Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lessons From 2016

Sin is a horrible mess
Nothing good ever comes out from sin. This year has been another reminder of the terrible consequences of sins in my own life and the lives of others, family and friends included. From Adam through to 2016, life and relationships have felt the effects of sin. Sin not only affects the person committing the sin as they battle with the guilt, shame and all the awkwardness that comes with it but it also affects the people around you. Either your sins are against them and you are affecting them directly or they are feeling the consequences of your sins and they then have to suffer emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically. Your sins ultimately affect your relationship with God. David cries in Psalm 51, “for I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Sin messes up your life, the lives of others and your relationship with God. Nothing good comes out of it and for those secret sins we somehow think we can get away the Lord warns us that “your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Local church family is essential to a healthy Christian life
Churches like homes are never perfect. In fact that might be deemed as an understatement by some people! The simple fact that churches are made up of people means that every church will have issues, sin has a way of messing up things! However, local church family is essential for the growth and stability of even the strongest of believers. It is dangerous arrogance to assume you do need the support and encouragement of your local church family. It is in fact trying to be clever than God who instituted the local church for that very purpose. I really feel sorry for people who neglect and see no good in their local churches, they actually do not realize how important the family is to their lives. Show me a person who is not a healthy church member and I will show you a person who is suffering from spiritual malnutrition and probably living in sin. We all need the support and encouragement of the imperfect, sometimes difficult and trying local church family.  

The Lord’s work is the Lord’s
Christ says he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail (Matthew 16:18). That’s a truth I constantly have to remind myself of. Our task is that of a steward managing the master’s work. It is both foolish and pride to assume the Lord’s work is your doing and dependent on you. Foolish because you then bear burdens you do not have the grace to handle. It’s like a child trying to figure out where the next bag of mealie meal will come from, it is unnecessary stress because they do not have the ability and it is not their job. Pride because you think too highly of yourself in thinking the Lord’s work is actually yours. I am learning to know where my stewardship ends.

People need the gospel
It does not matter your race, gender, age or social status, we all suffer from the sickness of sin and God’s remedy is the gospel. People from all walks of life need the gospel. It is God’s power unto salvation (Rom 1:16). We have the tendency to be clever and come up with clever ideas and solutions. I learnt that God’s solution is more than enough! You can for instance tell a couple the principals of communication all you want, if they have not learnt to acknowledge their sinfulness and humbly submit to Christ, you are pouring water on a dark’s back. People need the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Lord is good all the time

He provided all our needs at the right time. He showered us with many blessings both spiritual and physical. He gave us grace every day of the year. He answered many of our prayers. He was patient with us and forgave our many sins. Truly what the Lord has done for us we cannot tell it all. I will praise His name for His mercies endure forever!

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Festive Season, Fireworks and The glory of God

One way you know Christmas and the New Year are here apart from the decorations and the songs is through fireworks! Granted the unexpected and unnecessary sound of fireworks can be annoying and can cause your blood pressure to go up a notch, we can all agree that there are no better sights than a fireworks display in the dark sky. We look up and join the “wow” “ooh” choruses as we are dazzled by the beauty and splendor of the spectacular explosions. It is truly amazing that man can light up the sky in such a beautiful way albeit for a short while and has every right to be wowed by such innovation. I at least have every intention of letting off a few fireworks myself this week.

A spectacular fireworks display
As you are impressed by the lights from the fireworks this week, I would like to remind you that from January to December there is a light that brightens the dark sky every night and we have got so used to it that we have forgotten its glory and splendor. We have become too familiar with the moon and its spectacular light that we actually do not notice it.
The moon at dawn

The moon is 384, 400 km away from the earth and has a radius of 1,737 km and a surface area of about 38 million square kilometers almost the surface area of Asia. Its weight is over 80 quintillions (yeah let’s leave it at that). The temperature at the moon ranges from -173 degrees to 127 degrees Celsius.

The amazing thing is that year after year it makes its circuit without complications (despite its size and weight) and it faithfully and quietly lights up the sky and we simply do not notice. What’s even more amazing is the fact that the moon pales in comparison to the size, heat and light of the sun. We should be grateful the sun is just the right distance from the earth otherwise we would be toast. Even the sun is simply another star in a galaxy of spectacular stars.

