We have now relocated the church to the new facilities we recently purchased. We began on our midweek service – without any announcement or promotion within the community. The church filled with children and teenagers. 14 souls called on Christ to save them that first Tuesday night. Being located in a community rather than the industrial areas will make a huge difference.
Along with being out of the industrial area comes the risk of the absence of security guards. We have a church member living in an apartment in the back of the church property and we are just up the road from a police station – nevertheless within 2 weeks of meeting in the church thieves tried to break in and steal what little we store in the church.
A few years ago Lusaka saw some ritual killings take place. These are murders where body parts are harvested for witchcraft. They men were caught and are in prison. But others have begun again. Three people have been killed in the last month or so. Both then and now the killings took place in the area that we minister in. Witchcraft is not something only found in the bush and these killings underscore the spiritual need for the transforming power of the Gospel.
We are in the midst of an outbreak of cholera. Thus far over 70 people have died and over 3000 infected. Attached is a detailed explanation of the cholera situation. The Zambian government called in the military and razed 10,000 illegally built structures used as informal shops. These people now have no way to earn a living. This has led to riots as people demand to be allowed to trade. Schools were closed nationwide, and all public gatherings were prohibited. Cases are still coming in. A massive cleaning project has made Lusaka look brand new. Churches citywide have been prohibited from meeting as well. The last two Sundays have been spent at home. We are optimistic about being able to meet this next Sunday.
We have renovated a room on one end of the church building for services. We patched the roof, build new steps, painted, cleaned, and welded bars in windows, and much more. Eventually the interior walls will need to be removed and a new roof installed because only about ½ of the building is usable. Needs for the building are a wall fence for security, and the construction of proper toilets and sinks. We are fortunate to be next to city water and sewer, many places near us have no access to these services so water and sewer hook up will be relitivly easy. We also need to hook up electricity and run interal wiring for lights, security lights and general use. We are currently getting costs on these projects.