Photography: Peter Chulu, Lloyd Ngosa Kalumba, and Mwape Mwansa
Zambia | Daddy Chatalu and Noel Sibanda

It’s never too late for one to accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior. This is a living testimony coming from North Zambia Union Conference, one of the unions in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. Edward and Joyce (Zulu) Tembo have been married since 1942, giving us a shining example that love indeed lives in their home. 

Joyce is now 98 years old, and Edward is 109 years old, giving them a combined age of 207 years. What is even more exciting is that Edward fought in World War II and, despite his age, is still active and able to cycle to the fields. The couple received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior this year and were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the Ndola Adventist Church. Edward, a man of few words, says, “I am very happy that today, I was born again. My secret in life comes from above. I always ask God for wisdom, just like Solomon.”

Joyce says had it not been for their good neighbor, Mrs. Mudenda, they would not have known anything about the Sabbath and the good news of Jesus Christ. “We are happy to know the Lord, and I thank my neighbor for sharing the love of Christ with me and my husband. Today, we were baptized, and we thank God for His love. A lot of people don’t believe we are so old, but we are very active, and we eat healthy, too, and that is what keeps us strong.”

Pastor Kalima Chimba, the Kensenshi Seventh-day Adeventist District Church pastor in Ndola, says he is elated to baptize the oldest couple in his district—a sign that when it comes to the matters of salvation, there is no age group. “It’s an honor for me to baptize a centenarian. As a church, we need to reach out to the less-privileged members of our community. That is our duty as Christians.”

Mrs. Mudenda, a neighbour who has been very instrumental in pointing the Tembos to Christ, testifies that, indeed, the couple have a combined age of 207 years and are very dedicated to the Word of God. “I got to know this old couple when I assisted them with transport, and I was inspired about their energy, so I introduced them to Jesus. I have been nurturing them for three years, and today, they were baptized, and it makes me very happy because it is our duty as Christians to tell others about God’s love.”

Despite their combined age of 207 years, the couple don’t look that old. They are still active, not just in the ministry but in their farming activity as well, and what a joy it is to serve the Lord all the way to their twilight years! 

The secret behind their longevity is staying close to God, keeping busy, and eating healthily. As we live in the last days, the church members in Ndola are on fire for Jesus as they champion the church’s strategic plan, “I Will Go!” “As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15, NIV).