The Heavens declare the glory of God
And God made them all! “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;     who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me that I should be like him? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing” (Isaiah 40:22-26).

The psalmist then tells us “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-3)
No wonder when the wise men from the east followed the bright star it led them to the creator of the universe who had just become man and they rightly fell on their knees and worshiped. Because while we should be amazed at the wonder and beauty of the bright shining stars, we should above all else honor the one who created them.

So as we marvel at the fireworks that will be beautifully lighting up the sky this festive season, remember the moon has been doing so for thousands of years at the creator’s command. Let your amazement and delights lead you to worship the creator whose glory is displayed daily by His creation.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Moment I Learnt How to Pray

Every Christian knows the importance of prayer to their spiritual well-being and yet you rarely find a Christian who is satisfied with their prayer life. Praying also seems pretty easy to do, however, it can be the hardest spiritual disciplines to do and the hardest to actually find pleasure doing. How many times do we struggle to consistently be engaged in prayer and how many times do our prayers feel dry and aimless? You soon began to feel like you are saying a lot words (sometimes the same words) and yet not saying much at all. If you are like me you desire to pray more and pray better, but borrowing a phrase doing its rounds on social media “the struggle is real”.

Struggling in prayer can be rather frustrating. You may genuinely desire to pray, even set a time for prayer and yet when the set time comes you struggle to get round to praying; and the times you actually do pray, the prayers are labored, just listen to our prayers at meal times to get a feel of our struggle. So how exactly does one learn how pray sincerely and meaningfully? Desperation!

It is said desperate situations call for desperate measures, well I beg to differ desperate situations call for desperate prayer. I recently was hit from all sides and angles with issues that not only drained the life out me but also left me clueless and totally out depth. Yes I prayed as is to be expected and I went about trying to apply all the little knowledge I have acquired and nothing seemed to work, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Then it hit, I had no answers, no solutions and there was absolutely nothing I could do to solve or deal with the different issues that were unrelenting. I was desperate. And in my desperation I cried out to God, and like a child speaking to the father I poured my heart out to him. I acknowledged I was totally unable apart from Him and His grace and trying to do life and serve Him in my own ability has only made things worse.

As I reflect on that moment I realized that though it was an agonizing experience and my praying was out of desperation it was at the same time sweet communion with God. And I wondered why not enjoy such communion on a daily basis? The answer is simple, I am self-sufficient. I am not desperate on a daily basis because I somehow believe I can manage my life and responsibilities on my own and therefore, do not pray with desperation. My head and mouth say God is sovereign and in control but my life screams I am in control of things. I am thankful the Lord allowed the many issues to teach me to pray earnestly, simply and with deep desperation.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What doom,petrol and grass reveal about the Charismatic movement!

In the past few years there has been an increase in the number of reported shenanigans done by the clergy. I do not know if the mischiefs have increased or access to information has increased due to the internet and social media. The incidents range from a pastor asking people to drink petrol to another making people eat grass and yet another claiming to walk on thin air. From the rather embarrassing failed prophecies to the recent spraying of the insecticide “doom” on people’s faces, these are just a few of the many issues that have become common practice in the many charismatic churches around our country and the African continent. Some issues are silly, comical and embarrassing while others are unhealthy, disturbing, unacceptable and utterly shameful. Yet with all the drama and activities, I see three major problems with the current happenings and teachings of the Charismatic movement in our country and the continent in general. 
Prophet Lethebo spraying insectcide to heal and drive out demons
It dilutes the gospel

The gospel according to the Bible is a holy God as the creator, father and judge of the world giving His only son Jesus Christ as a perfect sinless sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins by dying in the place of a sinful, rebellious people who deserve wrath and judgment, and yet if they believe in the work of Christ and repent of their sins, they will be saved (Acts 17:22-32, Romans 3:11-18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, John 3:23). That is gospel, the good news! Sadly all we hear now is deliverance and promotion. If you believe in a “Jesus” you will be delivered from all sorts of demons, spirits and curses that need binding or loosening and have been hindering your progress in life. And the Bible makes it very clear: a diluted gospel is no gospel at all.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-10

