Below is a current report from the IMC Director, Pastor Percy Muleba who recently received a Bachelors of Theology degree from Justo Mwale Theological Seminary in Lusaka, Zambia.
Greeting's in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the soon coming King in glory. My heart is full of joy as I am writing to you friends and partners of the Inyambo Mission Center (IMC) located in the Royal village of Mwandi, Zambia.
In the first place, I desire, on behalf of the IMC local Board of Directors and myself, to pass our sincere gratitude to the Booth Foundation through The Outreach Foundation for their financial support. We would not have reached this far without them. May the Lord richly bless you, the individuals and partner churches for your support. I also want to say a big thank you to The Outreach Foundation for making the IMC one of your supported projects. When we look back at what the Lord has done, there is no doubt that the glory belongs to GOD.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some statistics regarding Zambia and in particular, the remote Western Province, so you can imagine a picture of our country. I will also share with you what the Lord is doing through the Inyambo Mission Center from January to date.
Zambia's final population count as captured by the 2010 census stood at 13,092,666. This was an increase from the population of 9,888,591 captured during the 2000 Census. This represents a 2.8 percent annual rate of population growth during the inter-census period - 2000-2010. Of the total population enumerated in the 2010 census, 7,293,289 representing 60.0 percent were in rural areas, while 5,169,377 representing 39.5 percent of the population were in urban areas. The population was broken down into 49.3 percent (6,454,647) males and 50.7 percent (6,638,019) females. As a result of the rapid population growth, Zambia has continued to have a very young population with 45.4 percent of the total population being below the age of 15 years. This poses a great challenge to the country in terms of provision of health services, education opportunities and employment for now and into the future. Concerted effort is required from all stakeholders in meeting the challenge of this young and growing population.
Having shared the above information of Zambia in a glance, I would like to draw your attention to the Western Province of Zambia where the Lord has given us a mandate to raise, train and equip a mission minded generation.
In the Western Province, which was originally the Kingdom of Barotseland, the population captured during the 2010 was 902,974. This represents an increase of 18.0 percent from the population of 765,088 captured during the 2000 census. Of the total 902,974 census population, 86 percent (783,123) live in rural areas, while 13.3 percent (119,851) live in urban areas. The Western Province has 13 districts.
Our IMC mission as a training center is to reach out to each of the 13 districts through a Mobile School strategy where we do a “Three Week Intensive Training” for pastors and lay leaders from multiple denominations to become more effective evangelists and church planters. From 2010 to 2014, Inyambo Mission Center had been laying a foundation in Mwandi district creating our curriculum and refining our strategy. Last year in 2015, we started our journey into the other districts beginning with the Sesheke district, where we were blessed with a very successful time of ministry.
After the Three Week Intensive Training, we started a “Live School” class in Sesheke, 240 hours of video training that focuses on the individual's spiritual health and character development, on Biblical teachings, cross-cultural ministry, and on community development. It is a class which is in progress right now of 10 students, 3 pastors and 7 lay leaders, led by several of our graduates from last year. The class will graduate in August this year. In 2016, the Inyambo Mission Center focus will move to another district called Senanga. From January through to April, I have made several trips to Senanga in preparation for the June Three Week Intensive Training. I have been able to mobilize the churches on the ground to focus on reaching the unreached in their district. I have met with young people, choirs, Sunday school teachers and pastors to discuss evangelism strategies. In some instances, I have personally gotten involved in an evangelism campaign.
This first quarter has been a very exciting time in the life of IMC. Our former students have planted several churches and started preaching points in various locations in the Western Province. Bosco Kutuma who lives in Kaoma and is a Live School graduate, has established two preaching points and planted a church in the village where he was born. In one of his outreaches he led a witch doctor to the Lord who surrendered her instruments to be burnt so that she can start a new life in Christ. The Western Province, like other regions, has a high percentage of witchcraft practicing. Animistic background has influenced so many people to be involved in power seeking activities and ancestral worship. In as much as we appreciate the work of the missionaries who walked our land, traditional norms and rituals still haunt the land. Yet it is amazing to see how ordinary young people from a village passionately rise up to the call after our training. The fire in their hearts for Jesus is so amazing. They walk or cycle 60 km to 100 km taking the gospel to remote areas. Alex Sibiyo, another Live School graduate, also has helped plant a church in Lutaba which is more than 60km from Mwandi; he walked to Lutaba with a friend. That church is now under the leadership of Pastor Sikute Musweu with the Elim Pentecostal Church in Mwandi. Pastor Sikute is also the chairman of the local IMC Board of Directors. Alex is currently in Namibia helping a newly established church to reach out to its community and plant other churches in the rural areas of Namibia. The cross-cultural component of our curriculum makes our students relevant to plant churches anywhere in the world. Obby, another Live School graduate, is now a facilitator for Live School in his church and in the process of opening schools. This is one of the successes of IMC when we train people, our prayer is that they go back to their communities and help mobilize their churches for missions and church planting.
Some of our students are involved in agricultural projects such as, vegetables gardening, fruit orchards, poultry farming and keeping livestock. Our holistic approach to missions and daily living through our training enables our students to do a number of sustainable projects. It thrills my heart to share with you all these things that the Lord is doing in the lives of our students who are actively involved in the leadership of the churches they serve under and plant. As we move forward, we kindly ask that you remember us in your prayers:
- Zambia will be having general elections this year on 11-08-16. The politics is very bitter and we need prayer for a peaceful election.
- The drought has hit the land of western Zambia twice. Last year we registered 100% drought in Mwandi and in Sesheke. This year the same is happening.
- 60% of the western Zambia population is below 24 years. We pray that the Lord will reach out to these illiterate young people so that they can come to Christ and receive an education.
- Pray for the Three Week Intensive Training to be held in June in Senanga. We will be training pastors and lay leaders who may later start training in the Live School curriculum in August.
- Pray for Doug and Abby Vinez and Eric deNeve as they prepare to come to Zambia to join me in June for the same training. Doug and Abby will be in Zambia for three months. Eric will be going back to the USA after the training. After the three weeks intensive training Doug, Abby and I will be going to South Africa for the Rise Conference where Doug will be speaking to Southern Africa churches who will be gathered in Pretoria, Mabopane. Inyambo Mission Center is part of the Southern Africa mobilization of churches. The IMC has a number of trainings and follow up programs with students and churches that were re-roofed through financial assistance from the Booth Foundation. These activities will be done in July and August. We are looking forward to continue to partner with the Booth Foundation to assist the different churches whose members participate in IMC training to construct buildings.
- We are still trusting in the Lord to make the funds available to start building the training center, associated support buildings and an income producing sustainable farm and orchard on the IMC property in Mwandi.
Our prayer for you, our friends and partners, is that our gracious and loving Lord will give you strength to hold on till he comes again!
Yours in His service,
Percy Muleba, Director IMC