My round-the-world EPIC journey recently took me to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. This trip involved 9 planes, 20,000 miles of flying, hours of driving, and a whole lot of walking. Here’s just some of what I saw and experienced as I searched for the history of Christianity in that beautiful part of the world.
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Tim: This video’s made possible with special thanks to Zondervan Academic online courses. They’re making it easier than ever to get a world-class theological education. I’ll tell you a little bit more about their project in just a moment.
I’m here at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia. I’m here with Conrad Mbewe and we’re talking about the history of Christianity in this part of the world.
Conrad: Yes, David Livingston, to put it in a nutshell, is highly respected here. Two quick things; first of all, when Zambia became independent in 1964, a lot of our cities were named after other cities and individuals out in the United Kingdom. When Zambia became independent all those cities, towns were changed to African names, except Livingston. This is now over 50 years later. You never hear anybody say, hey, what are we still doing with a town with a foreign name? Nobody says that. Everybody still has that respect for him.
Tim: I come all the way to Lusaka, Zambia. Who do I run into, but Voddie Baucham. What are you doing in Lusaka?
Voddie: Living the dream, man. I’m actually serving as Dean of Theological Education at African Christian University, here in Lusaka. I’ve been here, it will be three years in August, believe it or not, that we’ve actually been here. So, just helping the Reformed Baptists of Zambia start a university.
Tim: We’re in Ndola, a small city in the Northern part of Zambia.
Phil: Tim, how are you? Pleasure to see you.
Tim: Maybe, can you give us a couple of, maybe, representative stories of just some of the children, how they’ve come to be here, and what’s happened with them since?
Phil: Yes, the most recent one, just a few weeks ago was a little boy that was left in a market in a nearby town. And the adult just told him to stand there, he was holding a little plastic bag and said I’ll come back. And the whole day went by and nobody came back. And so the government got involved and they called us and said, can you please take this abandoned child. So he comes to a place, integrated with a family that really loves him and we pray that the Gospel will set right those kinds of wrongs in his life.
Tim: We’ve just landed in Livingston, Zambia, which is best known for being the place where Victoria Falls is. David Livingston, being the first European explorer to ever set eyes on it, and of course, the one to give it its name as well.
There are two museums in the world that are dedicated to the life and the legacy of David Livingston. One of them is in Scotland, where he came from. The other one is in Zambia, where he went to. So, I guess one represents a bit of his background, the other represents his accomplishments. We’re here in Livingston, Zambia and this is one of those museums. I’m very interested to see it. I know they’ve got some of his effects in there, but the website isn’t quite up to par, I haven’t been able to see exactly what they’ve got, so I’m really, really hopeful we’ll find something in here that neatly summarizes his life, summarizes his accomplishments, summarizes who he was as a great missionary and as a great explorer. Let’s go see what we can find.
There’s his umbrella. His pistol. A few other things here, including his gun, his flintlock gun. And then, really neat over here is his coat, his coat, and his hat. So this is what he would wear, obviously as he traveled, as he explored and you may well have seen illustrations of him wearing something much like this.
The spray is just incredible. They say Victoria Falls has two seasons. There’s the dry season where you can see everything, but there’s very little water coming over the falls, and there’s the wet season like now where there’s tons of water going over but there’s so much mist, it’s almost obscured. We’re doing our best to see what’s actually going on through the mist.
This is the bridge back to Zambia, you can feel the spray here still of Victoria Falls. We’re headed back to Livingston, Zambia to finish up our time. I’m really looking forward to going to church as well.
Whatever else you know about South Africa, you probably know that it has a very difficult history, racially. This is the Apartheid Museum, which is dedicated to telling that story and telling, of course, of the end of that apartheid. So, I’m very interested in seeing it, and seeing how that story is told.
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