Zambia 2018

The Great Fisherman

His name is Mwamba.  He is a fisherman who lives on Crocodile Island, just off shore in Lake Tanganyika in northern Zambian.  Like many fishermen struggling to feed their families, Mwamba had heard the witch doctors teach that to increase their harvest it was permissible to sacrifice a family member so that their dead spirit would chase the fish towards their nets.  Unlike many fishermen, Mwamba didn’t take the bait. He chose instead to place his faith in the One Great Fisherman, Jesus Christ, whom he’d learned about from Kelvin and his wife Florence who are Zambian missionaries to the island.

Kelvin and Florence, who came to our Ministry Leaders Training, were so happy to introduce us to Mwamba and some of their other disciples during a visit to Crocodile Island after our training. Fishermen are some of the hardest people to reach because so many live with the guilt of their terrible sin. So, it was nice to meet Mwamba and pray with this young group of disciples who are reaching out to the other 3,000 residents on this small arid island. Mwamba is in the back row center.

It was a great joy for Shepherds’ Support to return to the nation of Zambia. Christopher and Lorrin Kasale were with us in April, 2017, for our African Leaders Conference and we greatly enjoyed partnering with them in their home country. The training hosted a group of 42 ministry leaders in the small northern town of Mbala. Their disciple-making ministries take them to remote villages where witchcraft, fear and insecurity still dominate the culture. However, the power of the Gospel message of Christ’s love is transforming lives from the darkness into His Kingdom of light. Our conference theme rightly focused on our Identity in Christ and our transformed life as believers.

Pastor Don Erickson and his wife, Claudia, joined our teaching team and led sessions each morning in a study of Paul´s letter to the Colossians. We found that it was very appropriate for the culture and circumstances that these men and women face every day.

We enjoyed many conversations throughout the week and heard lots of positive comments from the participants.  Here are a few:

Rachael comments on the impact of the training, “I was feeling very frustrated and irritated about many things in my life and this came out on my children and husband. This retreat has answered many of my questions.  I’m going back healed and stress free. My marriage will become better and I am going to be more effective in ministry.  Thank you and bless you.” 

“I really thank God for allowing you to come to Zambia and teach us a lot of things about marriage and the Word of God.Seeing how Jesus is all and in all things.I have learnt to love, respect and value my wife and to use the Word of God correctly when teaching others.” – Laban

“I am thanking God for all the people who planned and gave anything for this gathering. I have learned how I should run my home and how I can take care of my husband.I have also learnt to study the Word and share it accordingly.God bless you all.” – Evelyn

Marvin shared that as he was reflecting on a vision statement for he and his wife, he looked at how God had designed the man and women to multiply (Genesis 1:12).  He commented, “I see our purpose in multiplication as more than just biological.  We are also meant to multiply our God given knowledge, gifts, resources and the Gospel  into the lives of others.”  In many ways, he summed up one of our passions at Shepherds’ Support – a belief that we have been blessed to be a blessing to others.

Pastor Rick addressed some of the challenges that pastors and wives face together in the ministry.  He also taught on some complimentary themes regarding perseverance, abiding to finish well and our identity in Christ.

This was the first time that many of the couples had been to a conference together and they were anxious to improve their marriage skills.  Diana and Rick taught some key tools for marriage (common vision, conflict resolution and communication skills).

It is always hard for us to adequately express how dependent we are on your prayer for us and how much we appreciate your partnership.  We clearly communicate at each training that there is a group praying for them and that this is a gift from God supplied through the faithful and generous hearts and hands of Kingdom-minded partners.  Knowing that God has raised up others whom they do not even know to bless them in this way is very meaningful for them.

Thank you!

And the Shepherds’ Support Board: Steve and Connie Troxel,
David and Beth Butler, Lannie and Melba Green, Jack and Nancy Shirley,Sid and Zane Williams

How you can continue praying for us:
1. Pray for the pastors to accurately teach the Word of God, starting with Colossians.
2. Pray that God would lead Chris to help each participant follow through with the commitments made during the training.
3. Pray for these leaders as they mentor younger believers and teach them what they have learned about marriage and ministry.
4. Pray for our preparations for our next training conference.

 Interview with Chris Kasale

Zambia Ministry Leaders Conference Review