Well here I am sat in Lusaka, Zambia, writing this blog post. I have no idea when I will actually post this entry as I’ve no idea when I will next have Internet Access. We arrived yesterday after having spent a couple of days at Jude’s parents in Upton upon Severn (yes that’s the place blitzed by floods last year).
It was a very long journey, although fairly relaxing when I consider some of my escapades this year.
Now you may be wandering, why call this post Charlie Wilson’s War? Well, it’s because I watched the film on the plane whilst flying here. Let me quickly tell you the plot and then all will be revealed. Charlie Wilson is a playboy congressman in the States (no comparisons to me there I may add) and becomes aware of the plight of Afghan Muhajadin fighting against the Soviets in the early eighties. Single-handedly, he got the US Government to fund the Muhajadin (or however you spell it) to fight the soviets in Afghanisatan to the tune of 1 Billion Dollars. Some credit this act, or more to the point the demoralising withdrawal of the Soviet Army back to the USSR as being pivotal in the cold war.
Now what has Charlie Wilson got to do with Zambia you may ask? Well in the same way that Charlie Wilson surveyed the refugee camps and heard the stories of war and decided that he would do something so we find ourselves looking at the lives of many in rural Africa and deciding that we should do something. That is what we are here to do.
In this country the rural Church is not exactly prevailing against the gates of Hell, or in more normal language, making an eternal difference to communities and individuals. It languishes in poverty, division, so crippled by it’s foes that it cannot stand up and fight. Now let me make it clear, our role is not to fight for them. It is to help them to fight for themselves. So Charlie Wilson had his war in Afghanistan, We have our war here in Africa, and it begins here in Zambia. It cannot be correct that many of those who claim to follow Christ, know nothing of him. It cannot be right, that division is so rife. It cannot be right that many are helpless and lack the resources to change the very situations that they find themselves in. This is our fight. And we are not going to duck it.
I wander what the rewards of not ducking it will be? Every decision we make in obedience to the Lord always bears fruit. I hope and pray that the fruit will last forever.
So here we are in Lusaka. We’re taking a few days to get ourselves together and then we begin. It’s the boring stuff like finding pots and pans so we can cook, obtaining vehicles and the like. It seems useless sometimes, but it all needs doing. It’s all part of the battle, without these things you cannot get on to the discipleship and everything that must happen. It’s also good to rest a bit, the last week or so has been bedlam, especially Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
You may remember my 2 Iranian friends. They are seeking asylum in the UK. Last Friday I spent in court at my friends appeal. I was quite nervous as I’d never been a witness before. It was quite revealing to be in a court being cross examined by a home office solicitor asking me the true nature of Christian belief and the like. It was obvious they did not have a clue. I do believe that the ‘oppostion’ (in this case the home office) managed to look quite stupid in my cross examination, but maybe time will tell. It was obviously a difficult time for my friend, essentially having his well being on the line. I’ve no idea which way it will go although there did seem to be an awful lot of evidence in his favour, you could say overwhelming.
Friday evening (and this may be why I didn’t pack until 10 pm) I spent around at my builders for dinner. Strange how Jesus brings opportunities your way to spread the gospel. I truly enjoy being around normal people (between you and me – my church is too middle class sometimes…). It was a great evening with Fred (his name has been changed) the alchoholic who seems like such a likeable guy to me, his mate Gerry (again different name) the builder. His kids and family were there too. I really enjoyed their company and well we even spoke about the Lord to everyone. Natural, easy and fun – I wish all evangelism was like that. I will point out one thing though. It would have been easy to have been ‘too busy’ and say no! I think may people would have done that. However, in doing that we would have missed great company and great opportunity. I think I’ll note that lesson for later.
So, we’re at the beginning. No idea how the rest will pan out, we’ll see.
I hope you keep coming back to find out.