“I have seen God because I did not expect to be here at CAPA. […] But since 2015, God has taken me this far. I have seen the hand of God, and I know God has got something for me because I didn’t expect that I would come this far.”

Aubrey Gulumba

Program Master of Divinity ('18)
Age 56
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Wife, two sons, and one daughter

Aubrey is an associate pastor at his church. He grew up by Lake Malawi in a town called Salima. Since coming to CAPA, Aubrey has learned how to prepare an expository sermon using historical context and the original biblical languages. He strives to deliver the Word of God accurately to his congregation.

$100 a month provides a pastor a scholarship to study at CAPA.

Watch

Interview excerpt from September 2016


Listen

Aubrey shares about his future ministry plans after CAPA.

Aubrey shares how he's seen God's providence in his life.


Read

Interview with Aubrey Gulumba

2017 2016 2015

Q1

Which class have you liked the best and why?

Q2

How has your preaching changed in the past year?

Q3

What is the most important lesson you have learned from CAPA?

Q4

What has been your biggest challenge in school?

Q5

What are you looking forward to learning this year?

Q6

Is it busy balancing school work and pastoring?

Q7

How are you involved in your church?

Q8

What are some ways you’ve seen God’s providence in your life?

Q9

Do you have a favorite book of the Bible?

Q10

Do you have any prayer requests?

Q1

What do you like to do during your free time?

Q2

What is your favorite memory at CAPA so far?

Q3

What has been your favorite class?

Q4

What is one attribute of God you personally experienced this past year?

Q5

In what ways has the Lord grown you this past year?

Q6

What are you looking forward to this year?

Q7

What are friendships like in CAPA?

Q8

How has one book you read this past year that has influenced your thinking or living?

Q9

What challenges have you faced in ministry so far?

Q10

What are your future plans for ministry?

Q11

If you could leave a word of encouragement to your fellow Christians in Malawi, what would you say?

Q1

How did you become a Christian?

Q2

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

Q3

Why did you decide to attend CAPA?

Q4

Were there any things that caught your eye when you were looking at the brochure?

Q5

What are challenges you have faced in ministry?

Q6

What are your future ministry plans?

Q7

What prayer requests do you have?

Q1

Which class have you liked the best and why?

All of them. [laughs] I don’t…I don’t have a favorite class. But you see, I’m liking the languages. Of course, there are difficulties, but it’s challenging because it tends to challenge your mind. But again, the preaching [is] practical because you are able to apply whatever you learn immediately. Whenever you go to our church, as well when we are preaching, we apply […] the knowledge which the professors are giving to us. So I like […the] process. The languages, and then the preaching… the expository preaching, yeah.

Q2

How has your preaching changed in the past year?

Tremendous change. Enormous. I can’t even mention; because you see, previously, you just pick any, any verse in the Bible. You don’t know the historical background; you don’t know whatever you had. But today, you are able to pick a verse in the Bible, and actually know where the verse is coming from, the information you want to give today to the church, and people even appreciate it, that [the] preaching now is completely different. And the church is growing. So it’s tremendous benefit to the body of Christ.

Q3

What is the most important lesson you have learned from CAPA?

Yeah, most importantly, you have to study and familiarize with the text before you give other people. Dig the Word of God, and once you have dug it, you be able to give other people. That’s the most important lesson that I’ve learned—that I must understand the text before I give other people.

Q4

What has been your biggest challenge in school?

Too much work… time. You know, with a family, it’s not easy. I’m also working part-time. So when you come out here and find out that [there’s] so much else to do, you sleep late, you wake up early in the morning. So it’s quite a challenge, a mental challenge.

Q5

What are you looking forward to learning this year?

This year… it’s our final year, so whatever we have learned in the first and second year, to be able now to internalize and put them in practice, yeah, for the benefit of the body of Christ. So that’s what I’m looking for. We have also begun a new class of apologetics. It’s quite exciting, learning apologetics. It’s good that you be able to understand other religions, how we can work together, how we can help them. So I’m looking forward to that course very much, including Greek readings and Hebrew.

Q6

Is it busy balancing school work and pastoring?

Extremely busy. You know, you have to deal with people; sometimes, you have to tend to family, sometimes to attend to your books. So time management is a big challenge. You do not have much time, but you just have to find time for everything. So balancing is quite a big challenge.

Q7

How are you involved in your church?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m an associate pastor to the main pastor. So I take most of the time [with] the discipleship class. I also deal with the marriage counseling, counseling young couples. Those who are with problems, their families—I’ll also counsel them. These are also a part in addition to the preaching on the Sundays, but occasionally I do that. […]

Q8

What are some ways you’ve seen God’s providence in your life?

