Monday, June 10, 2013

Starting With A Bang—Tales From The Mission Field

[This is the third instalment in the series of blog posts entitled, “Tales from the mission field”. The series comprises glimpses into some of the fruit being born through the efforts of the missionaries currently planting churches under the oversight of Kabwata Baptist Church. This latest blog post is from Bonaventure Baptist Church, which is being planted in the southern suburbs of Lusaka by Pastor Oswald Sichula and his wife, Mwenya.]

Pastor Oswald Sichula and his family
When people first come to faith in Christ, they usually take some time before they begin to feel part of the fellowship, actively share their faith, and participate in the life of the church. But this was not the case with Elias and his wife, Memory, who began their journey in faith with a bang!

It all began with an evangelistic tea party organised by our women’s ministry in the last quarter of 2011. Memory was invited and she attended. A few days after the meeting, two ladies from church visited her to find out how she had found the meeting. She told them it was very encouraging. They then invited her for a Sunday morning church service.

After the service, Pastor Sichula and his wife visited her. Her husband, Elias, was also around when the pastor and his wife visited. The following Sunday both Memory and Elias were in attendance, and this was to be the beginning of their consistent association with our church.

Encouraged by this regular church attendance, the pastor decided to conduct a special Bible study with them on the subjects of salvation and the assurance of salvation. After some weeks of consistent study, the couple began to ask questions on a number of issues pertaining to salvation.

These studies continued until March 2012 when a review of the studies was done. When confronted with the application of the studies, both of them confessed that they had now known the gospel differently from how they previously knew it and that they felt so bad that all along they had been comfortable in a false assurance of salvation.

Elias and Memory were part of the eight candidates baptised this year on 10th March 2013 and a summary of their testimonies, read out at the baptism service, speaks volumes about their faith.

Elias and Memory Mangaba with their son
Elias Mangaba wrote: “I grew up a religious person in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. I thought that mere regular attendance of church worship services was enough for one to be a Christian. Despite this regular church attendance my character and indeed my lifestyle was worldly since I had no power within myself to restrain me from sin.

“In 2012, my wife and I began to attend Bible study sessions on the subjects of salvation and the assurance of salvation. As the studies progressed I realized that my standing with God was not right and I needed to rectify this anomaly in my life. On 2nd March 2012, I knelt down in my bedroom and asked God to regenerate my heart, to give me a new life and a hope of eternal glory, through his son Jesus Christ.”

Memory Mangaba wrote: “Before my conversion I would attend church but had no time whatsover to read or pay attention to the word of God. I never enjoyed the things of God but lavished myself in all sorts of worldly activities. On 2nd October 2011, an accident occurred in which many lives were lost. This incident awakened in me the reality of my own death and out of the fear of the grave I asked God to forgive me of all my sins. But I had no peace.

“In 2012 I started attending Bible study sessions with my husband on the subject of salvation and the assurance of salvation. Through these studies I came to fully understand the way of salvation and I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. With Jesus in my life I have no fear of death any more.”

From the time Elias and Memory experienced the love and mercy of God, they have exhibited lives that are indebted to Christ through their zeal and commitment to the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elias is already coordinating the meetings of the men’s ministry while Memory has already been tasked with the responsibility of being treasurer of the women’s fellowship.

Elias has already been marked out among those who will be discipled with a view to being groomed for leadership in this young church. Such grace in such a short period of time can only be ascribed to the work of God the Holy Spirit. As you praise God with us for this encouraging couple, pray that the Lord will keep them firm and help them grow exceedingly in grace.

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