Zambia Reformed Conference
The theme of the 16th annual Zambian Reformed Conference was “Missions – The Unfinished Task”. From Monday 22nd to Friday 26th August, the two main speakers, Paul Washer from the USA and Ronald Kalifungwa from South Africa, brought messages that left the challenge of missions looming large before our minds. Paul Washer showed us the kind of men we ought to be if we are to labour for the gospel in a God-glorifying way in the mission field. He made it clear; the work of missions was not about money but about a people saturated with God. Ronald Kalifungwa expounded the book of Jonah. He helped us to see the immense love of God for a lost world and our responsibility to get the glorious gospel out to all men. Six Zambian pastors also handled electives on various missions-related subjects.
More than 300 people gathered for this conference, with the evening meetings soaring to about 500. The conference hall was packed to full capacity in the evenings, with numbers growing each evening. It was easily the largest conference ever held since these gatherings commenced 16 years ago. Of the nine provinces in Zambia, this year only one was not represented – the North-Western Province. With plans to plant a Reformed Baptist Church there before the next conference, we trust that next year all the provinces will be represented. Also in attendance were brethren from Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The eighteen Namibians packed themselves into two vehicles and rode more than 2,000 kilometres to get to the conference. When the conference was over, they told us to expect more of them to be in attendance next year!
Evergreen Christian Bookstore had a book table where various books on the Reformed Faith and on the subject of missions were being sold. They sold more books in the four days of the conference than they normally sell in a month! Although imported books continue to prove very expensive for the ordinary Zambian pocket, there were also a number of locally produced booklets, written by Zambian pastors handling a number of pertinent issues from a Reformed perspective. Literature has continued to play an important part in the growth of the Reformed movement in Zambia.
It was heart-warming to see again the enthusiasm for the Reformed Faith exhibited by brothers and sisters from right across Zambia and the southern Africa sub-region. Although the conference is over, our prayer is that the lessons learnt may go a long way in making us a people saturated with God.
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