It belittles sin

The consequence of a diluted gospel is that you invariably belittle the horror of sin. The Bible teaches us that Christians wrestle with three enemies namely self (sinful and does not seek God), the world (hostile to God and his word) and the devil (the enemy of God and his people). A man-centered gospel will always have an unhealthy preoccupation with the devil and world as being the problem and not sinful self. The common message now is that there are spirits and demons for everything the Bible calls sin. So you have the demon of adultery, theft, murder, drunkenness, lust etc. If it is not a demon, then it is the spirit of one of your ancestors. Therefore, man becomes a victim of his sinful nature and desires and is not responsible and answerable for his sins. This belittling of sin has led to the damning to hell of a lot of people. Unless a person acknowledges his sins and repents from them by calling on the name of Jesus he cannot be saved. What a tragedy!

It promotes materialism

It is true that the prosperity gospel finds fertile ground in poverty stricken Africa, but more than that it finds fertile ground in a naturally materialistic people, whose desire is to amass more and better things. We have a longing desire to quench the thirst for satisfaction in life with possessions and positions, and the prosperity gospel promises to fulfil that longing, and it promises health, wealth and promotions. Again this message is leading thousands to hell, and in a sense is God’s judgement on a people who do not desire him but simply want to use Him to get what they want. Paul Washer is spot on when he says:
“False teacher are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God, but in the name of religion plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires… those people who sit under him are not victims of him but he is the judgement of God upon them. And they want exactly what he wants, and it’s not God”[1].

Any preacher or church that does not preach Christ is false and is misleading people. The church and its ministers should have Christ central to their message and ministry; they should decrease and Christ should increase. Every minister of the gospel should echo Paul’s charge “woe is me if I do not preach gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16).

[1] Grace Community Church. www.sermonaudio.com/gcc

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meet Kennedy Kaseke

Faith Baptist Church’s third mission point is Immanuel Baptist in Kalulushi. The church became a mission point in 2015 after the brethren from Immanuel Baptist approached the leadership of Faith and asked if we could take them on as a mission point. After several discussions and prayer, it was agreed that we should initially take up Immanuel Baptist as a preaching point, and we urged the members to consider taking up the opportunity to be part of teams that would go and preach at Immanuel Baptist every Sunday.
Two families took up the mantle and owned the work, so there was no need for teams to be rotating. The two families were Kennedy and Gwyneth Kaseke and Danford and Jennipher Banda with Kennedy Kaseke as the leader. Like Paul and Barnabus the two have labored for close to two years, and the spiritual growth at Immanuel Baptist is evident and heartwarming. Three weeks ago they held their second baptism service for the people who have been saved as a result of the ministry. And in the middle of this year they began to redo membership, and the response has been overwhelming.
The Banda's and Kaseke's
Kennedy Kaseke grew up in a Christian family and got saved in 1997 in Chililabobwe when he was invited to attend a service at Grace Ministries where he heard the gospel clearly preached and surrendered his life to Christ and joined the church membership. While in high school he was actively involved in Scripture Union and sensed the call to ministry in grade eleven. After high school he worked for the mines for four years while actively participating in the ministry of the church and later became youth pastor in 2005. The following year the church sent him to Christian Voice for theological and later to CABC in 2009, and he graduated in 2012. He joined Faith Baptist Church in the year 2012 and served as an intern for six months while helping with the Church’s mission plant. In the middle of 2012 he joined CABC as the admissions officer and went on to pursue his masters with Piedmont International University.
The Kaseke family
Kennedy is married to Gwyneth, and they are blessed with two children: Karisa and Japheth. It is our prayer that he becomes our missionary pastor and takes up the work in Kalulushi in the coming year. We appreciate your prayers for Immanuel Baptist and the two families spearheading the work.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Corruption is a Cancer

Corruption of any kind has a devastating effect on any community and nation. It is no wonder therefore that the levels of corruption in different sectors of our country are daily eroding the moral fabric of our nation at an alarming rate and hindering any form of sustainable development.  The Lord warned the children of Israel in Deuteronomy about the evil of corruption when he said;  
You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:19-20).

Oh how we need to heed this charge from the Lord today before our country is completely ruined and utterly destroyed. Isn’t it common practice today that for one to receive services in public offices one has to “buy people lunch” or “buy talk time” for someone or for one to get a contract one has to “give a token of appreciation”. In some cases your files go missing and they can only be found if you grease people’s hands. In other instances, when you go to shops the workers want you to buy from them under the counter. It’s terrible that money can buy you a job, a contract, a school place and even a pass in school.

