Dedication of East Africa Printing Press
A printing press, along with video equipment and office furnishings, were dedicated at the East Africa headquarters church in Lusaka, Zambia, on December 25, 2020.
The dedication service took place on the John Howard compound where the headquarters church is located and the annual camp meeting is held. It was led by Reverend Boniface Banda, the Lusaka pastor and East Africa District Superintendent. He invited the ministers and church elders who were present to gather around the equipment and pray, dedicating all to God’s service. As they did this, the congregation, including the editorial staff, looked on and joined them in praying.
Two of the items prayed over were an industrial paper cutter and a printing press capable of printing six thousand pages per hour, in full color and in a wide range of sizes. These will allow for the printing of everything from flyers and posters to tracts and magazines. The immediate goal is to print five thousand newsletters on a quarterly basis to distribute in Zambia, where we have over 120 churches as well as some newly formed groups.
The first newsletter has been produced and includes sermons, testimonies, and branch church news. Currently, it is produced only in English, the official language of Zambia. However, teams are working to translate it and other materials into the most widely spoken of Zambia’s seventy-two languages.
Another goal is to translate materials into Swahili for distribution in neighboring countries such as Tanzania, Burundi, and Uganda. A translation team is still being formed for this project, but has already produced some tracts, which have been distributed in Tanzania.
Reverend Banda is excited about the opportunities that the printing press and cutter bring in furthering the work of the Lord. He said, “Literature distribution is a vital part of evangelism in East Africa, as the majority of the population does not have access to internet facilities.”
Other items dedicated were two video cameras and a video mixer that will be used to webcast live church services on the East Africa website and then archive them for additional viewing. Though relatively few have internet access currently, that number will increase with time. Office furniture was also dedicated to be used in the newly constructed printing plant, which was completed earlier this year on the same compound.
Reverend Banda is not the only one excited. Since before the dedication, church workers have been volunteering on evenings and weekends to fill the positions necessary in the media, editorial, and press departments. Ten have come from the headquarters church, and the others from among the branch churches in Zambia.
The acquisition of this equipment, made possible by a donation through the Portland headquarters, provides the means to print and webcast locally from Lusaka. This will be a great help in solving the challenge of spreading the Gospel message throughout the East Africa district.