Impressions of Zambia: An Apostolic Journey
Andy Wang—Irvine, California, USA
In the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ, I testify. In June 2011, I was blessed with the opportunity to
participate in a missionary trip to the nation of Zambia. I accompanied Preacher
FF Chong of London church (UK) and Preacher Tae-Hoon “TJ” Jung of El Monte
church (USA). The purpose of the trip was two-fold—ministering to the Zambian
members and evangelizing in remote regions and to members of other Christian
Our first stop was Kitwe where
there were two places of worship—Chimwemwe and Chamboli. Since I spent most of
the time in these two locations, they left the deepest impression on me. I
stayed at a member’s home in Chimwemwe and made frequent excursions to both places
of worship. My assignment was to teach religious education to the children,
lead Bible studies for the young adults, and generally to build a bond with the
SIMPLE BUT HAPPY
Throughout my interaction with the
members, I found that they are the simplest people I have ever met. They live
their lives in a self-subsistent and resourceful manner and are very good at
making the most of what they have.
For example, on weekday mornings,
members of the household woke up as early as 4 am to make use of the daytime to
complete a deluge of chores. They would also take advantage of the well water
that is only available at certain times of the day. Little children as young as
three were adept at washing clothes by hand. The brisk motion of the wet cloths
wringing against their wrists was a testament of the rigorous efforts they put
toward their daily endeavors. They demonstrated vigor and willpower. I believe
God has blessed them with a thankful and cheerful heart amidst what seems to be
Although I have attended many
fellowships in the US, the experience in Zambia was especially simple and warm.
Often, members would gather together after sunset, and sing soulful praise
tunes and native folk songs a cappella. At first, I was hesitant to join since
the lyrics and melodies were foreign to me. However, their voices were so
beautiful and harmonized, I felt compelled to join and quickly caught on. As we
sang with all of our hearts by the evening fireside, I immediately felt a
spiritual camaraderie with these brethren even though we had just met.
I also enjoyed bonding with the
young members through intense football games and invigorating runs on shoddy,
uneven dirt roads. A small round mound of crumpled garbage bags served as the
official “FIFA” ball. These members’ soles were toughened with calluses, yet
they ran with ease and were as swift as gazelles. There was a true sense of
freedom that I could not find in my world of technological advancement in the
Apart from their simple and
unassuming lives, our Zambian members also have a pure heart of worship and
willingness to accept the truth.
During a seminar on the Minor
Prophets and essential church doctrines, I observed that the members listened
intently. They studied the Bible passages with great diligence and focus just
as the Bereans did in Paul’s time. One evening when Pr. Chong was discussing
the revival of the apostolic church as prophesied in Isaiah, the members
eagerly raised their hands and asked many questions. After the discussion, they
agreed that it was indeed God’s grace that had allowed the gospel to spread
from East to West, all the way to Zambia. They rejoiced and thanked God in loud
More importantly, my experiences
of street evangelism were quite memorable. I have always been quite reluctant
to proclaim my faith and preach the gospel boldly. In America, citizens follow
all different types of religions and philosophies, from atheism to Islam to
mainstream Christianity. Sometimes, it was hard to figure out how to speak to
the target audience and what topics to touch upon.
In Zambia, the citizens are
predominantly Christian, ranging from Jehovah’s Witnesses to Seventh Day
Adventists, Baptists, and even Seventh Day Baptists. For the most part, the
Zambian people generally agree on common Christian beliefs that one must call
upon the Lord to be saved and that baptism removes sins.
During one of my afternoon
evangelism excursions, I met a pastor from a Pentecostal church who was unaware
that the correct mode of baptism is crucial to its saving power. I explained to
him that we must bow in the likeness of Christ and be fully immersed during
baptism. At first, these seemed to be mere symbolic details to the pastor.
However, by the grace of God, he was able to understand the importance of
following Jesus’ example.
Zambia is a rather God-fearing
nation. Once the people hear the truth of the gospel, there is not much that
will cause them to relent for they know that “the word of God is living and
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division
of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12).
RESPONDING TO THE MACEDONIAN CALL
In Solwezi, Preacher TJ, Brother
Dilema (a local church worker), and I met a pastor from the New Life Church at
the inn where we were staying. He asked whether we belonged to the troupe of
itinerant evangelists staying at the inn, and we nodded. This pastor thought it
would be a good idea to discuss our church doctrines with him in efforts to
merge our church with his.
