“I think it’s good to preach that people would be able to understand God’s Word and not please man. And so I preach in a way God would be pleased and be glorified. By the end of the day, everyone will be blessed.”

Mayamiko Kuthyola

Program Master of Divinity ('18)
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Engaged

Mayamiko Kuthyola was raised in a Christian home by his single mother. He made the decision to follow Christ when he was 11 and was brought up by his mother to live a life of prayer, and he desires to serve God with his entire life. He is currently serving as a youth pastor at International Bible Fellowship Church in Lilongwe. He has a passion to know and love God with a pure heart and is committed to preaching God’s Word faithfully.

$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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Mayamiko trusts in God’s sovereignty as he describes a difficulty in ministry.


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Interview with Mayamiko Kuthyola

2017 2016 2015

Q1

Where are you from?

Q2

What are your plans after your Master of Divinity?

Q3

Is there a class that you liked the best out of all these three years, and why?

Q4

Have you seen a change in your preaching ever since you started here, and in what way has it changed the most?

Q5

What do you think is the most important lesson that you have learned in your time here at CAPA?

Q6

How has it been for you working at IBF and also being a student here at the same time? What kind of challenges have there been, and what specific ways have you been blessed because of it?

Q7

Do you have any prayer requests?

Q1

What is your hometown like? Are you from Lilongwe?

Q2

What's your favorite memory at CAPA?

Q3

What is one attribute of God that you've experienced this year?

Q4

In what ways has the Lord grown you this year and what has He been teaching you?

Q5

What are you looking forward to this year, at CAPA, in ministry, or in your personal life?

Q6

What challenges are you facing in ministry right now?

Q7

What wisdom from men here at CAPA or church, has benefited your ministry and life?

Q8

How has CAPA influenced your family life? Relationships with parents, with family?

Q9

How has one specific book influenced your thinking and living, and how has it grown you?

Q10

What are your friendships at CAPA like?

Q11

If you could give encouragement to your fellow Christians in Malawi, what's one thing that you would say to them?

Q1

How did you first come to know Christ?

Q2

How did you become a pastor?

Q3

What are some challenges you have faced in ministry?

Q4

Are there any things you’re thankful for about CAPA?

Q5

Do you have any prayer requests?

Q1

Where are you from?

African Bible College—ABC. I graduated in 2013 and worked for two years. Then I came here.

What did you do in those two years?

I’ve been working with [International Bible Fellowship Church]. Or, even when I was at ABC, I was helping with some administrative work at the office [at IBF]. Right after I graduated, then I worked a few months with the church, and then I went to work with Logos Ministries. It basically works with CCIBC church—it’s a Presbyterian church. And their main goal is to train those who are in leadership positions in the church. So I went to do that […] for one and a half years. […] So I’m still at the church right now and working as a pastoral assistant with Pastor Matt Kopp. So I teach at children’s church—oh, not children’s church. Youth group.

Q2

What are your plans after your Master of Divinity?

I believe and I’m pretty sure that God has called me to do full-time ministry. It’s always been my desire to serve God through preaching His Word to His people. Malawi has got a church that has got a problem in the area of faithful—like, having the Bible being preached the way it is.

So I think learning from CAPA, and even African Bible College, but specifically here, I have learned how to handle God’s Word faithfully and still in the process of learning. And I believe I have to use that in the church. So I’m still committed to the church after CAPA. I’m still committing my heart to work with IBF Church. It’s an international church, so having a Malawian in there also to be given the opportunity to preach God’s Word in front of different races. I feel like God has really given me the grace to reach out to different kinds of people.

So after CAPA, I don’t have any plans to leave the church. I still want to serve the church—I think even more than now since right now I am committed to school and even working with the church. But after school, I think I will be fulltime with the church. So if the church wants me serve in the church, I will continue to do that. [laughs]

So the church is actually paying me and providing for me, so that has also been a blessing on the other hand to be able to pay for my tuition here. I’m able to buy food for my table, pay rent, the rentals. So I would say I’m preaching God’s Word in the church, and at the same time God is using the church to support me, so I don’t have any reason to go elsewhere. I’m still committed to the church.

Does the church’s financial support make a little easier to dive into your studies?

Mhm. I’ve seen it with my friends that, since we started, we were just a lot of us, and some of my friends, I would say, some of my brothers, have not been able to complete or finish or come to this point with us because their places would not allow them to come to school. Some of them that said, as soon as you started with school, they were told that they would not be paid anymore. So for me, it’s really a huge blessing that I don’t take it for granted that the church would give me an opportunity to study at the same time they pay me, as if I’m working from one to 30. So it’s a big blessing, and I don’t take it for granted.