What we need to realize is that corruption eats away the moral fiber of society like cancer destroys the cells in the body. It never stops until it has completely wiped out everything. The Lord warned the Israelites not to be corrupt and instead to pursue justice. The problem with corruption is it breeds laziness in a country. Everyone does not want to do their job despite being paid for it because they want you to give them “something” for motivation. As a result work never gets done in companies and institutions. Workers are not concerned about productivity but with how they can make self-enriching deals. More seriously corruption in the different sectors of society incurs the wrath of God because even though the deals are done in secret, the Lord sees how corrupt minds are perverting justice and causing the innocent to suffer. God cannot be mocked, whatever a man sows that he shall reap.

Thankfully there is hope! The solution to corruption is changed hearts. Ultimately the anti-corruption commission or any other non-governmental organization cannot wipe out corruption. The ultimate solution to corruption is a radical and life transforming change that comes from a knowledge of Jesus Christ. What we desperately need as a country is people to hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ which takes corrupt, self-serving people and turns them into dignified and God-honoring individuals living with integrity. The bible says we become a new creation and the old passes away. This then begs the question, if the members in our churches are truly Christians, why is corruption seemingly on the rampant? Are we living holy lives and pushing back the kingdom of darkness by proclaiming the gospel? 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"You are what you wear"

The saying “you are what you wear” is not an accurate statement. It is in fact more accurate to say your dressing says a lot about your character. In biblical terms however, “you are what you wear” is a very true and accurate statement. Christians are supposed to be in the business of putting off dirty clothing (sinful habits), undergo renewal and put on clean clothing (Christ like virtues). This is Paul’s exhortation to the Christians who were recipients of the book of Colossians. He says in the third chapter from verse twelve to fourteen;

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

 Who should wear the spiritual clothes?

Paul uses three phrases in verse twelve to describe the position of the people who should be doing the putting off and putting on. The phrases also point to the work of God in drawing a people to Himself. God calls people to a community and the traits are to be seen and worked out in the context of a community i.e the church. He says that those who are to be putting these spiritual virtues are;
a.         Chosen: He freely and lovingly chose us not by merit or worth but because of His pure and perfect purpose and knowledge, which we do not deserve.
b.         Holy: God has declared you holy, set part for Him- the pleasures and wondrous opportunities to be used by Him.
c.         Loved: God loves you and accepts you more powerfully, passionately, purposefully and deeply than you could ever fathom.

What should they wear?

Clothe yourselves/put on carries a sense of urgency and notice we have a responsibility to be growing and emulate the character of Christ. And he gives us examples of the traits to put on.
a.         Compassion/tender mercies: This is caring empathy of another person outside of selfish nature. It is to recognize, emotionally identify with and interact with those who are hurting, and helping them by gathering others with the abilities and resources to them.
b.         Kindness: Readiness to respond with righteousness and thoughtful consideration beyond how people treat us or how they may or may not deserve it.
c.         Humility: Lowliness of mind, acknowledging your poverty, not exalting yourself. This comes from the realization that Christ is supreme and all in all and we are mere servants.
d.         Meekness/gentleness: Strength under control. We encourage and place others first with action and encouragement, not manipulating, deceiving or over powering them.
e.         Patience/longsuffering: Joyfully enduring the trials, persecution and suffering that people bring in our lives.
f.          Bear with/forbearing: Hold up or put up with those who rub you the wrong way; liking the unlikable and loving the unlovable with a good attitude and response.
g.         Forgive: We must be willing to bear the cost, just as the Lord did. Lack of forgiveness fuels discord and reconciliation. Remember how you have been forgiven.
h.         Love: Above all (this is a priority) it is not earned and given freely. It is a choice you make and it is despite the person. It is love that binds these together.

What is the goal of wearing these clothes?

Have you ever wondered why most homes, churches and countries lack genuine peace? Why there is persistent conflict between people? The answer is simple we are not applying ourselves in the business of putting off sinful habits and putting on Christ like virtues.

