Of all times I have been to Rufunsa, in Chenda Village, where a new church began after a succesful crusade, last weekend was the most remarkable. For the past nine or ten months we have been visiting the village, the focus of teaching has been on basics of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms and of laying on of hands to receive divine healing (Heb.6:1-2). However, there is now need to establish the new believers in deeper truths. To this end, last weekend (14th to 15th May) was dedicated to teaching on Church History. We looked at How the Church began and Fell from the Truth and how God began to Restore it.
The day before we arrived, on Friday, one new believer had gone through different homes of believers asking them to join him in prayer and fasting in preparation for the weekend meetings. When we arrived on Saturday, at 3:30PM, for the first time we didnt find people waiting for us to start the service; we found people already in prayers. “Do you hear those voices praying and starting the service on their own, this is spirtual growth!” I told the brethren who accompanied me.
The yard of the church in Rufunsa has a beautiful environment of tall trees
We immediately entered the church building and joined the service. After a few songs, the preaching started. I ministered from 4:00PM to 7:00PM. Despite the lengthy time, it was a very attentive audience. Now, an interesting thing happened this night. During my preaching I reached a point when I said, “Let me tell you a little story. There were two men who climbed a hill. On top of the hill they found a shiny rock and they were excited to find gold. ‘We are rich!’ they exclaimed. But on going to an expert to examine it, upon seeing it, he told them, ‘Gentlemen, that’s not gold, its not any more worth than the dirt you picked it from“. Using this illustration I pointed out, “The true work or ministry of God does not shine with the glamour of worldly attraction or huge vain numbers of people; the true Gospel glows with the light of Truth”. As we moved on with the message we declared, “you can never join a true church of God, you have to be born in it. You can join religion but not the true church of God.God’s Spirit has to come into you and bring about the new birth and only then can you say you are in the truth”.
At 07:00 PM we went on break. We told all the families which had gathered that we would all eat together [ this is a very poor village and it hasn’t had good rains. Many people cannot afford fertiliser and so their crops fail. So, every time we visit this village we carry extra food to help those who are very destitute, especially old women. I have teamed up with four brothers in our Lusaka church to raise money for a borehole and water pump system which we can start using to grow vegetables and for livestock farming to help the families here]. It took some two hours to organise water, plates, and cooking the food. At around 09:30PM, as sisters cooked and brothers gathered themselves around the fire testifying about the goodness of God, I picked up my trumpet and began to play “Just as I am”. The soprano voices of sisters who were cooking blended with tenor and baritone voices of brothers. Then we sung, Trust and Obey, and later I took the Saxophone to play, Draw Me Close to You and I give Praises to Your Name.
Strangers Join the Meal
Just before food was served, about four strangers – unkempt and dirty – entered this church room were the cooking and singing was happening. There was one elderly man and two young men. One of the young men was a muslim. This was strange. It was too late at night to have visitors. They were drawn to come to come to the place by the sound of the trumpet they heard. We praised the Lord because all things work together for good.
Playing trumpet as we waited for the meal. Brothers and sisters joined in singing
“You are welcome!” I said to them. Brother Nzima immediately asked about the spiritual condition of the men, asking them who they are and if they believed in the Word. The young man began to explain something that made all the believers look at each other in awe: “I am from a hill where I found a shiny rock. It must be gold sir. Here are some pieces...” He took a paper from his pocket where he had wrapped them and showed us. “Please help me find someone to examine them and then we can talk business“. Sister Nzima was very surprised at what was happening. Together with an old sister, they expressed how God was confirming his Word. Ignoring what the young man was so desperately trying to explain to us, I asked him why he was a Muslim; what really convinced him about it. His answer: “I just joined Islam because that is what is near where I stay, where I can go for prayers”. Laughter, awe and praises to God continued. As food was getting served I told the men, “You are welcome here. We dont mind what you are and we would be happy if after eating you join us for the second part of our service“.
We ate our food and at the end when were about to go back in the building to continue the service the old man came to me, knelt down and looked into my eyes saying, “I need God to deliver me; evil spirits are disturbing me“.
At around 10:00 PM we went back in the church to continue the service. We had a wonderful time of prayer and ministration. The Word was taught until 01:00 AM. We drove one family to their home but the rest of the people decided to sleep in the church building (it was a very cold night!). At 06:00 AM people were already up and praying for different prayer requests.
Three Testimonies that remind us that Jesus is Still Calling Out
The Sunday Service started at 09:30 AM. During this service three believers gave testimonies. One sister broke down in crying as she expressed how thankful she was to God for bringing her to the Word. A brother, who first came to this place as a worker of the bricklayer who was constructing the church, testified how he came to the Word by listening to the preaching whilst he was doing bricklaying work. Several times he asked his boss to allow him to join the service when it was prayer time but he was denied the time and so he could only listen to the Word whilst working atop the walls of the church building when a service was in session. He narrated how one sermon pierced to his heart and he made a decision to accept the Word. Another brother testified how he one day came as a stranger, and that day he says, “The pastor kept talking about the vanity of playing cards and gambling. I wondered who told him about me because I was so obsessed of it and thats what everyone knew about me. After that preaching I stopped gambling and a lot has changed in my life!” I am still trying to remember which exact sermon I mentioned gambling in. But well, God had a message for the brother and he dropped something along the message that was specifically for him and he now is a believer and very useful person for the church there.
We are now looking forward to having another crusade in another chiefdom were over 24 villages are expected to attend. Remember us in prayer. Jesus still saves and heals. Amen.