Dear brothers and sisters, September 2007
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are grateful for your faithful prayers. Here is what the Lord has been doing among us recently.
Nine people were welcomed into membership since our last letter.
Having recently lost a member in death, this brings our membership to 312. We have been running classes for new members and are about to finish yet another class. Pray that they will utilise their new knowledge in improving their involvement in the life of the church. As individuals join the church, we would like them to be ‘muscle’ and not ‘fat’.
On a sad note, we lost a brother in August; Gilmore Katebe who died in his sleep. He had sickle cell anaemia. He served the Lord zealously despite his poor health. Pray for his sister Irene, who also suffers from sickle cell anaemia. She is our member and has not been well recently.
Four men who were previously excommunicated at different times between 1998 and 2006 were restored to fellowship at our recent members meeting. We rejoice at this turn of events and ask you to continue praying for them as they settle back among God’s people. Sadly, we had to excommunicate a lady who is living in sin. Pray that she too will be restored as the others were.
In our mid-week meetings in home groups we have began studying 1 Corinthians. Pray that many will make use of home group meetings for the sake of more intimate fellowship as the church grows. We are also using these same home groups to follow up those who visited our stand at the Agricultural and Commercial Show. We distributed a lot of Christian literature as well. Pray that this literature will awaken many souls to their need of the Saviour. Pray for the salvation of souls in all these efforts.
We are thankful to the Lord that the Antioch Youth Conference organised by Senior Youth Ministry on the theme, “Don’t waste your life”, went as scheduled in July. Pastor Jonathan Holdt of Bethany Baptist Church in South Africa was the main preacher. Pray that the word preached might help both the Christian and the non-Christian youth, not to waste their lives. Another praise item is the conference that took place from 26th August to 30th August 2007. Our usual annual conference was shortened by a day and was followed by the Sola 5 conference. We were overwhelmed by the numbers that attended from all over Zambia and from various parts of our sub-region and are thankful to the Lord that they came. We are also grateful to the Lord for those who brought the Word to us – Jeff Noblit, Voddie Baucham, and Martha Peace – and for the way he used them mightily to minister to us.
Pray for the remaining events on our church calendar. Some of these are; Prayer and Fasting Week on 22–26 October, Day of Special Studies on 24 November, Junior Youth Camp 6–10 December, Christmas Evangelistic Week 17–23 December 2007, Missions Conference 16–20 January 2008. The Missions Conference is a new item on the calendar. This is an in-house conference, meant to inspire us in our missions work. Pray that we will achieve this.
Book Ministry: Sadly, we recently experienced some major losses due to books either going missing or getting damaged while in transit. Despite all this, we praise God that the bookshop has done well. The bookstore manager was sent on attachment to Cape Town where she learnt a lot of lessons that we hope she will put into practice and so improve the bookstore.
Website: We are putting our website to good use. The sermons archives are now in place! So sermons preached by pastor over the last few years are now accessible to the world. Pray that they will be of spiritual benefit to many souls. We have included a monthly missions and ministry spotlight on our home page, so that people can follow what is happening among us monthly.
Children’s Ministry: We are thankful to the Lord for the four Bible clubs that are active across the city, with two having just been reactivated. The ministry wants to increase them to ten soon. This ministry also coordinates the Sunday church services at Old MacDonald’s farm – an orphanage ran by an English couple. Every Sunday, we provide transport, a preacher and someone to lead worship for the orphans there. Pray for the salvation of these children and that they will learn skills that will help them be independent. They have been a few professions of faith there of late. We praise God for this!
Hope for the Afflicted Ministry: They recently purchased some medical equipment and some new furniture in order to upgrade their counselling centre. Pray for them as they look for someone to run this centre on a full-time basis. They recently sent Bernard Blendell, a brother from UK, to work among poverty stricken children in the North Western Province of Zambia. Apart from evangelising the children he is also helping to meet their nutritional needs.
Library Ministry: Praise God for a donation of a video camera which will be used to produce DVDs of our Sunday services. These will be available for lending out and purchase. Pray that many will benefit spiritually from this addition.
Youth Ministry – Junior: Pray for them as they prepare for their camp in December. Pray also for the fruitful preaching of God’s word there.
As our work in church-planting grows, the Missions Committee is still looking for someone to fill the position of mission’s co-ordinator. Pray that they may find the right person.
Central Baptist Church Gaborone, Botswana: Membership stands at 8, with all the members being very active. Youth meetings have started while door-to-door visitations are carried out monthly. Pray for fruit from these labours. One couple moved to Francistown and the church there has recommenced. A door of opportunity has opened up for them to start another Reformed Baptist church in a town called Orapa.
Mwense: The membership of Ebenezer Reformed Baptist Church has gone down from 18 to 16 due to members moving out of town. Pray for the women’s and youth ministries which are not doing so well. Although people are responding well to the door-to-door outreach, the present location of the church makes it difficult for the people visited to continue coming. There is need for a more central meeting place. The building project is still at foundation level. Pray that the Lord would provide the finances needed to finish the building so that they can be more visible to the community.
Sinda: Though there is no formal membership yet, there are presently 18 individuals who have a credible profession of faith and are already baptised. Apart from these, they also have 15 individuals in regular attendance. Therefore, church attendance averages between 30 and 45. A baptism class of 4 individuals is also in progress. One of our home groups visited this church and helped with evangelistic outreach. They moulded 5,000 blocks and plan to start erecting a church building soon. Pray for funds.
Pastor’s Itinerant Preaching Ministry: Praise the Lord for Pastor Mbewe’s ministry in the USA in June and in South Africa in July. In January 2008 he will be taking a marathon of five pastors’ conferences for black pastors in different towns of South Africa. Continue praying for him and his family as he undertakes these preaching trips.
Electronic Media Ministry: The ministry did a documentary on the first 100 years of Baptist history in Zambia. They are currently airing sermons by Pastor Kalifungwa on the parable of the Prodigal Son and on the book of Proverbs. Praise the Lord for the responses they have been getting from listeners and pray for those that are not Christians to turn to Christ. The next series (October to December) will be on sexual abuse by Pastor and Mrs Raphael Banda.
Preachers’ College: The College is now offering certificate, diploma and degree qualifications in partnership with the Sovereign Grace Theological Seminary of Sola 5, the theological faculty of the newly formed University of Africa. This will enable anyone wanting to go on for further studies to any university in the world to do so. Praise the Lord for this development.
OFFICERS & STAFF
Praise the Lord that Pastor Mbewe clocked 20 years in the pastorate at KBC on 1st September 2007. To commemorate this, he has been preaching a one-year series entitled “The Things Most Surely Believed Among Us”. Pray that the Lord will continue to use him mightily among us. We are very grateful to the Lord for our leadership. Pray that God will continue to grant them wisdom as they oversee his flock. Amen!