Many of the people from the Mufumbwe congregation come to Manyinga, being hauled on the back of a flatbed truck.
Attendances on this trip have been 60 in Mufulira, 53 in Solwezi and 80 here in Manyinga, which includes the travelers from Mufumbwe where we did not hold services. There are many children. Of the 80 who assembled here, 22 were children and 21 were “youths”, with the remainder 37 being adults.
We meet the principal member, Joseph Mousole Mukanwa. His wife’s name is Maggie. He has been responsible in large part for the construction of the church building here. And without Derrick Pringle as well, this would not have been possible.
I meet people I have not seen in some time, principally Horasi! He is in a wheelchair and I’m grateful that he is still living.
The church events started with the ribbon cutting of the church and dedication. I read, as I have been doing for the several churches, dedications from I Kings 6 and I Kings 8 about the building and dedication of Solomon’s Temple. Interestingly, Joseph Mukanwa referred to the new structure to as the “temple”.
Then the entire congregation all walked into the building together.
The first part of the service was taken up with the ordination of Joseph M (we sometimes call him Joseph “Manyinga” because we have a hard time remembering his last name). It was moving to me because he really has his heart in the functioning of this congregation.
Then I gave my sermon about the Passover. About half-way into the sermon it started raining. It sounds extra loud on the sheet metal roof. We almost cut the service short, but then it stopped as soon as we were about to quit.
After services, there was lunch. We enjoyed nsima, rice, chicken, beef and greens. Tasty.
We have truly appreciated the people here. Some have waited 25 years for a ministerial visit while remaining faithful to the Word of God and meeting patiently every week, waiting for a visit. I was very honored to visit with some of these people first in 2010 and baptize the first ones in April 2011. All of this has been so memorable and we are honored to be a part of their spiritual journey.
We were to meet with the area chief at his “palace.” We had gifts in hand. He is an in-law to our new deacon Joseph. But, he was not there for our scheduled appointment. He and his wife had gone to Lusaka this day. We did talk to his daughter and granddaughter to whom we gave the gifts we had brought with us to pass along to the chief.
Then back to the MLL in Mufumbwe. In our SUV dual cab pickup, we took about 7-8 people back with us. The remainder of the people came on the flat-bed truck. It rained part of the way back.
Back to the MLL and a braai (bbq) with our Mufumbwe friends.
Africa is not for sissies!
I can’t get over all the things that the Pringle’s bring out here. Everything! There are no stores for hundreds of miles. This is the bush (as least to us). In terms of chairs, stoves, food, lights, etc., they have to make it all work, and do. They really know how to do this. God has used them to raise up these four congregations. Without them, there would be nothing. Now, we have hope-filled people who are turning to God and keeping the Passover this coming Thursday evening.
The Pringles have lots of meat: steak and sausage that they will grill. But, first, we needed to talk about some things dealing with running the churches. The Pringles are leaving on May 23 for Australia for three months and they have to turn all matters to trusted people.
We talked for a few hours and didn’t get to the braai until about 10 pm, next to a campfire outside the Church building. We all had a fun time (about a dozen of us) telling about ourselves. The notable questions were asking how we married people had met our spouses. It was interesting to hear the stories from the Africans how they looked for certain things in their mate. . . like being hardworking, being a good farmer, etc.
It was close to midnight before we went to bed. There are no bugs in the air and we didn’t bother with a mosquito net. Good restful night. Tomorrow, back to Kitwe.