“There’s a need of Malawians or Africans to write based on our context as well. I’m looking forward to [writing] class, so that I will be able to actually write, and write things that will help the church in Africa.”

Emmanuel Mpeni

Program Master of Divinity ('20)
Age 51
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family N/A

Emmanuel has been at Reformation Bible Church since 2015. There, he co- pastors with another fellow CAPA student. Although Emmanuel went to South Africa for seminary training, he wanted to return and minister to his home country. He has placed an emphasis on God’s Word in his preaching.

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

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Emmanuel shares some ways he's seen God's providence in his life.


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Interview with Emmanuel Mpeni

2017

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

Q2

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

Q3

Is there anything you’re nervous about?

Q4

What are you looking forward to?

Q5

How would you like to help your church grow?

Q6

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

Q7

Are there any prayer requests that we could pray for you for?

Q8

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

It was when I was actually in grade 7. That time I was 16. So was it… high school? My first year of high school. A friend invited me to a Christian organization where a visiting preacher came and preached from Isaiah 53, the suffering servant, and they pointed out the fact that we were all sinners and that Christ came to bear our sins upon Himself.

I mean, before then, I used to just be one of those people, used to go to church, brought up in Catholic, know if you do ABCD then you’re okay.

But on that day when he preached from Isaiah 53, I realized that I was being deceived to think because I’m doing good, because I’m being obedient and I’m good, I’m going to go to heaven. So I was convicted of my sin when he pointed out that Christ actually when He came, He bore upon Himself our sins.

And having that conviction of my sins, I couldn’t actually resist the call of the Lord to repentance, so I repented of my sins. And from that day, when I was 16, been walking with the Lord since. It’s been a difficult road, but I’m grateful that I came to know the Lord at such a young age, and yeah. That’s how I would put it briefly as how I came to know the Lord.

Had you heard that Christ died for your sins before?

Before then, it was one of those things, like when people are telling you […] one of those stories, but you see when it comes to repenting and hearing about your sins forgiven, or Christ taking upon himself my sins, it was one of those things that it takes the work of the Holy Spirit in you. I had heard before but it was just news until God worked in my heart, yeah.

Q2

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

One thing the Lord opened my eyes to is to realize that ministry—men in ministry need to be equipped. Many times we look down on theological studies, especially in Malawi. People just think because you’re a Christian, and you’re [in] the spirit of God, and then you’re good to go and preach to people.

But four years [ago], in 2012, I enrolled in another seminary. It was Christ Seminary in South Africa. So I was there from 2012 to 2015; I did my degree there, it was a wonderful time. The Lord opened my heart and equipped me for ministry, and one thing I learned was the fact that learning really doesn’t end. The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. So for me, coming to CAPA is to be even more equipped for the work of the ministry. Yeah.

How come you decided to come back from South Africa?

Coming back to Malawi was a thing that the Lord had actually laid upon my heart. Many times when men or guys go over to be trained, they end up doing ministry over there, but the Lord just laid on my heart the burden of coming back home and using, shedding the knowledge that I acquired over at that side, to actually impact my own country, and the reason I came back was the Lord had really laid a burden upon my heart, and He opened a door for me for me to actually ministry. It was all for ministry.

Q3

Is there anything you’re nervous about?

At this stage, it’s been two years since I’ve been back from intensive schoolwork. Looking at the M.Div program, somehow really intimidating, especially if you look at the Greek and the Hebrew—but I’m trusting that the Lord will carry me through. Yes. I need to work hard, but at the same time I need to trust the Lord. So, yes, nervous a little bit, but also having trust in the Lord.

Q4

What are you looking forward to?

At the moment, I did hermeneutics and homiletics at school, but I still feel the need. I still feel wanting. So, I’m looking forward to those classes just to be reminded, but also to learn new things as well. But also, I’m looking forward to the research, the theological research, and writing. I mean, it’s one area that I want really to develop in. There’s a need of Malawians or Africans to write based on our context as well. I’m looking forward to that class, so that I will be able to actually write, and write things that will help the church in Africa. Those are the two classes.

Q5

How would you like to help your church grow?

I would like them to be faithful to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. I know that there’s many ways people think the church should grow, we want to help our churches grow. But one thing I know for sure is that the faithful [teaching] of God’s Word is what builds our people, the people of God, it’s what builds up the church. So my desire is to actually be faithful to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, because by it, people grow in their faith.

Q6

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

Oh—that question would be answered in hours. I’m telling you, I’ve seen God’s providence from the time I was saved, just the course that God took me through, and saving me was really a providence.

But also, when I went to seminary in [South Africa], I struggled big time, but I just saw the faithfulness of God in providing for me in the little things, because there was a time that I even wanted—I was about to drop out from seminary [for financial reasons], the Lord just opened the door for me to work at a farm, and for me, I know a lot of people look at that and think, “Man, this is degrading.” You know? You were there, and now you’re working at a farm. But for me, I saw God’s providence in that, and I really thank God, because I’ve seen Him providing for me. I mean, I’m here in Malawi, I wouldn’t say I have everything, but I’ve seen God providing for me.

Q7

Are there any prayer requests that we could pray for you for?

I would say at the moment, our church is young, about two years and a half. So pray for us that we would be faithful. We actually now have two men who are now leading the work, me and Newton Chilingulo.

Pray that we would be faithful to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, because there’s nothing else we can do to help our people grow, except preaching and teaching. Pray that we will be faithful.

We have seen the Lord working in our midst. A lot of young people coming, and young men, and it is that enthusiasm about God’s Word. It is that hunger. Pray that we would cultivate that and the Lord will use to grow his church.

We still as a younger church, we’re inexperienced, pray that God will just grant us wisdom in that the way we do His work. Me and Newton, we have not led a church before. So this is almost like we are doing on the job training, we’re learning as we go, so I mean we really need your prayers in those areas.

At the same time, as a church, I am not working and Newton’s not working, so we depend [on] outside support, but most of the time, it’s not really enough. Just pray for us that the Lord would continue just to make provision for His work, that it would grow.

How did you come to that church?

Reformation Bible Church. I met Newton. We went to the same school in South Africa, Christ Seminary. So he was, of course, way ahead for me, but as I was in my second and third year, Newton began to make plans, to come back home and do a church plant. So since we knew each other from over there, we communicated over time and discussed about ministry partnership, and when he came back, he started the work, so he wanted someone to work with him. That’s how I actually [came to be] at Reformation Bible Church.

Q8

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

What I really want to say is that I’m really grateful to the Lord for what he is doing at CAPA. This training in Malawi is one of a kind. There is no school that is offering M.Div for that matter.

But also, just training men in expository preaching—um, before 2012, I didn’t know about and I didn’t pay more attention to expository preaching; but after 2012, the Lord opened my heart, and I’m so thankful that the Lord has given us a school here in Malawi, which is able to train me in faithful preaching, in giving the tools, and equipping the men with the tools so that they can actually be faithful teachers of God’s Word. I’m so, so grateful; and if anything, I’ll pray that this work continues. That’s what I would say. I’m really grateful for CAPA here in Malawi.