“To encourage anybody else who maybe has been struggling in life, facing maybe difficulties whatever, or any indecision about serving the Lord—I think this is the best. The best thing to decide is to serve the Lord.”

Julius Malewezi

Program Master of Divinity ('18)
Age 59
Ministering in Ntchisi
Family Wife and five children

Julius comes from a district in Malawi called Ntchisi. Although he has never had any theological training prior to CAPA, Julius left behind his studies in the health field to pursue seminary, trusting that the Lord will provide. He loves teaching and works at a local university part-time.

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

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Interview excerpt from September 2016


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Julius talks about how CAPA has encouraged him with his own ministry.

Julius exhorts his listeners to serve the Lord.


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Interview with Julius Malewezi

2017 2016 2015

Q1

Which class have you liked the best at CAPA and why?

Q2

How has your preaching changed in the last year?

Q3

What is the most important lesson you have learned at CAPA so far?

Q4

Has reading been your biggest challenge at school then?

Q5

Right now, are you just a full-time student?

Q6

How are you involved in your church?

Q7

Is that your plan for future ministry: to be fully involved in the church as a pastor?

Q8

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

Q9

Originally you were working in the health field. What led you to decide that you wanted to pursue seminary?

Q10

Do you have a favorite book the Bible?

Q11

Do you have any prayer requests you'd like to share?

Q1

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

Q2

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

Q3

What are you looking forward to this year?

Q4

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

Q5

What is your favorite memory at CAPA so far?

Q6

What are your friendships at CAPA like?

Q7

What has been your favorite class?

Q8

What is one book from this past year that has impacted you?

Q9

How has CAPA influenced your family life?

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

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

Q2

Why did you decide to come to CAPA? What is one thing you hope to learn at CAPA?

Q3

What is your current ministry? What are your future ministry plans?

Q4

What are challenges you’ve faced in ministry, and what have you learned from them?

Q5

How did you first hear about Jesus? How did you come to believe He died for your sins?

Q6

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

Q7

What is one of your favorite verses and why?

Q8

What are ways we can be praying for you?

Q1

Which class have you liked the best at CAPA and why?

Recently I shifted my interests to church history, yeah, because it's very exciting, and it gives an understanding of where the church has come from, what the church went through, and the many, many disputes, arguments, that have taken place before, which are also taking place now. […] That is very interesting, very interesting to me. Although I took the course as an intensive, […] it’s an ongoing course because every subject, in every subject, there's history course, going back to church history. I find it very interesting, and it relates to almost every subject that I take now, yes.

Q2

How has your preaching changed in the last year?

Of course, I'm new. I'm not pastoring any church—I was, like, doing other things. […] It's a big challenge to me, because I'm learning from scratch. And of late, I've been told that I've been improving because I started from really way back. My priest has told me that I'm improving, and I think I'll continue doing that. I believe by that, I saw a difference for me from initial preaching up to the present, which means there's a big improvement in terms of delivering the Word of God, the message of God, to the people.

Did you do any schooling before coming to CAPA?

Before any theological training? No. I was purely health. I studied health. I'm a clinician and also a health education person, as well as a public health. So I'm coming no previous theology training.

Has that been difficult for you?

It's been very challenging and exciting at the same time, yeah. Very challenging because—very exciting because most of the concepts, the principles, I'm getting them now. So the advantage, you know, that I don't have any biased way of looking at things. So that, that was easy to assimilate to get new teaching, which is easy when you don't have anything, yeah? But when you have so much bias, so much interest in one specific area, or experience, then you tend to find it a little bit difficult to change.

Q3

What is the most important lesson you have learned at CAPA so far?

The most important lesson at CAPA is the studying. I think it's the biggest problem that gets to many Malawians. Many Malawians do not like to read. Yeah so, I found that I'm also one of them that does not really like to reading, studying, and trying to find out new ideas, new way of thinking. That has found to be a good lesson to me, because now I'm trying so hard to, most of all, to read all the time—books—to bring it as a routine, as a culture—reading culture. I think that's a good experience; good, yes, good lesson.

Q4

Has reading been your biggest challenge at school then?

Yeah, it has been. It's not easy, it's not easy. Studying is tough, is difficult. Yeah, it has been.

Any other challenges you have faced while being in school?

One of the major challenges [is] that I was working, yeah, prior I joined CAPA. So when I joined CAPA, I was asked to resign my position. I was teaching. I was teaching at one of the private universities in Malawi. So the management at the university was not excited that I was coming to seminary. Therefore, I resigned. They asked me to resign. So, yeah… I left all that in the hands of the Lord. “Lord, if you want me to go and study away, and then this is what you really wanted me to do, then you'll support me, yeah? I'll depend on you.”

