A landmark bid by African Enterprise to spark a repeat of the great Lusaka Christian revival of 1980 gets under way in the Zambian capital on November 4.
Some 1500 leaders representing every facet of Zambian life, including politicians, lawyers, doctors, academics, police and the military, have been invited to a series of gospel gatherings designed to bring greater understanding of God’s word and the vital role it can play in giving new hope to the Zambian people.
More than 200 churches are also taking part.
The mission, running from November 7 to 11, has particular significance because it comes during a period of increased political tension in Zambia.
Some activists continue the question the legitimacy of the national government in the wake of last year’s general election, and more recently an opposition leader has been charged with treason.
African Enterprise international mission director Emmanuel Kwizera says: “This means we will need God’s guidance and favour as we seek to bring our leaders around the preaching of the gospel.
“Zambia truly needs a touch of the living God and the transforming power of His work among its leadership today”.
Bishop Joseph Imakando, head of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, which is organising the mission, has fond memories of the 1980 one.
“It transformed many lives and revitalised the church in this city”, he says.
Organisers seek prayer that day-to-day running of the mission will go as planned, that there will be a very strong and representative response from invited leaders, and that those who attend the meetings will put aside political differences as they listen to God’s word.
Story written by Mike Heard, AE Volunteer.
Head to our Missions page for more details.
Esnart lost both her parents at 13 and was devastated. After they died, she would constantly reflect on how she’d been unruly and not loved them properly. Thankfully, Esnart was taken in by a family who looked after her physical needs, but more importantly, told her about Jesus. They prayed for her and, after some time, she seriously committed her life to the Lord!
God has held on to Esnart. Today, at 38, Esnart is a matron at the AE Malawi Women’s Tailoring Project in Lilopngwe. At this vocational training centre, which she learned tailoring skills as a younger woman, she now trains others. Here’s how it happened.
In 2004/05, Esnart was a student in the AE tailoring course, enrolled there by her foster family. Because of her spirit of commitment, her teaching strengths and her counselling abilities, she was asked to join the AE staff as a matron.
Today, her job includes stocking provisions for each course, cooking meals for students, organising schedules and caring for the spiritual welfare of the women throughout their tailoring training.
At the beginning of each course she encourages those who are not yet Christians to receive Christ as their Saviour. Esnart becomes their mentor, mother-figure and friend.
“I do this at the beginning, so that we all walk together in the Lord. We study the Bible, learning from God’s word for spiritual growth. When a woman has a problem I help her through counselling and praying with her. If the issue is too big for me, I consult our AE Missions Director at AE to assist further.”
She loves her work, but it is not without challenges. Whenever a student gets sick, Esnart is the one who takes care of her.
“Sometimes there are disobedient women. Often women come from vulnerable backgrounds and arrive with very little, so we share, even down to small things like a tablet of soap!”
Though all the women are Malawian, they come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and it is Esnart’s task to unite them to be one family. She says,
“What matters most, is to teach them to be strong, to persevere and to be united, despite their cultural differences.”
African Enterprise has taught Esnart many things.
“AE has sharpened me. I have learnt patience, and grown spiritually. I have become better equipped to care and serve using Jesus as a model. While I serve these women through catering, prayer and teaching of God’s word, my spiritual life has grown also. Praise the Lord for the wisdom and grace He has given me.”
*Image from Malawi project, not Esnart.
In its 15 year history, the AE Ethiopia Student Discipleship Programme (SDP) has seen more than 200,000 students pass through its life changing classrooms. It has been instrumental in changing the spiritual life of children and youth. SDP is Bible centred, youth focussed, age graded, syllabus based, and church partnered. AE Team Leader Mel Mesfin gives this summary:
- Aim: Spiritual formation of the next generation
- Goal: Building a strong and healthy church.
- Focus: Christian students of Grade 5 and upwards
Here are just two of the thousands of lives touched by this Gospel project.
Binyam joined the SDP in 2009 and attended for two consecutive years before going to college. After finishing his studies he joined his church as youth ministry coordinator. These are his reflections:
“The two rounds of discipleship program were like climbing into a new height in life. The courses helped me understand the basics of Christian faith. They have impacted me positively so much so that I have been drawn to church ministry in serving the youth.
After I finished college I wanted to reconnect with AE and start a discipleship programme in my local church. I have been coordinating the program over last three years. In each round we enrolled more than 160 students!
AE is filling the teaching gap that the church has not been able to give enough attention. I have seen Christ at work in this ministry. I am deeply impacted and want to pursue youth discipleship for my whole life.
Fruit bearing trees take a long time to germinate, grow and bear fruit. This AE programme is the same. It may take some time before much fruit is seen – but be assured that it will definitely bear much fruit as it has done in my own life. So, take heart and pursue discipling the next generation in the Way of Christ. May God bless AE.”
Zekarias is one of “the first fruits’ of the students discipleship programme (SDP). He is from Ambo city, 120 km west of Addis.
“When I was in Grade 8, I attended the SDP (some 10 years ago). I am now doing masters degree in university.
I found the lessons such as ‘How to study the Bible’ and ‘Evangelism’ to be very instructive. As a result of attending the SDP, I am now involved in church mission work and regularly travel to various places for evangelistic outreach. In addition, I taught two SDP courses in my church this summer of 2016.
I am grateful to God for such an eye-opening and nurturing programme. I would also like to thank AE for the amazing impact it is making on the future generations. I would like to work with AE to expand the program to many cities in my area.”