“So now my preaching has really changed, in the sense that if I’m preaching and also before preaching to the people, I first preach to myself.”

McJoster Mwalweni

Program Master of Divinity ('18)
Age 34
Ministering in Mzuzu
Family Wife and one son (3)

McJoster is finishing up his last year of the master’s program after starting at CAPA with the Advanced Diploma. He is currently pastoring a church in northern Malawi, where he not only preaches to the congregation, but also teaches in Sunday school and offers discipleship groups. He has a desire to see the leaders of the Malawian churches become more trained in the truth of the gospel.

$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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McJoster shares how his congregation has been blessed by his education at CAPA.

McJoster explains how his preaching has changed since he first came to CAPA.


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Interview with McJoster Mwalweni

2017 2016 2015

Q1

Which class have you liked the best and why?

Q2

How has your preaching changed?

Q3

What has been the biggest challenge here at CAPA?

Q4

Being a full-time pastor, what kinds of things do you do as a pastor in your church?

Q5

How can we be praying for you?

Q1

What do you like to do during your free time?

Q2

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

Q3

In what ways has God grown you this past year? What has He been teaching you?

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?

Q7

What are friendships at CAPA like?

Q8

What has been your favorite class at CAPA and why?

Q9

How has one book you have read this past year influenced your thinking and living?

Q10

How has CAPA influenced your family life?

Q11

What challenges or joys have you faced in ministry this past year?

Q12

What are your future plans for ministry? Has it changed since last year?

Q13

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

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

Q2

How did you preach without being equipped?

Q3

Did your preaching change after you came to CAPA?

Q4

How have you seen your church change after using expository preaching?

Q5

What are your future ministry plans?

Q6

In your seven years in ministry, what are some challenges you have faced, and what has God taught you through the challenges?

Q7

How did you come to believe that Jesus died for your sins?

Q8

How can we be praying for you?

Q9

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

Q1

Which class have you liked the best and why?

In my journey being here at CAPA, starting from maybe diploma—first in that was 2014, 2015—I’ve really enjoyed preaching, hermeneutics, and homiletics, on how to make sermons. And when I started the master’s—M.Div—although they are challenging, but I have liked the biblical languages—there are Hebrew and Greek—because more like they are eye-openers.

Yeah. They are showing me a lot of important elements, which you cannot find in the Chichewa or maybe Tumbuka. Because we have a Chichewa Bible, we have Tumbuka Bible, as well as English Bible—so we, we’ll not find, we’ll not find such things. But if you go direct in Hebrew and Greek, it’s a lot of good stuffs, which is helping in ministry.

Did you know any Greek or Hebrew before you came to CAPA?

Yes. I did my elementary Hebrew, as well as my elementary Greek—or as we call it, basics Hebrew, basics Greek. That was in, when I was doing my first diploma with our Baptist seminary—that is Baptist Seminary of Malawi. Yeah, so I did that more like the alphabet and part of I did find what is nouns and [the] like, but I didn’t do too much as I’m doing now.

Q2

How has your preaching changed?

Yeah, my preaching has really changed to the benefit of the ministry, as well as to the benefit of the members—and I’m sure also it’s has impacted the way people live. Because, before I came here, although I did my diploma in another school, which is also Baptist, there was no that focus on preaching. The focus more was on academic—more like the systematic theology and other subjects. […] We were going through New Testament and Old Testament, but we’re not majoring in, like, preaching, and that was my passion.

[…] I needed a school, which could help me on how to preach and to do church administration. And when I heard about CAPA and when I came here. […] When I came to CAPA now, ah! Everything changed much. I’m able to see that the meaning of the text, and I’m able to come up with the outline. I’m able to come up with the main idea, with the PNP [plural noun proposition], which I didn’t knew and I’m able now to take, say, this is an exposing of the texts, observing of the texts. And also, I’m able to come up on applications, how to apply the texts. Because in the—before that, it was more like I was just have head knowledge—doing exegesis and the like—but I didn’t have that an element of how to apply the text to my life first, as well as to the life of the listeners. So now my preaching has really changed, in the sense that if I’m preaching and also before preaching to the people, I first preach to myself. Yeah, I first preach to myself—and that message, I do meditate on—if I will preach to the people—until it makes sense.

