There were 210 people who attended, including pastor Lewis VanAusdle, his wife Lena, Brennan Hilgen and his wife Michala, all from Malawi. From Mumbwa was deacon Maxwell Kasakabantu and his wife Joyce, from Lusaka my wife Felicia and our son Muhau. The landowner, Margaret Chirwa, was also present. She gave the piece of land to our church. The occasion started with a Sabbath service at 10 a.m., with Mr. Hilgen giving the sermonette and the main message being given by Mr. VanAusdle. Both messages were highly appreciated.
After services, the building was dedicated to the Lord and subsequently officially opened for church services and other church functions.
We broke for lunch and later came back for the question-and-answer session. The questions raised were about the Church doctrine and baptism. The people from Chiwoko requested a church building in their area, hymnals and also to be visited regularly for Bible studies and services. There are about 21 people who observe the Sabbath in their area. Chiwoko is far away from Chipata, and the people cannot go to Chipata for worship every Sabbath.
At the end of the function, Mr. VanAusdle was presented with a pair of pigeons, and Mrs. Chirwa was presented with chickens as a way of appreciation for their attendance. Special thanks went to LifeNets president Beverly Kubik for their funding of the church structure, though not complete. The locals were also thanked for their labor in building the structure. Mrs. Chirwa was also thanked for giving the land to the Church.
It was such a happy occasion to have met with Lewis and his wife Lena after so many years had passed since they last visited Zambia. It was equally nice to have met the young couple Brennan and Michala.