A History of Missions to the Lozi People in the 19th Century

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HISTORY OF MISSIONS TO THE LOZI PEOPLE
OF AFRICA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Michael S. Summy
ICST 657
July 20, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction………………………….…………………………………………………….1

A Brief History of the Lozi……………………………………………………………..2-4

A Brief Look at the Culture of the Lozi………………………………………………...4-6

Early Missionary Efforts………………………………………………………………..6-7

British Efforts to the Region……………………………………………………………7-8

The Influence of David Livingstone…………………………………………………...8-10

Difficulties of the 1860’s………………………...…………………………………...10-12

Renewed Efforts after Livingstone’s Death………………………………………….12-13

The Spiritual Awakening of the Lozis..………………………………………………13-14

An Increase of the Missionaries Influence…………..……………………….……....14-15

The Twentieth Century…………………………………………………………….…15-16

Contributions and Challenges of the 19th Century Missionaries……………………..16-18

Summary and Personal Thoughts…………………………………………….………19-20

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………..21

INTRODUCTION
In September of 2007, I was blessed with the opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission and go into the world and preach the gospel. I went with a team of 15 other missionaries to the flood plain area of the country of Zambia in Africa. This venture was one that changed my life and opened my eyes to a very unique and special group of people. This region of Africa is populated by a people group known as the Lozi. As I traveled the countryside of Zambia with my team and encountered the Lozi, I learned they were a simple people who desperately needed to hear the message of the salvation that comes through Christ. Although they were a modest people, they seemed content in their current situation. None expressed a desire to be an American or live in the land of plenty. Very few of them had anything more than a few changes of clothes, one or two pots for cooking, and some simple tools to work the tiny patch of ground around their hut. They lived together in small villages and most of these were made up of several families that had settled together. The Lozi were a fairly moral group, but most did not have a clear understanding of what Christ had done for them.

As we began our missions work among the Lozi, I quickly discovered that the Lozi people were very gracious. In most occasions when we would attempt to stop and talk to a small group, they would invite us to share. They would stop their activities and bring out seats for us to sit on and then most often would sit on the ground themselves. At times men would drop their tools and women would put their chores on hold to hear what the “Makawa” (white) had to say. They would listen for long periods of time and were very receptive to the gospel. I was amazed that for many of them, this would be the first time that they ever heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Our work in Zambia was very fruitful as we witnessed over 100 new believers in less than two weeks. This experience in Africa led me to wonder just what is the history of missions to the Lozi people that had it’s beginnings in the nineteenth century.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LOZI
To understand the history of missions, a brief look at the important events in Lozi history is necessary. The Lozi people settled in the Barotseland region of Zambia in the Western Province of that country. The earliest known tribe of the Lozi people to settle in the area, the Lye, migrated from Katanga in the Congo. They were ruled by a long line of female rulers until their settlement on the Bulozi flood plain. “The earliest of these rulers was named Mwambwa, who was succeeded by her daughter, but later her son became the first male ruler of the Lozi.”[1] A revolution came in 1840, and removed the ruling dynasty from power and caused the Lozi to be led by Kilolo, the king of the Makololo, for the next twenty-four years. The first Lozi dynasty continued to oppose them wherever possible, and...
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