“In my home, when I’m with my friends, I should be an example of the believers in all aspects of my life. In my purity, in the way I treat my wife, in the way I treat my children, in the way I serve Him.”

Kondwani Nyanda

Program Master of Divinity ('20)
Age 38
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Wife and two children

Kondwani Nyanda is currently a Master’s of Divinity student, living in Lilongwe. He wants to equip future pastors and to grow in expository preaching. He is a pastor at Grace Bible Church, a church he helped plant. He desires to be found faithful in preaching the Word and fighting against the prosperity gospel.

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

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Kondwani shares his favorite Bible verse, and how it challenges him to represent Christ.


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Interview with Kondwani Nyanda

2016 2015

Q1

What do you like to do during your free time?

Q2

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

Q3

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

Q4

What are you looking forward to this year?

Q5

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

Q6

What is your favorite memory at CAPA so far?

Q7

What has been your favorite class?

Q8

What is a book that has had an impact on you?

Q9

What are your future plans for ministry?

Q10

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

What do you like to do during your free time?

If I have free time. [laughs] Yeah, I have some free time. I don't know, really. But I like playing soccer -- you call it soccer. Football. We call it football here. And that's what I like. Oh, if I'm not playing it, I have to be watching it. So, my free time is watching and playing soccer.

Q2

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

I think His faithfulness. He’s been very faithful to me and my family. I am involved in church plant, and one thing I have observed is that, when you are trying to plant a church like we are doing, which is not a Pentecostal church, not a charismatic church… in here in Malawi, it is not a very easy thing. It is very difficult. ‘Cause you are going against the tide. Cause everyone else is expecting something, you know. Everyone else is going out for miracles, prophets. And you are going the other way, you’re just telling the people let’s go back to the Word of God. Sometimes people look at that as boring.

So the growth is very slow, and also, when the growth is slow, sometimes the resources are very minimal to carry us to go, to move forward with work. So that has been a challenge. Like, there have been times when we do not have enough, you know, to sustain us as a family. One thing I have been so grateful to God is that He’s been faithful. He’s always been there for us. He’s been, like, providing for us when we need it. There’s not been a day that I can say that we have gone to bed hungry. And I’m coming to school here, and I’m able to pay my tuition, you know, which some of my friends are struggling [to do]. But God has just been very faithful. So if there’s a thing that I can point at, it’s God’s faithfulness. For my life, and for that of my family.

Q3

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

Just what I learned more is the trust in God has not been that easy to grasp. You know, it’s easy to learn about trust in class. It’s easy to preach about trust. It’s easy to read and get excited about the topic of trust, but when it comes for you to practically live it, it’s not easy. So difficult, you know, because it’s… sometimes you look at it like, I might need to go through this, so the Lord has allowed me to grow in this area of trust in the Lord more.

But also another part, I can say, is the part of holiness. The Lord has developed in me to fear Him more and more. It’s one thing that I can look back and see that the Lord has been showing Himself more to me, who He is and how He should be worshipped and how He should be feared. Because I really didn’t know what it means to fear the Lord. My understanding of the fear of God was not what I think it should be.

So those are the two areas that I can point at. He’s still teaching me. He’s not done with me. But the two are really outstanding for me. Yeah.

You mentioned how your understanding of the fear of the Lord has changed. How has it changed?
Good. You know, fear for us is like [we] fear dogs. Like here in Malawi. People, we fear dogs. It’s not like where you guys are come from, that dogs are friends or something. [laughs] You know, we’ll have this sign “beware of dogs” here, and if you see a dog, you are so afraid. It’s like a lion, you know, you don’t -- [a] lion has to be feared, you know? So that’s how I looked at God. I was afraid of him. So if you are afraid of something, it doesn’t mean you respect it. It just means you’re afraid of what it's going to do. So if there’s a way that you can run away from that thing, you are safe, so the lion can be passing outside your house — if you’re inside, you’re okay. If you hide from it, then you’re okay.

So that mentality of fear of God is not good, because sometimes you will think, well, I’m not at church, nobody is watching me. Or I’m not preparing a sermon, so I can do this. But God is everywhere. He needs to be worshipped. He needs to be feared. He has to be, I think, honored, and respected, and to look at him as God, you know. Like that has been how I have grown to understand the fear of God. He’s there. He’s watching. And He is, um, is to be worshipped in that way. So that’s how, say, in short, as I am understanding about the fear of the Lord, you know. He doesn’t need any classrooms and boundaries. He’s there. He’s everywhere, and whatever I do in secret, He sees it. So the best way of looking at him is to see him as the God who does that, He’s everywhere. Yeah.

