We’re asking families of Dundonald to write reviews of books that have challenged, informed and encouraged them as Christians. Here Joshua Mountain, who is in year 5 and is part of our age 8-11s group at the 10:45, gives us a review of ‘Out of the Black Shadows.’
Joshua really helpfully summaries the story in a way that will make us want to buy the book and read it ourselves!
‘Out of the Black Shadows’ – Stephen Lungu and Anne Coomes
Stephen Lungu eventually became the International Team Leader for African Enterprise. African Enterprise is a Christian company in Africa. This is his story.
Lungu became a Christian on 14 May, 1962. Lungu did not know it, but two old ladies had written in the back of their Bible; ‘Lord Jesus, will you save one gang leader tonight.’ The prayer was dated 14 May, 1962. As a teenager Lungu was in a street gang called the Black Shadows. His instructions on the 14 May 1962 were to petrol-bomb the Dorothea Mission tent. He was captured by the preacher’s words, and then and there became a Christian.
Lungu had taken a small group of people from the Black Shadows with him. Their intention was to throw petrol bombs at a bank, but they passed a tent with a sign saying ‘Dorothea Mission’. Their plan now was that at 7 PM, Lungu would blow his whistle and they would throw the bombs. The gang was positioned inside the tent. 7 PM was only 5 minutes away… But in 2 minutes Steven Lungu would be living a different life…
Lungu’s mother was eighteen years old. She generally was annoyed with him, but when she drank beer, she was kinder to him. Her husband was not to know that she was drinking beer, and on hearing him coming home, she said to Lungu: ‘If you tell your father I’ve been drinking beer I’ll give you something to cry about’ (Lungu had been crying due to a bad cough, and was four years old at the time). Three years later, she abandoned him and his siblings in the middle of a market. Afterward they found out she had gone away to brew beer. On the next meeting between Lungu and his mother, he threw a knife at her. At this point he was part of the Black Shadows. They carried knives as well as petrol-bombs. Much later Lungu was reconciled with his mother, and was able to forgive her for abandoning him in the market.
Lungu turned himself in to the Police Station the day after becoming a Christian. He expected to be locked up because he had admitted that he was going to throw the petrol-bombs, but the senior police officer gave him some money to buy a Bible. Lungu first preached as a teenager on buses. He used all of the officer’s money to buy a Bible. Unfortunately, he couldn’t read or write at that time.
Occasionally, he preached in the market and Hannes Joubert – who worked for Dorothea Mission – heard him and took him into his home. It was a new sensation; using cutlery, folding clothes, table manners, making his bed, even having a bath! The first time Joubert told him to have a bath, he got in complete with his clothes on! The bathroom was an absolute mess when Joubert walked in.
Lungu then agreed to work for the Dorothea Mission and made great friends with Patrick Johnson. Patrick Johnson treated Lungu as an equal, even though he (Lungu) was black. Johnson was trying to make Lungu feel that he was an equal to white men. On one occasion Lungu, Johnson and another group of Dorothea Mission men were talking together. Lungu needed to talk to Johnson and said: ‘Mr Johnson’, no answer. ‘Mr Johnson!’, no answer. ‘Patrick!’ ‘Yes?’ came the smiling reply. So then Lungu could talk freely as an equal to white men.
After a while Lungu was moved to African Enterprise, and after a few years there he was voted Team Leader. Then he travelled all over the world for African Enterprise, America, the UK and so on, until his death on 11 August 2012.
Find out more about the author on Desiring God
Available at 10 of those
‘When a travelling evangelist came to town, Stephen was sent to fire bomb the event, carrying his bag of bombs and mingling with the crowd.
Instead of throwing bombs he stayed to listen … what followed was better than fiction.’
For more family-related media please head to dundonald.org/kids-youth, or please email us if you have any feedback or would like to get involved!