Two major pillars in church planting are visitation and evangelism. While they are effective in receiving and retaining new visitors, they are met with intense opposition from our own self life and the other kingdom.
Do you go to church?
On Saturdays we take half of our Bible school students and fan out over the entire our community. As a group of students and I was walking through the community, we ran into a group of ladies. We asked if they were Christians, to which they replied yes. Then, we asked if they went to church. One of the ladies honestly said she hadn’t been to church in 3 years. Lovingly we explained to her the importance of church fellowship and invited her to church.
Just Let God Love You
Amazingly, the next day she came and put up her hand for salvation. You could see on her face that she had been touched. It was incredible to see how all the ladies in the church ministered to her. After the service we sat down with her at our New Visitors table and encouraged her further. Every new visitor gets a packet with a translated copy of Pastor Steven’s booklet “Just Let God Love You” in the Chewa language, and a coupon for a free Coke. Maria has been coming ever since for the past 3 weeks.
A Smile from Ear to Ear
The other edge of the sword is visitation. In Africa, visitation is huge and Maria again is a great example. We told Maria that we would love to visit her home. The first week we weren’t able to trace her house, the next week we tried again. This time we met her at a market near her house: Peter, one of our leaders, Poema, and I were all together. As we met in the market, her face bore a beautiful smile, ear to ear, as if she couldn’t believe we actually made it. She lives about a 15 minute walk from the church, down dusty roads in a house built on the outskirts of the community our church is in.
When we arrived at her house, we were touched to see the condition she lives in and by her story. She is a middle aged widow that is living with her son and two grandchildren. The grandchildren are children of her older son who had also passed away. She doesn’t have a job but just washes clothes on the weekends to raise money for rent in her one bedroom dirt floored house. When we came to visit her, she was overwhelmed that we would take the time to come and see her in her home. This is the value of visitation.
Church Growth – a Reality
We also just came back from bringing three of our leaders to a conference in Zambia. It was so encouraging to see all our brothers in Zambia and spend three days with them. We see the church in Southern Africa continue to grow. It was 12 short years ago when we spoke of branching out from Zambia into the surrounding countries. Now that is a reality. God is amazing.
- our 3rd annual conference in Malawi, Malacon, April 15-16, with a Bible College graduation of over 50 students
- Zamcon, April 21-23 – we are believing God for big things; renting of a bus to bring 70 people to the conference in Zambia
– Pastor Chris,Julie, Callia, Poema & Noah Arman
Ladies tea fellowship at our house
Noah’s 1st birthday
Outreach at the Post Office