Why did you decide to come to CAPA?
I’ll give two answers. Number one, a very good friend of mine, who also happened to be a most senior pastor in our church to me—of course, from a different branch—highly recommended that I come to CAPA. And because of the trust that I have for him, because of his good conduct, I wanted to, I decided to give it a try that I should come to CAPA.
Then, there came a sort of a hiccup; because of the time that I was about to come to CAPA—actually this pastor recommended me to come to CAPA—he brought me everything: the forms, and actually followed up with me to say, “I really want you to process these things and get to CAPA. It’s really good. I recommend for you.”
So in the process of doing that, you know, I was supposedly—I was going to come to CAPA, there came a sort of a hiccup. That was in in 2014. Now what had happened was like, when I was about to come to CAPA, there was a change. I was transferred to another city down south in Blantyre, so that made the distance longer. I was living here in Lilongwe, but I was transferred to another city, which is about 300 or 350 kilometers from here down south. So that made me to say, “I can’t go to CAPA anymore because I cannot afford the expenses of transportation and accommodation.” So 2014 I didn’t come.
Then 2015, the diploma class intern, they phoned me and said, “Your place is still there.” So that’s when I said, “Let me go and try just to do one module just to test the waters, alright.” But after just one week of that, I mean, I was just won over. I said, “Whatever it takes, I have to stay here.” So I finished the rest of the diploma class, I can tell you, all the eight modules, operating from Blantyre.
And it wasn’t easy—it wasn’t easy. If it was just a cost that was just ordinary, I wasn’t going to be moved or motivated to finish that because it was quite cumbersome. Sometimes I could travel overnight and without sleep—I have to get in the morning into class, and sometimes I would feel so heavy that I did need to sleep, but I had to keep on because I was so convinced that every portion of the staff in the classes, I can tell, I can assure you was quite beneficial—was really life changing. An eye opener every time, every class, was really doing a great change in my life.
So I did that. So I came to CAPA because, first, a recommendation from a friend and, secondly, because I decided to test and see if I would love the stuff. And I was in. And here, I am up to the M.Div. class first year, and I have to go all the way. As long, up to the extent of whatever, you know, CAPA offers, I want to finish that because I’m learning a lot and benefitting quite a lot.
You said you pastor a church in Blantyre right now?
Sorry, I left that out. Just this year in March, that’s when I was transferred from Blantyre to come back to the central region of Malawi, but not back to Lilongwe, but to a place called Mponela. We have a district called Dowa, which is just about 50 kilometers going north, yes, from Lilongwe here. So I do commute from there, every day coming to the classroom. Yeah, after classes, I go back and come back next day. Yes, sure, so right now I’m pastoring a church at Mponela (sp?) in the district of Dowa, which is about 50 or 60 kilometers from here, going up north, from Lilongwe here, the capital city. Good.
What are some of your responsibilities as a pastor at that church?
I’m the overall leader. Okay, here the circumstances in Malawi is that, when you are the most senior pastor, I’m not saying that—I’m not the highest ranking person, but I mean, just a definition, yeah—you oversee all the work that happens there and mostly, you’re the one that preaches. Okay, of course, sometimes other people come in and also assist at least to have a good balance, yes, sure. That’s what I do—and as of now, I don’t have an assistant pastor per se, but I do have a number of church elders that do assist me [to] do the work. So actually, we work as a team. So whilst I’m in class here, the fellow elders are doing the rest of the work. Good, I will join them over the weekend.