Love for others encourages unity and oneness in the home and in the church.   If homes, churches, communities and nations are going to know harmony and Christlikeness these traits must be evident among us.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Viewing our culture through scripture

The charge the apostle Paul gave to Titus about the tradition and conduct of the Cretans has been on my mind lately. Paul says to Titus, “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth” (Titus 1:12-13).
Every group of people has a set of beliefs and traditions that are contrary to the teaching of the Bible.  And these beliefs tend to be so imbedded in our fabric that they become our normal way of life. The Cretans were known for being liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons, and Paul writing to Titus urges him to rebuke them sharply and confront them with the truth of Scripture (sound doctrine) so that they may live according to the teaching of Scripture and not according to the unbiblical teaching of their culture and tradition taught by people who do not adhere to the truth of God’s Word.
Lying and hypocrisy
I may be pushing the generalization here, but it is safe to say lying is an acceptable vice in our society. Growing up, parents taught children how to lie by giving them threats that they never intended to follow through or instructing them to tell visitors they are not home when they are sleeping perfectly. How many times do people promise to make an appointment at a certain hour and show up an hour late? Schools have to battle exam malpractice because cheating is a common trend. People go to funerals and feign crying in order to keep up appearances, and when the majority of our political leaders speak, they promise heaven on earth and reality is screaming otherwise. Jesus made it very clear the devil is the father of liars (John 8:44), and those who are Christians must put off lying (Colossians 3:8-11).
There is a saying in Bemba, “Ubuchende bwamwaume tabupwisha chupo,” meaning a man’s mischievous immoral behavior is not grounds for breaking a marriage. In other words it is normal and expected for men to live immoral lives because they are “men”. In fact when brides are being prepared for marriage they are taught to expect their husband to cheat on them, and they have to learn endurance and keep the home. This is wickedness, and as you would expect the Bible does not tolerate such nonsense. The Bible teaches that husbands must be selfless in loving their wives to the point of been willing to die for them (Ephesians 5:23-28); it teaches holiness and purity in the marriage (Hebrews 13:4), and it also gives adultery as grounds for divorce in cases where reconciliation is unattainable (Matthew 19:3-9).
The grace of God has appeared to all men teaching us to deny ungodliness
Thankfully, regardless of the culture and tradition we grow up in, there is no person who is beyond redemption. Paul’s words to Titus in the very next chapter should be an encouragement to all when he says, “ For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Introducing Pastor Noah Chisenga and Cornerstone Baptist

This is a second in a series of three posts on the mission work and missionaries pastors of Faith Baptist church. This week I would like to introduce you to Faith Baptist’s second church plant, Cornerstone Baptist in Wusakile. 

Cornerstone Baptist Church is pastored by Noah Chisenga. The work begin as a bible study in 2009 and began holding Sunday services the following year. It became a church plant of Faith Baptist in the year 2011.

Noah Chisenga came to salvation in 1992 through the evangelistic efforts of Kwacha Union Baptist in Kitwe later become a member of the same in church. He sensed and answered the call to ministry in the 2006. He went for theological training the same year and graduated in 2008 at Fiwale. He later enrolled at Central Africa Baptist College in 2013 and is set to graduate this year.
The Chisenga's at their home in Wusakile

Noah is married to Rebecca Moyo Chisenga and the Lord has blessed them with 5 children Deborah, Abigail, Caleb, Joshua and Sovereign. Pastor Chisenga has a passion for evangelism and a heart for the youths. 

He has been involved in a number of church planting works namely Kawama, Sarbina and Mansa in Luapula province and later joined the leadership team at the Union Baptist in Luanshya. He got involved with the work of Cornerstone Baptist in 2013 under the leadership of Sandala Mwanje. Faith Baptist ordained and sent him as Missionary Pastor to Cornerstone in 2014.
Cornerstone Church is currently meeting in a classroom at a primary school and are in the process of acquiring a piece of land where they can build their own auditorium. Our desire and plan is to finalize this process by the end of this month.

