Tributes have sprung up around the world, following the tragic news of Stephen Lungu’s passing. Each of these tributes honours Stephen’s fruitful ministry, and reflects on his beautiful smile and joyous laughter.
It was not always this way, though. Born to a young teenage mother in 1942, Stephen was abandoned at the age of 7. Living on the streets, he became a hardened terrorist.
Stephen’s testimony is incredible. He encountered the love of Christ at a Christian tent crusade, where he and his gang had planned to kill all in attendance. Still clutching petrol bombs concealed in paper bags, Stephen wept at the altar.
He described how that night, after encountering Christ, he felt indescribable joy and truly laughed for the first time.
Since the day he came to Christ, Stephen’s joy overflowed in passionate evangelism. Leading countless multitudes to Christ, Stephen’s life echoed the words of the psalmist,
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” (Psalm 51:12-13)
Stephen explained that “I look at myself as a miracle of God’s grace, so I believe that the power of Jesus Christ to save sinners still exists. If He can change me, He can change anyone. Winning souls for Christ. It’s my calling. It’s my passion. It’s me.”
Stephen Lungu was laid to rest on the 18th of January. The tears of his beloved wife, Mama Rachael, and their 5 children, mingled with the tears of the countless lives he touched, will one day be wiped away.
And until then, we remember the smile of Stephen Lungu. A smile that gave us a glimpse of heaven – where his joy is now made complete.
Ben Campbell (Sydney) is the CEO Africa Enterprise.