HERALD INTERNATIONAL (Printing In Over Twenty Languages)
God For Zambia; Zambia For God
Zambia is a land that was unlocked to the world and to the Gospel a century and a half ago by the beloved explorer and missionary, David Livingstone. It was in this land that the flame of David Livingstone’s life burned out for God and where his heart was tenderly buried by his African brothers who saw his sincere love and tireless endeavors for the betterment of the people of Africa. Some of the fruits of his pioneering are seen in the thousands of Christians living for God today in Zambia. Evangelical Christians make up at least one-fourth of Zambia’s ten million people. Many of the leaders in Zambia are Christians, and it was written into the constitution of the nation in 1996 that Zambia is a Christian nation, but with full religious freedom for all faiths.
This landlocked country is the former Northern Rhodesia. In area it is slightly larger than Texas. It is a stable country, never having experienced a serious internal conflict such as civil war. Although the economy of the country is improving, the majority of the people live below the poverty level. The population is becoming more urban.
A Growing Number of Orphans
At Herald of His Coming we were privileged recently to have a visit from a couple who have served the Lord as missionaries in Zambia for almost twenty years. One of the greatest burdens and challenges they face and the nation of Zambia faces is the large number of orphaned children. This problem has enormously increased as the AIDS crisis has developed in Africa. Zambia probably has the highest percentage of AIDS orphans in the world. This number was estimated to be over 650,000 in a 2001 report, and is even higher now. At least one-third or more of the school children have lost one or both parents. Normally in times of disaster, it is the children and the elderly who are taken, but because AIDS is decimating the middle-age population, it is leaving the elderly and the young in need of care. It is estimated that over 90,000 children live on the streets of the cities.
Admirably, the Zambian people as a whole are very family-oriented and, in addition to caring for their own children, most families are caring for orphaned children from within their extended family, and from outside their families as well. Many homes have stretched themselves to the limit and beyond. As much as possible, Christian families are taking in orphans as a ministry. "Commitment and sacrifice are phenomenal," the missionary couple said.
Christianity Is Gaining
Operation World reports that, "The economic crisis, poverty, unemployment and the AIDS pandemic have all prompted a search after God that multiplied conversions in the 1990’s." The missionary couple spoke encouragingly of the Church in Zambia. Christianity is gaining. There is a growing number of faithful, mature believers, and this is giving increased credibility to Christianity in Zambia. The media and public institutions are open to Christianity. There is freedom to teach about Jesus in the schools.
There is, however, concern over fringe groups, cults and syncretism. This underscores the importance of good sources to help Christians be well grounded in the Word of God.
Herald International in Zambia
Herald International is privileged to have a ministry in Zambia through distributing the printed Gospel. The Bible-based messages of Herald of His Coming are highly valued by Zambian readers of the paper. One who wrote us no doubt speaks for many others in saying: "The Herald of His Coming papers are my spiritual food. They help me grow and know Christ more than ever before. Besides, they help me to share the Word to others…." Another writes: "The Herald has made me know the Word and has taught me to fear the Lord and obey His commandments…."
Pastors and teachers are also benefiting from Herald materials. Many of them may have only a Bible and concordance, with little else to help them in sermon preparation. How important to supply them with encouragement and sound doctrine, from today’s writers as well as from those whose timeless, anointed writings have ministered to several generations. As one pastor writes, "…Herald of His Coming is a catalyst for a spiritual revival in my life and the way I minister to others. Please continue to send me the literature that is so much in tune with the Word…. Every morning we have Bible study which means coming up with a relevant word for all. As a pastor, the stress of sermon preparation is eased by being fed by the messages from the Herald of His Coming."
Herald of His Coming also brings to Zambian readers news from various places around the world and helps them to feel connected to the rest of the Body of Christ. As one writer said in his letter to us: "My focus has been taken away from my small world and placed into the great big planet called Earth. In our country we have freedom of religion. The Herald has opened my eyes to the other nations where this is not possible…." All of God’s children make up Christ’s Body, and we are to bear the burdens of the other members.
Numerous Zambian readers tell us of the benefit that Herald of His Coming is to their prayer lives, which is at the very heart of our Christian lives. "The Herald messages have molded me as an intercessor," writes one. Another writes: "God has used the Herald to revive me and teach me a lot, especially where prayer, faith and holy living are concerned. This makes my ministry grow…."
Our missionary friends confirmed to us from firsthand observation that Herald of His Coming has a beneficial ministry in Zambia. Being sent free, it is a treasured gift to those who have no funds for buying even the limited amount of Christian literature available to them. It is helpful to those who would like to study abroad for ministry but are not able to do so. The Herald is a beacon of light and sound doctrine. It crosses denominational lines. And it is very helpful to the families who have much ministry going on to the children.
Oh, friends, rejoice with us that God is using Herald International as a tool in His hand for the building of His beloved Church in Zambia! Surrounded by very serious problems, the Christians need hope, courage, faith, and all that it takes to keep pressing on, gathering as many more souls as they can to join their heaven-bound ranks. We are sure you agree with us that we must continue to keep a good outflow of Herald literature to our dear brothers and sisters in Zambia, and to increase the number sent. To maintain and increase the amount of literature, we are in great need of your financial help, friends.
And will you please uphold Zambia in prayer –
* For God’s help to those working to stop the AIDS epidemic
* For God’s enabling to those caring for homeless children
* For maintaining sound doctrine in the Church
* For sexual purity
* For urban Christians to reach out to the neglected rural areas, where live many unreachedpeople steeped in witchcraft and superstition, who need to be brought to Christ.