Q3

Is there a class that you liked the best out of all these three years, and why?

[laughs] I would say all the classes have been very life-transforming. But above all else—what really has changed my life over and over again—I say it should be the languages: Greek and Hebrew.

What I’m trying to communicate is that, of course, I had introduction to systematic theology when I was in college. We did apologetics, we did Old Testament. But then, coming to know the Bible through its original languages has been very life-changing and life-transforming—that I see the Bible not with the same eyes that I had before I came here.

So I really thank God for Greek because my preaching is not the same. I see the things that other people do not see. And at the same time, it’s been a very humbling experience because that is not taken for granted. I have to see those things and be able to explain to God’s people at the same time. So Greek has really helped my life. It’s change my life. […] I don’t look at God’s Word the same.

Coming to Hebrew, it’s just the same way as the Greek with the old languages, but Hebrew deals more with the Old Testament. I have a love for the Old Testament—but never like this time until I have been introduced to Hebrew to see the details that God has laid down in the original language and to learn from there and be able to explain that in English. It’s been very challenging, but at the same time life-transforming.

So Greek and Hebrew are the languages that I love the most, even though other people say they are the hardest. They are hard because they need you to put in a lot of effort and time in it, but by the end of the day, we are the ones that really benefitting from learning this languages.

It is a lot of work, but at the same time, they are great tools that you use when you are preparing for a sermons. So ever since I have been introduced to Greek exegesis, I find it hard to just prepare in the English. I have to go back and look at the Greek text, and then I go back to English and see the differences, and then be able to explain God’s Word faithfully from that.

Q4

Have you seen a change in your preaching ever since you started here, and in what way has it changed the most?

Yeah. I have seen the change, but it’s also very good when you hear other people encouraging you saying, “You know what? The way you are preaching, like two years ago, one year ago, is different from the way you are preaching now.” Not in a bad way, but [laughs] changing to be preaching God’s word in a good way.

And what I’m trying to say is that in the past, I was preaching God’s Word, but it was more complex. I wasn’t explaining the text with details. But right now, I would say I am able to preach God’s Word in detail and making it as simple as possible so that people would be able to understand, being able to read God’s Word and understand the things that people not understand and bring them down to their level of understanding and preach it with clarity and faithfulness.

So I think these are the areas that I am still growing in, but I thank God that up to now, I can say I’ve really heard from people encouraging me to say I should keep up and be faithful to the studies that God has given me because it’s helping me to grow in the area of preaching. Yeah, so I’m growing. I can see the change in myself. When I listen to my sermons, the ones I’ve preached recently to the ones I’ve preached in the past, I think I’m not very much convinced to listen to the ones I’ve preached in the past. So I really am growing in that area and thanking God for that.

Q5

What do you think is the most important lesson that you have learned in your time here at CAPA?

I think I’ve got a lot of lessons, but to just narrow it down I’d say that one big lesson that I’ve learned so far is just being humble.

I’ve been associated with pastors before but never like the way that I’ve been exposed to them here at CAPA. And so there are times you sit down and look at pastors as people who are without mistakes, they don’t have weaknesses, people who are always righteous. But they are all human. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not trying to look down on my fellow pastors but to just look at their lives and to see that they also expose their humanity, and, um, they’re sinful.

It has been a big lesson for me to even be more careful as I’m pursuing the same goal of preaching God’s Word as a pastor someday because I wasn’t looking at being a pastor in the way I look at it right now. I thought it was maybe all rosy. Maybe something that is just living a life that is righteous at all times. But when you see someone falling, and you see them get back up, and you realize that, “Oh, so this is what made them fall.” You are very careful as you pass along the same path.

So I think their weaknesses have been a very big warning for me—has been something that has want my life to say, “You have seen their falling, and you don’t have to the same ways that, you know, that has caused them to fall.” So that has caused me be really humble and to know that I’m also human, as I am serving God and pursuing the ministry and being a pastor. I have to be careful with the way I live my life: to not live my life for myself but to be fully dependent on God and to depend on Him—that He is the One that sustain me; to not rely much on what I can do, but to rely on what He can do. So that has really helped me to be humble and to be just really more dependent on God.

Q6

How has it been for you working at IBF and also being a student here at the same time? What kind of challenges have there been, and what specific ways have you been blessed because of it?

