Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DAY THREE: The 21st Zambian Annual Reformed Conferences

As I said in my previous blog, I have to disappoint you with the news that I missed the morning session of the conference today. I had a funeral on my hands which I just had to handle. It was a good gospel opportunity because many members of staff at the Lusaka SOS Children’s Village were present, together with some of the older children.

The young man who died--Brian Phumulo--was a member of the Boys' Brigade, and so they came with their brass band to give him a colourful send off. I preached from Titus 2:11-14 on the blessed hope that Christians have due to the grace of God the father, the converting power of the Holy Spirit, and the redeeming work of the Son of God. It is this hope that we want to share with the children and staff at the SOS Children’s Village, especially in the light of the death of their parents that has left them as orphans and the death of Brian Phumulo.

Byron Glaspy (who came from the USA to attend our conference) and I arrived at the conference just in time to partake of a late lunch that was kept for us. I was asked to lead the afternoon session which was about inter-church news. Due to the many Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia and around the sub-region, we concentrated on the newer works and those churches which recently got pastors.

So, we heard testimonies about the Reformed Baptist works in Chipata (Pastor Albert Ngoma, seen above), Chipulukusu (Ndola), Kaoma, Katete, and Mansa. On the international scene, we heard testimonies about Reformed Baptist works in Botswana, Kenya (Pastor Sam Oluoch, seen below), Malawi, and Namibia. We could not exhaust all the churches that wanted and needed to share. We also spent time in prayer for the churches.

We then went out for supper. Meal times are a very good time to catch up with inter-church fellowship, consultation and counselling. You could see scattered in the church auditorium, under the tents, and around the church grounds, small groups of brethren talking together. What I appreciated the most was that they were hardly ever from the same church. It was clearly a time of cross-pollination.

The evening session began with a few more participants being welcomed. We specifically welcomed attendees from Lebanon, New Zealand, and from Ndola Baptist Church. Ronald Kalifungwa (seen below), who was very concerned that our entire conference bulletin did not have a hymn on the family when the theme of the conference was on the family, took time to teach us a hymn, “O happy home, where Thou art loved the dearest.” Charles Bota introduced Ronald thus, “What the church gained in preaching in Ronald, it also lost in the world of music. Ronald is an accomplished musician.” Anyone who doubted this soon had his doubts removed as Ronald taught us this wonderful hymn!

Kangwa Kutemba (seen below), a member of Evangel Baptist Church, led our evening meeting with his characteristic passion. Our preacher in this final session of the day was Bruce Button, who preached from Ephesians 5:25-31. Having shown us the context of Paul’s instructions to families, Bruce took us straight to the directives of Paul to husbands. He listed down a number of ways in which Christ is an example for husbands.

Having listed them, Bruce (seen below) spent the rest of the sermon taking us through each one of them. We saw that (1) Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (2) Christ loved the church and cleansed her by the washing of water through the Word. (3) Christ loved the church and will present her to himself in splendour.

Bruce took a few moments to apply this at a spiritual level to those of us who were present in the meeting. Do we have an inheritance in Christ? Are we united to Christ? If not, he pleaded with us to come to Christ and inherit this gloriously rich adoption, forgiveness, redemption, etc.

Bruce applied all this to husbands. He urged us to (1) share all our wealth (both physical and spiritual) with our wives, (2) take a special delight in our wives, and (3) live a life of sacrifice for our wives. Recognising that this was a very high standard, Bruce urged us all to be filled with the Spirit because only the Holy Spirit can produce such fruit in us.

It is on this note that we ended the day at the conference. Ronald led us again in singing, “O happy home, where Thou art loved the dearest”. How blessed must be the children (such as the ones below) who come from such homes! Tomorrow, I will be with the Reformed School of Theology and so expect to read a report on that part of the conference at the end of the day. Bye for now!

1 comment:

  1. this is very helpful for some of us who did not get an opportunity to attend. we pray that the conferenced will continue to be fruitful. it is also a blessing to recognize some people in these photos.