Why Zambia?

After working in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda over the past 20 years, God has opened wide the doors to training pastors who train pastors in Zambia.

God has graciously provided a few passionate Zambian pastors who share my passion for training pastors who have little access to being trained how to study, teach and preach God’s Word.

Pastor Paul Lumbu Kayumba, Pastor Harris Tchindwi Matanda,  Pastor Teddy Kamfwa (who is a close friend of Naton and Michelle Kamanga, missionaries of Paseo del Rey Church for more than 25 years), Bishop Paul Kajolo, and Bishop Christopher Phiri are trusted, Godly leaders who are connected and well-respected by many pastors across Zambia. God is using them and other pastors to prepare the groundwork necessary for fruitful investment in Pathways trainings.

Working with groups of about 16 pastors who otherwise have little access to training, we model, teach, and practice basic inductive bible study tools: keeping our finger in the text, observing what the text actually says, asking good questions, understanding the near and far context, structure, genre, application, and more.

In coming years, I hope the two Pathways Training Networks I am leading will result in more Pathways Training Networks entirely led by the Zambian pastors we are training.

About The Republic of Zambia

Zambia is roughly the size of Texas. The unique butterfly-shaped boundaries are the result of the European scramble for Africa’s natural resources in the early 1900s. Neighbors bordering land-locked Zambia are the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola.

The population is about 17.6 million people. With 43 percent of the population living in cities, Zambia has the highest ratio of urban population in Africa. Those living in the rural areas face a life of mainly low-yielding subsistence farming, which contributes to the high migration to cities. But even many of the areas just outside of the cities are overcrowded, poor, crime-ridden, shantytowns with very high unemployment.

Additionally, due to conflicts in the border countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, as well as Rwanda and Burundi, there has been a large influx of refugees in recent years.

In the late 1800s, Portuguese and Muslim traders came establishing trade with the seventy-five tribes in what is now called Zambia. The main trade items were gold, ivory, and slaves. It was also at this time that missionaries came bringing the Gospel, the most famous being David Livingstone. He worked hard to stop the slave trade and opened the door for the British.

In 1953 the British Colonial Office decided to unite Nyasaland (Malawi), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) into the Central African Federation. There was strong opposition to the federation, and with an independence movement sweeping across Africa, civil disobedience led by Zambian Kenneth Kaunda forced the British government to allow elections. The Republic of Zambia gained its independence on 24 October 1964 with Kaunda as the first president.

The main tribes in Zambia are Bemba, Nagoni, Lozi, Chewa, Chokwe, Lunda, Luvale, Tonga, and Tumbuka. Zambians may consider their tribe superior to another, but there is an overall sense of unity across all groups.

While landlocked, Zambia has several large freshwater lakes. The terrain consists of high plateaus, large savannas, and hilly areas; the highest altitude is in the Muchinga Mountains, at 6,000 feet. The Great Rift Valley cuts through the southwest and Victoria Falls (in the Tonga language: Mosi-oa-Tunya—“The Smoke That Thunders”), the largest water fall in the world.

Zambia is officially a Christian nation, but a wide variety of religious traditions exist. About three-fourths of the population would call themselves Protestant.

Operation World’s prayer guide writes about missions in Zambia: “The emphasis is rightly on partnering with Zambians, training them for leadership and service . . . that are sustainable and useful.”

My hope, as we partner with Zambians and their local churches, is that we will be fruitful in training pastors who will train pastors to handle correctly the Word of God, feeding, nurturing and maturing the men, women and young people in their congregations.