I think the areas that I have been blessed are just capitalize on the preaching itself. The good thing is that before CAPA, some of the people we have here are CAPA were already there at IBF, and they know how I was preaching. They have heard me preach before my studies. […] They are the very same people that have seen me preach after going through school.

So even though I am not done yet, but they are the ones who have been there and encouraging me, having seen the growth that’s taken place. It’s been a very huge, huge, huge blessing. And above all else, not everyone who is in my class has gotten an opportunity that I have to preach— not just to any other church, but a church where you have expats, people who are good with Hebrew more than you do, people who are good with Greek more than you do, teachers.

So to preach in a church like that—it’s always been very challenging, at the same time a huge blessing because I don’t just prepare for the sake of preaching and be done, but I preach so that I will bring clarity to the people that I am preaching to, and not to preach that my professors would say I’m preaching really good but to preach with a faithful heart—because this has been the area that has been really hard to say, “Okay, I want to preach so that I impress my teachers.”

At the same time, I want to preach so that people would be here. And what should be the priority here? I think it’s good to preach that people would be able to understand God’s Word and not please man. And so I preach in a way God would be pleased and be glorified. By the end of the day, everyone will be blessed. So that has been a huge blessing.

[…] Yeah, that’s one of the things that makes it hard to keep balance. And if not careful, that would really lead me into unfaithfulness in terms of the way I prepare—because you’ve got a lot of sermons online, and I can just Google, maybe, the passage I preach from and just copy and paste. But that’s not the way I’ve been taught. Even I’m preparing in my own room, my own office, without my professors being there, but I’m just being honest to God and do as much as I can. I benefit a lot from the sources that are available online and from really men of God that I have respect for. But I search their material and look at what they have preached from, but that doesn’t mean I have to take everything that they have preached from and preach it, too. So just quoting them and using what they have used to bring even more clarity to what I want to do.

Q7

Do you have any prayer requests?

Okay. Yeah, I think a prayer request is that I want to love God more and grow in the area of knowing Him and preaching His word faithfully. So this does not come alone—takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment. So my prayer is that God would help me grow in the area of knowing Him through prayer, through reading His Word, and that, as I am doing this, I should be encouraged that my reward is in heaven and not on earth.

I am saying this because contextually, coming back to my culture, we have got a lot of pastors who have become pastors because they want some benefit. They want to benefit something out of the ministry they have started, so that should not be my intention of serving God—but my intention should be to serve Him faithfully so that people would hear God’s Word and be transformed, to see lives being saved.

Q1

What is your hometown like? Are you from Lilongwe?

Yes, I am from Lilongwe, so within the vicinity.

What it was like to grow up in Lilongwe?
It’s been very challenging because I’d say I grew up in a Christian home and my family believed in Christ, [but] the area that I grew up in was not as good as I thought, you know. Growing up as a kid with a lot of peer pressure and a lot of people around me who are unbelieving, was not very good for me, but I’m really grateful for parents who are believing, who are still believing Christ. And they taught me a love of prayer when I was really young, and that really helped me growing up because I wasn’t very much associated with the people who were unbelieving, yeah, it just kept me away from troubles.

Do you spend a lot of time with family outside of CAPA?
Very much. Of course, right now, I’ve moved out of my parents’ home, so I’m staying alone, but in as much as I have time, I make it possible to go and see them over the weekend. So, yeah.

Q2

What's your favorite memory at CAPA?

My favorite memory. Umm, I'd say the day I got accepted to come and study with CAPA was one of the best memories that I have right now. And even the time that I saw the [Advanced Diploma] class graduating – it was one of the memories that I have in my head because I'd say it's a big thing to me, because it gives me hope, because looking at three years in the first place was like a really long time for me, but to see the first class graduating, it gave me some hope that there'll be a time that's going to come for me to also graduate and exercise what I've been taught here at CAPA. So graduation and me being accepted to study with CAPA are starting memories in my life.

Q3

What is one attribute of God that you've experienced this year?

[laughs] I've experienced all attributes, but basically I'd say I've experienced much more of His mercy. God has been very merciful upon my life, seeing the way I live and how gracious He has been, all the way through my hard times and the times that I struggle. You know, we live a life full of evil, and I fall and get up, so His mercy's been very certain in my life. And to see how gracious He is, still loves me even though sometimes I behave like I don't love Him, but He still desires a relationship with me, and that keeps me going, and even motivates me to love Him more. So His love and mercy has been great in my life.

