Gospel Transformation in Zambia

“Each time a person hears the Gospel, it has the potential for a transformative effect in their life.”

On the heels of a decade-plus rise in Christianity’s popularity throughout Zambia, a former Zambian president declared the country a Christian nation in the early 1990s. Today, Zambians practice many religions, which opens the door for occult practices. According to Operation World, few believers “know the Word of God, or how to live a Christian life.” Knowing this reality, a team of Gideons passionately shared the hope of the Gospel in over 90 institutions in Luanshya during the 2022 Zambia International Scripture Blitz.

Profoundly Interested

Luanshya is an area that was once a thriving industrial center producing copper and other minerals. The mining company in the area has long since changed hands to foreign interests but has not been a sustainable driver for the economy. Spiritually, most residents in the area are either familiar with Christianity or classify themselves as Christians. Most institutions are very receptive to the Gospel, which led to many open doors for the blitz team in hospitals, clinics, schools, and guest houses.

Team members were able to gift Scriptures to five hospitals during the week. One man named Edwin was curious about the team’s presence at the Chaisa Medical Clinic. He watched intently as they met with the clinic administrator. Edwin was profoundly interested in receiving his own copy of God’s Word. One of the Gideons spoke with him for a while about his work at the clinic and then asked him about his Testament. Besides it being a gift, he was unaware of what he had been given. The Helps on the front pages drew his attention to the value of Scripture in guiding his everyday life, while the verses in the back also made an impression. Edwin acknowledged his need for forgiveness from his sins and indicated his trust in Jesus Christ for his salvation.

While the team was visiting a guest house, one of the Gideons met Mutambo and Reagan. They began a conversation about why Gideons were in Luanshya for the week. The discussion led to the Gideon offering each a copy of God’s Word. They listened, with Reagan paying close attention and Mutambo appearing less interested. When asked, both acknowledged being unsaved and uncertain of their eternal destination. As they considered the remaining verses, it was evident from their responses that they were ready to consider following Jesus. After confessing their sins and accepting God’s gift of salvation using the sample prayer on the back pages, they signed their Testaments.

Each Time

Zambia Scripture Blitz team

A local Gideon named Simon served as the chairman for the blitz, and the team did an excellent job organizing the daily work for local members and the five Gideons who traveled from other countries to participate. The primary opportunity to distribute Scriptures during the blitz was in public schools. Team leader David, a Gideon from Pennsylvania, says, “We were well received in each school, with an opportunity to speak to each class and give them a brief presentation of the Testament and the Gospel. Nearly everyone we encountered knew John 3:16. Yet, each time a person hears the Gospel, it has the potential for a transformative effect in their life.” In the team’s interactions, they emphasized trusting Jesus Christ as a personal choice that everyone must make. The team was blessed to see students follow along in the back of the Testament and sign the back page, indicating their decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

“We were well received in each school, with an opportunity to speak to each class and give them a brief presentation of the Testament and the Gospel. Nearly everyone we encountered knew John 3:16, yet each time a person hears the Gospel, it has the potential for a transformative effect in their life.” —David

Local members arranged presentations to be given at church services with several team members sharing how God is using the Association worldwide to win the lost for Jesus Christ. Each church they presented in was a home church for a local camp member. In addition, during an event for pastors, the testimony speaker shared how a Testament guided him to Jesus. After losing his mother, he went to live with his aunt and uncle. He stumbled through a pile of books his aunt had for school. In doing so, he found a small white book that ended up being a Testament provided by The Gideons. He remembers, “While reading the back pages, I realized that even though I went to church my whole life, I needed to receive Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I found Scriptures that spoke to me.”

“Would You Like to Now?”

God led Gideons and Auxiliary to place and distribute over 29,000 Scriptures in Luanshya during the week. They stayed in a hotel in Ndola, about 45 minutes from the main blitz area. The hotel afforded excellent space for the team’s daily meeting for devotions and prayer as well as each evening’s wrap-up meeting. A recurring theme of their discussions was Proverbs 16:3, which reads, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

The Holy Spirit gave the blitz team sensitivity to opportunities throughout the week. Friday of the blitz took an unexpected turn when a former Zambian president passed away. Many schools ended up closing for the day. “Most blitzes are so fast-paced you barely have time to slow down. On this day, we were given the opportunity to take time and do a lot more personal witnessing,” says David.

Mark, a Gideon, with Edgar after he received Christ

One Gideon sat down at a table with three men outside a lodge in Luanshya. He asked if they knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Two of the three men said they did. The third, Edgar, said he did not. The Gideon offered him a Testament. Edgar accepted it and, when asked, read the verses in the back outlining the plan of salvation. The Gideon then asked Edgar if he had ever called on the name of the Lord for salvation. Edgar indicated he had not. “Would you like to now?” Mark asked. Edgar said he would. After praying to confess his sins and receive Christ, Edgar signed and dated his Testament, acknowledging his decision. A second Gideon, from the Ndola Camp, observed that the man next to Edgar was listening intently as the Gospel was shared. This man was Edgar’s friend Robby. The Gideon took the opportunity to witness to Robby, who also prayed to receive Jesus.

While many Zambians are at least familiar with Christianity, sharing the Gospel with people like Edgar and Robby gives them a chance for God’s Word to change them individually and personally. Gideons and Auxiliary were blessed to see God move during the blitz as His Word went forth. Continue to pray for the people of Luanshya who received a Scripture and are considering a relationship with Jesus. As they turn the pages of God’s Word, pray they would see how much Jesus loves them and move from knowing about Jesus to knowing Jesus. After all, each encounter with the Gospel holds the potential to transform lives forever.

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