In March of 2012, 6 American men came to Zambia on a mission trip· Their mission was to teach about salvation in the Zambian bush. A plan was created to go to a particular village for 2 days - the first day to preach and teach lessons on salvation and the second day, to continue teaching - followed by the showing of the Jesus Film…with the overall goal of bringing people to Christ.
The first day was a great success. Many people came to the village and gathered in the grass church for a day of learning about the life of a new Christian and their Christian walk. By nightfall, it was time to leave for the evening with plans to return the next day for more teaching and the movie that evening.
Perhaps, satan caught wind of what about to happen. Maybe he realized that there could be an opportunity for souls to be saved the next night. In any case, we believe there was an attempt to foil those plans. On the way back to the base camp…as we were driving along a stretch of a newly paved dark roadway…on a dark night… there was a dark man wearing dark clothing in the distance. It was only when we were very close to this person that we realized he was - in fact - standing in the middle of our lane. It was too late to make enough of an adjustment to prevent the inevitable…and he was instantly gone. It happened in front of several other people who (as we later learned) had been trying to get this man to get out of the roadway, but he was (apparently) too drunk, or otherwise to incapacitated to respond to their cries. After several near-misses, his luck finally ran out.
The next several hours were very traumatic. There were some who had seen the whole thing and knew that an accident had occurred. There were others who thought it best to blame our vehicle and especially our driver for the mishap. There were 10 of us in the vehicle - including the 6 American missionaries. For a couple of hours there was pounding on the vehicle, threats to “that driver” and uncertainty of exactly what to do next. At one point, the driver turned to the team and said”
If they chase me, Praise God!
If they beat me, Praise God!
If they kill me, Praise God!
There was definitely an accident that had led to a death. We were about 45 minutes from any help. The fear that came over this group was real. Visions of being wrongfully accused in a foreign country went through the Americans minds. A human life had been taken before our eyes. Questions of what we should do…what would happen next…would the crowd get more violent…etc..went through our minds. To make a very long story short, the police finally came and conducted an investigation…sent the team back to camp in another vehicle. Myself and the driver took our vehicle to the police station to submit statements. The police had no real idea of what had happened, so they arrested the driver and impounded the vehicle.
Upon returning to the base camp, I was met by the team members who were anxious to discuss the matter and decide what to do next. The first questions centered around canceling the program for the next day due to the fear of possible retaliation by the locals if they saw us going back to the same area. After much discussion, the only decision that was made was to pray and sleep on it and make a decision the next morning.
Day break brought early risers and the previous nights discussion picked up where we had left off. But this time something was different. There was an air of determination in these guys. They reported that they had unanimously agreed to “press on”…to continue the program… to go back to the village and finish the job of presenting the Jesus Film and the plan of salvation to the people. In spite of the fears, they would act on faith that God would protect them …that the program would be successful and souls could be saved. They decided that satan was NOT going to prevail in this.
The next day went off without a hitch. When we arrived at the church, it was obvious that the news had already spread. We got out of the vehicles to the sound of praying. It was a different language, but we could hear them mentioning our drivers name frequently, so we knew they were praying for us and the entire situation.
The program continued as planned and the Jesus Film was shown that night to over 700 people. About a fourth of them signified they had either received salvation or recommitted their lives.
The next day the driver was released from jail. He emerged with a smile on his face. He was anxious to tell me that he had witnessed to several inmates over the past day and he had decided to start a jail ministry - he had even spoken to an official who had encouraged him to proceed. Also on that day, he got a phone call from a remote village who had heard about the situation and the success we had the next night and requested that we come to their village to spend the weekend in evangelism and to show the Jesus Film. By the time a week had gone by, 3 more villages had contacted us with the same request.
SInce that day, we have been to two of those villages and seen over 200 more come to Christ. There are still two others still yet to visit and I expect more to follow as we continue to see rewards to these efforts.
These men were asked to go to a village and preach the Gospel, The devil gave them a convenient excuse to refuse„,but THEY said NO - in spite of their fears and their grief of witnessing a horrible accident, faith prevailed and God’a program continued. I thank God for men like these who have the courage to act on faith. WIthout that faith…???
I woke up one day and discovered God wanted me to quit what I was doing for me...and start doing something for Him.