The Words of the Schanker Family
We have learned enough the Principle that the rise and fall of nations in history is based upon clear spiritual laws. This can be seen in Africa also. While there are basic similarities among all African cultures and peoples, there are clear differences, too, based upon the unique tribal traditions throughout the continent, as well as the influence of colonial countries.
The foundation for God's providence in each country seems to be based upon four main inter-related factors:
1. the religious tradition and culture of the Africans there,
2. the attitude and investment of the colonial country which influenced it (especially its Christianity),
3. the conditions made by the new government upon its liberation (if achieved), and
4. the unity and sacrifice of Unification Church missionaries.
In all of these categories, Zambia has an impressive history. As described in the adjoining article, Africa's religion and culture has produced many basic virtues in her people. While these qualities were not always greatly appreciated by the European colonials, they have survived in the political and social philosophy of Zambia, as will be described.
Zambia also has a great Christian heritage. The famous Scottish missionary David Livingstone spent his last years of work in what is now Zambia, and died there. He was also one of the most righteous in a sometimes corrupt and often intolerant missionary tradition. The Africans, so moved by his sacrificial love and zeal, sent his body back to his homeland only after cutting out his heart and burying it in the soil of Africa. Among the first native missionaries to be raised by the Scottish Presbyterian Church was David Kaunda, whose son, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, is the first and only President of Zambia. The elder Kaunda was known for his efforts to raise up and liberate his people both politically and spiritually. His son became president in 1964, after winning independence from England under much persecution and with relatively little bloodshed. His nonviolent philosophy as well as his spiritual leadership of his people towards freedom has caused many to call him the "Gandhi" or "Moses" of Africa.
While Zambia's government faces the same problems as other African nations (among them economic weakness, political power-struggles and corruption), President Kaunda laid several important conditions which make Zambia unique. First, the president emphasized that there should be no resentment toward the colonial countries after independence; emphasizing Jesus' spirit of forgiveness, he decided that a newly-built college in Lusaka should be named after the very British governor who had put him in jail and tried to block Zambia's independence. He has encouraged harmony and unity while trying his best to raise up the African sense of identity.
The president has also fought hard to end the tradition of tribalism (prejudice and fighting among tribes, a main weakness in Africa). He established as 1 his country's motto: "One Zambia, One Nation." While some African leaders carry the staff of one tribe and are known to give political preferences to their own people, Kaunda carries only a white handkerchief for peace and unity and is never seen without it in public. He has strictly avoided partisan politics, an effort which has helped to overcome one of the deepest sources of African disunity.
President Kaunda's strong spiritual philosophy, called "Zambian Humanism," is born out of African culture, and yet it embraces the values of Christianity which so deeply affected him in his upbringing. Somewhat different from classical humanism, this philosophy holds that man's value comes from his spiritual identity as a child of God. The belief in and service of man, therefore, must take precedence over political power of economic development. It emphasizes the equality of all, as opposed to the dominance of a particular tribe, class or race.
Such ideals are difficult to realize in politics, but Kaunda is clearly a man of principle who is widely respected. Several times he has sacrificed his nation politically and economically for the sake of African unity and development. His ideals are expressed in two books: "A Humanist in Africa" and "Letters to my Children," which would inspire any Unificationist.
Like most African leaders, Dr. Kaunda does not see the world in terms of communism vs. democracy. His concerns are largely for Africa's development and its place in the world community. Therefore, while he is critical of communist injustice, he is also outspoken on economic injustices and unafraid to challenge western political policies. This makes it difficult for many in the West to appreciate his ideals and values. But his deep faith in God in unquestionable.
Zambians themselves are warm, relaxed and friendly. The feeling of freedom there impressed even members from other African nations. Arriving in Zambia, many were surprised to find no soldiers guarding the airports and the borders relatively relaxed. Our public activities, such as street preaching, street cleaning, and fundraising, were met with an openness unexpected by those from other countries.
The Zambian church is growing rapidly. Church director Robert Williamson is of Scottish descent, like Livingstone and other early missionaries, but was born in Zambia. He joined our church in Scotland in 1971 and was eventually sent as America's missionary to Zambia in 1975. Arriving at the same time from Germany was Rudolph Faerber, who now manages a sausage factory at Twikatane Farm, our main financial support in Zambia. On 20 acres of land, there is room also for the Twikatane Soccer Team, champions last year, to practice. Nearby at the 15-acre farm, where the 40-day training was held, plans have been made for much more than a training center alone. A fish pond and chicken house are being built, and will soon be full just in time for the first agricultural course to begin this summer. Not far away, German missionary Uwe Schneider manages a pig farm which will also help the agricultural project. A five-member medical team, led by Noriyuki and Colette Takigawa, both doctors, are already preparing to build a clinic.
Witnessing is a major activity for nearly all of Zambia's 80 members. A witnessing, teaching and home church center, guided by German missionary Margrett Orr, is constantly active. The home member movement is growing, as is the Sunday service held on the 15 acres. In the northern copper belt region of Zambia, Toshiaki and Nobuko Sasada are responsible for a farm and witnessing center in the town of Luanshia. With Zambian members growing quickly, and other missionaries and agricultural teachers on the way, the future for Zambia looks exciting. Many Zambian academicians are finding PWPA to be a constructive vehicle for sharing and expressing ideals. Donna Ferrantello, who arrived last year from America after graduation from UTS, has worked to establish PWPA, achieving quite a bit in a short period of time.
It is clear that our church has much to contribute to the future of Zambia. Our projects are aimed directly at development of both the character of Zambian's youth and the strength of its society. Through our efforts we can help Zambians to do even greater things for Africa and the world.