Yes, I have seen God because I did not expect to be here at CAPA. But again, like I said, I am working. But since 2015, God has taken me this far. I have seen the hand of God, and I know God has got something for me because I didn’t expect that I would come this far. I just said, “Maybe we’ll see how it’s going to get through.” But by and by, the Lord has taken me through. So I do appreciate what God has done for me, and I know He’s going to see me through, because I think there’s quite a big job He wants me to do for this nation and for His kingdom.

Q9

Do you have a favorite book of the Bible?

Favorite book…yeah, I like all the books, especially the epistles, but I like Philippians especially because it challenges you: It teaches you how to lead one another, how to live. Philippians and Ephesians are very good books because Ephesians is talking about family—it’s talking about me, how I can do things, how I must lead. So those are the books I think I like. But all of the books of the Bible are quite good. Yeah.

Do you have a favorite verse also?

[chuckles] Yeah. I have got a favorite verse: Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd. You see, from where I am coming from, He has shepherded me since I was a baby, growing up, [to] come to the Lord. Now I’m a grown-up person, mature person. So He has been shepherding me throughout. That’s my favorite verse. I like it because it gives me confidence that God is always by my side. I cannot get lost.

Q10

Do you have any prayer requests?

Yeah, prayer request that the grace of God continue on my life, that I must be able to complete this course. It’s not easy. There are challenges, like I said, [and] challenges [for] my family. I also need [to] give me health, good health, so that whatever I’m learning here, I’ll be able to put them in practice. That’s my desire that God must help me.

Q1

What do you like to do during your free time?

My free time is — most of the time, I like chatting with my family. I have a good family with my wife and my children. And I also like soccer because I used to play soccer. So, I would watch soccer. That's what I do in my free time.

Q2

What is your favorite memory at CAPA so far?

My favorite memory is learning Greek. And now I am able to do at least the translation of the Bible. So I have to remember when we were beginning learning, it was very difficult, especially the alphabet, but I've come this far. And I am now able to do translation. So that's what I remember most about CAPA.

Q3

What has been your favorite class?

All of them might be good courses because each class is unique in its own way. I would probably decide Greek. Because, though I was not very good, but at least I enjoyed learning it, because there were certain thing that I learned that I didn't know in the past. And I also like expository preaching. It's very, very good. Because I know how to get a message drawn from the text. You have to look into the text. So these are the most two favorite courses at CAPA.

Q4

What is one attribute of God you personally experienced this past year?

Ah, the grace of God. God has taken me this far. There were so many challenges for me to come to CAPA, because I'm working elsewhere, but God allowed me to come here. So, I remember that and I thank God because of that. Otherwise I wouldn't have come this far, and I know He [will] take me further.

Q5

In what ways has the Lord grown you this past year?

He has been teaching me about patience, hard work, trust in Him always. When the times get tough, when the exams are difficult, trust in God. God has always been faithful. That's what He has been teaching me. It's not about the grades, but it's what you're learning in class here, and how are you going to apply that info when you go out. That's what He has been teaching me.

Q6

What are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to learning Hebrew. I just started today learning the alphabet. It's not easy. But I know throughout the year, by the end of the the year, I will be able to use the information that I've had in Greek, in Hebrew, theology, as well as other [things] we're learning, so that I can help my church much much better than I used to in the past, especially in teaching the Word of God. That's what I'm looking for, learn more about the word of God, learn more about God.

Q7

What are friendships like in CAPA?

When I came to CAPA, most of people here, I didn’t know them. So I made a lot of friends with the lecturers and again with fellow students so we do have a good cordial relationship.

Do you ever meet together outside of CAPA?
I think the one[s] who we are close to, we are within the same area, yeah, we do visit, especially in terms of studying together when there are exams. We sit down, discuss how are you going to answer this question, what about this assignment, can you assist me and so we assist one another when one is stuck. Sure.

Q8

How has one book you read this past year that has influenced your thinking or living?

Yeah, a book about Sweethearts [for a Lifetime] by Mack. It's talking about the family — the husband and the wife, how they relate each other. It's a very nice book. It's part of one of our curriculum. I really enjoyed reading that book because it was always in my mind on the issues of family. I have been married for over 23 years, but when I read that book I [learned things] that I did not before. So I'm a better husband to my wife.

Q9

What challenges have you faced in ministry so far?

The challenges are, you know, I am ministering in amongst the poor of the poorest, the area where we are. So, and secondly, most of the people, because of that, most of them they’re also not highly educated. Now, to understand certain things, it’s extremely difficult for them. Again, they do have needs. Physical needs. Now, these people they’ll look up to the pastor on almost everything [for physical needs]. I don’t have this, then the pastor will come in. I don’t have this, so it’s like the pastor, you’re kind of depended [on] by the people. So that’s a challenge, that the church, where we are, is facing.

And I know, my fellow pastor do also face the same challenge. That the church expects a lot from the man of God, from the pastor, [more] than the pastor would expect of them. [And] if you do not do those things, they may interpret wrongly, that the pastor’s not caring, that he’s not meeting our needs. So, that’s a challenge that the church face here at Malawi. They’ll look at the pastor as if he’s over there [holds hand above head], he’s holier than them. They think the pastor cannot have any weaknesses.

