Friday Afternoon in Monze

The girls have enjoyed a leisurely morning with Nashim, so we get back to the house, have a cup of coffee, get ready and head to Monze. We are heading to the church pastored by Oliver and Shiela Hanzala. Oliver was the first young man who I gave opportunity to preach at an outreach. This tagged him with the name: “young preacher”. He carries to this day the fire and enthusiasm of a young man dedicated to God. He has a miracle church. He fought the fight for years, building his church, being one of 7 churches in a small school. He won disciples to himself and built a core of believers that had impact upon the city. Our first outreaches to Monze involved setting up across from the taverns, one tavern even offered us space to hold Sunday morning services. Whether it was a film or a concert we always brought a crowd out. We eventually got land. The city gave us the very plot we used to set up at right across from the taverns. When we finished our building in Mazabuka we set up the tent in Monze. Some storms did some damage to the tent several times, and we treated it by hand sowing rips and making patches, but one storm shredded the tent, even twisting the poles. As I drove into town to consider the options I noticed the signs coming into town, not blown down, but the steel posts still in the ground with the sign bent to the ground. I knew it was a bad storm. We decided to store what was left of the tent. This was a difficult time for Pastor Hanzala and the church. They had to return to the school, and they lost  some of that forward momentum. Just before leaving Zambia, the Wickenburg church gave us some money to start a building in Monze.

Pastor Oliver hit the ground running, and with the help of Alfred Kagolo, he had a frame and roof up. He used pieces of the tent for walls. Now, 5 years later he has, on his own, built the walls with windows and doors. The windows were not broken, that is a big deal. So we will be returning to see this completed building, as it was not completed 2 years earlier when we visited. We are looking forward to the visit for another reason also, Sheila is a great cook. My favorite is a sweet potato with onions dipped in a homemade peanut butter sauce. They treat everyone right. We are coming with Pastor Tembo and his wife Bette, Pastor Happy and Happiness and their children (the picture of them below is when we picked them up; it was just the two of them, we looked back up the path leading to their home to see a small group of sad faces; aren’t the kids coming? Can they? He waves them on and the sad faces blossomed with smiles as they travel as a family). We also have Mr. Malombo, one of Pastor Tembo’s disciples who wants to preach. We are also giving one of the school teachers a ride home to Monze. The young men and women have preceded us outreaching, playing music and squeezing in a football match. Pastor Oliver will treat all of us to a meal, the young ladies on the outreach team are also treated to a meal and the young men will happily survive on “sweet” beer. The point I am making is that he puts out extra effort in blessing the Mazabuka folks who come to labor for their church.

We head to church where there is a celebration waiting for us. Many old faces, many new faces with Pastor Oliver proudly displaying us for the church. The girls are giving the double dutch ropes another shot, no one is getting the hang of it naturally like I had assumed. Our guys return from their football match, they won. The equipment is being set up and we get off to a roaring start. Sorry, this will not be a few songs and a sermon, but a high energy get together that defies some of my Western sensibilities. Monze, one step removed from Mazabuka, is a Zambian church with a Zambian pastor who has been deeply influenced by an American pastor but is still “Truly Zambian”. I am loving it. We have one light bulb hanging from the rafters with a electrical line stretched to a neighbor’s house. Music and more music with the dust swirling in the air, Timothy Zulu is their favorite, they have their choir sing, I give them my gifts taking time on each on to the roaring approval of the church, I preach a themed sermon, can’t remember now, but I had it in my mind all week and it flowed well. Easy to preach in this atmosphere, the crowd has grown to standing room only as the evening has progressed. Many hands go up, as we pray and continue to worship God as Pastor Hanzala takes over. He keeps the level of excitement high with Timothy singing and he semi-preaching as he links his church with Mazabuka and us. It is very gratifying. He then is going to move to gift giving. One of my favorite gifts from preaching in Monze was a live goat. Tonight, it will be outfits, hats and scarves for all of us as each gift has to be danced up to us and placed upon us to the cheering and joy of all involved. One last special gift, Pastor Hanzala is going to extra lengths to involve everyone in this last gift, it turns out to be a hat for Pastor Mitchell to thank him for his investment in Zambia. It was a great night as the music and the movement sweep us all along.

It was an emotional night. I am thinking about Pastor Oliver, our swaying or dancing young men and revival in Zambia. I am thinking about disciple’s relationships with their pastor. I am thinking about Timmy and Pastor Tembo. I feel like I have let Timmy down, not making any money with the film, but I see such a giant of a man and can only hope and pray that he can rise above the disappointment. We talked about the film during the week, and I said I tried failed, and short of money landing in my hand I don’t know how else to go about it. He had been hoping all of these years and how can I blame him, he gave his all in the film just like he gave his all in this outreach tonight, something he has done for many years now, without financial reward. We drop Pastor Happy and family in Magoye, we have inherited the girls for the more comfortable ride back in the van rather than the open truck. Just outside of Mazabuka we hear and feel a loud “kachunk” sound. The vehicle starts to make a grinding high pitched sound as I pull over. When I try to move I hear the same sound coming from the gear box. We push the vehicle into the hospital compound and we will deal with it tomorrow. The security guard tells it will be OK, but a supervisor gets involved and tells us we cannot keep the vehicle there. Pastor Tembo makes some calls and Mr. Sinisongwe, our ex-shoprite manager, comes to the rescue. We call two cabs, one for the girls and one for us. Pastor Tembo stays on with Mr. Malembo to tow the vehicle to the church.

We return home for our last night with the Dawodgee’s. Nashim does the henna tattooing

for the girls as we watch the football match, but life has just changed again.


About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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