“The problem with our country is that we have many people with a zeal and a passion for the Lord without knowledge, without doctrine, and they choose how to interpret the Word of God.”

Elia Kwenda

Program Master of Divinity ('20)
Age 40
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Wife, two sons, one daughter

Elia is a senior pastor at Hope Community Church in Lilongwe. He hopes to train others at his church with what he will learn at CAPA. In his free time, he also farms and does consultations.

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

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Elia shares his future plans for ministry.


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Interview with Elia Kwenda

2017

Q1

How did you hear about CAPA?

Q2

How did you come to know the Lord?

Q3

When did you decide to become a pastor?

Q4

Do you have some other jobs on the side?

Q5

What are you looking forward to most this year?

Q6

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

Q7

What are some future ministry plans you have for your church?

Q8

Do you have any prayer requests?

Q1

How did you hear about CAPA?

I got information from the dean of students, Pastor Manda.

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

I started with the diploma in the first year—we were the first cohort with the diploma. When I check the subjects what they teach; the curriculum; and then the system—we come two weeks, then we are back. And for me, I’m in Lilongwe, so every time I’m in the church. I don’t want to be disconnected, and then come back and something happens. I like two things: what they teach here and also the system, yeah.

Q2

How did you come to know the Lord?

It was 1997. We had a visiting preacher in the place where I was staying, and he preached the Word of God, and it was so challenging to me. It was that day when I realized I was a sinner and I needed a savior—I was convicted. And when I went back home, I spent almost half the night crying. People were calling me a good person, but I knew I was not a good person. So, I had to say, “God, forgive me and come into my life; I’m a sinner, I want to change. Help me; I cannot do it on my own.” Since that time, I’ve been seen my life changing, especially when I’m surrounded by the Word of God helping me to obey.

Q3

When did you decide to become a pastor?

It was 2008. In fact, I think the calling had been there for some time, but I was denying it because I think to become a pastor, there’s responsibilities and the wife and the kids. So, I had a lot of pastors around me and when I looked at how they were behaving, I think it not a good profession. I thought it a profession I didn’t have the calling, but then I realized just come into the community. So, we started a fellowship group, then it grew into a church. Yeah.

Q4

Do you have some other jobs on the side?

I do farming, and I also do consulting.

How is it managing those jobs and being a pastor?

I have a young people that are with me working, but knowing that there are other things. Right now, I’m not doing any farming so we are okay, but I have days, like Monday—Monday is for farming—so I go and see what’s happening and tell them what to do; my wife also. But we have people who are working with us, so we tell them what to do. But most of the times I’m studying the Word of God, preparing the messages and providing training to those who want it.

Q5

What are you looking forward to most this year?

I want, this year—I want to be familiar with Greek more. Yeah, I want to learn Greek, and also pastoral ministry, studying how to be a pastor.

Q6

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

The providence, many of them, just to say a few… I think for me to be back is God’s providence. When I check the fees, the fees for me, I don’t think I can manage the fees at any school where there’s Greek and Hebrew. I’m doing my M.Div, so definitely God’s providence. The lecturers here are so humble and through them we have advice and also prayers, and I think God has answered our prayers. They are not few, but they are many in my life.

Q7

What are some future ministry plans you have for your church?

We are praying that many of our church pastors will be able to get the same training, because the problem with our country is that we have many people with a zeal and a passion for the Lord without knowledge, without doctrine, and they choose how to interpret the Word of God. So, I want to raise up a team who will be able to take over even when I’m gone. I want to raise up a church that is Bible based and centering on Christ—a church rooted in truth that will preach the Word of God.

Q8

Do you have any prayer requests?

Pray that I will be able to finish. I really need the grace of God that I will be able to finish school, because there are a lot of challenges. Being a pastor, I’m preaching, I’m married; sometimes I have to do other things for support. Pray for me also that they will develop into the person that God wants them to be.