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Mourning Stephen Lungu

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS – A Tribute to Baba Stephen Lungu


“Preach the word;
be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.”
2 Timothy 4:2


This directive from the apostle Paul was lived out in the ministry and witness of our dear brother Stephen Lungu who was called home to higher service on the 18th of January 2021, after succumbing to his battle against COVID-19.

Stephen’s first encounter with African Enterprise (AE) was in 1982 when Stephen was tasked with being the interpreter for AE Founder Michael Cassidy at the Malawi Keswick Convention. At the time Stephen was serving as an evangelist for the Dorothea Mission in Malawi (an organisation through which he himself had come to Christ). This chance encounter of humble beginnings was the start of an enduring friendship and brotherhood between these powerful servants of the Lord. Such was Stephen’s immediate impact on
Michael that Michael says he “felt constrained to invite him into African Enterprise.”

He joined AE shortly thereafter and, with fiery passion for the preaching of the gospel, served the AE team in Zimbabwe before moving on to pioneer and lead AE Malawi. He was zealous in his ministry which earned him an appointment as one of four Deputy Team Leaders for AE International (AEI); a position he occupied concurrently with his role as AE Malawi Team Leader until 2006.
His dedication and commitment to the work of AE steered his path to become the obvious successor to Michael as International Team Leader (ITL) and CEO of AEI upon the latter’s retirement in 2006. Stephen held this office until 2013 when he handed the baton over to his namesake and successor, the current ITL & CEO of AEI, Dr Stephen Mbogo.
One never retires from the work of the Lord and certainly not for an impassioned servant as Stephen. He joined the AESA Team thereafter serving until June 2018 in the capacities of Head of Missions; Deputy Team Leader and Frontline Evangelist. He then returned to Malawi where he maintained his long-standing relationship with AE as an Associate Evangelist and continued to serve the Dorothea Mission, where his faith journey began, as its International Chairman until his demise.

It was on an extra-ordinary night in Harare, Zimbabwe, 1962 that a down and out street-urchin cum gangster, who was on the brink of committing the most heinous of crimes at an evangelistic gathering, met the Lord God almighty and was convicted and transformed to become a mighty man of God who has since preached the gospel in those very streets of his past thuggery and indeed gone way beyond its confines to countries across the globe and into such astonishing places as the Oxford Union and the Pentagon would you believe!

Stephen’s incredible testimony is captured in his autobiography ‘Out of the Black Shadows’.
The book is available on ‘pre-order’from our AESA office at a cost of R120.00 (exclusive of delivery) or for R180.00 (with delivery of 7-9 working days).
The shipment is expected in March 2021 so kindly contact Stuart Hindon shind@ae.org.za to place your order now and avoid disappointment.
In his tribute to Stephen, Michael says,
“I have known many preachers over the years in African Enterprise, and beyond it, but I don’t think I have ever known a more passionate and endlessly energetic preacher of the Gospel than Stephen. None of us could ever match his energy or his day and night sharing of the gospel, whether from public platforms or in shops and restaurants. To be sure there will be thousands and thousands of people in heaven because of Stephen Lungu. These will range from ordinary citizens and common people to leaders in high places and to teenagers and little children. Young people, and of course older ones, were always heart-warmed by his infectious smile, rollicking laughter, all with his sparkling white teeth shining through!”

We celebrate your life, ministry and witness dear brother. Your legacy lives on in the lives of the multitudes that you helped to come to Christ; the ministry of those whom you trained and mentored; and through the social outreach projects that you helped pioneer.
‘Well done thou good and faithful servant’.

Stephen is survived by his beloved wife Rachel (who, through the grace of God, is making steady progress in her fight against COVID infection); their daughters Agnes, Faith & Ebenezer; and sons James & Samuel.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to this dear family and pray that the Comforter will be their strength at this time of bereavement; and we continue to hold Mama Rachel in prayer for God’s healing.

http://acicanada.blogspot.com/2009/?m=1
You are all invited to the October Sunday 18th 7pm (2009) service with Stephen Lungu, the International Director of African Enterprise, founded by Michael Cassidy.
It will be held at All Saints Community Church, ACiC at 12268 Beecher St in Crescent Beach, BC.
He wrote a powerful book ‘Out of the Black Shadows


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King of Hearts on Valentine’s Day

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

The symbol of Valentine’s Day is the red heart, symbolizing love, passion, and affection.  Recently I was sent by a good friend Rod Ellis his book entitled ‘King of Hearts’. Rod comments in the book “Where is our heart?…It is my hope that we discover where our heart is by the true meaning of devotion and know a life filled with passion, power and purpose.”

Until something touches our heart, it has not reached the core of our being.  Until the heart is engaged, little will change.  As Nicky Gumbel of the Alpha Course puts it, our spouse will not be impressed, if after our being away, we merely shake their hand and say ‘I love you with my head’.  Valentine’s Day is about the heart.  Spirituality is about connecting the head with the heart, only eight inches away, yet what someone called the greatest distance in the universe.

