Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Fisherman's Tale: How the Gospel Changed an Entire Family

Peter’s life changed forever when a traveling pastor came to his village in Zambia sharing the Hope of Christ.

Mbabala Island, Zambia – Peter has been the pastor of a church on Mbabala Island for 7 years. On the side, he works as a fisherman to support his wife and four children. He also volunteers in the church-run store.

Before becoming a Christian, Peter’s life was dramatically different. He was an alcoholic and would spend time drinking with other men on the island. Peter neglected his wife and family; he would often come home drunk.
One day his life changed when Peter heard the Gospel message preached by a visiting pastor and accepted Christ. He began attending the local church; when his family witnessed how he had changed, they began coming as well.
 

Peter, volunteering at the church-run store.

Their family dynamic completely transformed. Peter grew close to his wife and children, in time healing those relationships. He started volunteering more in the church and focused on his fishing business as a means to financially support his family.

When the church held elections for a new pastor, everyone chose Peter because of how he served in the church community. He had no qualifications, but felt God calling him to the role so he accepted.

As he was preaching one Sunday, he looked out at his congregation and God touched his heart.
“Their clothes were torn and they were hungry," he said. "I realized that my preaching could help them spiritually but would not meet their physical needs- I wanted to change that.”

That night Peter had a vision about helping the people of his church with their daily needs.
Years later, an opportunity came up to do a joint church project. They created a store where community members could buy basic supplies such as soap and flour.

Through the project, the church has helped to bring community members together. Villagers are also able to access more necessities, however, the church is still working on solutions to address food shortages within the community.