Church Planting in the Congo

This is a guest post from missionary Ed Miller, who served along with his wife, Linda, nearly four decades as missionaries to Zambia:

Since leaving the field in December 2008 and retirement in December of 2009, our hearts are still in Zambia. Ed Miller has made three trips back to Zambia and Linda has made one. Since October 2009, the work of the Copperbelt has extended and now there are over 45 churches in Congo as a result of the Chande Baptist Orphanage Ministry.

It is amazing how the Lord has used the Chande Baptist Orphanage ministry in Kitwe to be a church planting tool. Someone said, “An orphanage is not a church planting tool, but here we see the opposite.” As the people got their eyes on ministry to orphans, the Lord also showed them the mission field near them in the neighboring country of Congo.

Even with little resources, they have reached out to share Christ with people in Zambia, but also as a church planting tool.  The orphanage has been a spring board for church planting not only in Zambia, but also in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Use this link to read a story of how the Lord uses the outreach of the Zambian people from the Chande Baptist Orphanage to touch lives in Congo. [ Read More ]

[print_link] [email_link]

Faith Like Potatoes

Over a year ago I watched a film called Faith Like Potatoes. Weird title but a great film, based on a true story of a farmer turned preacher in South Africa.

Angus Buchan, a Zambian farmer of Scottish heritage, leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land travels south with his family to start a better life in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. With nothing more than a trailer on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon, the Buchan family struggles to settle in a new country. Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil, Angus quickly spirals down into a life consumed by anger, fear and destruction. This is a story that tells the moving life journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest.

The Bible often brings up farming, for instance…

And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor (2 Timothy 2:6).

In this section, Paul brings up a farmer as one of three illustrations of a faithful minister of the gospel. The other two (soldier and athlete) probably sound more exciting. Although it’s not Paul’s intent, the truth is that a farmer leads quite an exciting life. He works one of the most dangerous careers a person can choose. Soldiers may face greater dangers from time to time, but a farmer lives and works between sky and earth every day. I recently discovered that in our time, farming outranks any other career in producing work-related injuries and death. Farming is not for dabblers, cowards, or the lazy. And farmers can teach us a lot about faith.

In comparison with athletics and soldiering, farming helps us understand the persistent and patient parts of faith. Action and results come fairly quickly for athletes and soldiers. Not for farmers. They place a seed in the ground and return to harvest the results, but it can be a long time between those two actions. Successful farmers know how to wait. They may not enjoy waiting; but they learn to do it. Waiting doesn’t usually mean doing nothing, but the hardest part of waiting is the waiting.

Farming comes up various times in scripture (sometimes the farmer represents God or the ministry of the gospel).

  1. Jesus used many farming situations in his parables (like Matthew 13:1-23).
  2. Paul discussed the parallels between farming and the development of believers (as in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9).

In 2 Timothy 2:6 we get to see ourselves as farmers. With that privilege comes responsibility. If we’re going to “enjoy the fruit” of our labors, then we better be “hardworking.” The farmer who is not hardworking will reap what he sows–little or nothing.

A wise farmer knows what he can’t do.

  1. He can’t put life in a seed.
  2. He can’t make it rain.
  3. He can’t force the seed to grow.

There’s much that’s out of his hands. But he does his part.

  1. He plants
  2. He waters
  3. He cultivates
  4. He waits

As believers, we plant seeds (acts of obedience to God) in one another’s lives. We deposit seeds (the gospel) in the lives of those who don’t know Christ. The actual results of these actions are in God’s hands. But we often get to be the first to enjoy those results because we’re there. If we recognize the way that we are farmers, we remember we’re in the field every day. Every moment becomes a new opportunity to persistently plant seeds and then patiently wait to see what God will do.

Application:

  1. Have you seen the film? It is well worth renting for your family movie night, and then discuss lessons seen in the film.
  2. How is your faith growing? Abundantly? Wonderful harvest? Bearing much fruit? Or is there a drought? Weeds springing up?
  3. What changes will you make to help cultivate your faith?
  4. How are you getting to know God better?
  5. What fruit do you see beginning to bud? Which fruit are ripe for harvest?
  6. What hired help do you need to farm better? To whom can you become accountable for your Christian growth and maturity?
  7. Can the Men of Steel help you to become a more productive farmer? (Next time we get together is April 30 at 7:30 am).

[print_link]  [email_link]

The Snapshots from Chande

The Chande Orphanage Project…
Story | Support | Statements | Mission Stories | Snapshots | Storm | Social Media


Here are a few photographs of the Chande Orphanage, taken by one of the many mission teams from the Inglewood Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, TX.

Click the first thumbnail to begin viewing the photos at full size, or view as a slideshow.

