Summary: How long has it been since you had a real good visit with God? Have you taken the time to greet one another properly and have you bothered to invite your friends to travel with you?

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A Visit to Mongu

1 Thessalonians 5:11-28

While in Africa I met many beautiful Christians and one such man was Pastor Kenneth

I want to talk to you this morning about the importance of a visit and how our Heavenly Father demonstrates how we ought to go about visiting. From the very start of His bible we read about Adam and Eve and how God would visit them in the garden. God continues to visit men and women throughout the Old Testament and right up to the nativity.

Dear saints it is so good to be home with you all again. I know that you might think it strange to open our service singing a Christmas hymn in September but trust me I have a good reason. In the lines of this simple hymn we read about the beauty and majesty of Gods creation. The very first line of O Holy Night draws our attention heavenward to the stars.

It is in Gods creation that He places an invitation to come and visit the Christ child. I just think it so beautiful how God extends the invitation. With a show of light bursting across the sky the finger of God points to Bethlehem. So like many proud fathers being sure that you know about the arrival of his child.

I mentioned Pastor Kenneth my friend in Zambia but I need to tell you more. He lives in a very poor, very distant and desolate place in Zambia called Mongu. It is there that he has built a rural school and a church.

While we were there Pastor Kenneth took us to his home to meet his family and brand new baby boy. The baby was just two days old when we were introduced to him he was not yet named. We all told Pastor Kenneth how much the baby resembled him and how proud he must be to have a new son but Pastor Kenneth could not see the resemblance.

Pastor Kenneth is completely blind. He administers a school for the blind and for albino’s who are at risk of being killed.

Do not feel sorry for him, he sees much better than you or I could hope to since he sees into the heart. Pastor Kenneth reminded us that our short visit to Africa was not a waste of time.

He told us we were following Gods example and he cited the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve. He explained in an eloquent and loving way that our visit to him and his school was a means of encouragement for him and his team of teachers.

The young people on our team were very frustrated the first week of our trip. We spent the whole time in Lusaka a city and at the Chikondi House building a one room school house. We had it finished in three days time and they felt that we were wasting our time in Lusaka by not doing more.

Three days later we traveled to Mongu across the long pot hole filled road and desert sands. We crossed the Kafue National Wildlife Preserve and witnessed Gods creative genius as we saw scores of wild animals.

After eight hours we made it to Mongu and were taken to our accommodations. We unpacked and were told to freshen up as we were invited to dinner, a dinner where we were the guests of honor.

A half hour passed and we were driven across town to one of the Children’s homes it had a large patio where a huge table was set up that could seat twenty people. It was there we met a team from Tyndale College and exchanged our Canadian details.

We had a time of prayer and thanks and then enjoyed a banquet with our African and Canadian friends. I thought that this is what heaven must be like when the Lord calls us to dinner. We will sit with friends who are our brothers and sisters from home and those we will meet for the first time.

The Tyndale Team talked about Pastor Kenneth who at that point we had yet to meet. It seems they learned from him how to greet visitors and make people feel welcome in strange surroundings.

I realize now that Pastor Kenneth is never in a strange place he is always in the dark but he is often around strangers until the light of Gods love illuminates the hearts of those present. Then everyone sees each other clearly.

It was in Mongu Zambia that I looked up and saw a strange and wonderful sight in the night sky. High above the Jerusalem Village Center where we had delivered the tools and toys was the moon.

It was smiling as it cast its light on us. You see I didn’t realize it but since we were so far below the equator the moon was presented to us at a different angle. I was looking at a quarter moon. Instead of coming in from the side like it does in North America the moon in Mongu fills up from the bottom starting with a smile.

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