Zambia

ZAMBIA – REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

Zambia is country located in Southern Africa, with a capital Lusaka. Zambia’s geographical area is 752,614sq. km out of which 740,724 sq. km are land and 11,890sq. km water. It is landlocked central/ southern African country with a population of 12, 644, 041. Most of the inhabitants are members of the Bantu ethnic. The official language in the country is English with approximately 75 African languages and dialects. Most of the population follows the traditional African beliefs, only 20% are Christian, which are equally divided between Catholics and Protestants.

CHALLENGES FOR PRAYER

The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation in 1991 was encouraging, but the outworking is sorely lacking. Ex-President Chiluba, an outspoken believer, was accused (and cleared in court) of embezzlement, and his successor Mwanawasa, who actively rooted out such corruption, died suddenly and unexpectedly. While Zambia remains an island of stability and peace surrounded by countries rocked by war and strife, national transformation along biblical lines is conspicuous by its absence. Pray that the dedication of Zambia to Christ would be reflected by the dedication of its leaders and its Christians to see a land blessed by and honouring God.

Poverty and its many causes need to be tackled wisely but aggressively. Consider the following: up to 86% of the population are below the poverty line; agriculture and copper mining, which employ the large majority of the population, are dependent on erratic weather and markets. Between 33% and 50% of children are malnourished; 40% of the people do not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation. Illiteracy in rural areas is 90%. Current economic growth cannot offset the high birthrate or AIDS prevalence. All of these challenges are beginning to be met by a great host of agencies working in development, healthcare, education, vocational training, micro-finance and other areas. Pray for wise policy-making, responsible borrowing by the state and for long-term sustainable investing and ministry that will uplift the nation to greater development. Pray for the right balance between external assistance and homegrown solutions.

The “brain drain” of many of Africa’s brightest and best to richer nations impacts Zambia deeply. Pray for conviction to return to be blessings and the ideal missionaries to their country.

Growth among Protestant and Independent churches is encouraging. Pray for the dangers of superficiality and lack of biblical understanding and teaching whit in; and imported forms and structures of worship cause a disconnect between African culture and the gospel, but syncretism with indigenous beliefs and practices that are not biblical is no improvement. Never less churches still vary widely in spiritual quality and vigour. Pray for:
a) The many thriving evangelical congregations in the northwest. This area has a high concentration of evangelical believers, largely as a result of the ministry of the Brethren/ CMML, SIM and Baptists. There is still a need for spiritual depth and learning, but enthusiasm is high for ministry and mission.
b) The fruitful work of the Brethren in Christ and Churches of Christ among the Tonga peoples in the south; health care and pastoral training are two key emphases in this area.
c) The Reformed Church among the Nyanja peoples in the east, which is theologically evangelical, large in number and still growing.
The Lozi and southwestern peoples and the Bemba and northern peoples, who traditionally have few evangelical congregations. Many have become nominally Christian or have been swept into sectarian or syncretistic indigenous churches. Pray for churches to be planted in these spiritually needy areas.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) is a network of over 200 denominations, churches, missions and parachurch organizations and an important focal point of fellowship and cooperative efforts. It has spearheaded efforts to address the challenges of AIDS, poverty and long-term food security, and works to imbue churches with holistic vision. Pray that the EFZ might be anointed and effective in this crucial work.

Zambia is a major destination and thoroughfare for people. Instability in nations surrounding Zambia has sent hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing into Zambia, especially from Zimbabwe of late. Also, Zambia is vulnerable to traffickers of both child labourers and sex workers.Thank God for a recently passed law specifically criminalising human trafficking; pray for its effective implementation. Pray that Zambia might be the location where many uprooted people find succour and discover the Living God.

The AIDS crisis overwhelms the health services, the economy (as many trained professionals succumb to the disease), the pastoral work of churches (over 100,000 AIDS- related deaths per year) and family life. Pray specifically for those working to reduce AIDS, for attitudes toward AIDS have changed and for the military, police and copper mine workers who have some of the highest rates of infection. These groups tend to frequent sex workers through whom AIDS is passed and who most likely have the highest infection rate of all.

Children. Zambia has 710,000 orphans, mostly due to AIDS; nearly 20% of all children are suffering the loss of their parents. Over 90,000 live on the streets. Almost 75% of Zambian households care for a relative orphaned by AIDS.

Leadership training is an urgent need,the natural outworking of sustained church growth. This is a massive priority in a land where nominalism and syncretism are common.

Young people. SU has a significant impact in secondary schools, with large, lively groups in most of them. Many missionaries and Zambian believers teach the Scriptures in government schools. ZAFES(IFES) has four staff and groups in every post-secondary institution in Zambia.The ministry of CEF leads thousands of children to Christ each year.

Missions. There is an open door for ministry, although few are unevangelized. Pray for God’s leadership and guidance for them.

The less reached – there are still unevangelized pockets and a few people who have received much less ministry than the majority. Pray for the many smaller groups of people in the southwest, the urban satellite towns of Lusaka, the Copperbelt and Kabwe, and for the Indian Gujarati community which is both Hindu and Muslim, but only few are Christian.

Other faiths present a challenge to biblical Christianity. These include:
a) Witchcraft and sorcery, based on animism, strongly affect the lives and worldview of many Christians.They rarely are expressed as a separate religion but often overlap with and pollute Christian belief. Widespread superstitions and occult practices hamper spiritual growth, compromise believers and leave the door open for the enemy to work ill in peoples’ lives. Pray that Christians might cast off all ties to the spirits and live pure and holy lives that depend on God alone for spiritual empowerment and blessing.
b) Islam is aggressively targeting Zambia, especially in the east, and is growing twice as fast as Christianity here. Muslims take advantage of the freedom of religion to propagate Islam, and they make liberal use of funds from oil rich Muslim nations to entice Christians. Mosque building,free education and material inducements are effective in this poor country.Pray for powerful outreach to Muslims. Few Zambian Christians are equipped for this.
c) Jehovah’s Witnesses are already numerous and very active in outreach, particularly in the east.Their literature floods the nation, while Christian ministries cannot afford to print and distribute the truth.

OUR PROJECTS IN ZAMBIA

http://kakabalika.org/

LIST OF USED LINKS AND BOOKS

Jason Mandryk; Operation World, The definitive prayer guide to every nations; Printed in the United States of America; 2010; 978p.

www.fao.org/ag/AGP