When learning about the power of the Holy Spirit in the early 1970’s, I got it at a head level very quickly, but was more cautious at the heart level. It was not for another seven years in 1979 that I had a heart-felt encounter with the Holy Spirit.  I remember in 1975 going to the Sign of the Fish bookstore on Lonsdale, devouring their books on the Holy Spirit and asking for prayer from the store owners.  While touched at a deep level, I still had the brakes on.  So I left that bookstore inspired but still stuck.

My Rector Ernie Eldridge became involved in a Renewal Mission/Festival of Faith with the Rev David Watson from York, England.  I had no intention of going to it as I feared that they might be ‘swinging from the chandeliers’.  Because I respected Ernie, I decided to go once, but to sit in the back of the church where I would be safe.  To my surprise, David Watson was very sensible, down-to-earth, and even a little boring. This made me want to come back for the rest of the week. By Friday, I decided to give it another try, and went up for prayer. Not much seemed to happen, but on my way home, I was touched by the Holy Spirit on a deep heart level, and began praising in the Holy Spirit.  My hardened heart opened up. My head and heart connected at a profound level.

For the past almost 42 years, I have been on a daily journey with the Holy Spirit.  By having a daily time of prayer and bible reading, my intimacy is deepened. Only 10% of church goers have a daily quiet time in our busy, frantic culture.  Our Bishop Silas Ng has been writing two online blogs to help people deepen their intimacy with our Lord.

The Good Book says that above all else, we are to guard our hearts, for everything flows from the heart. It also says that our hearts are deceitful.  We are amazingly gifted at conning ourselves and believing our own press. That is why King David prayed: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.’  King David was known as a man after God’s heart.  I want to be like King David, to have an open heart and an open mind to the Father’s heart of love.

For twenty-five years, St. Simon’s NV offered annual Renewal Missions bringing in top Renewal speakers from across North America and around the world.  Renewal is about connecting our heart and head, about deepening intimacy with our maker and one another.

This Valentine’s Day, my prayer is that each of us may come out of hiding and share our heart with God and with those we care for.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Forgetting Valentine’s Day…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Valentine’s Day rolls around every year without fail.  Husbands forget Feb 14th at their peril.  Somehow our wives interpret our forgetting Valentine’s Day as a sign that we don’t care, that we may be putting other priorities like work and sports above them.  So, husbands, be warned.  Flowers are much cheaper than lawyers.

 

After almost forty-four years of marriage, I love my wife more now than I have ever loved her.  To celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we flew to England to visit with our youngest son, serving then as a youth missionary in Newcastle.  It is an amazing gift to be married to someone whom you really like to be with.  My wife has been that gift to me.  She has been so loyal in supporting our 31-year ministry at St. Simon’s North Vancouver from 1987 to 2018.  That is why I dedicated my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ “with gratitude to my dear wife who has been married to me for almost thirty years, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  You can imagine that it is not easy to be married to a clergyman, especially with the challenges that faithful Anglicans have been facing in North America.

 

My wife served as our St. Simon’s NV Music Director, co-ordinating several different choirs and contemporary worship bands.  Archbishop David Somerville, who first ordained me, once said that if the devil ever gets into the church, he will come in through the choir.  Because music is so closely connected to worship, it makes sense why music can easily be contentious.  Sometimes people have worship wars over contemporary songs vs. traditional hymns.  At St. Simon’s NV, we decided in 1996 to honour both expressions by offering both a traditional 9am BCP service and a contemporary 10:30am service.  Because my dear wife is musically bilingual, she is able to encourage both expressions with integrity.  Unlike many church choir directors who are always quitting and creating havoc, my dear wife was a source of musical stability for over two decades.  Dynamic music is a key to a vibrant, healthy Church.

 

My wife and  I went to Winston Churchill High School in Vancouver, both graduating forty-eight years ago in 1972.  But we only really noticed each other from a distance.  We became friends while taking the bus home from the University of British Columbia.  She was in Music naturally, and I was in Social Work, dreaming about becoming an Anglican priest.  For around a year, we were only good friends.  But eventually the penny dropped and I saw the light.  My wife really impressed me with her great listening skills, her good sense of humour, and her hard work.

Finally one day in 1975, I invited her to go bike-riding to Little Mountain in Vancouver.  The rest is history.  Coming back from our second bike ride, I said to her, “Don’t take me too seriously, but relative to two days, I would like to spend the rest of my life with you.”  For some reason, this shocked her.  But she got over it, and we quickly moved to become engaged.  When I introduced her to my mother, my mom said something that she had never said before: “The woman who marries Ed will need to have quarters for the bus”.  What she meant is that while I have strong leadership giftings, I work best when I am complimented by someone with strong administrative giftings, who pays attention to the details.