Q3

What has been the biggest challenge here at CAPA?

For me, the combination in two areas. First of all, it’s about—since I’m coming from far; that is, Mzuzu—now coming here for a collective month in a semester, it has been a little bit of a challenge, because you need some finances for transport, for tuitions and also to leave home. That has been a challenge.

And the second area is about the… as we are been here at campus, in terms of class, we find that there is another element, which are like Greek and Hebrew. Ah, it’s like, where am I going and I’m going there to make it. But by the end of the day, that’s really helped much.

Yeah, those are some of what I can say through life and as well as in class, but I need to mention this because I thank CAPA because of the heart which the lecturers, the professors have, and the faculty, especially as they introduce work-study. Whereby, if you don’t have maybe other means of how to raise money, but they can give you some piece of work and you can do that and through that it’s—you can possibly manage to pay for your boarding fee.

That’s what’s […] helping me much. Starting from diploma and up to date, that’s what’s really helping me. That’s, uh, where I can thank really CAPA—minus that, I don’t know how I could finish my education.

Q4

Being a full-time pastor, what kinds of things do you do as a pastor in your church?

As a pastor at a church. we do different activities. Like on Sunday service, we have like… we call Sunday school of different groups. We have children; also Sunday school of adults, where we’re combined. I know, sometimes, we also do, like, lessons—I do teach, like, youth. I do teach women, kids, as well as I do teach leaders.

Like the Saturday before you came here, we had this leadership lessons. Yeah—it was good teaching leaders, and I was trying to explain who is a leader and what is the responsibility of a leader. How can we know a good leader? And also, we do some evangelism and we major much on going out and doing open airs, doing door-to- door witnessing, and to have conferences.

And also, we are involved much in planting churches. As I’m talking now, we have three churches. […] We are trying to nurture those churches and trying to train people. And also, I’ve recently—about three months ago—I’ve introduced a group, which you call discipleship group, where I find some key leaders and I’m trained to disciple them following Scripture. How did Jesus do his ministry? How did he impart his knowledge upon His people? So we are much doing that—and by God’s help or by God’s support, I’m sure by the end of the day we’ll see something will come out of that.

Q5

How can we be praying for you?

The first area which you need to pray for me is, like, I need really to balance between this, the knowledge which I have recalled in here, [points to head] as also with the ministry. The knowledge which I’ve got in here, [points to head] sometimes become also danger when you don’t apply it to your life. You just get that knowledge and just put into people. I think first of the issue which you need to pray much for me is like I need to really focus to be faithful to the Word and to be trustworthy and to be above reproach in all areas.

And also, here in Malawi there is a maybe challenge: Much of pastoral ministry is regarded as one of the lowest paying jobs. So sometimes to sustain yourself, if you have a small church, becomes a little bit of a challenge. So you need to pray; [I] ask that you pray for me, that if God should really continue supporting us in one way or another.

Lastly, as I’ve also explained to say, I’m coming from another part of Malawi, where it’s a bit far from CAPA. As I’ve introduced this discipleship group, my prayer is that, if possible, I need also to introduce more like a school—having a school, a church school—be connected with the church. And we should more training of these leaders. Because what we discovered, much is like, people they’re there—but people they’re lacking who should lead them. There’s churches lacking leaders, people are lacking leaders, so we are wanting to focus more on imparting knowledge on these leaders who can also be faithful carrying that message and preaching to others. So we need to pray for me that the vision that you’re having of training leaders should be fruitful.

Q1

What do you like to do during your free time?

My free time, especially when I just leave CAPA [after staying in the dorms during the module], I spend time with my wife and family. That’s first priority because we miss each other after two weeks.