Please take time to pray for the Chisenga’s as they labor in Wusakile and also pray for the church to be a beacon of light in Wusakile and beyond. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Meet Pastor Noah Mukwato

Faith Baptist Church is privileged to be involved in the work of church planting and by the grace of God, we have three mission points in Wusakile, Mindolo and Kalulushi and support two other mission points (Twatasha by Ganerton and Chantente by Kakolo) in partnership with other sister churches and in the coming weeks i plan to introduce you to the men and their families who are laboring in God’s vineyard. In this blog I will share with you the Lord’s doing in Mindolo, which is being pastored by Noah Mukwato.
Noah Mukwato gave his life to the Lord in 2008 through the efforts of door to door evangelism of Emmanuel Baptist Church, a church he later became a member of. After completing secondary school in 2009, he felt the call to ministry and enrolled at Central Africa Baptist College for theological training in the year 2010 and graduated in 2012.
Noah got involved with the work in Mindolo in the year 2010 when a missionary couple Dan and Kristy Elmer started a bible study in 2009 at their home. The Elmers left in 2011 and Noah continued having a bible study with the people. In 2012 Hector and Paola Garcia partnered with Noah in the work and later in the same year Faith Baptist Church adopted Mindolo as its mission point.

Noah Mukwato & Hector garcia

Noah then did his internship with Faith Baptist Church in 2013 for a year, and on 1st September 2013, the bible study become a church plant meeting at a school with an attendance of about 20 people on Sundays. Noah was ordained as the missionary pastor to Mindolo in 2014. He got married in July 2014 to Mwansa Mwewa Mukwato. They are blessed with a baby girl Gift Mukwato.
Noah, Mwansa and Gift
The Mindolo Church has since constituted membership, and their membership currently stands at 27 today. They are currently applying final touches to their church building. Pastor Noah is also in the process of training three men for the leadership roles praying the Lord would call some to be elders in the church.
We thank God for his faithfulness and goodness in the work in Mindolo and for using so many people in different ways to grow the church in Mindolo. Please take time to pray for the Mukwatos as they minister in Mindolo for encouragement, boldness in proclaiming the gospel and provisions for their various needs, and pray for the church in Mindolo as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


When you look at the number of Christians who are in formal employment and take a casual glance at people’s curriculum vitae’s you will be left with an impression that our country is full of dedicated, trustworthy and hardworking people. The CVs all claim the person has amazing personal attributes. I.e. hardworking, sober minded, focused, honest, organized, creative, punctual and can work with minimum supervision etc.

If the Christians in employment are true to their faith and the CVs are anything to go by then our countries work culture should be unrivaled. Companies and institutions must be beaming with faithful, dedicated and committed employees. But alas! The opposite is true. Despite the CVs and the many Christians in employment our work culture is nothing short of a scandal. People are desperate for employment and are willing to go to any length to get a job, however when the job is acquired it is puma leisure! How then must Christians work? The bible has quite a bit to say about the matter.

Do not be lazy
We ignore the warning in Proverbs to our own peril. The wise man declares:
The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!’ As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly” (Proverbs 26:13-16).

Lazy people always have a reason and an excuse to not carry out their responsibilities. They always want to put off their work to tomorrow and end up doing nothing. Lazy people are also always in action but never accomplish anything, they are like a door on its hinges that keeps moving but never gets anywhere. Furthermore though ever “busy” lazy people are far from productive and always leave work half done. And this is clearly evident in companies, organizations and worse off government institutions. The amount of time it takes to get someone to append their signature and date stamp to a paper makes you wonder what they do in the offices. When you walk in some offices the files are up to the roof! And to make matters worse people are constantly demanding money for giving a service that they are already paid for! This behavior is not laziness but criminal as well.

Work heartily as to the Lord
That is the charge in Colossians 3:24. And the idea is you should put your all heart in whatever work you are doing. It must not be halfhearted or just merely going through the motions. And this is where attitude comes in. The attitude and facial expressions of people in work places is frightening. They are not interested in what they’re doing and appear upset that you walked in to buy their service or product. And when they do get round to attending to your needs it’s as good as doing it yourself. No heart, no conviction and no joy in the work. The other thing Paul says in Colossians is the fact that for Christians their labor is to the Lord and not to man. They are to remember that they are stewards who will give an account for the work they do. And the fact that their service is to the Lord who sees the heart and all things, it means we need to have a biblical view and attitude towards work and remember to be faithful at all times.


