Friday, February 8, 2008

There are several people groups in our area: Soli, Lenje, Nsenga, Chikunda, Lala and Swaka. The total population of these people groups is 700,000. Each group has their own heart language but the common vernacular is Chinyanja. Please pray for the people on our team to master the language and be able to communicate in an effective way.

In our area there is a dichotomy between established, existing, churches and the unreached. We have about 300 churches in our area, but at the same time, there are many areas where the gospel has not yet reached, and there are few or no churches.

These unreached areas include Old Mkushi, Chembe and Mboshya north of the Lunsemfwa river, Luangwa district, and the Zumbo and Zambwe districts of Mozambique. These are the areas where we are focusing the majority of our time and efforts. Pray for us that we would be light in these areas of darkness.

Eastern Harvest Team

The following are the people that make up our team. Please pray for them as you read a little about each one of them.

This is Kendall, Joy, Lily, Easton, and Lauren Helgren. They are currently living in Chipata, Zambia studying the language Chichewa. This July they will be moving to their area of service, a small rural area called Nyimba where they will do church planting. They will also be working some in Mozambique. Pray for them as they adjust to having a new family member, Lauren, that was just born Feb. 15th, 2008. Pray for them to learn the language well so that when they move to Nyimba they will be able to communicate effectivly to the people they have come to work with.

One year ago Van and Mary Thompson transfered from Malawi to Zambia. Mary has come to work as a treasurer in our main office of Lusaka. Van teaches at the Baptist Seminary in Lusaka, teaches TEE(Theological Education by Extension), teaches and leads 3 of our rural Bible Schools, and preaches on Sundays to many of our churches. They have two grown boys living in the states. Pray for them as they juggle all that they have going on and as they continue to adjust to living in Zambia after being in Malawi for 25 years.

Energized by passion for spreading the gospel, Amai Justina Mwachimota takes the gospel to her world. She faced the same spiritual problems most Zambians face today-customs led by the local witch doctor. After watching the Jesus film, she knew Jesus was the only Way. She realized that He was more powerful than a curse or beads bestowed by the witch doctor. This Zambian woman works to show others that Jesus is the Hope for which they are searching. In Zambia, the family is everything-it means stability and support. For Justina, becoming a Christian meant separation from her family. Justina no longer participates in customary mourning parties for the dead where homebrew is made and drunk with a vengence. Justina no longer looks to the witch doctor for health and strength. In fact, she now teaches against these customs, in deed as well as words. Justina is a widow and a mother of five children. One of which has passed away in the last few years to AIDS. Life in Zambia is tough. Justina was voted woman of Africa back in 2001. She works very hard in the eastern province of Zambia. Please pray for her as she ministers to women.

Dwayne and Betty Mitchell live in Lusaka also and work in Administration as Logistical Coordinators. They do many things but mostly they find houses and vehicles for missionaries when they come to the field, and help our missionaries maintain work permits and other govt. issues. They have just been in this position a short time. They used to live in Nyimba where they served among the Nsenga people for several years. They have 3 children all living in the states. Betty volunteers at local orphanages when she has the opportunity. Pray for them as they work with so many missionaries that they would be encouraging and helpful.

Kevin, Suzie, Zach, Justin, and Hannah Rodgers live in Chongwe, Zambia. Kevin is the Strategy leader for this team. He teaches TEE, Training for Trainers, and Chronological Bible Storying in our area but is now mostly focusing on the Lunsemfwa river where he rides a boat to get to the people he needs to teach. Their oldest son Zach is at boarding school in Kenya and Suzie home schools Justin and Hannah. Pray for them as they are seperated from Zach while he is at school, and that Zach would continue to do well with his work. Pray for the work to continue to go well and that the people would catch the vision to go out and teach all that they are learning with others.

Samson Njovu is a national evangelist in Zambia who has a heart for rural people. He has been known to travel for days on foot to reach places where no one else has gone. Through him, the Lord has started and strengthened many new Baptist churches. He truly has a pioneer evangelist spirit, and makes tremendous sacrifices to take the gospel to the far corners of Zambia. Only eternity will be able to measure all that God has done through him during the years of his ministry.

John McPherson also teaches at the Baptist Seminary in Lusaka. He is one of the teachers at our rural bible schools also. On Sundays he is out in our churches preaching and encouraging the members. At different times, John takes seminary students out to our area and they do crusades for the weekend. Pray for John as he prepares for all that he teaches-that he would teach what God lays on his heart. Pray that the people would be receptive to His Word.

Mike and Lindy Howard have worked in our area for about 15 years. They used to live in Chongwe but about 7 years ago they moved to Lusaka to be the Strategy Facilitator for all of Zambia. This is quite a busy job in Administration so pray for them as they cast the vision to all the missionaries in Zambia and as they encourage them in their work. They have two grown children living in the states and two grandchildren.

