International Ministries

“Planting a Church under a Tree”

May 4, 2011 Journal
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Meet a Zambia International Theological College Student 

After years of hard work, Mumba Chinyanta, one of our eldest students at the Zambia International Theological College (ZITC), will be completing his Diploma of Theology in August 2011. It has truly been a long hard journey, and we have lost a few students due to financial and spiritual challenges.  But now, after years of financial struggles and unavoidable class delays, three years later on August 6, 2011 we will graduate our very first group of students:  one student from our 3-Year Diploma of Theology Program; and two students, from our 2-Year Certificate of Theology Study Program.

Our student pastors cover a wide range of life experiences, church background, and ages.  As is customary in Africa, being the eldest pastor student is a special honor.  So, I introduce our eldest pastor student, Mumba Chinyanta, who is in his sixties!!
 
Pastor Chinyanta started Harvesters Baptist Church, a rural church plant in Solwezi in the Northern Province of Zambia.  He began his theological education in 1989, completing a Certificate of Theology in 1991 while pastor of Kabulonga Baptist Church in the capitol city of Lusaka, Zambia.  Afterwards, he relocated to another rural village and started a house gathering- after being chased from his previous church building during a convention split with former American partners in 1995.  Determined to preach the gospel and not let a lack of finances stand in his way, he decided to start a new church plant under a tree!  Two years later, the group acquired a small plot of land and built a church in the village of Mikambo, where he has been pastor since 2002.
 
When asked why he came to Zambia International Theological College, Pastor Chinyanta said:  "My vision is wanting to continue to learn so I can do better in ministry.  I want to go even further in theological study to equip me to go further and do well in ministry... There are some challenges with what I'm learning. There are some changes of things in my mind in what I believe, and I am discovering many, many new things that are going to help me in the ministry."

ZITC has been a great place for pastors like Chinyanta to “Come, Grow and Change!”  Here at ZITC, he and other pastors have been able to learn, exchange ideas, and challenge some of their thinking. There are literally hundreds of pastors with churches like Mumba’s who feel the call of God, and would like the opportunity to be formally trained.  The rural areas are hard hit in that when a pastor is called and he or she wants the opportunity to formally study, the rural churches can ill afford to send their pastor for months at a time for schooling, even though they know the benefits are great!

Resources are scarce and the need is great, but one at a time (or in this case, three at a time) with the numbers growing every year, ZITC can train pastors for the many churches that are in need.

Please continue to pray for our family and our work as we serve by faith and trust God for provision.  We are at a very critical juncture in our ministry:  our financial support is low, and need is high. We are only at 45 percent of our needed monthly support-level which must be reached by September 30, 2011.  To keep this ministry to pastors going and continue our ministry to the orphaned and vulnerable children at the WellSpring of Faith and Hope Community School, we need all of you (especially those who have not given) to partner with us in order for us to remain on the field.   Our level of support must increase, or we will be unable to continue to keep these ministries going, and then have to leave!! 

As you consider giving, we ask individuals to pray about donating at a level of $30, $40, or $50.a month.  We ask churches to prayerfully consider a donation of $100-$500 dollars a month towards our support.  Any amount contributed, large or small, will be a blessing in moving towards meeting our support need.  

Those of you already in our Missionary Partnership Network (MPN) have faithfully walked along side us in this journey. We thank you so much, and pray that you will continue to remain with us in this vital work for the up-building of the church here in Zambia.  We cannot do this crucial ministry and mission work without you and your prayers and support!

For new or additional giving, the quickest and easiest way to send a gift and commitment for our financial support is to enter a donation in the “Give - Charles and Sarah West” window on our IM Profile webpage, and click on the “Add to” button.  Then you’ll be able to donate on-line with your credit card.

Also, a check can be sent to International Ministries addressed to -- P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851-- with a note indicating “For support of the West’s” and your choice of a Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, or Annual support amount.
 
Thank you for all you do, and we pray God’s richest blessings on you and yours.

Charles & Sarah West

MPT website: www.westinzambia.org