With so many Christians in employment and the CVs that speak highly of workers why do we still have this terrible work culture? One thing is for sure we are liars and write things we are not true on our CVs. Secondly, we could be a generation of Christians who simply not influenced by the biblical worldview and lastly and more alarming maybe we are not Christians at all. We simply carry the name Christian and have not being transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ that radically changes people inside-out and affects not only their relationships but their work culture as well. What does your work culture say about your master?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Four Reasons why we avoid discipleship

“An important mark of a healthy church is a pervasive concern for church growth as growth is prescribed in the Bible. That means growing members, not just numbers. Some today think that a person can be a “baby Christian” for a whole lifetime. Growth is treated as an optional extra for zealous disciples. But growth is a sign of life. If a tree is alive, it grows. If an animal is alive, it grows. Being alive means growing, and growing means increasing and advancing, at least until death intercedes” [1]

This is where discipleship in the local church and our relationships comes in. Biblical discipleship means growing in the likeness of Christ and encouraging and helping others to do the same. For those who have not come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it begins with sharing the gospel with them. Biblical discipleship in short is relational. The old cliché is correct, its “life touching life”. So if biblical discipleship and growth is essential to the health of the church why is it scarce in churches? And why do we avoid getting in discipleship focused relationships?

Biblical discipleship is time consuming
Training someone requires time, especially if your own life has to be an example to them. This is particularly harder in an extremely busy society and a self-centered one for that matter. It is even harder in a program driven church where meaningful relationships are not as important. Fellowship is reduced to a program or a service. We are content with meeting each other on Sundays and claiming we love each other when in actual fact we never share our lives, we never challenge each other to grow, we never keep each other intentionally accountable and consequently we never spur one another towards love and good works. Biblical discipleship requires time.

Biblical discipleship makes you vulnerable
As we spend time with each other our lives are soon opened up to other Christians and they get to know the real us. They see us in our weak moments, they see us respond to pressure, they will know that we are not as perfect as we portray when we put on our best behavior at the church programs and meetings. Committing to invest your life in others and spend time with them is committing to be vulnerable and transparent. It is committing to truly live out the command in James to confess your sins to one another. Biblical discipleship makes you vulnerable.

Biblical discipleship requires energy
Relationships are tiring and they can be messy. Relationships also require effort to begin and maintain. It is far much easier to organize and run programs than it is to maintain a discipleship relationship. It is even costly at times. As you invest your time and open your life to people you find yourself exerting lots of energy and it can be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually draining. No wonder we would rather build fences around our lives and protect ourselves from the messy, exhausting and yet richly rewarding relationships.

Biblical discipleship ensures you do not necessary receive the praise
Just like the majority of ministry, biblical discipleship is done in the background. It is away from the eyes of the world and all that is seen is growth in others, unless the person you are discipling or worse off yourself waxes eloquent about the impact you have had in their lives, the world will never know. For a people who thrive on praise and acknowledgment we struggle with the idea that we can invest in the life of someone and see them grow and the Lord gets the glory. Biblical discipleship removes the focus on us and puts it where it should be, namely the glory of God!

[1] Leeman Jonathan. Growing one another. Crossway Wheaton, Illinois: 2012.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Behold your God- He is a faithful God

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."  The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.  It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentation 3:21-26

What does God's faithfulness mean?

“That God is faithful means that he finishes what he stats and pays for what he orders. He never leaves us. He never forsakes us. He is always present with us. He always forgives us. He always directs us. He always provides a way to escape temptation.” Jim Berg

“The doctrine that God will always do what he has said and fulfil what he has promised” Wayne Grudem
The scriptures further say:
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalm 102:25-27 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Number 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?

What makes God faithful?
1. He is self-Existent- he is free from any cause outside himself- Exodus 3:13-14
The Lord is not affected but the happenings around Him and neither are there circumstances beyond His control. Hence all He says and purposes will come to pass. 
2. He is infinite- he is free from all limitations, no need to review and resolve or change
Because He is perfect everything he does is perfect and His plans are equally perfect. Therefore in a world where there is constant change, the Lord remains the one constant. He is never changes. 
Some implications for our lives
-   You can overcome sin- (1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 1 John 1:9) Have you ever considered the wonderful promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13? No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

-     You live life without fear- (Romans 8:31-39) what, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