And that, He has provided [for] me. I had nothing, but, see, I [have] nothing to support the family, but Lord has been very faithful. He's provided since up to now, and including fees. I had no source of finance for the course, for the studies. Fortunately, the Lord has provided that, and that has really been good really, good experience on my part to trust in the Lord in everything, yes.

Q5

Right now, are you just a full-time student?

You can say full-time because I go and teach part-time. They took me back after some—after two years. They asked me to go and help them, the university, to teach as a part-time lecturer. That's what I'm doing right now.

That has also been difficult. Yeah, because teaching is very demanding. You have to prepare, you have to deliver, and at the same time, I have also to read, to take assignments. But so far, so good. There have not been many challenges so far. I have, I am… I am surviving. And I know I'm going to finish, yeah—I'm going to finish.

Q6

How are you involved in your church?

In the church, since I'm not a pastor right now, my involvement has […] been [a] little bit minimal, in terms of that I only preach when it's necessary. But I have to preach as part of my studies and experience. I do take part in most of the activities that go on in the church. […] The priest gives me some assignments to do whenever he pleases. So in terms of, like, full-time involvement, not really now. But I expect that when I finish, I'm going to be full-time involve, uh, fully involved in the church.

Q7

Is that your plan for future ministry: to be fully involved in the church as a pastor?

I really don't know where God wants to take me to because, of course, my priest has indicated that he'd like me to be full-time. But as a teacher, I've got a passion [for] teaching. So I can teach in the church, teach outside the church. I can combine as a pastor as well as teaching. So anyway, I don't know where the Lord wants me; to take me whatever responsibility he wants me to take, I'll take it, yes, yes.

Q8

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

Hey, I'm here speaking to you right now because of God's providence! Yeah, I'm coming very from really far. I've come from far. I didn't know that God was the one [who] direct me, everything in my life, until three years ago; so I've experienced all sorts of wild life in the world. I've struggled and then here I am. So to be alive today, it's a big testimony. It's a really big testimony.

Any other ways that you want to share?

Yeah, because I think also God favored me so much because I told you I come from health background, I'd gone through school, I finished school, and I, in my specific area of study, which was not just happening. It was God directing all that, yeah? God was behind all that, yeah. So, I think so much that God has provided me, my family of course, my wife and my children. God provided me, so much, everything.

Q9

Originally you were working in the health field. What led you to decide that you wanted to pursue seminary?

I didn't even think about seminary. I didn't even plan to come to seminary. I didn't even know that I'd be studying theology or divinity. That was outside my life. But then, that's when I realized I was going through difficulties in my life throughout; that's when I realized that God was actually preparing me to study His Word. So all that I've gone through was a preparation. That's when I realized He was preparing me to come and study to serve Him.

I didn't actually choose that I want to go and study at CAPA, but it was like, “I think this what the Lord wants me to do, yeah.” So I couldn't refuse. […] I said, “If you don't really want me to go and study, then don't provide [for] me, don't provide anything to me. Don't give me, don't pay my school fees, don't do anything. Just leave me and do and take me where You want me to be.”

So by virtue of God, the fact that I paid my fees from nothing shows that He wanted me to be here. He wants me to serve Him. Yeah, so those are the type of experiences that I draw from, yeah? If this is happening, then this is God's will. He wants me to do it.

Q10

Do you have a favorite book the Bible?

I like Job. I like Job so much because it's similar to what I've experienced in life. It's just like what Job went through. Yeah, because through difficulties, yeah, then you learn that God is preparing you, yeah? […] You still cannot forsake God. You remain faithful to Him up to the end. And that's what I like Job for because so many lessons in that book that I've learned and continued to learn about trusting God in everything, whether in sickness, whether in poverty, whether in wealth, whatever situation, yeah, I still trust in Him, don't lose Him, yeah.

Q11

Do you have any prayer requests you'd like to share?

Yeah, I think… as we're going towards the end of the course, just less than one year to finish, I pray that God sustain us, sustain me, because this is the most vulnerable period. And therefore, I need prayers to finish, so that I serve Him for maybe full-time or in whatever, yeah, yeah.

Anything else?

Yeah, just to encourage anybody else who maybe has been struggling in life, facing maybe difficulties whatever, or any indecision about serving the Lord—I think this is the best. The best thing to decide is to serve the Lord. I think there is no any other service one can render in life apart from serving the Lord in whatever way, whether as a pastor, or as any occupation, any vocation, you know. You've been employed or you've been put there because that's what God wants you to do. And you have to be faithful, and do it because He's the one that employs us in whatever type of job, whatever type of employment we're in, yes? So, someone is struggling, doesn't know what to do? Study Job, [laughs] and then you will realize that God will actually send you exactly at the place where He wants you to be, yes.

