Relaymedia

Zambia's Lungu People Are Hunger for the Gospel

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

Four volunteers from First Baptist Church of West Monroe, LA found 181 Zambians eagerly profess Christ on a five-day mission trip in May, BPnews reported on 25.



Each of them are a newly married housewife, a self-employed CPA, a retired businessman and a supervisor major insurance company. They went to villages in Zambia conduting evangelistic surveys among the Lungu, a group of people in the northern province of Zambia. The people have practiced their traditional witchcraft and spirit veneration.



Wade Coker, a Southern Baptist Church International Mission Borad church planter said the majority of the Lungu have never listen to the true Gospel.



The people have suffered from malaria and AIDS which have shortened the average life expectancy to just over 37 years. 20% of its population lives with the HIV/AIDS.



One of the voluteers, Debbie Takewell said, "about 350 Lungu people who participated in the survey said it is warm, receptive, and extremely hungry to hear what we had to say. This trip is really brought life to the verse that says 'the harvest is plentiful.'"



The volunteers worked as small groups for a week and more than half of the survey participants professed faith in Jesus Christ.



"The great response to the Gospel was humbling," said Coker, who was the first Southern Baptist missionary assigned to northern Zambia in 1997, also accompanied the four volunteers.



"The 350 people who heard the Gospel are only 0.1 percent of the total Lungu population. But fortunately many people in the southern Africa are very responsive. There must be more workers who can reach out to them," he added.



Also the environmental situation is not so simple. There is no completely tranlated Bible in Lungu language and the closest Baptist church to the recently evangelized area is about 40 miles away.



"However the new believers want the workers to stay" Coker said, "but our mission is to determine which areas would respond positively to the Gospel. There should be more people who can really gather these people in churches."