July 2021 Viewpoint
We are familiar with the figurative statement, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” It is used most often when we notice that a son is much like his father, or a daughter much like her mother. A similar Biblical principle is that servants should be like the Master. A look at the Apostolic Faith in Zambia illustrates how this works in practice.
In a recent report, East Africa District Superintendent Boniface Banda (see his sermon here), wrote of the beginning of the Apostolic Faith in Zambia fifty years ago. In those days, there were no luxuries to make missionary trips easy and there was a lot of persecution toward believers. Yet, through the zeal of one man in particular, God established His work. Robinson Sanana had led an unsavory life before his conversion. He was born in Zambia but was living in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when some people of God held an outdoor service in front of his house. He heard the Gospel message and gave his heart to God, and his life was radically changed. He began to live for the Lord.
Soon, God called Brother Sanana to return to his native country with the Latter Rain Gospel message. In 1970, he became part of a team that traveled to Zambia to conduct evangelistic services in several towns. Many were saved during those services, and the following year, Brother Sanana returned and began leading the Apostolic Faith work there.
Between 1971 and his passing in 1992, many more souls were saved and numerous branch churches opened. One of those individuals was Timothy Kaibula, who had become skeptical of all religion until he experienced salvation in 1980, and then his perspective changed drastically. He too dedicated his life to God’s service, and in 1992, he was appointed District Superintendent of Zambia. His prayer was that “the Lord will help us to raise up a standard in our country and to share the Gospel as it should be.”
The Lord honored Brother Kaibula’s desire as he served faithfully until his sudden passing in 2019. At that time, Brother Banda was appointed as the new leader. Just as Brother Kaibula’s zeal built on the foundation of evangelism that Brother Sanana had laid, Brother Banda has continued with the same vision of spreading the Gospel in Zambia and beyond, including Tanzania and other locations. Today we have over one hundred churches in Zambia and ten in Tanzania. Souls are being saved and the Gospel work in East Africa is expanding.
We see the spiritual children reflecting the evangelistic zeal of their parents. Each of us can do likewise, looking to the example of those who were instrumental in our own conversion, and following in their footsteps. Ultimately, the originating Source of all evangelistic zeal is Christ, who went from place to place sharing the Good News when He lived on this earth. As children of God, may we be known by His characteristics, especially His love for the lost and His commitment to carrying the message of salvation to every soul.