From the Superintendent's DESK
John Musgrave and I arrived at the John Howard campground in Lusaka, Zambia, on Wednesday afternoon, April 5, to join the 2023 East Africa Camp Meeting in progress. We were accompanied by Isaac Adigun, the Western and Central Africa District Superintendent.
We had been met at the airport by Boniface Banda, the East Africa District Superintendent, and a large group of leaders from Zambia, and the East and Southern Africa districts. They sang a “welcome” song and a little girl came forward with a recited greeting and presented us with a nice bouquet of flowers. Following that, we made our way down two long lines of the brothers and sisters, being welcomed personally by each one.
The camp meeting began on Sunday, April 2, with a theme of “Let Us Return unto the Lord,” taken from Hosea 6:1. (A report of activities taking place prior to our arrival is posted separately.) We were in time for the evening service in the tabernacle. It was attended by about one thousand, including the Southern Africa District Superintendent, Oniyas Gumbo.
The service began with the choir, accompanied by the brass, singing “Heaven Came Down” in Bemba. Before the sermon, a sister from Botswana sang in Shona “Look and Live.” Then Chris Nkhata, the Malawi District Superintendent, brought an inspiring evangelistic message. Taking his text from Genesis 39:2 and Acts 10:38, he spoke of how God’s presence influenced Joseph’s life. Then he asked, “Is God with You?” There was a good response to the altar call following.
The next morning, we met for prayer in one of the classrooms of the three primary school buildings on the campground. God’s presence was felt as the requests were read and prayed for, and we went into the morning teaching expecting Him to bless.
An organ prelude began the service. Then the choir sang “Family of God” and “God Give Us Christian Homes.” During the announcements, I had the opportunity to bring greetings on behalf of the saints in Portland and the United States. I also expressed gratitude to God for the saints in Zambia and the progress of the work since my last visit in 2018.
The testimony portion of the service was turned over to those from the Eastern Province of Zambia. One brother praised God for restoring his wife who had been in a backslidden condition. A youth testified that having good morals did not make him a Christian. When he repented, God saved his soul.
Following the testimonies, an ensemble sang “Happy Marriage Is from God.” This led perfectly into the teaching on “Love and Marriage.” With foundational text from Genesis 2:23-24, it was brought out that God is the author of marriage. He ordained it to be between one man and one woman for life. It was emphasized that a man is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife, remaining in good times and bad. Also, when a husband loves and honors his wife, she will find it easy to submit to his authority. The service closed with prayer around the altar benches.
In the evening, the prelude included an organ solo followed by a violin solo. Then the choir sang “Many Are Happy in Jesus” in the Chewa language. During the testimonies, several thanked God for salvation. One woman said she had been tormented by demons, but on the first day of the camp meeting received salvation and deliverance. A man praised God for helping him make a difficult restitution that brought peace to his heart afterward.
For the last special, brethren from Zimbabwe sang “Jesus Saves” in the Shona language. Then Luangala Phiri, a minister from the Eastern Province, preached on “A Warning Against Time.” Reading from Daniel 2:44 and Luke 19:44, he emphasized the need for all to be ready for the return of Christ, which is imminent. Once again, a good prayer service followed.
By the close of the Thursday evening service, there were reports of eleven having prayed through to salvation and several others to sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The camp meeting is scheduled to continue through Sunday, April 16, and we look forward to even more blessings, should the Lord tarry.