Not Weary in Well Doing
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9.
I arrived in Lusaka, the capitol of Zambia, safely on the September 29, 2009, after a tiring but uneventful flight. Thankfully all my luggage arrived intact, and
I was able to find a cart whose wheels did not stick, so I was able to freely move my four bags. As simple a thing as that is, it was something I prayed about, due to other experiences with carts at this airport’s arrivals hall that generally do not work.
Stopping at customs, my prayers were again answered after declaration and inspection as I was waived on, not having to pay any duty on my laptop and video and digital cameras. Although I was out of the arrivals hall by 6:40 AM, I would not arrive at my destination only 275 miles away for nine hours, inclusive of travel and much waiting.
While the intercity bus station has greatly improved since the early 1990’s when I first used it, it is still a bit chaotic. Rather than buses loading one at time, all or many of the buses for Ndola loaded at the same time. This means it takes guess work trying to figure out which bus to board in the hope of leaving first. We waited at least forty-five minutes trying to determine which bus to take.
Also, the drivers play tricks to lure passengers. Fake passengers are put on the bus and paid something. This makes it appear the bus is fuller than it really is, then passengers like myself and the friend who met me at the airport pay for a ticket and board the bus, thinking it will not be long until departure. We spent an additional two hours on the bus even though it appeared full enough to leave soon. At one point when the bus started up, there were shouting and passengers demanding to be refunded their money or for the driver to depart for our destination. It was at this time that some of the fake passengers got off the bus, and it was not totally full, which is usually required before a bus departs.
Thankfully we finally arrived just outside of Ndola.
A home had been arranged for me to stay with some Pentecostal Christians. They were very kind hosts. This was to be my home, not for the few days that were planned, but for almost five weeks as I sought accommodation.
Finding suitable and affordable rentals proved difficult as prices had greatly increased since I had last rented, while at the same time income has fallen. Also, it is typical that houses for rent are not maintained, and one can spend $600 dollars for a home that is not in good condition, at least by our American standards. Also there are not many homes on the market from which to choose, and finding them is by word of mouth or through agents. Some of these agents are genuine with offices and licenses, and generally deal with higher-priced rentals. There are others, called briefcase agents, who inflate the prices and demand half of one month’s rent to find rental properties. Typically they do not know much about a home and just tell you to come and see it. I finally had to settle for a place that was in quite poor condition, but the owner agreed to take the one year’s rent I paid in advance, to add a wall fence and burglar bars to the windows and doors. Rent for this place of about 1100 square feet was $435 a month. With some interior painting and cleaning and fixing faucets in the kitchen and bathroom and rotten countertops in the kitchen, it is not too bad. After several weeks of living here, the cockroach infestation is lessening. At least when I go into the kitchen at night, I no longer see herds of bugs scattering across the wall or floor or find them in the refrigerator.
About the third week of November, I received a call that my shipment of books and equipment was in and that the driver was in a hurry to leave; I was to come and get the goods immediately. These clearing agents, unlike most, had no warehouse. Being rainy season, I was not willing for the goods to just be dropped on the ground until I arrived. So I hurriedly pressed two people into service who were at my home; and while they went to find a truck to hire, I went to the clearing agents about two miles from my home.
The service of a truck was negotiated at the nearby market about a mile from the clearing agent. They agreed to carry the goods for 100,000 kwacha, or about $22. Another $20 was paid to the two brothers for help with loading and unloading the boxes, and $40 for the fork lift to remove the pallets from the truck that came with the goods. In two hours, the whole process was over without a drop of rain. Taxes and duty on this shipment were more than the estimated $1000, but at $1535 for taxes and clearing I was still thankful. Everything was received without damage and just as packed.
Now having in hand two of the prized pieces of equipment, a disk duplicator and printer, several hundred DVDs were burned and printed.
It has been quite interesting to be greeted by people I either do not know, or who I recognize facially but never really knew. One day as I was standing along the roadside seeking a ride to the farm at which I was temporarily staying out of town, a vehicle stopped on the other side of the road. Someone who had years before secured materials at the ministry stopped to ask if I was David Wilson. I have had people come to me when walking on the street on several occasions to tell me they were glad I was back, and how much the ministry had helped them in times past. While I can rejoice in what was accomplished in the past and the fruit that still lives, there is still a work to do presently.
On this point, unless the Lord indicates and directs differently, my work will be much simpler than in the past. This is partially due to current financial constraints, but mostly to maintain spiritual, mental and physical balance. The past negatives of life and work in Zambia are still very present, and it is best to work with those I can as needed, but keep things largely focused on a personal teaching ministry. This involves public and small group teaching, preaching, crusades, etc., as well as circulating the audio, video, and printed material I prepare. I learned in the last eighteen months I was here previously that doing a larger work makes for considerable stress due to the inefficiencies and, at times, unfaithfulness of those that are of necessity involved. Therefore it is best for me to work more simply.
As in the past, things in Zambia move slowly, and at this point my work has been confined to teaching every Sabbath and seeing material go out bit by bit. I have also had an opportunity to teach at a home-based nondenominational Bible study.
People seemed truly blessed as I shared with them. One Indian man, a former Catholic, commented to me the next day, “My wife and I were discussing before going to bed what you had taught. It was an insight we had never thought of.”
I met this man last week; and, after some general conversation, I asked him about the lodge and restaurant he was running. He then offered me the use the restaurant at which to film on Sundays when they are closed. This is a blessing, as the filming will be in a quiet part of the building, in a room within a room. Finding a quiet place in a Zambian town is difficult, and the price is unheard-of for here—at least in my experience; it is free for the Lord’s work! As soon as I can make a small pulpit and some kind of portable background I hope to begin filming the second Sunday of January. Editing costs are low, but so is funding, but I hope to start with at least two or three series of eight to fourteen programs each.
I had been confined in travel by minibus and walking as the vehicle I ordered in early July was long delayed. In fact, a number of things have been “patience developers” since arriving. Although there is nothing new in this, as I have seen it all before, it seems to be almost like a test, to see if my coming back to Zambia is really something I should have done. On the December 30, 2009, I finally took delivery of a used minibus ordered in July from Japan. Now I will be able get out to other churches and places to teach. The vehicle was delayed at the border for two months, and technicalities have taken almost three weeks, about two weeks longer than necessary.
I have not been able to get home internet service because of the prohibitive cost of service or equipment, and that for very sub-standard service. I have to wait and see what the Lord can do for me, as I need internet to work with my websites and upload new audio, written material and video. In fact I have recently received several emails like the following examples from those benefiting from the material on the web sites.
“Just want to say thanks, brother. Surely the Spirit of the Lord was upon you, as He guided you step-by-step in putting this information together for His beloved people. Keep the faith.” (United States of America)
“By accident I got on to your ministry. Your sermons and articles are what our people need. We are an independent church, for we cannot worship with the structure because of the abominations done in God’s professed church. I certainly will be using your material in our church. May God keep you as you try to wake our people up before it is too late. God bless.” (Australia)
A local church here is using my book The Last Hours of Christ for their Sabbath school. One brother to whom I gave a book told me, “This book is powerful, if only many could read it, it would help them greatly.”
A brother here in Ndola with his wife is daily going through my audio DVD, Let Daniel and Revelation Speak; he told me they are learning much.
Just a few days ago believers in Oregon asked me if they could print and circulate my book, Let Daniel and Revelation Speak. Please pray for the success of this endeavor, in both raising funds and in circulating the book.
Another prayer request is, as God wills, that my property in Missouri could sell this coming year.
If God leads you to support this work, you may send your gifts payable to “The Tributary” for the publishing and teaching work of Bible Alive Ministries.