Q4

In what ways has the Lord grown you this year and what has He been teaching you?

He has grown me so many ways. Especially this year, been going through some tough times, I'd say. But through suffering, I'd say He has helped me to grow in a certain aspect in my life, as in how I can handle issues. I know that someday, I may be a full-time pastor and I'll face a lot of trials and sufferings and how I can handle situations as a man of God [is important]. So He has grown me to be someone who has fear for Him. And at the same time, He has grown me to be a man who handles issues maturely, to react to whatever comes my way in a godly way, so that's how I would say He has grown me.

Q5

What are you looking forward to this year, at CAPA, in ministry, or in your personal life?

With CAPA, I’m looking forward to learn more. We’ve been given all of the materials to study, and I’d like to use the textbooks that we’ve been given to read them extensively, not only just for class or quizzes that we have, but to use the material so that they can even help me grow in my spiritual life.

And outside CAPA, I’ve also been given more roles at the church to help with the youth, teach them, to help with children’s ministry. And all that looks like it’s going to be a heavy burden on me, but it’s going to shape me as well. So I’m looking forward to being very active in all these areas that God has given me an opportunity to serve him.

Q6

What challenges are you facing in ministry right now?

I am working with the youth, and I am also helping with children's church. The thing is, we do not have enough people to help with those ministries, so that brings a lot of pressure on me, because if there are not a lot of people to teach or help out on a Sunday, then it has to be me who backs up or who works as a substitute. It's been very challenging to not have a lot of people sign up for such kind of ministries to help out, but by the going of time, God bringing people in church and people who have a zeal and passion to serve Him in those ministries, so I believe it's going to be fine.

Q7

What wisdom from men here at CAPA or church, has benefited your ministry and life?

I've got a lot of people who are spiritually growing my life. There's a lot of men in my life in different directions. Just to give an example, I've got Pastor Jim [Ayres], Pastor Matt [Floreen], Pastor Gideon Manda, Dave Temple – these are people who sit me down every now and again and ask me how I'm doing. And everybody has got his own area that he's touching in my life. So it's been very challenging in my life to have people who are spiritually mature and they can even help me when I'm struggling. But not coming in one direction, they are tackling different directions of my life, so it's so good to have them around, and they're challenging me a lot. And out of that I'm growing every day.

Q8

How has CAPA influenced your family life? Relationships with parents, with family?

Basically I would say, growing up, I’ve grown up as a Malawian, and in Malawi, I’d say people value their families very much, but not Biblically. So to understand how I can value family, I know that, but not in a way that that the Bible teaches us to value family.

For example, let’s say I get married. I did not have much respect for marriage as much as I have right now. I should provide for my home, but I did not know that all that I should do. I should also create time for my family, as in not only do I have to provide for them through working and making money, but I have to be there for my family. If God blesses us with kids, I should raise them in a way that is honoring and pleasing before the Lord, so CAPA has helped me to see how I can respect or have respect for my family, and even love my family as God wants me to as a man.

Q9

How has one specific book influenced your thinking and living, and how has it grown you?

Recently, I was reading a book written by A.W. Tozer, The Attributes of God. So you just asked me what kind of attributes has influenced my life, like I’ve experienced it, it’s all attributes. So that book is teaching us the character of God or the qualities that God has.

This book has helped me see the sovereignty of God in every single thing that happens in this life, whether good or bad.

But one thing that I’ve understanded is that God does not [overlook] on things that are happening to me. What I’ve realized is that He sees every single detail of my life and He knows what is going to happen to me before it happens. Before it happens, He knows how He can take care of all those situations. So this book has really challenged me in terms of knowing the characteristics of God and how God used humans. So I don’t mean we can fully understand how He functions, because He is an incomprehensible God, but this book is just so amazing to help us understand how God works and his characters.

Q10

What are your friendships at CAPA like?

I've created a lot of friends here. And I know that even after this, people will be my friends and will be like brothers who are in my life that I can rely on. Ministry, I believe, is not something that you can do on your own. You need other people, you need other men of God to help you work. And the moment you have people helping you, not only financially, materially, but just praying for you is enough to keep you going in ministry. So CAPA has brought a lot of people in my life that I know even when I go out, I've got people who can pray for me, I've got people who can check my life, I've got people who can just ask me how I'm doing, and they're there for me. So I really appreciate being at CAPA because it has exposed me to people that I did not know in my life.

Q11

If you could give encouragement to your fellow Christians in Malawi, what's one thing that you would say to them?