[ Other Chande Orphanage Project Information ]

[print_link]  [email_link]

Mission Stories from Chande

The Chande Orphanage Project…
Story | Support | Statements | Mission Stories | Snapshots | Storm | Social Media


Report from Ed Miller:
Former missionary in Kitwe and current missions pastor at Inglewood Baptist, from the trip September-October 2009:

Thank you so much for your prayers for our team that went to Zambia and Congo from September 27 to October 8. Below is a brief summary of how we saw the Lord work.

We saw your prayers answered as we went through customs and immigration: We had the privilege of seeing how your prayers were answered as we made it through immigration and customs at the Zambia/Congo borders with no problems both going into Congo and returning to Zambia in less than an hour. There were over 250 eighteen-wheel trucks backed up awaiting permission to get through the border. We made it through in less than an hour each way. Considering we were walking through what is called “no man’s land” we really sensed your prayers. This was above and beyond even our imagination to move through the confusion of so many people waiting with no difficulty.

We saw your prayers answered as we saw people responding to the gospel: We had the privilege of seeing over 260 people come to Christ. We saw one new church started while we were there as well as heard the report that the number of new churches in Southern Congo had grown in number. When I wrote to you before going, I reported that there were 28 new churches there. However, we found instead the number had grown to 34. We saw church leaders committed to reach out to unreached areas and start ten more new churches this year. We traveled about three hours north of Lubumbashi as we traveled in a van to see a new church and got to preach to that church. We also preached in 5 churches in the Lubumbashi area.

We saw your prayers answered as we taught: Each day, we got to teach about 25 men and ladies who were excited to receive all that we shared with them. After teaching 8 or more hours a day, they were always eager for more.

Thanks again from each of our team members (Pastor Shawn Barnard, Chris Zink, Jim Potts, and Ed Miller).

Yours in Christ,
Edward Miller (on behalf of Zambia/Congo Team)

Report from Shawn Barnard, March-April 2009

Blog post – Surrender – April 10, 2009 at 5:36pm

Although I was hoping to blog each day while in Zambia, it just wasn’t going to happen. Needless to say, it’s Africa. There was an “internet connection,” but it was like riding a slug when you’re use to a Ferrari. The first day I tried to load a page, it took 10 minutes . . . just for the text. As a friend of mine says, “Africa wins again.”

So . . .

There is much to be said in the upcoming posts simply because it cannot all be said now. For those of you who have had the privilege of engaging in missions, especially in 3rd world countries, there is always much to be processed. One thing that I’ve learned, after my sixth trip to Africa, is that no trip is ever routine. It is never mundane, or typical. It is always unique. If you listen, and go with eyes-wide-open, and your heart equally receptive, there is much you will learn; and question; and chew on; and cry over; and be changed by it all.

People often ask me, “How was it? Tell me all about it.” And I try. But there are no words that could ever adequately describe the experience. You just have to go . . . and quite honestly, you should. Maybe not to Africa, but somewhere. Whether it’s in a third-world country or across the street visiting with a neighbor, the location of your mission engagement is not what makes the experience indescribable. It’s the activity of God in that place that makes the experience impossible to put into words. Wherever it is, you should go. And the reason you should go is because, as Christ-followers, we are called to do so. It really isn’t an option if obedience is the desire of your heart.

For the past five years, I have had the privilege of spending time in Zambia, Africa. My heart, it seems, is drawn there. As a matter of fact, I often tell people that my second home is Zambia . . . and I mean it. I can’t put my finger on why, but my heart is wrapped around the people; and what God is doing there resonates deeply within me. Perhaps it’s working with orphans at the Chande Orphanage in Ndeke township. I’m not certain of all the details of Heaven, but it seems that God gives me a glimpse and a taste of what it might be like when I walk into a room of 260 children who are singing “Here I Am to Worship,” and they are smiling and singing with angelic voices like they truly mean it.

Or, it could be that I am so drawn there because the taste of death is palatable, both physically and spiritually. These people, not unlike the other 1.6 billion unreached people in the world, are in need of the life that is only found in Jesus Christ. I am humbled that God allowed me to see 313 people give their lives to Christ while we were there. And I have been changed by one in particular, whose surrender will be forever etched in my memory. The story goes like this . . . I was asked to preach a three night crusade at a “soccer field” in a township called Wusakile, just outside of Kitwe–a city of close to 1.2 million people. On the second night of the crusade, the crowd gathered as two choirs from local churches began to sing on the make-shift stage that was constructed by men from local churches in a matter of just a day and a half. If you had seen what they had to work with, and what they built, you would be amazed. By the time the music had finished, and just before I got up to speak, there was a moment where I caught just a glimpse, perhaps, of what it must have been like for Jesus when the crowds would gather to hear Him speak. From the stage I could see those who had gathered in front of the platform, but on the fringes people were sitting on logs; leaning against trees; standing outside bars; even across the highway people were standing and listening. It was an amazing thing. As I finished the message, and desperately tried hard not to worry about the bugs that were flying in my mouth and the grasshopper that had taken up residence on the back of my neck during the sermon, the invitation was given to anyone who wanted to come and talk with a counselor about giving their life to Christ. And this is what I’ll never forget: an middle-aged man, from the back of the crowd, began to walk forward. But as he was coming to the stage, both of his hands were held high in the air. His head was somewhat bowed down. Out of all the people that were coming down, he caught my attention. This man understood what it meant to completely surrender. As a matter of fact, as he approached the stage to talk with a counselor, he was led to a grassy area just to the left of the stage, and even then he still had his hands up. The counselor was the one who lowered this man’s hands. Talk about fighting back the tears. In all honesty, the song that kept coming to my mind was, “All to Jesus, I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His daily presence live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Jesus, I surrender. I surrender all.”