Ministry on the Lunsemfwa River
Kevin Rodgers has been focusing on this area for over 1 year now. He takes an inflatable boat and rides down the Lunsemfwa River to reach the people he is trying to teach. He is doing a progam called T4T(Training for Trainers). After he teaches a bible story the people listening repeat the story back to Kevin. Then he challenges them to go and tell someone else that story. The following week he holds them accountable to this. Pray that the Bible Stories Kevin teaches will be easily remembered by the participants so that they can go and share the stories with their families and friends. Pray for safety as Kevin travels on this river. He has seen several Hippos and Crocodiles.

Our people have been very responsive to the gospel. However, we sometimes find that they try to keep one foot in the world of good and the other in the world of evil. Pray they will be able to give their all to Christ.

We have found that they demonstrate their true faith by their response to personal problems. Do they trust Christ or do they turn to the witch doctor and their ancestors? Experience shows that people have confronted the culture and trusted Christ when they forsake unbiblical traditions. Pray that new believers would forsake unbiblical traditions in their culture , family, and community in order to follow Christ at all cost.

There is no substitute for spending time with a people who are very communal and family oriented. Pray that we would model a Godly life before our people and deal with the questions they have.

Pray for us as we try to confront issues of syncretism which combines African Traditional Religion and Christianity. Pray we would be bold in proclaiming the truth of God's Word.

Pray that our Zambian brothers and sisters would catch a vision to see their people won to Christ.

Pray that they will want to learn how they themselves can instigate and nurture a church planting movement.

We have identified several barriers to a church planting movement in our area. Please pray for each of these areas as you see them mentioned.


Pray for us as we minister to people who are primarily oral learners. Illiteracy is a huge barrier to Christian growth. The word of God is the key to the growth of our people, and we need to find ways of effectively reaching our people for Christ and grounding them in His word. Pray for us as we simultaneously emphasize the written word for those who are literate, and oral strategies for those who are not.


This disease has reached epidemic proportions in Zambia and our area is no exception. Studies show that people are dying twice as fast as before, which means the need to reach them for Christ is more urgent than ever.


Adultery and promiscuity are rampant among our peopleĆ¢€¦irrespective of age or gender. This not only weakens the families and churches, but is contributing to the Aids problem.


Beer drinking and brewing is a large part of the Zambian culture, and it is one major obstacle that we face with lost people and new believers.


Magic and Witchcraft is deeply ingrained in the lives of most Zambians. Pray that God would deal with believers about these issues. Pray that when problems come, our people would trust in Christ, rather than witchcraft and charms.

This baby wears a charm around her neck to protect her from evil spirits.

Religion and culture are deeply intertwined. The way of life for so many people is ordered by rites, rituals, witch doctors and magic. The worship of false gods keeps people from seeing the truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Some examples in our area of false religions are Jehovaha Witness, Muslims, New Apostolic and African spirit churches.
Pray that the people would have their eyes opened to see that no one can come to salvation except through Jesus Christ.
Pray that idolatry would be destroyed.
Pray that people would only worship the one True and living God.
Ask Jesus to heal the Land and the people.


Zambia has always been a poor nation, and the majority of the people are subsistence farmers. Yet, we are finding that even as Zambia develops and grows, the problem of poverty is actually becoming more severe for many of our people. This is largely related to the Aids crisis, and the large number of wage earners who are dying and leaving their children to other family members. This only serves to overburden their relatives as well.

Pray for Open Areas of Ministry

Isaiah 40:3-5 says, The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Pray for the Children

Prov. 22:6 says, “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Children are our future. They will become our future leaders in our churches, in our governments, and businesses. We need to pray for primary and secondary schools, universities, vocational schools and even Bible School. Pray that God would transform the hearts of the teachers. Pray for the school children as well that they will learn truth and grow in wisdom.

Bible Schools are one way we are training up believers.

Pray for Van, Kevin, John and other nationals that are teaching in three different Bible School locations throughout the year.
Pray for the students to come with open minds and teachable hearts.

To graduate from Bible School the students have to come for one week, three times a year, for three years. This is a big sacrifice for them to leave their homes and travel to a central location to study the Word of God. Pray the students will persevere through the program so that at the end of three years they will be able to graduate.

Pray that students will go back to their churches and teach the things that they have learned in Bible School.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has
anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to
bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year
of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to
comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of
gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of
a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a
planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Thank you so much for praying for our area and our team. We are constantly amazed at how many people pray for us that we do not even know. Please know that God is hearing your prayers to encourage a people that you do not even know. Thank you for parterning with us to win Zambia for Christ.