The Gospel

Last Sunday I was preaching at Chisanga church, not too far from Mpongwe, although the roads always make it feel further. After the service we had a bit of a Q &A about church life and various theological issues etc. I didn’t understand too much and so Adamson, the Director mostly answered the questions. One really made me think though: “What do we do if we suspect an elder is involved with witchcraft?” I knew traditional African religion is a big issue and a lot of the Pastors talk about the problems with witchcraft, but it took me a bit by surprise as I had assumed that would probably discount someone from church leadership. But in this district of ten churches, with only one trained Pastor, I can see now that the problem is bigger than I’d thought.

With Pastor Milete at the church in Chisanga.
With Pastor Milete at the church in Chisanga.

I don’t quite know the link, but it also got me thinking about some of the other issues these churches face and the development needed in these villages if they’re going to pull themselves out of poverty. An NGO could build a school or a well, but if the gospel radically transformed the believers in that district, I have every hope that the social structure is also restored and many schools and wells are built. The scope of redemption is not just spiritual. I have high hopes for the local church here.

This Sunday I go to another church, in which the grip of traditional African religion is very evident. Only the gospel can truly make a difference. Missionaries have known this for years, but we daren’t come arrogantly bearing the solution to all the problems until we acknowledge the deficiencies in our own worldview – all the ways in which the western mindset has become confused with the gospel. Perhaps then we can allow the gospel to change us as well as others.

6 thoughts on “The Gospel

  1. Thanks once again Tim. Continuing to pray & will certainly pray about this issue – “our God is greater, our God is stronger….”

  2. O Tim, the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord cause his face to shine upon you – and the people you’re working with that they will get a real burst of Jesus reality because of you and your relationship with Jesus. Still praying every day. xx

  3. Thanks for the update Tim. Your issues are not insignificant, but you have lots of prayer support.

  4. Thanks a lot folks for your comments and prayers. We had a good morning at Misongwe – many away in the fields but we had some good ministry also at the end of the service with one particular guy – there seemed to be a good break through. He alone can rescue!

  5. Hi Tim,

    Have a problem with sending emails from my aged computer at home (or perhaps the aged operator} so writing this from Kinson Library on one of their up to the minute machines – wow, what a difference.

    Thank you for your last few emails, – laughed about the pepper, and am wondering why are you wearing a pullover in the picture of you and the pastor; has the temperature changed? I guess the Seasons there are different from ours.

    Its always good to hear from you, your updates make for very interesting reading and an encouragement to your new walk with the Lord and all the challenging things you are having to face. If you ears were burning this lunchtime, its because Pete Roberts is briefly home and we were chatting with you -several of the Life group met up with him for lunch in the Cafe Moderne, and he was asking of you, and we were relating recent info, especially the challenge of Witchcraft.

    The Gospel is indeed the hope for all Nations, and especially for ours at this current time. I’ve just had a few days coach holiday in the Peak District with my cousing from Bristol, so I had to drive to hers to pick up the coach from Bristol. Based
    in Nottingham (lovely clean city) we visited Chatsworth House – wonderfully magnificent, and the grounds and gardens showing all of the wonders of creation, also visited Bakewell (home of the original bakewell tart) and also Buxton (of water fame). Lovely scenery, wonderful summer weather and a new part of the country for me. A Christian companion would have been the icing on the cake, but my cousin, although would not deny who God and Jesus are, does not have any releationship (I have tried); but we are compatable and have much in common.

    Lots of challenges at BCC currently – we have Church Meeting Monday as Rog is back in harness, but many folks in need of healing for serious illnesses ongoing. Women at Prayer this morning very united; also praying as The House of Lords will debate the Euthanasia Bill on 18th July, that hearts will be changed and it will not be passed. At least with the Lords, many of them have ‘traditional’ beliefs and are of a ‘suitable age’ (!) to appreciate the Bill’s significance.

    Be blessed in all you are doing Tim, and prayers for your grasping of the Lamba language. Always good to hear from you.

    Blessings in His name.- Valerie B😊xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2014 14:45:05 +0000

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