International Ministries

Mission Summer/Winter

August 15, 2007 Journal
We have had a busy but exciting summer so far (actually, it is winter here in Zambia) and it is not over yet. Since late June we were blessed to host a young student from the Boston University School of Theology for the summer. We are her Field Education Supervisors while she is doing her field education work. She will be with us until August 20th. We also had the pleasure of hosting Walt White, one of our IM Global Service Missionaries, who was here in Zambia putting on workshops for local Baptist church leaders. Zambia has hailed itself as a Christian nation since 1990, but over the past few years, mosques have been springing up all over Zambia. Walt specializes in the History of Islam as well as how to approach and minister to one of that faith. Walt is involved in ongoing development projects and leadership development in Bangladesh. He is also a resource for American Baptist congregations, particularly those who wish to understand Islam and some of the forces shaping world events today, and who wish to develop a response shaped by the love of Christ. Both of us are working in support and planning with the national leadership and officers of the Baptist Convention of Zambia (BCZ), carrying out Evangelism and Outreach, Church Leadership Development and work with the BCZ National Youth Ministry. Sarah has been heavily involved in our Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Education Ministry and leading a Bible Study and discipleship with women who may have been trafficked and who were formerly involved in prostitution. Charles carries out an aggressive schedule of regional and local church preaching and teaching. Most recently Charles was invited to be the guest speaker for the BCZ Lusaka Baptist Churches Association’s (LBCA’s) “Misasa Conference.” Charles preached for the Friday evening opening, twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday and for the Monday closing sessions on their chosen theme- “Building the Temple of God Through Unity”- based on Bible text from the Book of Nehemiah. The conference, attended by several hundred people, was held outside in the rural village area of Mungu in an open field (“Misasa”- means “in the bush” in the Nyanja language) that had been prepared by church members slashing down the grass and lashing the cut grass and dried straw into walls to create spaces for worship, meeting, sleeping and cooking. During this “bush” revival more than twenty five people gave their life to Christ after the preaching. Another thirty persons accepted Christ as evangelistic teams shared their faith in the surrounding remote villages. A few people slept in tents, though most slept just out in the open. Large pots of “nshima” (corn meal) and “raep” (a vegetable similar to collard greens) were cooked to feed and keep everyone full. One group of “brave men” dined on fried mice, a delicacy of the Eastern province cultures. Charles, usually quite adventurous, has tried many things and eaten many things in our ten years on the field in Africa; including kudu, elephant and Mopane worms. However, he could not see his way clear to munch on this specialty- fried field rodent. We were also blessed, during this time, to host a mission team from First Baptist Church Pomona, CA. This team of 14 people, the church’s first mission team to Zambia, came to do repair and renovation work on the Baptist Convention of Zambia (BCZ) Education Centre in the northern Zambia’s Copperbelt region. The purchase and conversion of a copper company’s old building, into a theological and skills training center, was initiated by the American Baptist Churches of the South (ABCOTS). We invite all ABCUSA churches and individuals to pray for and support our International Ministries (IM/ABC) work and projects, here in Zambia, to train and assist our BCZ pastors and churches. The mission team, certainly, blessed our ministry and efforts and that of our BCZ partners. They shared their faith, vision, and passion and resources for mission by coming to minister and work with us in Zambia! After two days of flying, departing from California, transiting via London and landing in Lusaka, Zambia the team was transported over land to the Kalalushi worksite. There almost two weeks, they worked on the building during the day, lead workshops at the Copperbelt Baptist Churches Associations (CBCA) annual conference, carried out VBS type activities with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), health ministry with women and children, and evangelizing and preaching in the evenings in rural compounds. After their portion of the work on the building was completed, it was time for some rest and a bit of recreation and some sightseeing. The team boarded the rented bus and drove back down south to Lusaka where we are located and slept at our house for 3 nights. We pulled out sleeping bags, bean bags, blankets, sheets and pillows enough for 14 people. Praise God! We didn’t know that we had room enough for all, but God had made provisions long before we knew that the team would grace us with their presence. The team and our three Missionary Kids (MK’s) made the seven hour bus ride to Livingstone to experience God’s marvelous creation at Victoria Falls. The team had a great time learning local customs, sightseeing and buying African crafts to take back to America. FBCPomona.jpgFirst Baptist Church Pomona team readying to leave by bus from our home. We are excited by a new opportunity that God has opened up to us. We have been invited to do a three hour radio broadcast every Sunday on a local Lusaka, Zambia radio station! The program is called “Oh Happy Day” and we will be able to spread the Gospel through music, Scripture readings and devotional messages over a wide area of the country. Please remember to pray for this new ministry and that we will reach many people for Christ. We will share more on this ministry as it develops. For updates and journals on our ministries here in Zambia and for more information on how you, your church or organization can support and become part of vital ministries around the world, expand your personal and group mission and outreach, and make disciples for Christ visit the International Ministries and ABCUSA websites ( and Just click on “Missionaries” and enter “West” in the search engine dialogue box. Please pray and explore how you might “Go Global” and carry out ministry and missions with us by giving, sending or personally participating in a mission team, directly support your missionaries on the field by forming a Missionary Partnership Team (MPT), or becoming part of our Missionary Partnership Network (MPN) in your region. Please print a copy of this journal to share with your friends, or group, and contact International Ministries to donate, or for more information. Donations can be made online ( by clicking on “Donate Online,” go to the “Africa” heading and choose “Charles and Sarah West- Zambia.” You can also write to Rev. Eleazar Ziherambere, Area Director for Africa, International Ministries, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; or call toll-free 1-800-ABC-3USA (1-800-222-3872) extension 2355. In Christ, Charles, Sarah, Chasah, Caleb and Charliese West Missionaries to Africa