As Sharon and I were preparing to move from the US to Zambia, we knew there would be many challenges to face. One of them is the struggle to understand and to be understood. Even when we are with Zambians who understand English, our southern accent can make it difficult for them to know exactly what we are trying to communicate.
I was having a conversation with a gentleman from a new church in the village of Samson this past Thursday. We were meeting with them to discuss the possibility of this new church plant to become part of the newly organized BMA of Zambia, as well as training the pastor. I was questioning the pastor and an elder about their beliefs on baptism (submersion, for believers only after salvation) and asked where they would baptize. The elder pointed to a small creek close to the church, and I asked about wildlife in the creek, namely crocodiles. He assured me that there were no crocodiles in this water and it was very safe. As we continued our conversation, “no crocodiles” shifted to “not many crocodiles.” Now I don’t know about you, but one crocodile is many to me! We had a good laugh about the difference in “none” and “not many” and closed our conversation in prayer.
When it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Zambia, we need to be even more clear. Many people believe in many gods and follow the traditional teachings of witch doctors. When some hear about this “unknown God,” they are excited to add this God to their collection of gods. This becomes even more dangerous than wading in the creek with “not many” crocodiles because John 14:6 declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus calls for us to abandon all other gods and serve only Him. Adding even one other god for salvation brings about death.
Please continue to pray for us as we navigate the cultural and language barriers to communicate a clear and pure gospel to the people of Zambia, and that there are no crocodiles in the baptismal waters.
Please join us in praying for the following:
• The new church in Samson Village
• The church in Delavu
• BTCP Bible school (Pastor Training)
• The village of Mbangweta — This past week a young 8-year-old boy was killed on his way home from school. This is part of the family that lost a 12-year-old girl to a crocodile attack earlier this year. (email@example.com)