Next month I have another 600KM to drive, going to a remote village in Eastern Province where we are laboring to establish a number of congregations. This will be the fourth time I am going there. There is no church in this village (not even traditional ones!). This is a ‘virgin ground’ for which we are starting everything from scratch. Not many would commit to travelling to the place as it offers no entertainment of good roads or decent accomodation. The work is huge as we have to also invest time in teaching people how to read and educate them on basics of nutrition. Daunting as the task looks, I look back to the time when I had parked at the palace of the chief of the village (I was in a meeting with him over our ministry’s work in the village); At a distance I saw two women waiting for us. Coming back to the car I greeted them and all they could say was how God had touched them at a prayer meeting I held at a home. They desired more! From that time I became determined that no matter how dettering the place is, one day God’s light shall shine forth there. I intend to have a crusade there in months to come. I do hope a believers convention will be in this place by next year. However, as I travel there this October two troubles have lingered on my mind: the water problem in the area and the vehicle to use for getting there.
The water challenge
The villages in this area look extremely dry because of the water problem. It is my prayer that the Lord will not only break forth the fountain of living waters but also natural water that people can use for their agricultural activities. The good news is that there is water available underground and a few places have afforded to drill boreholes.
Chatama Village in Eastern Province
I intend to drill a borehole and install a solar-water pump.That will be vital not only to the people but a relief to this ministry. In the past, when we visited remote poor places, it was our custom to hand out clothes, foodstuffs and money, but over the years I have learnt that such an approach is not sustainable. It makes people continually depend on what you can provide. Much needed is a self-sustaining system and the one system that would be much appreciated in the area is water for agricultural activities and livestock farming. The local people have often expressed this great need but they are too poor to afford the high cost of borehole installation. As I travel to the village this October that will be top on my agenda of the mission trip. The project will require an amount of about US$5,000.00.
The Transport Challenge
Our second challenge is more costly than the water one above, and it is about the means for accessing the remote villages. Despite the great need of preaching work that needs to be done in the village much discouraging has been the difficultness of driving through the rugged roads. A distance that should take 40 or 60 minutes can take 2 to 3 hours! In the past my small saloon car has persevered through rough terrains but this has come at great stress to the small car. Even so, I am so thankful for how the Lord has sustained it. Back in the years when I didnt have a vehicle, I sought the Lord through three days of praying over the need. Surprisingly my elder brother who is not in the faith the same week offered me a loan. Straightway I used it to get the car. Together with my wife we settled the loan in twelve months from our salary earnings (at that time my wife was in employment). We are so thankful for how the car has been useful. Over the years we have brocken nights driving to remote places here in Zambia and into Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. However, it has lived its life and we now feel it is time to sell it and get one which can work on rough terrains.
The Lord has sustained this car in many of our missionary journeys
In the past we have had believers asking what way they could help in our ministry expenses. Well, if you ever thought of sending any assistance now, here is where it is much needed now! For other minisrty costs – travels, church construction work and book distributions – by God’s grace we are able to afford through salaries we earn from our secular jobs. Tithes and offerings which come from the local assembly and a few friends and partners who rely on sermons posted on this website have been a great help.
If you feel led to help us overcome these two mission challenges, please do contact me on:
Shalom to all who wait for His coming.
Yours in Christ
Andrew C. Phiri
Missionary & Pastor – Believers’ Assembly
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:17)