebo