Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August 2009 Newsletter

Dear Brethren,

Brother Ronald Gilbert and I left Atlanta, Georgia on August 03 and arrived in Livingstone, Zambia on August 05. Our route took us from Atlanta to Livingstone via London and Johannesburg. When we arrived in Zambia, it was hot and dry and the wind blew a fine, red dust that settled on everything that did not move and rubbed off on everything that did. This is not uncommon in Africa. But, with our work set before us, we were happy to be with the brethren there and to be about doing what our Lord would have us to do.

We began by teaching classes at the Zambia School of Biblical Studies ( The twenty students in the school are all set to graduate in November of this year. Brother Gilbert and I taught Denominational Doctrines. We taught from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon each day and only took a break at 10:00 A.M. for the traditional tea time.

In the afternoons, we spent our time trying to buy bicycles and Bibles and studying for the night class of the International College of the Bible ( ). The class was on Personal Evangelism. There were five students in this class, all of whom had completed the two-year program of the Zambia School of Biblical Studies and were continuing their studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible. Brother Gilbert is the President of this school and, under the auspices of the Education Department of the State of Tennessee, can confer Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degrees in Bible to those who complete the required guided studies. There are over 70 students in this school and there have been many graduates.

It was my pleasure to help in two graduation exercises while in Zambia. In Livingstone, the three instructors of the Zambia School of Biblical Studies graduated with their Masters of Arts degree in Bible. These three men were brothers Godfrey Pitika, Webby Kenabanyama, and Peter Mysia. And in Siamafumba (where we held a four day Gospel meeting), the five instructors of the Siamafumba School of Biblical Studies graduated with their Bachelor of Arts degrees in Bible. These men were brothers Roid Benai, Albert Nyanisi, Raphael Chibole, Ivin Libbohole, and Tinson Simweesa. It was a marvelous sight to see graduation caps and gowns in the bush country of Africa. All of these men are to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication to improving themselves in the knowledge of our Lord and His Word.

In addition to teaching classes at ZSOBS and ICOTB, we were privileged to preach in two Gospel meetings. These meetings were held in the Misika and the Siamafumba areas of the bush about eighty miles northeast of Livingstone. (Now eighty miles in the United States would not seem like much of a journey. However, traveling to Misika and Siamafumba for two consecutive weekend meetings took from five to six hours each. Imagine driving down a sandy road and sometimes the sand will be six to twelve inches deep. And then, every ten to fifteen yards there is a twenty-four to thirty-six inch depression in the road. Perhaps you will have to detour through the bush because the road, being washed out by the heavy rains of the rainy season, was never graded and parts are totally impassible. Yes, the roads are just that rough and what part of the roads are not depressed or washed out are so corrugated [a wash board effect] will shake everything loose on your vehicle. As a case in point, we had to stop and replace the wires back on the distributor cap of the old pick-up truck. When they were shaken loose we could tell because the engine would begin to skip. At another time, we had to replace the rubber grommet around the universal joint with a seat belt from the truck and an 18 inch piece of bailing wire.) Misika and Siamafumba have no electricity and get there water from the local rivers. At Siamafumba, the Siamafumba School of Biblical Studies has two, small solar panels that provide enough electric lighting so that the students can study for two hours each night. At the meeting at Siamafumba, we used these solar panels to power four, small light bulbs throughout the brush arbor. It is very interesting to preach to hundreds of people in the dark.

In Misika, we spoke Friday through Sunday with a total of 991 souls present to hear the Gospel of Christ. Seventy-one were restored to the body of Christ, eleven were baptized into Christ, and there were 43 congregations represented. Brother Tinson Simweesa is the preacher of the church at Misika and also is an instructor at the Siamafumba School of Biblical Studies.

In Siamafumba, we spoke Thursday through Sunday. At this meeting there were a total of 1950 folks present. Two hundred and five were restored to the church and 40 were baptized in the name of Christ, and there were 68 congregations present. (You know, brethren, with results like this in the States, we would have to extend our worship services to three or four hours as well.) At both meetings, the brethren built a brush arbor for the assembling place complete with grass pollen and that fine, red dust and sat on rough, crooked logs, or on stones, or on the ground all day, just to hear the Gospel of Christ. Their interest in and love for the Word of God was truly refreshing. Brother Albert Nyanisi is the preacher for the congregation at Siamafumba and the director of the Siamafumba School of Biblical Studies.

When our work for the Lord in Zambia was completed (this year), we looked back and took stock of what was done in the name of Christ. We taught preaching students in two schools who will, hopefully, go about teaching others. We held two Gospel meetings and taught about three thousand people, edifying them with the Word of God, who will, hopefully, go about teaching others as well. Thirty bicycles were purchased so that thirty preachers could go places that their feet could not take them in a timely manner. Over two hundred Bibles (both in the English and Tonga languages) were bought and distributed to those who had no Bible. One hundred and five thousand tracts on various Bible topics (some from Truth for the World) were distributed throughout Southern Zambia so that all there may know about Christ and His church. We distributed about 22 good, clean suits and another 12 good and clean sports coat / sports pants combinations to the preachers who were in need and gave away several pairs of shoes to those who had none.

All the praise and all the glory for this evangelistic trip belong to Jehovah God. But you, the generous brethren who took part in this great effort with your benevolent and magnanimous, financial gifts, deserve many, many thanks. So, thank you and God bless you all for your great faith. But brethren, let us not grow weary or rest on our laurels. Hopefully, we can duplicate this in the future and even do more the cause of Christ.

Again, thank you and God bless you.

In Christ Who Saves,
Jimmie B. Hill

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