Founded in 1914, Chitokoloki Mission is a remote assembly mission station located in North Western Province, Zambia. It is located in an area with both Lunda and Luvale tribes. Due to its remoteness, the mission and hospital will probably never be on the government power grid. Thankfully, with the improvement in solar powered electricity, daily living has become somewhat easier.
Declared independent in 1964, former Northern Rhodesia became Zambia. Zambia is officially a “Christian” nation. Despite this constitutional declaration, Zambia faces the HIV epidemic, with an estimated 13.5% of adults possessing the disease.
With all of these conditions in place, the gospel still goes out freely to all, and most are willing to listen to the glorious gospel of Christ. The hospital located on the mission grounds enables local men from the assembly to preach the gospel daily over the loudspeakers. We are very thankful for a number of the local sisters from the assembly, who work at the hospital, and take advantage of every opportunity to pour the gospel into the ears of the patients in their care.
Currently in Chitokoloki, there are 11 full-time missionaries from Canada, Northern Ireland, and the United States. To focus on one laborer’s work would be unfair, as we are “laborers together with God” (1Cor 3:9). Many of the outreaches currently going on are intertwined with each other but not overlapping. Our sister Dorothy Woodside (USA) teaches literacy, Bible studies for young ladies, and engages in other works. Our brother and sister Keith and Gayle Bailey (Canada) teach Religious Education in the school, have Scripture Union classes for grades 7-9, Bible studies for young adults, as well as other labors. Tanis Walker (Canada) has taken in two orphans despite her hospital schedule and is seeking to raise them in the fear of the Lord. Gordon Hanna, the hospital administrator, and his wife Ruth, look after tasks needing to be done to run a mission hospital.
Despite their very hectic schedule at the hospital, Dr. David McAdam and his wife Lorraine (Northern Ireland) have a Bible study for adults, and send out Sunday school prizes to many of the village assemblies in the area. Julie Rachel Elwood (a nurse from Northern Ireland) has young people in for Bible quizzes and games to encourage them in walking daily for the Lord. We are thankful to be able to strive together with these fellow laborers for the faith of the gospel (Phil 1:27), and seek to see lives won for the Master.
Currently we are involved in outreaches to three villages in the immediate area around Chitokoloki. The villages of Chiya, Chambula, and Sampasa are open to us and seek to hear the gospel on a regular basis. On Sunday afternoons, we walk out to one of these villages as a family, for the singing of hymns and preaching of the gospel. We are thankful for the headmen of these villages who allow us to come and preach the gospel.
The Lord “must needs go through Samaria” (John 4), to meet a Samaritan woman at a well; He had to go out of a village to meet with 10 lepers (Luke 17); and He had to go to a hillside to feed 5000 (Matt 14). Perhaps the Lord was teaching us a lesson of going out to meet the need instead of waiting for the need to come to us.
If we thoroughly read John chapter 3, we never find the Lord criticizing Nicodemus for coming to Him at night. The Lord was just glad he came. We have dealt with a “Nicodemus” and are thankful that the results were the same as John 3, and not as the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.
We are involved in Bible studies with a group of young people grades 9-11, and another at the high school boy’s dormitory. There are 22 young men who are so far from their villages it would take them all day to walk home. We are thankful for the truths that these young people have taken in. We have an outreach for women in the Leper Colony, as well as a work in the children’s ward at the hospital.
We have recently started an English gospel outreach, aiming to reach those in the area who don’t speak the local languages. Teachers, trained hospital staff, and high school aged young people have been attending.
There are a few false teachings in the area with which we must deal, and we look to the Lord to give help when dealing with these topics. Being saved and lost, salvation through confession of sins to the elders of a church, and salvation through baptism are all prevalent beliefs. What a great truth to know for sure that salvation is through Christ and Christ alone; to know for sure that once we are in His hand we are there forever.
We would covet your prayers in regard to all of the works mentioned above, and for the freedom to continue them. There is opposition to the work, and sometimes from places we never expected. Satan is on the attack. His desires to destroy the work of God and the assembly testimony are very real.
Recently we have seen souls won to the Savior – Praise His name! But we have also seen local believers fall away, some who have been a part of the Lord’s work here. Please pray for their recovery and restoration.
We are thankful that God is still on the throne. May we continue to encourage each other in His work. “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil 1:27).