Q10

What are your future plans for ministry?

I’m working together with a fellow pastor here as an associate pastor to him. He is a main pastor. So my purpose for coming here is to go into full time ministry. Yeah, because I have never been trained in the ministry before. So CAPA is a step for me to going to full-time ministry. Because what I’m learning here is very powerful. And the advanced information, so I want make use of that information, because I know, others have indeed have contributed for me to be here.

So would you say that this is your future ministry plan? My future ministry plan is that — I’ve got the passion of teaching, teaching the word of God to the general masses. By the grace of God, I want to translate English Christian books into Chichewa. That’s our vernacular language. So that the local people may be in position to read the English book in the local languages, ‘cause most of them cannot read English. So that’s one of the areas which, I’m believing in God, that by the end of my term here, that’s the project I will come back on.

Q11

If you could leave a word of encouragement to your fellow Christians in Malawi, what would you say?

I will say, let's continue working with the Lord. As pastors, we got a very huge responsibility in our nation, because our nation depends on us in as far as the word of God is concerned. Let us not focus on material things, but let us focus on the spiritual, because once we get the spiritual, the material will become irrelevant. So if we continue preaching the word of God, being faithful to our calling in our ministry, then God is going to do His part. That's because we, our focus is on that for the Kingdom. Not the world's picture of a kingdom, but the kingdom of God at large. So that's what I'm gonna encourage the men of God out there. That we are here for a season, in this world. We should focus for the second coming of Christ. That should be our goal.

Q1

How did you become a Christian?

I came to Christ when… it was about 1996. I was in Blantyre. There came an evangelist from Germany. He conducted a big crusade in Blantyre. Because where I was working, it was very close, so I used to go there.

Two days before the closure of the crusade, he said, “Come receive the Holy Spirit.” So I go, but he said, “You cannot receive the Holy Spirit if you are a sinner.” So I knew that I was a sinner, first you must confess your sin. So he said, “Give your life to Christ.” So I gave my life to Christ. So that’s, the beginning of my life to Christ.

So I went to a fellowship, where I went. In the villages evangelizing. That’s my history.

Q2

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

Because I served so long in many capacities in the church as an elder, as a preacher. Now [a church leader] said, “I know God has a calling in your life. God has called you to the ministry.” I said, “Fine, that’s true. I already know it.” Three years later, the [church leader] came and said, “We are going to ordain you as a pastor.” I didn’t even apply, but I already knew it. I learnt it through different people. That was 2012 when I was ordained as a pastor. But previous, I had been serving in different capacities, preaching the Word of God, teaching, leading home cells. So I was ordained in 2012 as a pastor.

Q3

Why did you decide to attend CAPA?

Three years ago, I wanted to go to Bible school at African Bible College [where Brian Biedebach is a professor]. It was in Christian Leadership and I had an interview. They said, “There is this college called Central African Preaching Academy. Since you are a pastor now, it is more relevant for you to study Master of Divinity.” I looked at the brochure, then I looked at the curriculum, then I was impressed.

Q4

Were there any things that caught your eye when you were looking at the brochure?

I noticed that the courses are more practical. Because now I have got a church [planted] in prison, I minister in prison. I knew that the information that I would get in class could be applied immediately. It is expository, it is more practical. Because you go into sermon preparation, and these are very, very interesting subjects.

Q5

What are challenges you have faced in ministry?

You know sometimes, the challenge is you receive the support, is not there. You do not have resources, teaching resources, preaching resources, very, very scarce here in Malawi. And there are other churches, financial aspect in leadership, what to do evangelism and teach the Word of God at a larger scale. You are being challenged. Otherwise, by the grace of God, we still go forward. Sometimes maybe, doctrinal challenges, sometimes people can misunderstand you, those are challenges. You need to convince them, you need to sit down and then make it more clear to the people what you are trying to put across.

Q6

What are your future ministry plans?

I know I am doing prison [ministry], but this is just for short-term. I want to do translation of the books, Christian books from the vernacular into Chichewa, so that people who pastor in the villages can learn and also learn the Word of God. I want to take that aspect and teach pastors how to manage, how to do management of churches. Most pastors they are able to know the biblical aspects of the church, but management issues like demonstration, financial management they don’t know.

Those are the areas, translation of religious books into Chichewa, and teaching pastors in the Malawian church.

Q7

What prayer requests do you have?

Pray for me that this vision God has given me, this desire to achieve it, must come to realization. God will help me to achieve this. Because sometimes, you lack desire. I want God help me achieve this, and even to go through this course. I need grace of God to finish these 3 years, so many things can happen between now and when I graduate, so I want the grace of God to be upon me, so that I must excel in this course and achieve this vision for the Malawian church.