Update from Zambia

Recovery from addictions

Pastor Lackson Chipeta and his team continue to support the Recovery groups in the various communities in and around Lundazi in Eastern Zambia.

Shiloh Hands of Hope Pastors
Fainess (left) and Pastor Lackson (right) with the Shiloh team of pastors

He reports that 57 people have made a full recovery from drugs and alcohol, with many more continuing in the program.

Many of the Recoverers have chosen to be baptised at Easter.

Hallelujah! May they become fully healed, Spirit-filled and faithful ambassadors of the Kingdom with all necessary to form new groups.

New groups

Five new groups have opened in Chisomo and Chiwe communities;

Bowe teaching
Pastor Lackson at a teaching event at Bowe

the total membership of these groups being 85. May they grow strong in spirit by means of scripture and the 12 Step program.

Prayer required for safety of Pastors

Pastor Johnstone’s accident

Last week Pastor Johnstone suffered an accident while riding his motorcycle, which he uses when visiting the large number of recovery groups he supports; another motorcyclist struck him from behind.

As well as being badly shaken he has suffered painful injuries to both legs, which bled quite freely; thankfully no other serious injury was sustained, such as a head injury.

Motorcycle accident in Kenya
Pastor Johnstone following his motorcycle accident

He is making a good recovery, but has required the prescription of antibiotics in addition to pain killers.

The distances that he has to cover to visit the groups are considerable; roughly a radius of 125 miles from his home. The roads are very bad with deep ruts and loose surfaces. In the rainy season many of the roads are impassable.

Road challenges

The Highway Code in parts of Kenya is more a matter of a “shared understanding”, than a system of rules to be rigidly observed; and there is often considerable inventiveness, both in terms of right-of-way and what might be reasonably carried on a motorcycle in terms of goods and passengers.

Bed on motorcycle
Bed on a bike
Four men on motorcycle
Four on a bike

Livestock such as pigs are not uncommon; up to 5 adults and children are unremarkable; a load comprising a sofa, two armchairs and a coffee table is not unseen.

In addition there are many other hazards not commonly encountered on our roads, such as roaming livestock and wild animals.

Please pray

Please pray for continued growth of the Recovery groups and of the churches.

Also in the light of this accident please remember to include in your prayers Pastor Johnstone’s rapid recovery, and protection for the pastors as they travel on hazardous roads with difficult surfaces, unpredictability of what might be encountered, and ¬†with the potential for collisions with other travellers.

A new church in Kenya

Churches together

Pastor Johnstone continues to strengthen and grow the Recovery groups in Kenya, based around Churches of Christ in Tongaren.

He reports that another new church has formed from one of the groups in a village called Ambichi.

Pastor Johnstone serving at monthly meeting of three churches
Churches together in Machakha

Once a month he brings churches together for a time of fellowship and teaching. This month brought together the new church, together with Machakha and Kakamwe congregations.

On the 13th March it is planned to have a day of Women’s Seminars.

At such events people come together to discuss the problems and fears that they have in common as well as to learn. A common fear is that their partner might continue to drink or use, or may have a slip or relapse, starting their old habit once again with the chaos that may bring. Together as they meet they can draw strength and hope from one another.

“A day at a time” is a commonly used slogan in recovery programs worldwide, especially in early recovery.

May His Spirit lead them, guard them and give them peace.

Ugandan 12 Step Recovery groups becoming stronger

Steadfast shepherds

Despite the pandemic Pastor Stephen and his wife Rebecca continue to visit and strengthen the groups who are following the 12 Step program of recovery form addiction.

Wonderful testimonies of freedom and healing

Chris Wanyakala says in his testimony that he had been a drunkard since 1996, until last month when he felt convicted by the Spirit of Jesus and a calling to proclaim His name.

Chris a Recoverer
Chris sharing his testimony

He speaks of having seen many accidents and deaths in his community during his lifetime. The Spirit showed him people who might die, and he engaged with them, praying for them that they should live.

He has embraced the 12 Step program and obtained sobriety. His wish is to join with Pastor Stephen and engage with the work to spread the message of hope throughout Uganda.

May he remain strong in his conviction and see the fullness of the harvest of rescued souls he has been shown.

Another testimony is that of Veron Katenya. Although he is young, and just left school, he became a captive to addictions.

Digging for clay
Veron brick-making – digging for clay

His life has been transformed by the 12 Steps, and through membership of the “Exodus” group in Mayenze; he makes a living now by making bricks from clay.

 

 

 

Group projects

Projects created to provide a focus for the groups, to learn new skills and to provide an income continue to flourish.

Two day old bunnies
Rabbit project – two day old kittens (=bunnies)

As well as the manufacture of bricks, there is bee keeping and rabbit breeding. It is important for people to learn not to pick up rabbits by their ears!

Praise the Lord for healing of individuals, families and communities. It is to be hoped that young people in particular will learn from the testimonies provided, and that many will see the transformation obtained in the lives of the “Overcomers”!

May Pastor Stephen and his wife Rebecca be strengthened and blessed in all they are doing, not just among those who are addicted, but also their school and orphanage.