Q4

What are you looking forward to this year?

Hebrew. [laughs] I don’t think I’ve done well in Greek, but I’m looking forward to Hebrew, you know. ‘Cause I don’t think I have preached enough of the Old Testament. I have always tried not to preach the Old Testament. Or even my own devotions, the only book of Old Testament that I have [been] familiar with is the book of Psalms. But these are the books that I feel like, “Why are these books in here?”

But I think Hebrew will open that for me. And because it will grow in me the interest of studying the word of God even more. And I have done Hebrew before, but ... this time, it will be different because right now I am a pastor, and I am a family man of God. I’m a husband and a father. And all these things, I'll have to apply them to my own life. My own family. And I want to teach my family the Old Testament. So I think Hebrew will help me with it.

Q5

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

I’ve learned a lot from these guys, from these friends the Lord has placed me with. Mainly, my friend who was instrumental in the study of history in this school, Brian [Biedebach]. I’ve learned a lot from him, and I think one thing that I have learned is never to give up. I don’t know how many times I think of giving up on this school. But when I think of how much he advised me — why it’s not good to give up. I’m very thankful for him.

And also on the fact that when you are planting a church, it’s not going to be easy. You know, his words say that don’t expect it’s going to be easy, and hang in there. You know, and he said that probably, it will take two years for you to experience a growth, or maybe three or maybe four. You just have to stay there and be faithful in doing what you are doing.

And also one of the things that I learned from Brian is [you’ve] got to be faithful in preaching the Word. If I am faithful in preaching the Word, the Lord is going to bless the preaching of the Word. So those are the things that I have learned from Brian.

There are many other guys also who have impacted my life. Every time when I hit the wall, I go back to them to ask for wisdom, and I am grateful for the brothers in Christ.

Q6

What is your favorite memory at CAPA so far?

Since I am still here [laughs], I think just being together with these guys is just a wonderful experience, ‘cause, you know, most of these guys I never thought of being in same class now seated at the same desk with me. Some of these guys have got huge ministries, you know, like they're pastors of big churches, and they are respected quite a lot out there. And just sit down with them in the same classroom. It's just, you know, an amazing thing. So that will always stick out for me as a memory, and just the fellowship among us, and you know, that's what CAPA has done — it's to bring all of us together, as pastor[s]. And I think, by the grace of God, if we graduate, I think this relationship is going to grow to a point where our churches can interact as well.

Q7

What has been your favorite class?

Preaching. Anything to do with preaching. And… don't ask me what is not my favorite. [laughs] I'd say Greek is not my favorite. But it should be my favorite, but it's difficult. But I love -- every time I am in class and there's a professor teaching us on preaching, I like that. Because I think that's what we need here in Malawi right now. We need the faithful preaching of the Word of God. So anything pertaining to preaching is my interest. Like right now, we're going to have the preaching practicum. That's great. It's difficult because you preach and they criticize you, but they are perfecting you, and I like that.

Q8

What is a book that has had an impact on you?

Yeah, um, I think "Shepherding the Child’s Heart" by [Ted] Tripp, is it? I think it’s called that. "Shepherding the Child’s Heart." It’s teaching us on how we can be good parents in our homes. So I think, since I got married, my perspective has changed. I want to be a better husband. I want to be a better father. I want to nurture my children, my own children, [and for] my kids to not experience what I experienced when I was growing up. I want to be there for them. I want to instruct them, teach them. So that book has been great, you know.

And there was another book that we read when we did biblical counseling. I just forget the title. But that was also good book. Was it "When Helping Hurts" [by Corbett and Fikkert], or something like that. It was a really practical book that was teaching us how we can be good at, helping one another, and also how we can be a blessing to each other.

So, the book, Shepherding Your Child’s Heart -- what was one thing that stood out to you?
My favorite part is when he is emphasizing on dealing with the heart of a child, not their faults, you know. How is the heart of my child? Once the heart has been dealt with, then probably the fruits are going to be good. But when the heart is not dealt with, maybe the fruits are not going to be as fruitful as they should. So most of the times, when we, as parents, we try to just deal with the symptoms, and not the root, so, that’s what I think the author is trying to emphasize.

