“Preaching in […] the translated languages, like English and our local languages, is more like a black-and-white screen. You don't see things clear. Yeah, you still can get it, but as a preacher and as a teacher, I think Greek and Hebrew is more like a color TV, rather than black-and-white.”

Brino Kumwenda

Program Master of Divinity ('20)
Age 36
Ministering in Mzuzu
Family Wife and two sons (6, 1)

Brino Kumwenda grew up in the Catholic church. Following years of bitterness and disappointment toward anything church related, Brino came to know the Lord after hearing the gospel from a pastor. Brino hopes to minister to both local and international communities in Africa as he continues to learn more about Christ.

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

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Interview with Brino Kumwenda

2017

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

Q2

Have you faced any challenges because of your faith?

Q3

What made you decide to come to CAPA?

Q4

Are there things about school that you are nervous about this year?

Q5

What are you looking forward to learning this year?

Q6

As a pastor, what are your future plans for ministry?

Q7

Is it hard being an entrepreneur while being a pastor at the same time?

Q8

What are some ways you have seen God's providence in your life?

Q9

Do you remember any sermons you head on Radio ABC that stood out to you?

Q10

Do you have any final prayer requests?

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

I came to know the Lord… that was in 2002, when I had taken four years without going to church because I had been disappointed by the Catholic church that I was… a member of. Instead of picking me to go to seminary—that was secondary school seminary—I had passed, but instead the priest replaced me with a cousin. So anyway, that was enough grounds for me to say, “I'm quitting church. If the priest is doing like that, all of us will go to hell right now, so I don't care.”

But, after four years, the pastor from the Baptist church, a local Baptist church, came home. Actually, we found him preaching at home. But when I saw him, I had already grown some big bitterness against all church people. So, I didn't like it, so I dodged. I used the other way to get into my quarters.

But I was surprised that my sister came because he had been sharing the good news with my sister, and it just surprised me that my sister is telling me that the pastor would like to come here or you follow him. So, that was my first time to have that kind of experience where a preacher is insisting on that. I thought he would just go. But then he said, "It's either I come there, or you follow me." So we said—you know, we were embarrassed to because we were troublemakers in the community—so we said, "If you be sharing, outside people will see us humbled, so let him come inside the house so that no one sees us."

So that's when he preached the good news, repentance, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I got saved right there. So that, the moment I got saved, I joined a Presbyterian church, which was nearby. Yeah, after some time, I was called to lead another church, so that's where I am right now.

Did you grow up in the Catholic church?

Yeah, up to when I was, uh, should've been around 19 years. Around 19, 20 years, I'd been Catholic, yeah.

You said your sister had been talking with the pastor, but is the rest of your family still Catholic?

Yeah, all of them are Catholics. It’s only me who's outside the Catholic Church.

Q2

Have you faced any challenges because of your faith?

No, not in terms of family. But, you know, obviously, if you're a believer there's challenges elsewhere. So, if you talk of challenges, yeah, they've been there.

What are some of those challenges that you've faced?

Much of my spiritual growth has been through reading good stuff and listening to good material, but you know, when you grow in a society where there isn't a deep discipleship strategy, there's no one you can look up to in the community, […] you do it on your own. So I had to—I'm also a leader at Radio ABC in Mzuzu, so the tapes, John MacArthur's tapes—you know those sermons—Greg Laurie, so much of my growth has been through listening to such audios, videos, Paul Washer, like those, and then reading as many books as possible.

And then, of course, through ABC, I was part of African Bible College as a student. So I think that assisted me much, but that was a challenge anyway because, like, you go everywhere when you're not guided—prosperity gospel, to stuff like that, and then you're not stable. So, I think that's one of the major challenges.

And then, in terms of ministry, I'd say much of the challenge in Africa is financial support anyway, which you have to somehow aid to your dream a little bit to still go ahead to do what you can do, rather than just say, "Well, we don't have finances, we're not going to move on ahead." So, those are some of the challenges… yeah.

Q3

What made you decide to come to CAPA?

I came to CAPA because I thought it's conducive to what I want. […] It's conducive to me because first of all, it's still having quality, so I don't need to go elsewhere. Secondly, it's close to my home and ministry. The program is such that you're not totally taken out of your church, which means I can still be ministering. So I thought that's good. Plus, because of financial challenges I've been facing, I now shifted to being an entrepreneur. […] So I wanted to be doing things right now, instead of just going around asking for funding. I want to be the sponsor now, rather than the one looking for sponsors, yeah.

Q4

Are there things about school that you are nervous about this year?