Knowing that this would not be our
intention, we were not sure if it would be worth our time and effort to
evangelize to him. However, we agreed that we would meet the pastor in our
living quarters later that evening for further discussion. Brother Dilema
insisted that it could be a path, which God was trying to open because the
pastor was from Kabompo, a region in Zambia that has no place of worship. We
then prayed together for one hour, asking God to guide us according to His
Shortly afterwards, the pastor met
us in our room. We began to recount our ten basic beliefs, one by one, as we
gazed at the pastor’s face, wondering if he was receptive to God’s word.
Surprisingly, he agreed to everything we said and showed a great deal of
interest. At the end, he was inspired to learn more about the word of God and
insisted that our preachers visit Kabompo. He immediately got up in excitement
and made a phone call to his clergymen, inquiring of the idea to hold a
spiritual seminar. Preacher TJ, Brother Dilema, and I were deeply touched by
God’s grace, as we knew this could only be the start of something incredible.
A few days later, Preacher FF
Chong arrived in Kabompo and, with the help of Brother Chisala from Chimwemwe,
he delivered several days’ worth of basic belief classes. The members of the
New Life Church were fully moved by the word of God and came to accept the
truth. A couple of days later, a special baptism was held in Kabompo and as a
result, six leaders of the New Life Church were baptized.
When Preacher TJ and I had heard
the good news, we knelt down and praised God with pure joy and thanksgiving. We
were humbled by God’s amazing power and will. Undoubtedly, the Holy Spirit was working
This experience reminded me of
Paul’s response to the divine call to preach in Macedonia.
And a vision appeared to Paul
in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over
to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we
sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the
gospel to them.
I learned that it is the Spirit of
God, which enables the gospel to be preached to places and in ways man cannot
fathom. Through His design, wherever a seed is sown, a harvest will be
RELYING ON GOD
During the trip, I also realized
that most of my struggles in Zambia were mental and personal. I felt like my
own worst enemy. I had always lived a life of comfort in America and never had
to worry about basic necessities. Sometimes, I would even complain about the
food I ate or the things that I have or want. But in Zambia, I was suddenly
thrust into a world of no electricity, no running water, no laundry machine, no
toilets, and no favorite meals. I felt as though I was living in a different
world that I had to adapt to quickly.
Every day, we were constantly on
the move, traveling between places of worship, trekking for hours along starlit
roads, and walking briskly while members escorted us through the hustle and
bustle of downtown.
During the first few days, I was anxious about each day’s itinerary and worried
about my health and tolerance under these “austere” conditions. All these
thoughts developed into a mental struggle that even caused me to lose sleep at
night. I knew I had to turn to God to deliver me from my inner enemy. Our
hour-long prayers in the mornings and afternoons really helped me to calm my
heart and rely fully on the Lord in all my cares. Gradually everything became
smoother, my fears diminished, and joy and peace filled my heart.
Overall, the missionary trip was
an eye-opening experience and taught me a lot about God’s great commission to
spread the gospel to the end of the earth. Living in America has caused me to
become complacent with the usual church rigmarole and lose sight of what is
really important—the spirit of passing on His word that can only be fueled by
the power of the Holy Spirit and His abidance. As I was relying on the Holy
Spirit to preach in these foreign lands, I really felt His power. It gave me
great encouragement to continue to preach back at home.
In addition, the members in Zambia
reminded me how we are one big happy family in Christ. I will always remember
their generosity in preparing delicious and hearty meals for us, their
hospitality in hosting us in their humble abodes, and their genuine love in
praying for us as we pressed on to our next destination.
Outwardly, I may look different
from the Zambians, but when we dig deeper, we see that the same blood flows in
our veins—the blood of Jesus Christ that has washed away our sins. It is
extremely humbling to know that we are united through the blood and Spirit of
Christ, as we fight the spiritual battle. If God meant for us to find a piece
of heaven on earth, then He must have placed it in the fellowship with our
brothers and sisters around the world.
Praise God for His wondrous
blessings. May all the power, praise, and glory be unto His holy name. Amen.