And also, in the part of helping a teenager, like I’m going to have a teenager next year. My son Warren is twelve. So next year, he’s thirteen. It’s always been scary, you know -- how do I help him? How do I nurture him right? As I said, I don’t want him to grow up the way I grew up, without proper guidance. So that book has stood out for me in reaching out to the children, and also to me as a parent, in how I should do that in love, you know, so yeah.

Q9

What are your future plans for ministry?

I think my future plan right now is just to see myself preaching faithfully the Word of God. If I am not preaching, I would like to help others do that. Just to help their preaching skills. I don’t see myself as a teacher, but if the chance comes that I should teach, I can do that. But mostly, I would like to disciple some people, young people, so that they can develop the habit of preaching faithfully the Word of God.

Why is that? Because here in Malawi, right now, we are faced with this challenge that people really don’t value preaching, because of the way we have grown up, like, we grow up listening, really, I’d say stories, you know. And those stories are sometimes really touching, and then those stories sometimes will lead us into feeling sorry about ourselves, and then that’s how it is. But to look into the Word and see what God wants us to learn, that is what we need to improve a lot. My future plan is to see, you know, young people growing in that kind of a culture, you know, like that kind of desire to preach faithfully God’s Word mainly those who have got a desire to be pastors and leaders in the church. Yep.

Would you consider youth ministry?
Yeah, I think, right now, I don’t really think much about the youth ministry because our church is very small. But I really would like -- I mean, one of the things I would like also to do is to move in colleges and start some Bible study groups, so that these guys in college can start learning more about these truths while in college, so when they finish, then wherever they go, they can continue spreading what they have been taught in college, yeah.

Q10

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

I would say that, at this stage, I would say that people should be careful who they have as their pastor. They should not just take anybody to be their pastor. That would be [my word of encouragement], if I had the platform to warn the people of Malawi, which I don’t think I have now. But mainly to Christians in this country, I would say they should not just pick up anybody to be their pastor. They should make sure that he meets the qualifications, as we read in 1 Timothy chapter 3.

You know, what is happening here is that you see some men who consider themselves to be pastors, but you look at their character. You look at how they live, with their families, in the society, in the communities, their neighborhoods, you don’t hear good stories about them. Yeah, they’re still valued as pastors, as if being a pastor is this thing that cannot be taken out, you know. But if there are qualifications, there should also be disqualifications, you know.

So, it all lies with the Christians, the believers themselves, and for them to be careful. To know who is their pastor, they should read the Word. They should develop the culture of reading God’s Word. Because in there, in the Word of God, that’s where all these truths are coming out. At this stage, really there’s a lot of work to be done with our people here. But if I had to warn and encourage them, I would say, they just don’t have to follow everything. They have to really pray that the Lord is going to send them leaders who are passionate about the Word of God.

So right now, how do you think people usually choose their pastors?
There are two, there are a couple ways. We’ve got churches that are denominational, and we’ve got schools, denominational schools, where they send their men, or, where they train their men. And these schools, when you graduate, they would just allocate. So whether you like him or not, as long as he’s been allocated by the denomination, then you’re just going to have him. That’s how the mainline churches here in Malawi appoint their reverends or ministers or pastors.

And there’s another way, that somebody just wake[s] up and say[s], “I’m going to be a pastor.” And he has six people and you start a church. And then when that is done, no one can take you out. It’s your estate, you know. It’s your estate, it’s your church. And that’s not biblical. I mean there’s no accountability, no oversight. Nothing. And then when you are growing, maybe by the grace of God, the church is growing, then you want to find somebody. You as an individual, you’re going appoint someone to work with you, or to send him to another [church]. That is what is common.

But I believe the church belongs to Jesus Christ. And He has left for us steps as to how it should be organized and how it should be done. I think we have just to follow that. And that’s normally what’s happening today in our country here. You know, I’ve heard in other countries, you know, they’ll invite a pastor, they’ll interview him, they’ll listen his sermons, they’ll scrutinize. They want to be sure that they’re really finding a man who’s taking care of the church. But that doesn’t happen here, you know. And I pray that maybe with the coming of CAPA, some of the things will change. That the Christians themselves, they will desire to have biblical leaders amongst them.

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

When I got saved I said, “I want to serve God. I want to see how good this God is, I want just to serve Him.” But I didn’t want to be a pastor. The reasoning was that I didn’t want to be a poor person.” [laughs] But then when I, as time went on and I graduated from high school, and then as I was visiting different churches, I could listen to the sermons that were being preached, and looking at the group in the church, I could see that there was something else missing. That someone was not being faithful in preaching the Word. And I was always having a lot of questions, I was always criticizing them like, “No, that’s not what the Bible said.” And I didn’t have any training.

