If you had the opportunity to share the gospel with the president or prime minister of your country, would you have something to say? What about a governor or mayor? Most Christians are aware that Jesus wants us to share the good news with those who are marginalized, poor, and weak, but what about those with power and authority?
At Riverside Farm in Zambia, I had the incredible opportunity to listen to Pioneer Bible workers share their testimonies of how God is leading all kinds of people to Him through Light Bearers Truth Link Bible studies. One guy named Jones, a Pioneer Bible worker since 2013, told his stories on the edge of his seat, arms energetically translating his tales. I also couldn’t resist sitting on the edge of my seat as I listened to him. Allow me to share one of those stories with you.
The Mongu district in Western Zambia is Jones’s evangelistic territory. He was running study groups in different villages. He said, “For me, Truth Link helped structure our time.” Jones explained how he found out that the ideal method was to walk participants through the study guides and answer questions rather than simply handing them out. “The first distribution was a Truth Link drive. I would have participants read and learn as a large group. Then we opened up time for questions with each lesson. I would respond to questions by exploring the Bible verses that Truth Link provides.”
“For me, Truth Link helped structure our time.”
It was shortly after the large group study that Jones met with the chief of the village, who went by “Imboela.” Jones carefully pronounced the word while I did my best to pronounce it after him. It means chief or elder. As chief, villagers respectfully call him “Imboela” (used in place of his given/family name).
Jones knew that if he wanted to reach the chief with the gospel, including him in the large studies would be pointless. He needed to share the gospel privately with him.
When they met up, Jones lowered himself onto one knee and clapped his hands to formally greet the chief of the village as tradition demands. After they exchanged greetings, Jones said, “I am sharing Jesus with your village using a study guide called Truth Link. May I share Truth Link with you and teach you about Jesus?”
Imboela agreed and replied with a hearty laugh, “I don’t want to learn with the younger ones in my village.”
“I met with him for one week to study Truth Link,” Jones told me. “About one hour each day, we would meet under the mango tree in Imboela’s compound.” Jones described Imboela as a slim and tall man (taller than most others) with dark skin like volcanic rock. Jones also said that Imboela is very direct in conversation (which is not common in Zambia) and carries a strong presence matched with an equally strong voice.
The chief and his wife sat on tightly woven reed mats during their Bible study. As a guest, Jones sat reclining in a low chair. They journeyed through each lesson in Truth Link, discussing creation, the Sabbath, heaven, and death. As they studied, they looked up the Bible verses mentioned in the guides. Imboela listened and read carefully through each lesson. He had never heard the Bible and God presented in this way before. Jones told us that it was the Sabbath that Imboela was most curious about.
During one study, Imboela asked, “Who printed this lesson?”
Jones responded, “A Christian organization called Light Bearers. They have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to have these lessons printed and shared with people throughout the world.”
After that study, Imboela invited his son to join in studying Truth Link with them. Jones remembered what Imboela said that day to his son: “There is the book I want to share with you. Let us study this book as we learn about Jesus.”
After the week-long study, Imboela told Jones, “I have never had someone come to me for the Lord’s work. People ask me for land for cultivation or a letter for permission to do business or for help resolving quarrels with each other, but you have come here for the Lord’s work. And this one is more important than all other work. To me, this is much more important because you are bringing salvation to people. Because you bring the Lord’s work, I cannot refuse. I also want to be a part of His work.”
Imboela was used to people visiting him to ask for something, but Jones came to give him something. Jones came to share about Jesus’ love for Imboela and encourage him to lead his people in a loving, Christ-like way.
“I have never had someone come to me for the Lord’s work.”
Jones asked Imboela, “Did you know it was God who chose you to lead the people of this area?”
Imboela replied, “Yes, I know.”
Jones continued, “And if God wishes, He could take away all power from you. King Saul and King Nebuchadnezzar both had their power taken away from them. This power, God has given to you. You need to use it wisely because it is a gift from God to lead His people.”
I was amazed at what Jones felt called to say to someone who held significant power. It reminds me of the prophets of Israel speaking God’s word to the kings of the day.
Jones also shared that Imboela is ready to be baptized! The only obstacle is the 90-kilometer dirt road that isolates his village from the nearest church with a pastor. Jones assured me a pastor would soon be traveling to baptize Imboela, along with the other converts who decided to follow Jesus after the Truth Link drive.
When you send Truth Link overseas, you equip Bible workers to share the love of Jesus with a multitude of people—people on the edges of society, people in the middle, and people in positions of power. Thank you for spreading light to village chiefs, their families, and communities.
Alyssa has her degree in International Development. She creates content and tells stories for nonprofits that work with refugees and vulnerable people living in Africa. When she is not traveling, Alyssa enjoys gardening, big family meals, chocolate chip cookies, and hiking in the Oregon forest with her husband.