Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Never Too Late"--Tales From The Mission Field

[This blog post is the start of a series of new posts that I will be doing entitled, "Tales From The Mission Field". Kabwata Baptist Church is presently overseeing the establishment of some twenty Reformed Baptist churches across Zambia and Botswana. Other church plants have already become independent Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia, Namibia, and Malawi.

In this first blog post, Pastor German Banda gives us a peep into some of his evangelistic work. He came to Lusaka at the start of last year to help establish our very first effort at church planting, which is the John Laing Reformed Baptist Church. We trust that the Lord will help him to push this work over the inflection point so that it can stand on its own.]

* * * * *

Pastor German Banda with his wife and son
“Ninshi ulefwaya iwe, Pastor Banda." These were words from an old man aged over sixty years. I met Mr Manjimela in the early months of 2012 when I came to take up the work at John Laing. He is Bemba by tribe and the above words, spoken in Bemba, simply mean, “What do you want, Pastor Banda?” He divorced his wife 10 years ago. He now lives alone and is not in any formal employment. Finding something to eat is a real struggle for him. From what I have seen he tries to earn his living as a cobbler, mending other peoples’ shoes.

Unfortunately Mr Manjimela does not seem to have many customers. In a whole day he would probably have two or three customers. That would raise him only K2 (US$0.40) or K3 (US$0.60).  In short, the old man needs someone to take care of him. I tried to find out if he receives any financial help from his children or any other relative to buy his daily requirements. So far, it seems he has no one to help him. I am still investigating so that I establish his status and also just to know him better.

I have been sharing the gospel with Mr Manjimela since May 2012. In some instances I just sat with him to ask him about our country’s history, how it was doing under the colonial government. We have been talking and sharing many stories. Being an old man he is a great store of very interesting historical stories, particularly about the missionaries who once came to Zambia to spread the gospel.

The challenge that I have had with Mr Manjimela has been his not allowing me to open and read from the Bible. This is what he would say: “What do you want, Pastor Banda? I know the Bible better than you. I have been reading the Bible for a long time, as far back as 1950. What new thing can you tell me from it?” In other instances, he would not even allow me to visit his home. I really desired Mr Manjimela to know the Lord Jesus Christ and receive him as his personal Saviour.

Despite much prayer for his salvation I still experienced very strong opposition from Mr Manjimela. What troubled my heart was that he had been neglected by his family and he did not know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. If only he could have Christ, I thought to myself, at least he would not be alone but have a spiritual family to take care of him.

Towards the end of last year, after a break of about two months without sharing the gospel with Mr Manjimela, I went back to him. We briefly revived the discourse but he soon said these words again in his local language, “Bushe ninshi efyo ulefwaya kuli ine? Teti uye monako bambi?“ Which translates into “What do you really want from me? Can’t you go and see other people?” This made me stop visiting him.

Then in February this year, I recommenced. I took every opportunity to at least read a Scripture for him even if he was not paying attention. I believe that, in spite of it, the Lord was doing his job speaking to him in a special way.

To my amazement, on the first Sunday of March this year, I saw the old man come to worship with us. He seemed very happy with the service. Since then Mr Manjimela has become one of us. Two weeks ago, he professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is among the earliest to come to church every Sunday morning. He is there for Bible study and he participates very well. He also attends men’s fellowship every Friday evening.

Please join us in giving thanks to our Lord for Mr Manjimela. Pray for his growth in the things of the Lord.

The work at John Laing is beginning to gain momentum. Please continue praying for its growth. Give thanks with us for the youth ministry which has just been born. We will value your support in praying for more conversions and spiritual growth. Pray also that I establish a leadership group in the church.

I personally have not enjoyed good health for the past six months and have gone through various medical tests all of which have turned out negative. Pray that this too gets resolved.

German Banda
Missionary Pastor –John Laing


  1. This is indeed heart warming and encouraging. We thank God who has continued to save all classes of people to Himself through His word by His Spirit