Last May we went back to Chabalanda for a 2-day follow-up visit. The church that had been built immediately following our initial visit in July 2012 had already been torn down and replaced by a larger one. The congregation had grown to over 70 in regular Sunday attendance. Headman Edward Chabalanda remains committed to having a strong church for the people of his village. There are 4 other churches in that village, but only a handful of regular attenders. The Church of Chabalanda is on the move. Already, the second building has been outgrown.
The leadership is bonding nicely. The Church of Chabalanda is lead by 2 men: Stanley and Jacob. Stanley is very old, but a wise man who has been a long time pastor. Jacob is the "heir apparent" in training for the pastors role when Stanley steps down. All of the leaders who helped get this church started are committed to their future and are solid with headman Edward Chabalanda in hid dream to have a mature Bible believing church in his village. Edward has lead the way by supporting the ministries we are bringing to that area and has himself expressed his faith and followed last August in water baptism.
We spent 2 days discussing the future of the church and teaching lessons to the people. As is the case for many Zambians, there is confusion regarding the "right message". There is much to gain in the area of understanding that "works" will not get you to Heaven. The idea that "church" can only happen inside a building was the basis for a teaching session. We took them all outside and "had church" to demonstrate the idea that WE are the temple...not the building.
Edward Chabalanda's dream has become my dream - to raise up a church in the village of Chabalanda and to see the 1000+ residents become followers of Christ. He is committed to the task, but he needs our help. The church building is very fragile - it has grass walls and a plastic tarp for a roof. I would like to see the funds raised to help them build a good building with brick walls and a metal roof.
The village of Chabalanda is very large. It contains over 125 individual families. Astonishingly, there is no water supply there. All residents must travel to a neighboring village and stand in line behind people and cattle to get water. It is always a long journey and a longer wait. $5000 will go a long way towards building a proper structure and $10,000 will easily cover the costs for digging a well. All the right pieces are in order: The headman is supportive and the people have demonstrated the determination and longevity...they need our help to maintain that momentum. Helping them with their humanitarian needs can only enhance the spiritual growth that is taking place in Chabalanda - a growth that God is blessing and has a great chance to succeed.
To help start at this location:
I woke up one day and discovered God wanted me to quit what I was doing for me...and start doing something for Him.