So, by the grace of God, the Lord opened the door for me to go and attend Christ Seminary in South Africa. And when I graduated there, I really wanted to be a pastor. I really wanted to preach; mainly because here in Malawi, there is a lot of compromising. Pastors are compromising the truth. They either are aware of it, or they are doing it ignorantly. So I want to be part of the people that God will use, that I would be faithful in expounding God’s Word and preaching to my own people.

Q2

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

Because of this desire that I believe that the Lord placed on my heart, I have been preaching. I am a pastor at Grace Bible Church. I try to be faithful in preaching. But now I see that a lot of people don’t have that opportunity of people trained like I was. When I heard of CAPA, that they were offering M.Div, I thought that this would be an opportunity for me to be equipped further, so that I can, if need be, I can help out other pastors who might not have the chance to come to an institution such as this one.

I hope to learn more of the languages, Greek and Hebrew, so it can help me continue in my expounding of God’s word and the expository preaching that I desire.

Q3

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

Right now, I am a pastor of Grace Bible Church, it’s a church plant. We don’t have a lot of people yet, but we’re growing and I’m the leading pastor there.

I plan to continue being a pastor, and if need be, help plant healthy churches, and establish leaders who can help take over those churches.

Q4

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

Since what we are preaching is against the tide, most churches are preaching the prosperity gospel. You know, “name it, claim it”? We only stress on preaching the Word. For people to understand that, it’s a big challenge, especially for our members. The biggest challenge is attracting people to our church and I believe that with time, the Lord will use my faithful preaching to reach out to the people. He will send us the people that need to come our church. We trust that if the Lord wants this planted in the city of Lilongwe, He’s going to carry us through.

I’ve learned to trust the Lord. Previously, I was trusting people. When I see someone from America, I would say, “Here is my help. Here is my answer to all the challenges that I’ve been facing.” I have been disappointed for that. Those people I put my faith in, they have got challenges too, and they have to take care of their challenges. If I present my challenge to them, and they don’t provide the answers, I used to get frustrated, offended, and disappointed. But recently, I’ve learned to take everything to God in prayer, to let God be God in those challenges that I’m facing. I’m learning, and I’m still learning, to trust God.

Q5

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

I heard about Jesus when I was in high school. I grew up in a Christian home. And we went to church every Sunday. But I don’t remember a day where I heard the reverend preach about Jesus, and the gospel, that we must repent of our sins. So when I went to school, some guy came to preach at the graduation. He preached on John 3:16. He taught us that God loved the world, and He gave His only begotten Son. And to just look at that, and think about that, that somebody died. That was a revelation to me, that was new to me, that someone could die for me. And His name is Jesus and that if I believe in Him, I’m not going to die.

He was pointing at all angles. One of the angles I was sitting. And he was saying, “Some of you, you don’t know about Jesus. This might be your last chance.” And mind you, my dad had just died, and I didn’t want to die. I didn’t know where my dad was, I didn’t know if my dad was saved. It was mostly when he preached, and he taught about the consequences of not believing, and I said, “Take my life, Jesus.”

Q6

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

The weather. I like the weather here. It’s not cold. It’s not very hot. It might be hot for some of you guys, but it’s not very hot. You go to the lake. What I like most of about the lake is you appreciate God’s creation. Lots of water and the beauty of it is just amazing.

Q7

What is one of your favorite verses and why?

I like 1 Timothy 4:12. It tells us that we should be examples of the believers in word, in everything that we do. The reason why I love this verse is because Paul is encouraging Timothy to be an example, to represent Christ. Every time I remember this verse, I’m looking at Paul, pointing a finger at me, that I must represent Christ here in Malawi. In my home, when I’m with my friends, I should be an example of the believers in all aspects of my life. In my purity, in the way I treat my wife, in the way I treat my children, in the way I serve Him.

Q8

What are ways we can be praying for you?

As an individual, I would ask you to pray that the Lord would help me to be faithful, that I would be faithful to my wife, be faithful to the ministry He has called me into. That’s what I would really like you to pray for me for. That whatever these people are teaching me that I would put into practice. For me to be useless, for me to get all this knowledge, and then when you come again and find me as one of the prosperity gospel preachers, because I’ve changed or the poverty has made me do that. No, I want to be faithful.