Not really… yeah, obviously the challenges, but I think I'm wired for that. I like academic pressure, not that I'm not humble, but I think… I was ready for this. I have to admit, it's harder than I expected, but I still think I can cope with that. Yeah, so no big challenge.

Q5

What are you looking forward to learning this year?

I think my major anticipation has been Greek—the original language. So we've started. I expect to be deep in that by the end of this year, because that has been my greatest passion, my longing, yeah.

Why do you want to learn Greek?

Yeah, because preaching in […] the translated languages, like English and our local languages, is more like a black-and-white screen. You don't see things clear. Yeah, you still can get it, but as a preacher and as a teacher, I think Greek and Hebrew is more like a color TV, rather than black-and-white. So I want to read the Bible in the original languages so I can see things clearer, yeah.

Is it hard though?

Yeah, it is hard. Greek is hard, but like I said, I'm ready for that, yeah. But it is hard.

Q6

As a pastor, what are your future plans for ministry?

My whole vision lies on a ministry called Arise Nations, which is also—they are to train lay-leaders, those who can't manage to come to schools like CAPA—maybe they are financially challenged or academically challenged. They may not have the qualifications that can allow them to come here. Still, there's a lust to serve the churches. My vision is to equip those kinds of leaders, even with Greek, anyway. But, again, for church, I want to lead a church that ministers to the international community in the cities, as well as the ethnic communities. So more of leading both the international community and the local communities, yeah.

Q7

Is it hard being an entrepreneur while being a pastor at the same time?

Not really. I think it all depends on what kind of business would you like to do. If it's a business where you want to be there full-time, I think it's hard. But if it's where you can do while you're also pastoring or you’re studying, you know, there's those businesses that have been trying to identify—they shouldn't take much of my time. They should just focus. So I'm trying to explore on the best businesses that can give me time for that. I'm doing pig farming, which is not hard. Yeah, I just started with four pigs, and I think I'm managing because it's all about feeding them, yeah.

Q8

What are some ways you have seen God's providence in your life?

First of all, I think I saw providence when I went to ABC because that was the first time for me to have the opportunity to go to college. I didn't have fees. I had to guard. I was a guard. So at night, I was guarding, like on guarding scholarship. During the day, I was in class, sleeping a lot. But I went through.

And then, I'd also [add] that I've seen God still using me, [despite] financial challenges, to impact my community, especially through Radio ABC and through Bible studies that I normally conduct with young people in the community.

And again, I would say the presence of my wife in my life is providence, divine providence. She's very supportive, very supportive, and… you know there was a time I wanted to even give up on CAPA, but she's the one who pushed me. I said, “Maybe I should just consider only entrepreneurship or I'll do that later,” but she said, “No, I think this is a priority, not entrepreneurship.” So, she's very supportive. She's a woman that can challenge your opinions, challenge your philosophy. And that is good. You don't want a woman who is, “Yes, boss,” always. "Yes boss.” “Yes, boss.” I think that can really lead to destruction, yeah.

Q9

Do you remember any sermons you head on Radio ABC that stood out to you?

I have to say many. I may not point out specific ones, but Paul Washer particularly comes [to mind]. Anyways, I've listened to a lot of Dr. David Jeremiah on the fruit of the Spirit, the fruits of the Christian life, and then, John MacArthur on the qualifications for church eldership, yeah. So those kinds of sermons have stood out. But I have to say, many of them, many of them. I can't even point out just specific ones, yeah.

Q10

Do you have any final prayer requests?

Well, partners should pray for […] sustainability in ministry, especially in the African setup. It's not easy to run ministry in Africa because even research shows that financial challenges are big. People can easily give up ministry or just solely focus on entrepreneurship because they are fighting for survival, or just go for jobs and give up. So, you know, that urge to go ahead.

And again, the strength to survive in a continent that has a growing popularity in prosperity gospel—it's not easy. Because, you know, prosperity gospel attracts. When you say, “Repent,” they will say, “No, you murdered us. We want somewhere where they're scratching us.” I mean, we want it. So, survival can lead us to be misled ourselves to say, “I don't think we have enough members in the church. I think we should adjust messages.” So, that kind of strength and sustainability and lack of compromise, financial support for the ministries, yeah.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Really, I'd say, for people sponsoring CAPA, they should continue because it's not to be taken for granted. They haven't seen me, and obviously I haven't seen them. It’s great to have such partners who are equally passionate for God and passionate to see the Word preached. And for such people to continue to pray, and… I would say I'm very grateful to God for the presence of those people in my life, yeah.