-       You can pray with confidence and not worry- (Matthew 6:25-36) 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 

- You can read his word eagerly and earnestly (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 19:7-10) The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Dear supporters

Remember to be patriotic to an ideology and not a person
Zambian politics are generally speaking based on personalities and tribal lines. All the major political parties have strong holds in regions where the founder or leader of the party hails from. So regardless of the individual’s policies or lack thereof, the people in that region will vote for him. After over 50 years of independence shouldn’t we be committed to ideologies and policies? Haven’t we matured enough to ask people who pursue civic offices to explain to us their policies and ideologies? Dear supporter please look at more than the last name of the person and focus on what that person actually believes and why he is seeking office, that way we have a basis for holding these people accountable.

Remember its okay for others to disagree with your choice
Just because you like a certain party and candidate does not mean everyone else should follow suit. And people having a different view to yours does not mean they are fools. There is therefore no need to insult, mock or abuse a person with a different opinion from yours. It is a sign of high levels of immaturity in a person when they cannot handle opposition and criticism. Sadly there are very high levels of intolerance to opposing views in our political system. Dear cadre its okay for others to disagree with you and to actually prefer a different party and candidate.

Remember your candidate is not perfect
In the heat of the campaigns and political debate we get very opinionated and emotionally charged that in our effort to support our candidate we treat them as though they are perfect. No matter who you support and how much you like them they have character flaws and their policies are not perfect either. That therefore means as you support them do so acknowledging their weakness and flaws. And when people actually raise a flaw in your party or candidate humility demands that you acknowledge their point. Dear cadre such an attitude will save us from a lot of violence and divisions.

Remember there is life after elections

Campaigns can be a long and heated process and sadly even the counting and announcing of the results can equally be a prolonged process. Lines are drawn, things are said and emotions boil that we polarize ourselves and forget that life continues after the elections. So as you engage in  political debate let’s forget that when all has been said and done political opponents will be our neighbors, workmates, schoolmates, friends and family. They are the people you will need to work with and live with, do not let political difference divide us such that we are unable to work with each other to the betterment of our country. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016



Remember you are under God
In a culture where “the chief mentality” is the norm in leaders, this is an important truth to know and believe. Political leaders have a great temptation to glorify themselves and over emphasize their importance. And their followers do not help the situation as they flatter and shower you with self-serving praises. Dear Politicians for your good and the good of others remember the Lord is the ultimate ruler, and he ultimately appoints leaders and governments. You will therefore be answerable to Him on judgement day for how you used the privileged responsibilities He has given you. Be accountable!

Remember you will not rule forever
Leaders come and go and so do governments, yet God remains forever. Many before you thought they were eternal and would remain in power forever but are no more. Pharaoh mockingly asked Moses “which God will deliver you from my hand,” and he was utterly destroyed never to be remembered again, yet the Lord remains. You are not the first, neither will you be the last to hold the position you have right now, so while at it, you want to remember that “whatever a man sows that he shall reap.” How many times have we seen those who hounded their opponents while in power receiving the same treatment afterwards? Beware!

Remember you are not infallible
While you are in power, please remember you are not perfect. We know you make mistakes ranging from error in judgement, to sheer ignorance, to utter lack of wisdom; trust me we know. Therefore, give us the honor and respect of accepting your wrongs; i.e. when you guys insult one person today and praise him the very next day because it serves your interest. Pride goes before a fall, and sadly most politicians seem to have pride in abundance. By the way, refusing to admit wrongs is suggesting we the people are very foolish or you are an infallible leader. We know neither is true, be humble.

Remember your actions affect the generations to come
What is tolerated in one generation will become a norm in the next. So as you fight to be or remain in power, remember that your actions do not just affect this generation alone; you are actually setting a trend, a culture that will go on for a time and trends are very hard and painful to undo. One example is the panga wielding and stone throwing cadres; it happened in one election, and now it is a normal thing. Or the way it is also expected that the party in power will monopolize state media and go out of the way to stifle the opposition. It is a culture that started with one generation. When you are gone, your children and their children will be at the mercy of the trends you set today. Be wise.

Dear politicians you have a great opportunity and privilege to lead and rule the nation but with privilege comes responsibility. Please step up and be responsible. Be selfless.

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Woodrow Wilson