Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

SPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

      “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Only a hippopotamus will do. I don’t want a doll, no dinky Tinkertoy. I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy!”

      I used to sing that song all the time as a kid, never thinking I would live in a place where I actually have hippos! A few weeks ago, Sharon and I were given the opportunity to go canoeing on the Zambezi River with a couple of friends we have made here. We were told this area of the river only had 23 hippos in total, and the hippos never went where we would be.

      As we began our journey down the river, everything was fine. We were going through different rapids and small waterfalls, and I was beginning to relax. For those who know me, you know I do not like water — swimming, tubing, canoeing, etc. —but my wife loves it, so into the water I go. We turned a small bend, and there were some rapids approaching, so, with Sharon in the lead canoe and me in the following canoe, we placed our oars up as instructed by our guides. Suddenly, I heard a loud splash, and the guide in Sharon’s canoe started yelling and whistling loudly.

      Sharon grabbed her oar and started paddling vigorously. It was then that I noticed them — two full-grown hippos ran from the bank and into the water. Sharon was safely ahead, but my canoe was right next to them. I can tell you this, I have never paddled a canoe faster than I did that day. Fortunately, the hippos only gave a small chase of 10-12 feet before giving up due to the rapids.

      As we are ministering here in Zambia, we are always teaching and reminding the new believers to be on guard. As they are coming out of animism and other false religions to follow the One-True God, Satan is always lurking and scheming to attack. The Bible likens him to a roaring lion (which we also have here) seeking those he can devour. We must be prepared to fend off these attacks, but sometimes, we do not see them coming and are caught off-guard because they come from areas we were not expecting.

      One of our recent new believers is the wife of a local headman. She has been very faithful to attend all our Bible studies — even walking 90 minutes to attend them. Her husband is not a believer and follows the traditional witchdoctor and their beliefs. One of her first challenges came when the headman wanted to take their seed for planting to the witchdoctor and pay him to “bless” them. For those who are not familiar with animism and witchdoctors, the simple explanation is that it is the belief that all living things have a soul — plants, animals, rocks, mountains, rivers, people, etc. It is a very evil practice of dark witchcraft with roots based in the occult. She told her husband that this was a false god and they should ask the one true God to bless them.

      This caused a major battle for her, as women here are seen as subservient to men and are not to question their husbands. In this patriarchal society, women are not even addressed by their name but as “the mother of” their firstborn child’s name. When we arrived the next day, Sharon noticed that she was not her normal, happy self and went to speak with her. She explained everything that happened and how she refused to go with her husband to the witchdoctor. He said if she wouldn’t go to the witchdoctor that she wouldn’t be going to Bible study either. Even though they live in this patriarchal system, her husband has always treated her more as an equal. The headman’s wife was not expecting this attack from her husband of 20 years. She also let Sharon know how she told her husband that she would be asking “her God” for the true blessing. She was then worried because, as a new Christian, she did not even know if it was okay to ask God to bless their crops, but she knew it was not okay to pray to a false god.

      Sharon gave her a hug and told her that we can ask our God for anything and explained John 14:14 to her. We told her we would also be praying that God would give her a harvest that could not be explained other than the one true God had blessed her faithfulness. During our Bible study, which she was not allowed to attend, we had a special prayer time for her, the fields, the rains and the future harvest. We know Satan likes to appear and cause problems, but our God is all powerful, and provides what we need, when we need it. While we were praying, I noticed it was getting harder to hear. The one true God had sent rain while we were praying! The sound of the rain on the metal roof was almost deafening so we just began to praise God for sending it.

      We all know the importance of having a good harvest of crops, but here, it is the difference in life and death. One bad season of crops can mean starvation for an entire community. I ask that you pray for her to remain strong in her faith, pray for the headman to have his eyes and heart opened and for me as I continue to seek ways to share the true gospel of Jesus Christ with him. In addition to the material crop, please be praying for the spiritual harvest here as we see God moving and changing lives. Also be praying for the spiritual attacks that come our way around every bend. Also, please do not get me a hippopotamus for Christmas!

      We ask you to also join us in praying for the following:

      • The planting/rainy season to be fruitful,

      • New Bible studies,

      • Health during the anthrax outbreak,

      • A location to build the Bible school,

      • Spiritual warfare and

      • Chabantu Missionary Baptist Academy Primary School.

      The current needs we have for our ministry are for a solar pump and tank for the water well, a place to baptize near the church and on-going monthly supporters.

      We praise God for Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Jonesboro for providing funds for completing the church building, being welcomed into four more villages to begin Bible studies and four new students beginning pastor training.