“Since I started my first SGC course, God has been teaching me how to become more like Him. Every course has given me new understanding of what it means to be like Jesus.”
These words from a pastor are a wonderful testimony to the impact of the first year of SGC courses taught at the Mayukwayukwa Refugee Camp in western Zambia.
The Africa 85/SGC team consisted of Glenn and Stephanie Gault, Maricka Herera, Jordan Satterfield, and myself (Randall McElwain). We were hosted by Bishop Angel, the leader of Shelter of Life Embassy Church in Lusaka, and Pastor Allegri, the organizer of the SGC classes at the refugee camp. Bishop Angel and Pastor Allegri are visionary leaders with a passion for multiplying workers to reach throughout Zambia and even into neighboring countries.
Most of our week was spent with a small group of teachers who are doing the instruction in the camp. This allowed us to offer more intensive instruction focused on teaching techniques. Rev. Satterfield began each day’s training with convicting devotionals on spiritual growth.
On Friday, we held a Pastor’s Conference for a group of pastors at the refugee camp. Our theme was “The Gospel of the Kingdom in Perilous Times.” Jordan Satterfield spoke from Romans on the topic, “What is the Gospel?” He challenged the pastors to add nothing to the gospel and to take nothing away from it. Glenn Gault spoke from Titus 2 on “The Results of the Gospel.” The gospel changes our lives today and gives hope for the future. In the third session of the conference, I showed “The Hope of the Gospel” in the book of Revelation. While we spoke to the pastors, Stephanie Gault did training for Sunday School teachers and children’s workers.
During the week, our team also met with Dr. Lackson Chipeta, the president of Riblar Christian Bible College. Dr. Chipeta is working to offer training in rural areas of Zambia that are often overlooked. He is excited to have the SGC curriculum available for his students.
The Hope of Jesus
I write this report as I am flying home from Lusaka. As I fly, I have been thinking about the atmosphere in the refugee camp. By any human standards, it should be a hopeless and depressing visit. 10,000 refugees, most of whom will never leave the camp. They live a very meager life with little chance of change. For most of the refugees, “temporary” housing has become a permanent way of life.
A visit to the camp should be depressing. But… in our worship, there was a wonderful spirit of joy. The pastors (all of whom are refugees) are committed to serving their members and spreading the gospel. At least one of the pastors has turned down a chance to resettle in order to continue serving his members.
The pastors have a missionary vision. They are seeking to prepare members to evangelize in the countries where they are eventually resettled. I walked away from the conference with a sense not of despair but of hope. That is the power of the gospel!
Thank you for helping SGC to train underserved pastors in Africa and around the world. Few of the pastors at the Mayukwayukwa Refugee Camp have had any opportunity for training. Some did not even own a copy of the Bible. Yet, they are hungry to learn. Thank you for helping us to serve these committed pastors.