Article submitted by Gary Wadding, MVI Missions Coordinator
As you may already know, the goal of Missionary Ventures is to partner with the indigenous church leaders around the world in order to assist them in their efforts to reach their people. Leaders in this country go through years of college education and seminary training in order to qualify for most church positions. In most countries the prerequisite is simply to be a born-again Christian, and to have a heart to serve God and others. They often operate with very little resources, materials or facilities. These leaders read what Jesus did, and then follow Him.
The story of Bernard Sikabennu is one that could be multiplied over and over. As a child, he attended school in the remote part of Zambia where he grew up, but only for a few years. His family couldn’t afford the meager amount needed for him to continue. He soon began to work to help the family, as most young men do. Later he took a job on a fishing boat operated by westerners who were very rough and paid him little. He saw it as a way to make some money, but more importantly to learn English, which he knew would help him advance his standing in many ways. The type of language he learned wasn’t always suitable for a Christian pastor, but it was a start. He saved his money and used it to by books and pay for further education. He continued to help his family, but had a dream of being a pastor. When I met Bernard, he was one of several indigenous men going through a local training course to become a pastor. Bernard and I became close when he served as my translator when I spoke or taught. He became my unofficial grandson, and I became his grandfather. Our hearts were knit together during two different visits I made to his part of Zambia over the years.
Bernard’s life has had many difficult ups and downs, but he has remained true to his calling. I checked on him recently through our MV Field Coordinator and found him still faithful in every way. He is happy and thankful for the opportunity to serve God heading up children’s ministry in his area of Zambia. Bernard had the heart to sacrifice and persevere in his service to God and to the Tonga people. A little help and encouragement went a long way in his life, as it does with so many others.
Talk with us at Missionary Ventures and discuss becoming part of a short-term mission trip going to a country where your life will be enriched by meeting such people as Pastor Bernard, and you will be a blessing to them through your friendship and words of encouragement. You will never be the same as you touch lives the way Jesus did when He walked the earth. You are the Body of Christ. Come meet some other wonderful parts of the Body and make the heart of your Father rejoice as you work together. It’s easier than you think. Just make a call (407) 859-7322 and ask for more information.