Saturday, March 06, 2010

Our Loss is His Gain

When Kerri and I first arrived in Zambia, we started visiting Capital Assembly church of Kingsway Christian Ministries. The pastor, Gilbert Masonde, trained at Columbia International University in the States and was a friend of two of the elders in our home church. While attending this church, we have made some new friends, including the Honorable Mishek Bonshe. The title is in reference to his position in the Zambian government. He was a deputy minister and appointed to Parliment by the previous president of Zambia.

About two months ago, Mr. Bonshe (Ba Bonshe, in Nyanja), was diagnosed and operated on for some type of intestinal cancer. The surgery at the time seemed to be successful, but as the past few months passed by, he seemed to get weaker. Saturday, a week ago, while on a trip to Nigeria, he passed away. Aside from being a leader in government, this man was a pillar in the church. He always seemed to have a kind word and had a very warm personality. He loved the Lord and wanted to see more of his Zambian brothers and sisters come to know Christ personally.

On Thursday, Kerri and I attended his funeral. I have visited a funeral home, but we've never been to an actual funeral in Zambia. And I have to say that this was not a typical Zambian funeral. There were over 200 government officials in attendance, including the Vice President of Zambia. There were police all over the place and I found out afterwards that all government flags were flown at half mass the whole day.

Ba Bonshe leaves behind a wife and 8 children and a church that dearly loved him. Please pray for this family. The government has had a tendency in the past to forget the family members of those who have served this country once they are no longer in government. Ba Bonshe has a few children that are in school (one in the UK getting her law degree) that will need the government to help if they are to finish. Pray that they would honor the commitment that he made to them by providing for his children. Pray also for the family. Pastor Masonde, encouraged them at the funeral from Romans 8:28 - that God works everything for the good of those who love Him. Pray that they would see His hand in this and rest in the peace & love that only He can provide.

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