We are thankful to the Lord for his upholding grace. It has been an extraordinarily hot, humid month, and at times we have felt drained. But I am very encouraged by the tremendous work undertaken by our church elders at Lusaka Baptist Church, Zambia.
We now have four elders and it is my joy to work alongside them. They are devoted to the great doctrines of God’s free and sovereign grace, and are men of grace and maturity who love the souls of the Lord’s people and are leaders in evangelism.
The deacons also are highly committed brethren who shoulder many responsibilities in the church. I feel extremely privileged to work alongside these office-bearers.
The university and colleges have re-opened following extended closure during the elections. The church now has accommodation problems on Sunday mornings, and has ordered 100 more chairs from South Africa, to squeeze in somewhere.
We really do need a bigger church building and are working towards that. I am told that, on the Sunday before last, people were actually queuing to get in, as the stewards tried to find room for them by persuading people to sit closer together on the pews!
We are pleased with the response from the university students. Several have now become church members and others are preparing for baptism.
We are encouraged too by our Wednesday evening meeting on campus. Last week there were nearly 40 students and I was speaking on ‘Where is God when it hurts?’ This week they were discussing how to handle stress.
Our Young People’s Fellowships meets on Saturday afternoons in three groups. The juniors (below teenage) sometimes have over 100 children attending.
The inters (secondary school age) have about 30, mostly young people from church families. I am very pleased with the devotion of the leaders of this group. It is basically two hours of teaching and discussion, with refreshments, held outside under some trees.
The meeting for the seniors (young adults) was resurrected from near-extinction, and some of our capable men lead that. The numbers are steadily increasing.
We are receiving many letters and telephone calls from teenagers, as a result of our TV programme Opening the Book.
It is encouraging to think that there are boys and girls across the country who seem serious about spiritual matters.
One ever-present concern arises from the poor economic climate. Zambia is a country with many highly qualified people but few opportunities for professional people to develop their careers.
The standard of living for doctors, nurses, university teachers and other professionals cannot be compared with the West. Many are therefore leaving Zambia to go where they feel valued and properly remunerated.
Within our churches many will have to make hard decisions. They feel inclined to leave and go where they can find a better lifestyle and greater opportunities for their children. But they need to weigh up the spiritual implications of all this.
We pray that we all will put the kingdom of God first in our lives.