Q1

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

I resigned from my job as a lecturer and vice registrar. So I've seen the hand of God regarding my financial position here at CAPA because I didn't have the resource of finance to pay for school fees, but rather seen God's hand in that I'm been able to finish the first year and now I'm in my second year, and God has been providing finances through various means, so I have seen the hand of God in that. God has been so, so faithful in his provision.

Q2

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

In the past year, He's teaching me quite a lot through CAPA. Also through ministry at home because we also have a ministry at home. We teach to the young children. My wife is also involved in that. And I've seen the ministry growing; yeah, it's growing. And my knowledge is also getting richer and richer, richer thinking is very useful and when I finish [school], I think I'll be fully prepared to serve the Lord.

Q3

What are you looking forward to this year?

This current year — there are new subjects that we are taking like Hebrew, which is also challenging. Last year there was Greek, which I also struggled in the beginning, but later on, I picked up. I'm still struggling with Hebrew. These are very important subjects for us to understand the word of God. They are very important and I'm expecting that I grow in our strengthening up my abilities through these important subjects. So that's my expectation, that I'm going to improve, work hard, and I will do well in this year.

Q4

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

There's a [leader] at my local church who was actually helping me to get established. He mentioned that some strengths and, of course, some weaknesses, which I'm working on, because you know I'm new in the ministry and there's quite a lot I need to learn. So he told me to work on composure and to have confidence when I'm actually preaching and teaching. So that's what I'm working on currently and he's very supportive. So I get a lot of support from him.

Q5

What is your favorite memory at CAPA so far?

Favorite memory, obviously, is the huge support that we are getting from the lecturers, particularly the lecturers that are coming from America that come to teach us each module. I think this… I will remember for the rest of my life, I think, because they are bringing valuable rich information, rich resources which I think is helping us quite a lot to developing us into mature pastors.

Do you enjoy the lecturers that come from America to CAPA to teach?
Yeah! This is great, this is what has really attracted me quite a lot. I mean, I’m impressed with that, yeah. It’s a good arrangement, I think, a good program, because I don’t think there's any other opportunity that one can get from anywhere from currently Malawi. I think this is the only unique opportunity.

Q6

What are your friendships at CAPA like?

You know, I’m quite reserved, that’s how I am. But I’m trying to develop some friendships. In my class, I have two or three people that I confide with. We assist each other, particularly in terms of the areas of theology and areas that I need support. So I get a little support from my friends. I think it’s a good relationship. That’s quite good.

What are your relationships with the professors like?
The professors are really helpful. They are very helpful. They want us to obtain the necessary material, necessary information, knowledge, skills, so that we can develop, we can mature and assist the people out there because there is quite a lot that people do not know. And that will be very important when we go out to the local churches, when we have the right messages to deliver. I think that will be great if the whole Malawi is evangelized then that will be wonderful.

Q7

What has been your favorite class?

Yeah, my favorite class now is Greek. [laughs] My professor has indicated to me that I have improved so much. So the subject that was not favorite, that was fearful… [laughs] later it [turned] to be my best subject. And also doing more on pastoral ministry, and as well as the previous Old Testament studies.

Q8

What is one book from this past year that has impacted you?

There [was a] book that I have been interested really, which is about a pastoral ministry book that was written by J. Mac [John MacArthur]. So it was quite good book. It’s one of the best books I have read. Yeah, and it’s recommended for any pastor who is interested to improve in pastoral work.

What is one thing that you learned from the book?
Yeah, one of them is the character, qualities of a pastor. Yes. I found them very useful. They’re well presented in the book. The characters of a pastor, so one can do self-eval [self-evaluation]. You can eval yourself whether you actually have those qualities of a pastor. That is very useful, that is very important. The qualities also — you can actually use them [for] your pastor, or even your wife to evaluate you, if in some areas you need to work on and improve. Because as you know, we have to grow; [all the] time we have to grow. There’s no one who knows everything. We are all the time learning. Every time we learn. So this is like a guideline for you to attain a level that you can really be confident you are mature enough to work for the Lord.

Q9

How has CAPA influenced your family life?

Yeah. My family life is currently hugely influenced. Now every time that I’m doing something, I apply what I’m learning here. I’m applying to my family life. I apply to everything else that I’m doing. I think about that I want to talk about. So it’s a huge influence in terms of trying to do the right things, talk, speak the right things, think about the right things, and trying to assist also maybe my wife in terms of how she could look at life in general in terms of God’s sovereignty, God’s provision, and so forth. So it’s a huge influence.

I discuss with my wife, and maybe a little bit with my sisters and so forth my relatives, trying to understand exactly what God wants us to learn from His Word. So this is one example. There are number verses in the Bible that I have picked up. I teach whenever I go to visit my sister. As we’ll discuss and trying to share what it exactly means. Yeah, so that’s what I think the best I can learn as quick as I can. That’s what I have planned, what I have been doing.

