My big outreach program using the bible study books finished up this last Sunday. The idea was that we would invite people to church showing them the bible study booklet that we use in our home bible studies. I am not sure of what to make of the results. “unless the Lord builds the house the labor is in vain” can be a haunting verse when we try and accomplish the task of building the church through our own initiative. But I have always found solace in the fact that “one man plants, another waters but the Lord brings the increase”.
Well, after what I considered some good times of outreach we came to our Sunday morning service with a fresh heavy rain awaiting us as we made our way to church. We concluded our Sunday School as the rain subsided. It was time to introduce visitors. About 15 stood up and introduced themselves or were introduced by people from the church, this included two Americans working with an NGO here in Mazabuka. I was excited as 5 said they had come because they had been given cards. Well, after church only two of them met with me to start our program to receive the bible study booklet.
It is one of those outreaches that I want to be a permanent part of church. I think I am encouraged but as quickly as that ends another outreach follows so on we go.
This last Valentine ’s Day we invited the married couples from church over to our house for dinner. We had 3 women who have lost their husbands help with the cooking, they were happy to be able to minister in that way. We had 3 single men serve. We had 22 couples attend. Most times that Zambians visit our house there tends to be a sense of reserve and quietness. Not this night. Everyone was chatting and having a good time. Joan spent most of her time in the kitchen so I just wandered in and out of the different groups of people.
There was a genuine levity and joy in the air. When we were finished eating dinner the Nyoni’s, who are about as good a married couple team you will ever find, did a presentation on the importance of communication in marriage. We then settled down for tea and cake. Everyone was in a good mood with lots of laughing and noise. Mr. Chachalanga stood and asked for everyone’s attention. With everyone’s attention he admitted that he has never bought his wife a gift. With that he produced a small wrapped box from his coat and handed it to his wife with a declaration of his love. She opened the gift and he got a public kiss, very special. This increased the level of good will as several other men had gifts for their wives and presented them.
It was a great night for everyone. After the last couple left we served the 3 men and the 3 woman who served. We scraped the bottom of the pot, and everyone but two people got served, but Joan and I were very pleased with just some cake.