 

In my first Valentine’s Day article for the Deep Cove Crier over three decades ago, I wrote: “Why do I still enjoy Valentines Day?  It’s because all of us have a need to feel loved, even when you’re married.  So often romantic love can fade imperceptibly from a marriage.  In the busyness of children, work, school and sports, our marriage can easily get lost in the shuffle.  Marriage Counselors tell us that romantic love is one of the greatest lacks in modern marriages.  The bible reminds each husband to love his wife as his own body, to love his wife as he loves himself, to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5).

 

Husbands, let’s surprise our wives on February 14th and make our family homes the most romantic spot on Planet Earth!”

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.


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The Heart of Valentine’s Day

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My wife Janice and I  will be celebrating our 44th Wedding Anniversary.  Over four decades later, I can say without reservation that I love her more deeply with each passing year.  It is too easy to take one’s marriage partner for granted in our extremely busy world.  Yet each of us want to feel special and appreciated.  Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to go to the very heart of what marriage is really all about.  Valentine’s Day was birthed in a time much like nowadays when people were encouraged to look down on marriage as an interference with their personal freedoms and careers.

Through attending a Marriage Encounter weekend, I have learned that one of the most romantic things that one can do on Valentine’s Day (and every day) is to write a personal letter to one’s sweetheart.

Despite Napoleon Bonaparte’s extreme busyness in leading France, he took time to write as many as 75,000 letters in his lifetime, many of them to his beautiful wife, Josephine, both before and during their marriage. This letter, written just prior to their 1796 wedding, shows surprising tenderness and emotion from the future emperor.

“I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?  My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for you lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!

You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.

Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.”

Each Valentine’s Day, approximately 1 billion letters and cards are sent each year to loved ones.  So where does this remarkably popular Saint Valentine’s Day come from anyway? In the city of Rome around 270AD, there lived an Emperor known as Claudius the Cruel.  Claudius was having problems recruiting men to serve in his armies, because the men selfishly wanted to stay home with their wives and children. Angry that his men were more loyal to their wives than to himself, Claudius decided to outlaw marriage!

Couples who were in love searched for someone who would help them get married, even in secret.  A priest named Valentine performed wedding ceremonies for these desperate young lovers. When a young couple came to the temple, he secretly united them in marriage in front of the sacred altar. Another pair sought his aid and in secret he wed them. Others came and quietly were married. Valentine quickly became the friend of lovers in every district of Rome.

But, such secrets could not be kept for long in Rome. At last word of Valentine’s acts reached the palace and Claudius the Cruel was angry, exceedingly angry.  On the orders of Claudius, Valentine was dragged from the temple, away from the altar where a young maiden and a Roman youth stood, ready to be married, and taken off to jail.

Valentine’s jailer had a daughter, Augustine. She was so kind to Valentine during his brutal imprisonment, that Valentine sent a ‘Valentine’s Card’ with a grateful “thank you” message for all that she had done.

Many asked Claudius to release Valentine but Claudius refused to do so.  As a punishment for supporting marriage, Valentine was beaten to death with clubs and then beheaded.  Valentine laid down his life for others because he passionately believed in the sanctity of marriage.  His devoted friends buried him in the church of St. Praxedes.   The date of his tragic murder was February 14th AD 270. .

History tells us the first modern valentines’ ‘card’ date from the early years of the fifteenth century. The young French Duke of Orleans, captured at the battle of Agincourt, was kept a prisoner in the Tower of London for many years. He wrote poem after poem to his wife, real valentines, of which about sixty of them remain. These can be seen among the royal papers in the British Museum.

All of my Valentine’s Day Cards to my wife over the past decades have been marked with a string of “X”s to represent kisses.  The practice of using an “X” for a kiss grew out of the medieval practice of letting illiterate people sign documents with an “X” to represent their name. This was done in the presence of witnesses and a kiss was given upon the “X” to show sincerity. The “X” then became synonymous with a kiss in the minds of most people.  Why did they sign with an “X”?  One reason was because the “X” shape represented St. Andrew’s cross which is also used in the Scottish and British flags.  But most importantly for our ancestors, the “X” represented the first Greek letter (Chi) in the name ‘Christ’.  (That’s why Xmas stands for the ‘Christ’ in CHRIST-mas.)

For our forebears, “X” = Kisses=Love=the Cross=Christ.

As my wife and I will be celebrating several decades of a loving committed marriage, I am reminded that ‘X’ marks the spot in our grateful marriage.  ‘X’ has been the open secret to our perseverance through good times and bad times.  ‘X’ has been the key to our hanging in there through sickness and health.  ‘X’ will be the key to our having and holding till death do us part.  My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us, like Saint Valentine, may be open to a personal encounter with the eternal ‘X’, Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.