For me, the take-away is this: Everyday should be lived with such surrender. It’s impossible to cling to that which steals our affections when we come to Jesus with both hands open, and lifted high. So, here’s to living today with open hands, lifted high, so that we might embrace the one who is worthy of our surrender.

The Testimony of Charles and Jan Van Norman:

Charles and I are very proud to be Christians and members of Inglewood Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas – a church with a vision for missions.

In 2006, when we decided to go to Zambia we knew we would see things Ed and Linda Miller and the 2005 IBC Team had described but we didn’t know the eagerness of the people to learn about Jesus nor the severity of the poverty.

We always heard that God doesn’t call the equipped but that He equips the called. We are not teachers, but we do know that God held us in His arms and that He stood by us during these two mission trips and gave us courage to speak His word. It didn’t seem to matter to those precious children that we had a funny accent. What mattered was that we were all there to love them and to share about Jesus. We were thrilled that 77 made professions of faith in 2006 after Holiday Bible School and 103 in 2007.

[ Other Chande Orphanage Project Information ]

[print_link] [email_link]

The Statements of Chande

The Chande Orphanage Project…
Story | Support | Statements | Mission Stories | Snapshots | Storm | Social Media


This is the statement of faith from pastor Patrick Chanda, Kitwe, Zambia:

We declare and establish this statement of faith to preserve and secure the principles of our aims and objectives in line with the statement of faith and belief as is common among Baptist churches. Our Structure: We hereby do believe that, having been led by the Holy Spirit of God to join together in our work, we believe that: Chande Baptist Orphanage shall run as an indigenous body.

There shall be no authority to be imposed by any church or organization but that all cooperating partners will have equal vote.

All cooperating partners shall have equal participation without any form of coercion from any quarters, but that:

Our Statement of Faith:

  1. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and that the Bible is the only authority in the governing and exercising of our life and the orphanage ministry.
  2. We believe that there is but one God. We believe that, He is the maker, the keeper, and ruler of all things. We believe that He is perfect God and to Him all people owe their highest love and obedience.
  3. We believe that God is revealed to us through the father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person of the trinity has a distinct personality, but there is no division of purpose.
  4. We believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God. We believe he is born of the virgin, lived a life free from sin,
  5. We believe that, salvation is a change of heart, brought about by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and that salvation is a work of God’s free grace.
  6. We believe that those whom God has forgiven through His Son, and sanctified by His spirit will never totally or finally fall away from the grace of God
  7. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples
  8. We believe that baptism is an ordinance of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that it is of every believer wherein he is immersed in the water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Our Strategy:

In light of the foregoing statements of faith: The Chande Baptist Orphanage shall endeavor to take care of orphans and street kids who are in need, by providing shelter, food, education and medical care.

Such children will have to be approved by the management that they are orphans and are in dire need of assistance.

Any orphan or street kid regardless of race, religion or creed as long as they meet the conditions of the Social Welfare Department in the republic of Zambia and those of Chande Baptist Orphanage and its cooperating partners will be enrolled in the orphanage if and when a place is available and that he/ she is not over the age of sixteen.

Our Sense of Responsibility:

We are compelled to doing good works, which are redemptive in nature, namely,

  1. Evangelism
  2. Discipleship
  3. Edification
  4. Works of service

Our Scriptural Foundation:

  1. Mathew 28:19–20, “Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you to the end of the age”
  2. James 1:27, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Our Society of Friends:

The Chande Baptist Orphanage will work with other cooperating partners of the same and alike faith from within and outside of the republic of Zambia. Chande Baptist Orphanage will be eligible to engage expert personnel from within and outside Zambia.

Since we have been created in Christ Jesus, we shall endeavor to maintain pure worship of our God and fellowship with one another in love, by performing the above beliefs and tasks. And that every partnering Church/Organization shall be led by their Pastor/Leader. And each church shall appoint such people as they deem fit to serve on the International Chande Board.

Rev. Patrick Chanda, Kitwe, Zambia

[ Other Chande Orphanage Project Information ]

[print_link] [email_link]