We are saddened to report the death, on Saturday 7 January, of Edward Chilufia in Kabwe.
Edward was in the Zambia Army for many years in the Engineers Corps based out of Kabwe. He served on peacekeeping missions in Senegal and Ivory Coast so had some interesting stories to tell about those tours. He was a Pastor in his own church denomination – CML – and had wanted to transfer to the Army Chaplai…n Corps but had been turned down a couple of times.
In May 2011 he enrolled for the two-month missionary discipleship course run by Operation Mobilization Zambia in Kabwe. Good friends of mine – (Doctor) Pieter and his wife Joey, who some of you met – were also on that course. Pieter brought five of his Zambian classmates, including Edward and Richard, to visit the SPF project area just before the course finished in June. They were only here for a few hours but what they saw prompted Richard and Edward to approach me and ask if they could do some work with SPF.
They both then came and worked with the Ubuntu Team during their visit in July. They were a huge blessing to us all, being great help in logistics and language with the team’s sub-groups. They became an integral part of the team and its success. During that time he preached one Sunday in Pastor Justin’s church – a very powerful message.
Following that two weeks Edward again approached me. He told me that he had resigned from the army to become a full-time missionary and that he felt called to be in, and work in, our community full time. While we worked out the logistics of where he could stay he attended a course to be trained on how to implement the AWANA program. In late September – just as I was leaving for my trip to UK and Canada – he moved into temporary accommodation in the community so that he could get started. His vision was to get AWANA going in the various churches in the area and also to do general evangelical outreach amongst the people in the community.
During October he did some excellent ground work to get all that going. In early November I received a message in Canada that he had taken ill with suspected malaria and had returned to Kabwe for medical treatment. Just after I got back from my trip in late November I got a message that he was very ill again and in hospital, this time with TB. It was a great shock to see him when I visited him in hospital – a shadow of his former self. He was discharged and went home but still not right. He had a week at home then another week back in hospital. I saw him last week at home and he was still very weak but seemed to be getting a bit better. But obviously he lost the fight with whatever he had.
He was in his late 30s and leaves a wife, Matildah, and five children. They had planned for her and the younger children to relocate to our community when a suitable house became available so that she could work alongside him in ministry.
A great loss to us all and, as always, a mystery as to why he was called home by our Lord at this time.8 January 2012 This entry was posted in Zambia 2012. Bookmark the permalink. ← New Zealand Visitors Sports Development Planned →