My Hope Zambia: A 35-Year God Story
How June 21, 1976 Changed Everything for This My Hope Coordinator
May 7, 2011 - In June of 1976, God used a Billy Graham message shown at a college outreach to capture Peter Chanda's heart. Decades later, Chanda's ministry has spread throughout Zambia and he's now serving as a My Hope Zambia Regional Coordinator.
"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."
— Luke 8
By Trevor Freeze
The day is forever engrained in Peter Chanda’s memory bank.
June 21, 1976.
An outreach event at his teacher training school in Kabwe, Zambia showed a Billy Graham message titled “Bridge over Troubled Waters,” and God grabbed ahold of Chanda’s heart.
An auditorium full of 400 students watched the film that night and Chanda accepted Christ as his Savior.
“I think only two of us got saved,” Chanda vividly recalls the invitation. “From that night on, my life changed. I used to drink, I used to smoke…
“I started crying.”
As Chanda went back to his apartment, eyes still swollen, his roommate started asking questions.
“He said ‘Did you have a funeral?’” Chanda said. “I said, no it’s not a funeral, but my sins are passed away.”
Fast forward 35 years.
The seed planted through Billy Graham’s ministry has come full circle as Chandra was selected to serve as one of four Regional Coordinators for the My Hope Zambia project, which completed a three-day Master Vision coordinator training event on Friday in Lusaka, Zambia.
“This is,” Chanda pauses, searching for the best word to sum up his feelings, before catching a bus back home...“wonderful.”
God has used Chanda’s commitment to plant 60 Pentecostal churches around Zambia. He currently pastors the Signs and Wonders Ministry congregation in Livingstone, a town in southwest Zambia which feeds off heavy Victoria Falls tourism traffic.
But in Chanda’s view, the My Hope project could produce a waterfall of new commitments as the “Matthews” concept — friendship evangelism — is organized on a national scale and will culminate with a December national broadcast.
“This is a strategy that perhaps we’ve never thought of,” Chanda said. “Friendship evangelism is rare here, but it’s a friendly country.”
The My Hope concept of friends inviting friends over to their homes to hear a Gospel presentation makes perfect sense to Chanda, who is just as confident as he is excited.
“It’s easy for them to open up to you because you befriended them,” Chanda said. “Because they know what kind of life you’re living.”
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