Our Zambian Adventure: Magoye

We touched down into Lusaka. The walk from the plane to the terminal just feels right. Going through passport control, visas have gone up, officers still friendly. All of the luggage shows up but Laura Michelle’s. She fills out the paperwork, which makes us the last people through customs. I am prepared to pay, but would rather not, it all depends on the person, they wave us through with our obviously heavy load. Jeff Day meets us, as we load all of the luggage in Tom Cunningham’s old Livingston van and we hop in Jeff’s vehicle.

Jeff is the last American in our fellowship still in Zambia. Jeff is going to allow us to use the van the entire time we are in Zambia. This is an unexpected blessing. He, his wife Maureen and their son Brian take us out to lunch after we rest and freshen up. Jeff and I go change money and get caught up. We were talking about where we could watch the football match between England and USA that evening. I would start revival in Mazabuka the next morning. The phone rang and it was Pastor Tembo letting me know that I would be preaching in Magoye that night.

We loaded up and headed for Mazabuka about two hours away. I forgot to bring my Zambian driver license so I wonder what to expect at the stop point just on the other side of the Kafue river. They just waved us through. We arrived at the guest house, new management sees a gold mine, she explains that Pastor Tembo set us up for 3 meals a day with our lodging and she is going to give us a discount. The small fortune she is hoping for will have to wait until another day. Just the rooms, and we will see about meals as time goes. The girls get ready while I take all of the equipment over to the church.

The guys are all there waiting for the truck that will take them and the equipment to Magoye for outreach and service tonight. We have a man in church who lets the church use his truck just paying for gas. The guys are all excited. The PA that Pastor Mitchell gave me has huge speakers (49.5 lbs each). Now they have a system for the church that will not be moved and a system for outreach. This will take a lot of pressure off of Pastor Tembo. When I was there we outreached all of the time. It was nothing for us to take the equipment to a school, a marketplace, a village, a farm or a funeral or any event that was happening. When I left those dynamics necessarily changed as Pastor Tembo needed to nurse the equipment along and couldn’t maintain the pace of equipment use of the past. This caused some grumbling.

Audra had brought a base in a case and the keyboard that the Rivera’s gave us was put into a case from the Stewart’s. I also had a suitcase full of medical books and DVD’s for Doctor Okello. It was an old hardback suitcase that my mother had given Brooke to use. I use to be able to send mail bags full of books to Zambia for a buck a pound. Sometime in early 2007 I sat next to Linda Counts the librarian for Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. We struck up a conversation and soon I had books and medical journals showing up at my house that the library was recycling. The bad news is that the Post Office did away with mail bags in May of 2007. So thus the suitcase full of things given to me by Linda. Anyways, they had a great case for cables and mikes now.

Seeing everyone is short at the church as I race against the clock to get everyone ready to jet lag our way to Magoye. We get there just as it is beginning to get dark. The girls give a valiant effort to demonstrate one of the gifts I have for the church: two sets of double Dutch jumping ropes. Laura Michelle seems to remember how to jump as the other two turn the ropes, but none of the kids are able to get the hang of it in the short space of time we have. It will be an outreach in the dark. I am watching the guys sing and move as they gather a crowd, something I have seen hundreds of times before, but it still fills me with wonder. Is there too much movement? I have a thought that would be repeated verbally later in the week; what separates this scene from a scene in a Zambian tavern? The answer of course is the presence of God verses the presence of alcohol.

There are hundreds of people there now, mostly young children but plenty of adults and young people. Happy Muntali is the pastor with his wife Happiness and their 4 children. Happy left a job at sugar (the local industry of choice) to come and take over this church here in this farming community of Magoye. I will be preaching in Mazabuka and all three of its baby churches. I have a set of gifts for each pastor. First, a Nelson’s Study Bible recommended by Greg Mitchell at his sermon seminars, a jar of Sam’s “fireballs” (something I am asked for by all of the kids) (Wilbert, Pastor Tembo’s son, cried the first time he tried one) and the two sets of double Dutch ropes, that I am hoping can work as an outreach tool and a contest tool at the Harvester’s in September when all of these churches meet in Mazabuka. By the time I am to preach, the light is gone, the attempt to tie a 220 volt to the 110 generator has failed to produce any light, so it is time to preach. I had a theme to preach that night and for the life of me I cannot remember what it was at this time. I preach, we have an altar call, hands go up, we pray, and we celebrate with worship and more singing.

The main group of guys who pull these outreaches off are all still there. The difference is that some of them have entered into the maturing process of job, marriage and children while some have invested in their own CD’s and still use the outreach as a platform to display their identity. In the dark we tear down as I briefly talk with Happy and his disciples who let me know that the plot’s foundation is ready for building. I get to greet Thomas, one of the singers from the soundtrack of the Tembo film, he is driving a cab with all of the temptations that go with that, but he has used his cab this night to transport people to the outreach at his own expense. We load up the equipment and our van is now filled with people getting the more comfortable ride back to Mazabuka, about 30 minutes away.

We drop everyone off at the church, it is late, but now there is a Debonair’s Pizza in town. We stop in for a pizza before going back to the guest house. Lo and behold it is USA verses England. The place is full of people watching the match but not eating any pizza. We order our pizza sit down to watch the match watching England score we get our Pizza and head home. The power is out, blown transformer that is just effecting our section of town. We are exhausted, so we all just go to sleep, no fans, no air conditioning with only the mosquito nets to protect us from the dreaded malaria. The next day we would find out that England USA drew. Here are some photos of the night with two portraits of Happy and family.


About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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