I think it can be a word of hope because we are very much privileged to have everybody else who has been coming to help us with learning and the teaching itself. Malawi is a nation that needs a church that is sound in its doctrine and its studies preaching the Bible. So in a long time, we have had churches which are just preaches something that’s not really from the Bible.

And a message that’s hopeful and encouraging to Malawi is that n two, three years from now, the church will change, not as in fully, but as time goes on, the church will be changing in a good way because what we are learning here will be exercised in the churches up there. So Malawi should be hopeful and should be encouraged that the Word of God will be preached faithfully.

And Malawi should be hopeful that our churches will not be the same. And I feel like the message has been despised in a long time. The Bible has been put aside and people preaching a lot of [other] things. So the message of hope is that Malawi would change for the better because CAPA is training pastors who are going to deliver the message that is coming from the Scriptures.

Q1

How did you first come to know Christ?

I was raised up in a Christian home; my dad is a pastor. My mom was and still is a believer. So growing up in that family I would say I was introduced to Christ when I was really, really young. But you know when you’re a kid you go to Sunday school, you do church and everything, but you don’t really have that very big meaning of who Christ is in your life.

So growing up, when I was at the age of 11, that was when I made a strong decision to say that I will follow Christ and I had that big picture of who Christ is. Nothing really happened, I was just convicted that I needed to follow Christ with my whole heart.

Q2

How did you become a pastor?

Right now I’m not really an ordained pastor, but the work that I do is all ministry because I had two jobs just recently. I was a chaplain at African Bible College for the past two years. Of course a chaplain has to be someone who is an ordained pastor, someone who is married. I wasn’t all that. But for some reason they asked me to do the work.

I also worked with Logos ministries. At Logos, we train church leaders who have never been put in a theology program. So they’re given a chance to preach biblically. Basically, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m taking myself from when I was young to the decision of following this pastoral ministry or this full-time ministry. It’s all because of what Christ has done in my life.

I say my dad is a pastor, but with my mom, they divorced when we were really young. We faced a lot of challenges, but one thing my mom taught me was we live a life of prayer. So even though we go a day without food, we still trusted God. We see that he’s the one who takes care of us.

There is nothing else that I can give to Christ. There is nothing I can offer him to just thank him for what he has done. All the way from when I was young to this day. I have a passion to serve him. There is nothing else I could do on earth. This thing, always keeps me going, to serve Christ, and to love him even more.

The problem here in Malawi is that we have a lot of churches, but you’ll find there are very few churches and pastors who can handle the word of God faithfully. Learning from here after I graduate, I can serve God better because I can teach my fellow Malawians and Africans to handle the Word of God faithfully. That’s what we need basically in Malawi and I think it’s going beyond Africa.

Q3

What are some challenges you have faced in ministry?

I’d say one of the challenges that I face one time is when you take the message to the people that you want them to learn, sometimes they can push back what you’re taking to them. Because maybe one of the doctrines that they are already in, sometimes it’s a wrong doctrine, but they’re bought in so much to that. So I think that’s something that really needs prayer when we go out to reach other people, that you can open their hearts that they can receive what you’re giving to them.

But it all depends on God, all we have to do is serve, what we have to do is just to teach. So that doesn’t worry me that much. Because if the person is to accept what God is bringing to them, they will accept it. And if they are hardened, their hearts will not receive what God is bringing to them. I believe there will be a time when they will change and accept the true doctrine of the gospel.

Q4

Are there any things you’re thankful for about CAPA?

I remember telling my mom and sister and brother that only this week when I did studies at CAPA, I already feel the change. And I believe God is doing something very great with the things in my life and even the friends that we’re taking the classes together. I feel at the end of the year, we will not be the same. God is equipping us to be something that is great, I know. Because just at the end of three weeks I see that we are learning from people like Pastor Thomas who is teaching hermeneutics. The things that he’s teaching us, I do appreciate. There are things that we cannot know on [right now]. We can read, but we cannot really understand the meaning of the whole text [without these classes]. The way they are teaching the classes is so great.

Q5

Do you have any prayer requests?

I really need God’s direction in terms of what I am doing after CAPA. Help me pray for a vision and the opportunity that God is creating for me to serve him right after my studies here. That’s the best thing.

One thing that I don’t want to do in life is that I find myself in a place where that I have gone there for my own purposes, not to serve Christ but maybe for my own benefits. I want to serve Christ. I want to be in a place where God is the one calling me there. I don’t want to miss it. Please pray that God will take me to a place that he wants me to be.