*Pictures at the end
Shalom and Muli Bwanji from Lusaka Zambia,
You’re probably asking yourself what is Muli Bwanji and how would you even pronounce it. Muli Bwanji is the familiar greeting in Nyanja (Chichewa). Although English is the official language of Zambia, Nyanja is one of the native tongues many speak in the capital city of Lusaka. We have learned to speak this phrase as well as the response, “bwino” which means “well”. It is a delight to greet the people with their native tongue and see the surprised reaction as they greet us in return.
This is our third visit to Zambia and we have certainly been blessed to be here and to be a small part of what Yahweh is doing in this land. We have just been approved for an extension of our Visas and plan on traveling to several other areas of Zambia in our remaining time as well as teaching at a few more conferences here in Lusaka. We often say that like David Livingston “you can bury our bodies anywhere but our hearts belong to Zambia”. Truly we love this country. We love the people in this nation, the beautiful land, the favor of Heaven that seems to always find us here and all the yummy non-GMO, fresh from the farm, food!
The are just a few things that we certainly could do without; load shedding (where the electricity is cut every day for at least 8 hours), water shedding (sometimes we go without running water for several days) and the lack of good phone/internet network connection even when we pay for the service. Although we would rather these things change, we often look at each other, while laughing and smiling, and say “T.I.Z.” = This is Zambia! You learn to be flexible.
We have learned to be thankful for the simple things in life. We have learned that when the power and water is running, you make sure you bathe everyday, do laundry (in the washing machine) and keep items that need charging plugged in. I suppose if this is the greatest “third world” problems that we face, then we have great reason to rejoice!
While we have been here, we have been busy. This is the first week that we have had a week of rest and renewal. At the beginning of the week, we were privileged to join in the worship service that is held at the State House each week. This was our 4th time in attendance. The First Lady of Zambia, Mrs. Esther Lungu joined the worship service and exhorted the attendees to look to Yahweh to be their provider. We were blessed to be greeted by her and to know that the leaders of this Nation encourage prayer & worship-to the one true Elohim (God) of the Scriptures.
It was just 6 months ago that the President of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Lungu, called for the nation to have a national day of prayer and fasting. Since being here, we have seen Yahweh shine His face upon this nation as they have sought His face and called out to Him in prayer. Could you imagine what it would be like to have a President in America that would lead the nation in worship to Yahweh, the one true Elohim (GOD)? Surely, revival would come to America even as revival has come to Zambia!
Of course, it hasn’t been without much opposition. There were many opposing political leaders that mocked the National day of prayer and fasting last year and with the nation facing an election this August, there have been attempts to bring negative attention to the President and the nation. When we first arrived there was a shortage of automobile fuel. Some locals said they believed it was a political move by the opposing parties to reflect negatively on the ruling party.
Our experience has been that Zambia is usually a very peaceful nation with very little violent crime. However, for several months now there has been a string of ritual killings happening. Those who have been killed are found with body parts missing. Just this last week the police arrested some people who they believe are behind the killings (they found body parts with them) and because apparently they were from another country, there was a response by some of the people to riot and loot the shops of foreigners.
Some believe the ritual killings are politically motivated and these murders are actually human sacrifices and are a part of some kind of satanic worship in order to find favor for the upcoming political elections. Please pray for the President, his family, the political leaders, and the peace of this nation! If we “will humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of Yahweh and turn from our wicked ways” then Yahweh has promised that He will “hear from Heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.” May it be so for Zambia (as well as every nation)!
I wanted to close this letter by sharing pictures of some of our adventures. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. I hope that you will be encouraged to share in “a view of the journey” and that what can’t be said with words could be said in the pictures. Yahweh is great! His mercies are new each day! We are eternally thankful for the gift He has given us by allowing us to share His love all over the world and we hope that you are encouraged to know that Yahweh is working even in “dark Africa”!
Much love, shalom and blessings,
Jenn (and Robert) McDuffie