This past week I had the privilege of going to Sioma. The team was Shawn & Lauren Hart, Joel and Jake. My team from AMT was Charles, Erica, Tony and myself. Shawn and Lauren are the Sector Managers and Joel is the sector missionary. Jake led an expedition last year within Sioma where he met with three Indunas (headmen) of villages and formed relationships. During our trip, Jake introduced Joel to the Indunas and let them know Joel was stationed in the area and would continue to minister to the people in the future. This was a very important step in continuing and furthering the work that was started last year. I was told that building and continuing relationships is the most important aspect of running a sector, and starting with 3 solid relationships with Indunas is a great step.
Simoa is a brand new sector that only started 2 weeks before we arrived. A base camp is also being established in Sioma. The vision for the base is to house the Harts, Joel and other sector missionaries into Sioma. Eventually the base will help launch future sector missionaries and recon teams to western Zambia and Angola.
It was great to see the practical side of starting a base. When we first arrived there were 3 concrete slabs for tents, 2 bush showers and 2 long drops. The foundations for ablutions had been set, but were far from being completed. One concrete slab will eventually hold a brick and mortar kitchen, but currently it houses a tent where we could put the groceries. There was not any electricity on base, and the team is currently weighing the options of using a diesel generator or having power lines run to the base. Without electricity on the base, there was no way to refrigerate food. This was an important factor in meal planning and meal preparation.
The plan for the week was to meet with the local Indunas and establish days and times for weekly Bible studies. On Monday we met with the Induna of the willage Kabula 1. After the introductions and the establishment of the future bible study, myself and the other AMT students then shared with the Induna and his family from the Bible. It was awesome to see the hunger for the Word of God from the headman and his desire to have the Word of God taught in his community. Last year, the Induna had spent the week with Jake and his team and even translated a few days.
We had established that we would have a bible study every Wednesday at 14 hours starting the 17th, however we had a first introduction meeting for that Wednesday at 10 am. We then traveled to Kabula 2 which was about 45 minutes away by Jeep. Once we were at Kabula 2, we found out that this Induna was in Lusaka, but his two twin sons were at his house and a large group of people gathered. Joel then preached a message from John 11 of how we are to be unbound from the things of the world that held us before we found Jesus. It was a great word and the people were excited to hear it.
Tuesday the team went to find a village that was 45 minutes from Kabula 2 called Nwaya. As this village was very far into the bush. missionaries typically did not go to this village. On the way to this village, we took the incorrect path and went in the wrong direction for approximately 3 hours. Once we realized that we were on the incorrect path, we backtracked and then eventually made it to the village. I actually really appreciated the fact that we got lost as this showed me that it is okay that we didn’t do everything right the first time.
Wednesday Joel, Shawn, Tony and myself went to Kabula 1 for the first meeting about the bible study. We were supposed to meet at 10, however the people had not assembled yet. We met at the local elementary school and used the classroom for the meeting. The children that were in the classrooms, were let out early and they were waiting for instructions from the teachers. I was able to teach them a version of “duck, duck, goose” which they call “chicken, chicken, goat” or “kuhu, kuhu, kapuli” in Lozi. They all thought it was a great game. After confirming the dates and the time for the future meetings, Tony and I shared on Righteousness through Faith and our Identity in Christ. I am still amazed by the Zambians that are so hungry for the Word of God and that they are very interested in learning as much as they can. Later that afternoon, the South Eastern University expedition team came to the base camp and stayed the night.
Thursday we traveled with the expedition team and went to another village that missionaries seldom go to. It took about 6 hours for the expedition team to make it through the trail. The team had to cut down trees and pull up roots along to way to ensure the tires and truck were not damaged. Once we got to the campsite, we were able to setup the tents and taught a lesson to the children that had gathered by the truck. There were many children in the village that had never seen a white person.
Friday we then went and ministered to a few different families. Saturday we came back to the Sioma base camp and Sunday morning Tony, Charles and myself preached at a local church. During the service two demon possessed men manifested, but were taken outside and had the demons cast out of them. They then came back into the service and were able to listen to the Word of God and have it impact their life.
I feel like I had a great opportunity this past week. Not only was I able to see what it was like in the first month of opening a sector, I was also able to see how to setup a base camp and saw what it was like to lead an expedition. As I was outside of the group of students on the expedition trip, I feel like I was able to see how it was run. I was able to teach at a Bible study, minister hut to hut and preach at a local church.