From the Superintendent's DESK
We have continued to enjoy the camp meeting activities in Zambia, including the Good Friday and Easter services.
Friday morning, an organ prelude began the Bible teaching. Then a vocal ensemble sang in Tonga, “Ndakalipengede Mumoyo,” which translates as “There Was Trouble in My Soul.” During the testimonies, one woman said she had joined Buddhism, but was invited to the Apostolic Faith and God touched her heart. She prayed and was saved. Another woman thanked God for healing her mother who fell sick during the camp meeting.
Before the message, the choir sang “I Made a Covenant with My Lord.” Then John Musgrave read his opening text from Matthew 7:24 and spoke on “The Blessings of Obedience.” He said obedience is the tangible evidence of a person’s faith and brings God’s blessings. Reminding that this was Good Friday, he pointed to Jesus’ sacrifice as the ultimate example. He also cited Noah who, by faith, moved with fear to build the ark and was spared the flood. In closing, he invited those who wanted to receive the blessings of obedience to come to the altar of prayer.
In the afternoon, a youth service was held in which the sermon topic was “Victory Over Circumstances.” For his text, Tapiwa Mfandarawa read 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” He shared a portion of his personal testimony, saying he needed a hip replacement in April 2017. However, after he had researched the surgery and obtained sponsorship, the Lord told him not to do it. It seemed foolish to discard his efforts, but he obeyed, and God undertook—in July 2021, he started walking without a crutch. The service closed with a good time of prayer around the altar benches.
On Saturday, a ministers’ and workers’ conference was held in two sessions. The first half was to address some questions. The second half focused on ten instructions for Gospel workers from Proverbs 1:2-4. At the close, each attendee was given a bookmark with the ten instructions as a reminder.
Following the conference, we toured the printing operation, which supplies Southern and Eastern Africa with literature. We observed the press, and cutting and folding machines, which were procured with help from donations to the Portland headquarters. It was encouraging to see the effort being put into the production of Gospel materials. This has included 40,000 tracts for Southern Africa, Sunday school curriculum, the first Zambian hymnal, and a newspaper version of our quarterly magazine.
The Easter Sunday events began with Sunday school for all on the topic of “Christ’s Resurrection.” Afterward, the Sunday school children presented a program to open the morning devotional service, which was attended by nearly 2,000. They marched into the sanctuary waving miniature flags of the countries represented in the audience and singing “Welcome to this Camp Meeting.” Then they sang “The Holy Spirit Must Come Down” while naming the countries represented. Several children recited greetings to the brethren from Portland, Zambia, and the Eastern, Southern, and Western districts of Africa. Then they marched out singing “Happy Welcome to You.”
Following the children’s program, a group of young people sang “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.” Other Easter specials included the choir song “The Resurrection Morn” and a vocal trio of “He Lives, He Lives.” The message was taken from John 20:19 and centered on the disciple Thomas’ reactions to Jesus’ death and Resurrection. It was brought out that after the Crucifixion, Thomas was likely discouraged and apparently isolated himself. He missed the opportunity to see Jesus at His first appearance to the disciples. Yet, a commendable attribute was that Thomas wanted his own experience. At the altar call, everyone was invited to seek their own encounter with God.
An Easter Concert was presented in the evening. However, before the music began, the first Zambian hymnal was introduced. Though a challenge to produce, this book was greatly needed. Various languages are spoken among the congregation, so local hymn books in different languages were being used. This meant that every time a song was called, several page numbers had to be cited as well. The hymnals were received with thanksgiving, and a prayer of dedication was offered.
The concert was inspiring from the opening orchestra piece, “Stayed Upon Jehovah,” to the closing choral number, “Worthy Is the Lamb.” As each song concluded, it was met with hearty “Amens.” Among the favorites were those in local languages. These included “Tuyakwenda Amababa” in Kinyarwanda, meaning “We Will Fly to Heaven with Wings” and “Jesu Mubotu” in Igbo, meaning “Jesus Came.” After such wonderful praise through music, many were moved to pray.
On Monday, we went sightseeing and had the opportunity to go on a safari. We enjoyed seeing many different animals up close and in their native habitat. In the evening, a presentation was given on the East Africa work. It included an overview of evangelistic efforts in Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia, listing new branches and mission fields. It also gave a report on the hymnal project and printing operations. It closed with a request for prayer concerning the budding work in Pakistan.
Let’s remember to keep all of East Africa in our prayers. Though Brother John and I are scheduled to leave for Mozambique this Thursday, the camp meeting continues through Sunday, April 16. Our hope is that many more will pray, receive what they need from God, and return home refreshed.