The Under-Attended Crusade
by Paulson Mungolo
My story took place in May of 2001, in Chongwe Township, a city situated in the eastern part of Zambia, about 60 kilometers away from its capital, Lusaka. I, along with a few others, was assigned to conduct a crusade at a place called Kazemba. Kazemba is approximately 50 to 80 kilometers east of Chongwe Township, and seven kilometers away from any large roads.
Our meetings were scheduled to run for three solid weeks. The first Sunday of the crusade, we were surprised to find meetings had been poorly advertised and few people, including church members, attended.
We were sad. Maybe going back home would be the best solution. Nevertheless, we decided to continue, despite the low attendance. Towards the end of the first week, a certain man from town who had been sick, died. We went to visit the mourners. Because of our interactions with the bereaved family, I was asked to preach during the burial service. Later that same evening, we were amazed to see attendance had increased at our meeting.
Two days after the funeral, nimbus clouds began forming in the afternoon eastern sky. The sky was turning dark only 100 meters away from our camp. The clouds began gathering on top of a small nearby mountain, drumming thunder was heard and lightning filled the sky. In less than 30 minutes, heavy rain and stormy winds began approaching our grass thatched enclosures. Immediately, I called the campers into my hut and asked them to pray. Reluctantly they came. Some said we should take our things to a nearby school for protection, but the storm was moving too fast. We knelt down and prayed.
While in prayer, we could hear the buzzing sound of the angry winds threatening to rip up and uproot our enclosures. We opened our eyes, afraid that our huts would soon be swept away. We waited. After 20 to 30 minutes, the wind and rains hadn’t touched our camp. They seemed to be held back by an unseen hand. Later, we saw the rains being parted, moving to the left and right of our camp, putting us in the middle. Soon, the rain and dark nimbus clouds disappeared and only slight showers of blessings passed over our campsite.
We stood in great amazement at God’s protection. Concerned residents and those who saw the rains came to sympathize with us, but alas, they were astonished at the miracle and praised God. They could not believe that the storm didn't pass through our camp.
When the news spread throughout the town, many who heard came to our meetings. At the close of the crusade, twenty people were baptized.
We praise the Lord for the miraculous way in which He brought souls into His Kingdom!
Leading by Example
by Diana Fish
When God is trying to tell you something, it can be hard to listen; so sometimes, He needs to use a telephone.
“Hi, Diana! You don’t know me, but this past week, three people told me about your school, and I think God is trying to tell me something,” said Susan Johnson, founder of Support our Scholars (SOS), a nonprofit organization located in Winter Park, FL, that mentors high-achieving, at-risk girls throughout their college experience.
Susan explained how three different people on three separate occasions had told her about Holbrook Indian School (HIS) and the great work being done on behalf of Native American children and youth.
I knew two of these people—Elena Pathak with KTH Architects in Orlando and Pia Soule with Adventist Health System—from my time working at Florida Hospital. Elease, the third person, was an intern at KTH who had come to HIS to do a site visit for our master plan. Elease is also one of the students supported by SOS.
After talking with Susan for a while, we arranged to meet during my visit to Florida to discuss how our organizations might work together. When we met, Susan and I had an immediate connection and chatted like old friends for more than an hour about the possibilities of our two organizations collaborating. At the end of our meeting, she asked if the school had any urgent needs with which she could assist. I shared with Susan how our girls’ dorm had only one working washer. Without hesitation, Susan offered to buy us a new commercial washer. I was stunned by her generosity and thrilled that our 40-plus girls would soon have a new washer to use. Susan and I also agreed that to really know how best SOS and HIS could work together, she would need to visit Holbrook.
A few months later, Susan joined me at HIS, and together we toured the campus. I shared with her our many needs and our vision for the school. After seeing our needs, Susan decided to bring her students and their mentors to HIS to upgrade the girls’ dorm rooms.
Susan later told me that when she got back to Florida, she had doubts about the massive project that she planned to undertake. But God had a plan, and brought Susan together with anonymous donors who offered to pay for the entire trip – including food, transportation, the materials necessary to upgrade the dormitories, and excursions for SOS and HIS students.
After several months of planning, the group arrived on June 17. SOS prepared a wonderful breakfast for HIS students, and after brief introductions, they went right to work on the rooms. Along with painting the dorm rooms in the girls’ dorm, SOS provided new mattress covers, sheets, pillows, blankets, curtains, and desk lamps for both the girls’ and boys’ dorms.
HIS students gave the SOS team a tour of the reservation, and together they hiked down into Canyon de Chelley. Their last evening at HIS, SOS hosted a dinner, and the students shared their experiences with each other.
What an amazing blessing these women were to our students! I am so grateful to them all for their selflessness and generosity toward our Holbrook Indian School students. It was more than I could have hoped or even prayed for. It is amazing what God can do through us when we listen to Him, and we will always be blessed when we answer His call.
Rain and Watermelon Fields
by Fedrick Mbumili
My name is Fedrick Aidan Mbumili. I am 22 years old and am the first born in a family with five children. My mother died when I was two years old. I now live with my father, Aidan.
I thank God for giving me the chance to study at the Kibidula Agriculture Training Center. After two years of studies, I decided to be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
During the school holidays, most students go back to their homes to see their parents. It was June, 2018, during a school break, that I went home to see my father and help him irrigate his watermelon field. It was not a good holiday because of the difficulties that faced me at home because of my faith. My father is of a different faith, but he doesn't care much for God and doesn’t worship on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
Most of my time at home, he blamed me for becoming a Seventh-day Adventist and forbade me from worshiping on the Sabbath day. Instead, he wanted me to work in the fields on the Sabbath. This was troubling to me. I tried to plead with him, but he did not agree. Instead he became more angry.
I was afraid because he said that I can only worship on the seventh day if I say he is no longer my father and I find my own place to live. If not, then I will have to obey him and do what he says. He also told me that most people of this Sabbath faith are richer people. This faith is not for someone like me from a poor generation. He told me I must first find success before I can join the faith.
I didn't know what to do, so I called my teachers at school who are like my spiritual parents, but unfortunately, I couldn't reach them. This was Friday night. My father went to sleep, leaving me alone.
When Saturday arrived, I went to church. The church was far from home, about 20-25 kilometers away. I worshiped there and after the main service, a large, unexpected rain storm began! The rain reached all the way to the watermelon field my father wanted me to irrigate that day.
I thanked God for sending a solution to my problem. After this, my father didn't require me to work on the Sabbath again, even though he continues to complain about my new faith. I wish to see my father accept Jesus one day as the Saviour of his life.
I would like to thank the team at Kibidula mission for contributing to my financial, educational and spiritual needs.
For more information on Kibidula, check out their website at: www.kibidula.org