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Every other month our CLC Board of Missions updates us with recent news from various mission fields.

The CLC’s involvement with the spread of the Gospel in Zambia started on two fronts with two different efforts that were completely independent of each other. In 2010, Ibrahim Lyimo was invited by a friend to visit Lusaka, Zambia, to start a Lutheran congregation. Ibrahim was a student at Saint Peter Seminary in Himo, Tanzania, at the time. He was one semester shy of completing his seminary training, but the seminary was closed before he could finish his classes. This was because of a dispute over the ownership of the seminary after the CLC broke fellowship with Jesse Angowi and the Lutheran Church in East Africa (LCEA). Ibrahim visited Zambia in 2010, and in 2011, relocated to Zambia and began evangelism work in Lusaka. He later relocated to Livingstone to begin outreach there.

Zambia congregation

Pastor Yumba Lumbala of the Congregation Confessionelle Lutherienne Au Congo (CCLC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo also had contacts in northern Zambia in the Copperbelt Province. Three men were ordained by Yumba and accepted into the fellowship of the CCLC. Though CLC missionaries made regular visits to both areas in Zambia, the two ministries essentially functioned independently of each other.

Eventually, the two groups began working together to form and register as one CLC-affiliated church body. Church registration is crucial in Zambia, as it enables congregations to conduct legal marriages, burials, and outreach. Missionary Todd Ohlmann visited Zambia in April to conduct training seminars in the Copperbelt district, Lusaka, and Livingston, and to assist in completing the church registration process.

There have been a number of challenges over the past few years in Zambia, with the pandemic, and with health and immigration issues that Pastor Ibrahim has dealt with. As a result, consistent pastoral training had not taken place. Plans and funding are now in place to begin weekly classes in Livingstone for the three evangelists, two elders, and one pastor living there. Semi-monthly one-week seminars will begin in Livingstone with three young men from Lusaka along with the six men from Livingstone. There will also be annual training conferences in Lusaka or Livingstone with all the men from Lusaka, Livingstone, and the Copperbelt Province. Missionary Ohlmann also plans to make two visits per year for the next few years to assist with organizational efforts.

Despite several setbacks and difficulties over the past few years, we rejoice to have a small but solid group of faithful Christians to work with in Zambia.

Robert Sauers is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Florida, and a member of the CLC Board of Missions