Q10

What are your future plans for ministry?

Yeah, my main interest currently is on counseling. Yeah, particularly counseling in general, but marriage and family counseling in particular. Because I have realized there’s a lot that people don’t know about marriage and family life. Godly and biblical instructions, God’s instruction on marriage and family. So if God wills, I want to be involved in that so that we can develop a program in the church where we could be counseling people who have problems, or if they don’t have any problem they just want to know, to teach, to teach them about family life, marriage, and so forth.

When did you start aspiring to marriage counseling?
Previously I was interested in teaching in general. But now, after going to the marriage and family counseling intensive course, then that interest has come up strong, because of the course. The course is quite good. It’s a very good class. So it was one of the intensives that we took in May at CAPA. So that’s when I started to develop that huge interest in family… Basically because of these two subjects at CAPA that have been huge impacts.

Q11

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

The hugest encouragement that I will give is they should stop loving the world. Do not love the world. 1 John chapter 2:15 down to 19, God is telling us, is commanding us not to love the world because the world, anybody who loves the world… the love of the world is not from the Father. It’s from the evil one. So I think that’s the huge thing I can encourage people about.

People are so busy out there [doing] -- if you can use this word -- “useless” things. It cannot take them anywhere. It can only take them to destruction. So I think these verses in the Bible, in 1 John — this command, I found it very useful, and I think I will use it, including other Scripture, to assist people to look upon God. To help them in any way, in every way possible, because there is no purpose for live a life which is temporal. It’s better to live a life that is eternal.

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

In 2010, I realized God was calling me to serve Him. Later on, I realized that given me a gift of leadership, teaching, and administration. So that’s when I now realize that God was preparing me to serve Him all this time. My life experience, my career, and so forth. I’m teaching at one of the private universities in Malawi, where I lecture public health. That’s when I realize I now have to be equipped in pastoral ministry.

Q2

Why did you decide to come to CAPA? What is one thing you hope to learn at CAPA?

CAPA exists to exhort Christ, the mission of CAPA is to teach the Word of God, and to interpret it accurately, how to communicate effectively the Word of God, and how to proclaim the Word of God. That’s what attracted me so much. As a leader, you have to live the life of Christ. The professors are people that have huge experience in various ministries, and they bring such experience to the classroom environment. The program itself is very flexible, cause it allows about 10 days of classes, and provides opportunities to practice and apply.

Q3

What is your current ministry? What are your future ministry plans?

Currently, I and my wife are involved in a very young ministry, we call it Nazarene International. The ministry is involved in assisting the needy, both physically and spiritually, like orphans, and women. We haven’t actually started providing that support yet. We are still very small. Whatever we get, we try to assist the needy. Of course, we also teach. I also plan to be involved in much more teaching and discipleship. I hope that when the Lord wants us to work full time that we’ll be able to work on this full time with other ministries.

I belong currently to Living Waters Church International in Blantyre. I’ve been there for less than one year. I’m not a pastor there, but we participate in activities.

I want to fully be involved in teaching the Word properly. If the Lord wants me to work in a different capacity at the teaching programs, I think the Lord will direct me.

Q4

What are challenges you’ve faced in ministry, and what have you learned from them?

The major one is to wait on the Lord. That is the biggest challenge that I’ve faced. What exactly the Lord wants me to do at the right time. As a human you always rush to do things at your own time, but then things don’t work out. What you really need to do is work on the direction and guidance of the Lord.

Q5

How did you first hear about Jesus? How did you come to believe He died for your sins?

I was raised in a Christian family, my mother and father were Christians. So that’s how I knew about Christ, but I didn’t really know Him. Later on in my life, that’s when I realized that He died for me, and I had to seriously take action to respond to that call. Basically, when I experienced the storms in my life, that’s when I realized that He died for me, and I had to try to live His life.

The storms, there are many. Difficulties. Things like my career itself, I could rise to the highest level of my career, then 5 years down the line, I could go into business. Later on, find out that everything collapses, it’s a life characterized by experiences. God was preparing me to serve Him. I was going through these experiences not as punishment, but preparation to serve Him.

Q6

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

I like Malawi very much. They have a beautiful lake, it’s a natural resource that God provided.

Q7

What is one of your favorite verses and why?

John 3:16. It’s about salvation, which is the most important thing. That’s the hope. That’s very important for the life of anyone who is a Christian.

Q8

What are ways we can be praying for you?

Currently, because I chose to come to CAPA. I was asked to resign my job. I was also serving at a private university, that means that some of the resources will not be available. This is another thing that you need to pray for me, so I can continue in this important program.

I also have a life to live, and a family to look out after, and I know that the Lord will do something about this, that’s why we need more prayers. Please pray that I can complete this program and not drop out. This is very important, I’ve waited for this for quite a long time.