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Many folk have asked me that question; “Why
Chavuma…. Why not one of the many places in
Central and Southern Africa you have, close on
to four decades, been visiting in sharing the
Gospel or done leadership training…?” There is
a ‘life’ I led in the past without Christ, which is a
preamble to what follows but a preamble I will
share some other time. This I will say though,
that even at that time the Lord was busy at
work preparing me for a time such as this.
The year is AD 2009. I am in Zambia with the help of a small team doing Leadership Training and
Outreach to various parts of Central and Eastern Zambia – the region of Chipata, commonly known as
‘Robbers Corner’ being a town bordering Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique in the east, also Central
Zambia - Kabwe and Lusaka and it was when I was in Lusaka visiting John Jere, that the Lord spoke into
It was over a cup of tea one afternoon that Jere shared his heart with me, a heart totally dedicated in the
service of our Lord to the widows and orphans of the remote Western Province and specifically the area
of Lukulu and the region known as Lukulu-west, a remote region across the Zambezi River.
With great fervour and passion, with tears streaming down his face he told me about the plight of these
folk out on the Barotse plains where but a few missionaries seem to be interested in the souls that
occupy that land.
As Jere was relating his endeavours in this area I was caught up with the plight of these folk and knew I
needed to go and see for myself.
On completing his story we both sat in silence for a while sipping our tea and nibbling on store bought
God was stirring up my heart. Mission work in remote and war torn areas of Africa has always been my
forte as the Lord directed me, the tougher and more challenging the better. I asked Jere if he would mind
taking me into this area the following year, he happily agreed.
I knew now that I needed to seek God’s face and that He would need to direct my footsteps, open my
eyes and ears to see and hear what He has to say and to prepare my heart to receive whatever
instruction He has. Once this process was complete I would need the strength, determination and
provision that can only come from Him the Author and Finisher of my faith.
Over several months with the task set before me much prayer and preparation took place with the Lord
imparting a strategy which culminated into a small reconnaissance/outreach team being assembled and
made ready for deployment to Lukulu West.
During the month of October 2010 a four man Reconnaissance/
Outreach team leaves South Africa for Lusaka where a fifth member
flies in to and joins us. We meet up with Jere and after final
preparation and planning we deploy to Lukulu/Lukulu-West. Jere has
brought his son with us who will
accompany us to the west side
while he, Jere, will remain on the
east side doing some leadership
training with the
assembly of believers there. Jere also introduced
us to two very old folk, a brother and sister in their eighties. ‘Jonus’ the
brother, has a leg blown off at the knee and we have taken along a
wheel chair which will be given to him.
En-route to Lukulu a journey of eight hours by road we stumble
across a woman who seems to have seriously damaged her neck in a
fall being wheeled in a wheel-barrow to the hospital in Lukulu.
Lukulu is still a good twenty kilometres drive and we are informed
that these folk have already been pushing their patient for the past
six hours. Well, the team debusses, we load the patient and her entourage into our
vehicle, travel to Chavuma, admit her to
hospital then drive back to pick up the team. We arrive exhausted at
our destination at around 23H00, pitch our tents and sleep.
The following day we are introduced to two interpreters who speak
both Luvale and Lozi, the two languages spoken by the peoples of the
plains. Two interpreters, to ensure that the message we bring is
We set out in two 4x4 vehicles,
equipped for the unknown terrain,
crossing the Zambezi on the
pontoon and for the following seven
days we travel along the southern bank of the Lungwebungwe river,
in a westerly direction towards the Angola border. Our task; map the
villages, note the paramount chiefs, village chiefs and headman.
Determine how far the Gospel has reached, and where led, preach
the Word of God using ‘Creation Evangelism’.
Now when going into a ‘least reached’ or ‘unreached’ area to
spread the Gospel, where the people are oblivious to the Good
News it is important to start at the ‘Beginning’ and lead the
people into an understanding of where they come from, the fall,
the necessity of a sacrifice and shedding of blood to cover the
sins and ultimately the perfect sacrifice…the Lamb of God, His
only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ and thus we start with what is
called Creation Evangelism…”In the beginning….”
On our team were two ‘rookies’ who for the first time had
ventured beyond the borders of their country to spread the Good
News. With the more hardened team members we set the pace
and for the first two days disciple the two rookies while at the
same time allowing the Lord to sharpen us, showing them by
example how to evangelise from Creation.
Our God is faithful, He is Good and He never disappoints when we
His children are obedient and Go as commanded (Math 28:18-20)
So from the third day onward we split the team into two, by now the interpreters were acquainted with
our approach and we were confident in them, one rookie in each team and from then on these two
rookies were given the opportunity to share Gods Word using the
Creation Evangelism approach. Their confidence grew as they
allowed the Lord by His Spirit to guide them and we, the older
guard blessed and praised our Lord for His faithfulness. After
many a kilometre, sweating, biting dust, eating rations, bathing in
the croc infested river, seeing many people liberated from their
darkness into His Glorious Light we returned to the east side of
the Zambezi and I just knew that this, here in this region God
wanted me to be…..
In Part two – ‘The Reconnoitre’ I will share how we met the missionaries in Chavuma and how I knew
God wanted my family and I to be based there.