There is noticeably less traffic on this stretch. It’s about who and a half hours driving, but we pulled over in a clear spot in the road for breakfast. The Pringles always talk about nice places to stop along the road for breakfast. At first, we thought they were talking about stopping a little quaint restaurant. No. There are no such things…not even close. They talked about stopping in a clear spot and having a tailgate meal from the back of their 4 x 4.
As usual, on the way are goats and kids running all over the road. Big trucks won’t stop or swerve. They’ll run over the goats.
Getting “used” to the big trucks, children on a main highway and unpredictable road surfaces from excellent (not very much) to cheaply built (as by the Chinese) to awful and completely unsafe…waiting for an accident.
We rolled into Mufumbwe a little after 10 am. We picked up Joseph Kapatula at his home at Chilemo Orphans Club. He greeting us and told us some bad news. They have been doing a successful chicken raising operation for several years, but just lost a who crop of chickens to disease, about 180 in all.
The church building is about a half mile way on the other side of the main highway. Joseph was in a suit, yet got on a bike and headed out ahead of us in vehicle we were in. Derrick stopped by a widow’s home where we dropped off some bread.
We came to the church property and saw the new building for the first time. A very nice clean new hall with an apartment on the back side. This will be for visitors coming to visit the church and be for now for Derrick and Cherry Pringle.
We were met by deacon Christopher. And, met his wife Gertrude. And also Samuel and Simeon. Samuel is a farmer and bikes 30 km to the church regularly.
We came onto the Church property, building and saw the borehole that was financed by the Badaliy family in Portland, Oregon. They made an $8,000 contribution towards it, the pump and concrete. I didn’t realize it was very close to the church building. We are so thankful for what everyone has done.
This is the fourth and final building dedication on this trip. We had the service, I spoke a lot about the work of the Church. I find that people, even though far away and of another culture, really appreciate hearing about what we do at the home office.
We had a meal, lots of fellowshipping and another meeting. Since Friday, there has been at least one speaking engagement. We’ve had eight since last Friday, which was the Last Day of Unleavened Bread.
We had 83 in attendance. Once again, lots of kids, but they are so sweet and like children everywhere else in the world. Not a worry bothers them.
It rained some while we were out here and the road became muddier on the way out and we got stuck! Arghh! But, we waited a bit and about a dozen men ran over from the church property, probably a half mile away now and helped push us out.
I am going to include here what I wrote in our church’s eNews a week ago that overlaps some of what I’ve already covered, but does cover the Mufumbwe visit details.
Dated April 12, 2018
Bev and I are leaving Zambia today and heading for Cape Town, South Africa, where we will stay with our elder, Vivien Botha, and his wife, Cathy. We will return to the United States this coming Tuesday morning.
This past week, we were in Lusaka, Zambia, for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread and the weekly Sabbath. The Lusaka congregation met at our 12-acre property. Last Thursday, we spent an entire day with pastor Major Nawa Talama and his wife, Felicia, discussing the Zambian churches and coming to a better understanding of the scope of his pastoral duties. Zambia is a vast country that needs several overseers to serve the congregations. Pastor Talama oversees eight churches and groups that include the interior Mumbwa region where we built three church buildings more than ten years ago.
Elder Alfred Siame oversees two congregations 600 miles to the northeast towards Tanzania. Deacon Filius Jere oversees two congregations along with a few smaller groups in the far eastern provinces on the border with Malawi.
Derrick Pringle, with his wife Cherry, pastors four congregations in the Copperbelt that straddle the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On Sunday morning, we flew up to Ndola in the Copperbelt and dedicated the new Mufulira church building. Derrick Pringle is chiefly responsible for driving this project for the past 11 years and his vision has now become a reality. We were pleased to see the newly-constructed building with its pleasant interior and comfortable seating. 99 people were in attendance. Because our flight was two hours late to Ndola, the service ran into the early evening. I spoke about the temple that Solomon built that was also 11 years in the making. When Solomon dedicated the building in 1 Kings 8, he first blessed the assembly of Israel, the living temple of God.
At the service, Sam Kasonga was present from the Congo. We were happy to hear that French Africa senior pastor Tim Pebworth, along with pastor Moïse Mabout, will be consolidating a few Sabbath-keeping groups along with the people that Sam Kasonga cares for under French administration. There is currently a congregation meeting in Lubumbashi, Congo's second largest city which is not far from here, but a world away because of the politics and the French language.
Then the next day, Monday, we drove about four hours northwest to Solwezi where we held services for 73 people in the building that we dedicated about a year ago at this time of year. Through the afternoon we counseled with many people. The road from Kitwe, where the Pringles live, to Solwezi has been greatly improved and Derrick and Cherry try to visit here every two months.
We dedicated the Solwezi building a year ago on our last visit there. Most of that congregation came from another Sabbath-keeping church and came to an understanding of the Holy Days. French-speaking deacon Chonga Chonga is one of the principal leaders in that congregation.
Early Tuesday morning, we left Solwezi for Mufumbwe, about a three-hour drive farther west.
Our brethren in that area have an amazing story to tell which I wrote up and posted at http://lifenets.org/mufumbwe/mufumbwestory.html
It is an incredible story about the persistent faith of men who waited 25 years to be baptized. I was honored to baptize some of these people in April 2011 in Lusaka, Zambia.
The Mufumbwe brethren now have a new church building. We had the fourth building dedication of this journey held on Tuesday, April 10. 83 were present for the occasion. We started the morning meeting with the dedication service and my sermon.
Christopher Ndungyuyonga, one of those baptized in 2011, is now a deacon and leader of the Mufumbwe congregation.
Joseph Kapatula, one of the congregational leaders, operates the Chilemo Orphans Club that LifeNets supports with the help of LifeNets Australia. He is a man gifted with compassion as well as resourceful solutions for orphans, widows and the elderly. When we're with him we note his special, tender touch for the vulnerable.
In spite of their poverty, the people in the Mufumbwe area are recognized for their kindness, compassion and generosity. They think differently and their nature is different from most. This community built a congregation along with its physical building. Many of the people in the Mufumbwe congregation are within walking distance of the building. They worked hard and cooperatively on the details for the construction of the building. For example, for the original convert, Horasi, who goes back more than 30 years and who is now in a wheelchair, they made a point of building a wheelchair ramp for him at the entrance of the building.
I cannot thank Derrick and Cherry Pringle enough for their dedicated and faithful work in the Copperbelt area of Zambia. At their own expense they have cared for the people, covered most travel expenses and heavily contributed personally to the church properties and construction costs. Derrick's corporation, Active Agencies, has done the major part of the construction work. Bev and I are very moved by their generosity and sacrifice.
Working in the Church here is not for the faint of heart. It is for those who are passionate servants and who trust God as the Apostle Paul did through enduring severe hardships in fulfilling a mission. Paul did so because he was driven by God to humbly and lovingly serve people, sometimes difficult people, in various venues throughout the Aegean.