Sunday, September 24, 2023
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HomeAll The NewsSPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

SPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

Our First Christmas in Zambia — This Christmas, we are learning about the local traditions in Zambia and sharing some of our favorites with new friends. Our Christmas celebration started Dec. 22 in Chibinga (pronounced chee-bean-ga) village. We started visiting this village about two months ago. Chibinga is about a 2.5-hour drive deep into the bush. We started with Bible studies every Thursday, and the response has been great. We have been raising money to purchase Bibles in the two local languages in Chibinga — Tonga and Lozi — and have been able to purchase about 50 so far. We want the people of Chibinga to be able to study the Word for themselves and not just take a missionary’s word for it (II Tim. 2:15). One of the phrases I have used for many years is, “If I can talk you into something, someone else can talk you out of it” (Phil. 2:12).

We planned to eat a Christmas meal with the village and the members of the Bible study. On a typical Thursday, we will have about 50 adults and close to 50 children. In preparing for the meal, we made plans for about 120 children and 100 adults. When we arrived at the village, we could see that it was buzzing with people. We begin Bible study at 2 p.m. every Thursday, but we were getting to the village quite a bit early that day so we could begin cooking food for 300 people to eat after Bible study. The meal would consist of Nshima (pronounced “She-ma” and is a ground corn-based thick porridge), rape (a green leafy vegetable similar to kale), cabbage salad, kapenta (a small, dried fish like a sardine), chicken, rice, beans and popcorn. As we began unloading the truck, we could tell there were a lot more people than usual, especially this early as Zambians are well known for being late. (We like to call it Zambian time.)

As the day progressed, more and more people kept showing up. We recently built a wood structure with a blue tarp as a roof for us to meet under since the rainy season has started. We built the structure to seat about 125 people to make room as our Bible study continues to grow. The week before, I challenged them to begin inviting their friends and family to attend the Bible study with the encouragement, “Everyone can bring at least one person.” The members of the Bible study took this challenge to heart! By the time 2 p.m. came around, we had over 300 children and around 250 adults. My mind went immediately to the story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes. Sharon and I, along with a few of the other leaders in our group, met to pray for God to do something miraculous — not just to help us have enough food to eat, but for those who had never heard the saving message of Jesus Christ.

We kicked off our Bible study with several songs, and the children had prepared three songs to sing as a special. Then I had the privilege of sharing the story of Christmas. I started in the book of Genesis and explained the reason why we even need a savior to be born. As we walked through the story of man’s disobedience to God’s plan and the penalty for that disobedience, the people were intently listening. The whole area was packed with people — 550-600 people crowded in and all around our new structure that was built to hold 125. At the end of the message, I gave a response time for people to make the choice to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for the first time. We spent the next two hours praying with and counseling people for salvation.

I know many people came to receive the free meal they heard we were providing, but they received something more — the gift of eternal life! In the coming weeks, we will have a better count of how many received salvation as we follow up and continue to pour into their lives. Another phrase I like to say is “Salvation is free to receive, instant and eternal, but the relationship with Jesus Christ takes a lifetime.” Please continue to pray for Chibinga as many are giving their lives to Christ, as we disciple them and for those who have not yet been saved. For those still wondering about the meal… we began cooking at around 10 a.m. and were still cooking at 8 p.m., but everyone who was there got to eat a meal, and we got to continue the conversation while they were waiting.

We pray you had a wonderful Christmas with church, family and friends.

Prayer Requests — Headman of Chibinga village as he is being discipled as a new believer, discipleship of all the new believers, salvation of all unbelievers in Chibinga, the gospel to continue into the surrounding villages and our language acquisition classes.

Needs — Bibles in Tonga and Lozi language, shoes for the children in Chibinga, and tires and a new gearbox for our 4×4. (