Ackim Mulaisho was born in a mud hut deep in the Zambian Bush. His father had two wives. In their culture, the more wives you have and the more children you have, the more of a man you are. Growing up in this environment was tough. Many days his family would go hungry, living only off of what they could gather in the Bush. He was able to attend the Bush school, having to walk several miles each day. He did not own a pair of shoes until the 8th grade, often tying leaves to his feet to protect them against the hot sand.
In Zambia, school is free up to the 8th grade, then parents are required to pay; however, the school decided that Ackim could play soccer and his life began to change. The school paid for his shoes, uniforms, and school fees. Upon graduating from the 12th grade, he was selected to play for the Zambian national team. He went out in the Bush to say goodbye to his mother. While there, he attended a revival service hoping to catch a ride back in town with the missionary. As he sat in the service that night, he heard a message asking him, “If you gain the whole world and lose your soul, what profit is it?” That night, deep in the African Bush, Ackim gave his heart to the Lord. And so began his journey. The next day he contacted his coach and told him he would not be joining the team; he was going to serve the Lord. The coach, along with Ackim’s family, could not understand why he would pass up such an opportunity. They thought that maybe someone put a curse on him so they could take his spot on the team. His mother was particularly upset, because his soccer pay would take care of the whole family.
I met Pastor Ackim about 12 years ago. Our church took a mission trip to Zambia, visiting our missionary there. Ackim lived in a small, one room shed in town and was helping the missionary plant churches in the Bush. After our trip, the missionary had to come home, leaving Ackim and the other Bush pastors by themselves. The Lord laid it on my heart to take the ministry over as a church, which eventually led to my family moving to Zambia as missionaries. Ackim became a part of our family, working side by side with us every day. God blessed and the ministry began to grow. We were able to drill a well; bring electricity to the farm; start a children’s home, a Bible Institute, and a Christian school; plant several new churches; send out our first missionary to the far northeast of Zambia on Lake Tanganyika and much more. We sent Ackim to Bible college in town, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree and then helped him get his Master’s degree from a college in the States. His burden and passion is to reach the Bush people of Zambia with the gospel. So today, when he sees a barefoot little boy walking down the dusty dirt road, Ackim doesn’t see the poverty or the helplessness. He sees Hope, knowing the difference Christ made in one little boy’s life!
Pastor Ackim is the President of our mission in Zambia. He oversees the many aspects of the ministry, teaches in the Bible Institute, and pastors Troy Baptist Church.