Then also we have introduced the Leadership Training at our church so that also I’m involved in training leaders. We do it from Monday to Friday. The materials or resources and also their skills have came from CAPA. I go there and put more into practice, training leaders in different courses like Greek, preaching, also there’s English, and also there’s the New Testament and Old Testament — it's more like Bible overview — that we are getting from CAPA. So, I do that from Monday to Friday evening from 5pm up to 8pm.

Yeah, but from that, I’m also involved into youth ministry. I’m the director of youth. So sometimes also I’m involved with training the youth, gathering the youth, teaching them, and planning how we are going to do next time.

And also sometimes I, yeah, sometimes when I have free time, I like soccer. Also, I like reading especially like novels, newspapers, so I like that. I’m also involved in the singing music. Sometimes to church to sing with the youth and sing with the church choir.

Q2

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

One attribute of God is which I’ve really experienced is… God is omnipresent, which means He’s everywhere. When we are in problems, sometimes we found ourselves forgetting that God is with us. Sometimes when we are facing some challenges and difficulties we may think God has abandoned us. But through CAPA we were discussing about suffering, the doctrine of suffering, they really explained God is everywhere, is present. There is not any time or there is not any place where you can say God is not present. So, even if I’m here at CAPA, I’m meeting through some challenges or difficulties, for me, I believe that God is really still watching and He knows what we are going through.

And especially I am challenged with the love of God. One day when we were studying, I was trying to shake up the meaning of love. And that love of which God has to us is love without [partiality], unconditional love. He loves us when we are still sinners. And Jesus prayed that the love which is with the Father is the same love which we also have to do. It is really challenging because sometimes our love is limited. Sometimes our love is conditional, so it is a challenge to us.

Q3

In what ways has God grown you this past year? What has He been teaching you?

This past year God has really shown me that I need to trust in Him. Especially I am saying this because of the experience that I’ve been encountering that looking to my income which I’m earning from the church and the support which I’m getting from the church. And especially the tuition which I am paying for CAPA, it’s not matching. But in all those situation I see the Lord working.

I see the Lord meeting my needs. I see the Lord taking care for my family, taking care of me. And also providing all the needs which really -- it humbles me that every time I need to trust Him. So, especially this moment God has humbled me that I’m able to trust in Him in all situation of my life.

Especially I’m coming from a background whereby even my relatives they are depending upon me. Like for the meantime, I’m also responsible for paying school fees for my brother. But at the same time, God is meeting our needs. God is able to provide us when here we are at CAPA. So in all such situations, for me, God is showing me that always I need to trust Him. I need to trust Him with all my heart and I need to depend on Him.

We are His own possession. In 1 Peter 2:9, where God says He chose us, we are His own possession. We are the holy people, the holy nation. We are the royal priest[hood]. So, looking into that situation, I’m sure to say when I have to face that situation, He’ll never abandon us.

Q4

What are you looking forward to this year?

This year, I’m so excited especially since we’ve started Greek exegesis. We’ve done one class, but it seems there’s a lot to learn and I’m really waiting to see how I’m going to be equipped in terms of expositing the Word of God, finding the truth, and finding the meaning of the Scripture, because that’s what we communicate to the people.

Also, I was waiting for Hebrew. I’m also interested to see how God is going to humble through Hebrew. Yeah, because Greek is really challenging, it’s a really humbling subject. And also I’ll be humbled through Hebrew. So I’m eager waiting how I’m going to learn Hebrew.

Q5

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

Okay, first of all, I need to start with the faculty here at CAPA. They are really helpful in terms of when you have a problem or have a question that they come in and they really find the ways and the means to come and help you. That also teaches me to say: as a pastor, it doesn’t mean that I know everything. I need also other people who can help me and can teach me.

Also what I’ve been helped [in] I also need to go and help other people. God uses other men to support also His own people. And also God uses other men to equip His own people. That’s what I’ve seen, because the way [professors] are coming from America, coming here, equipping us. They are also spending a lot of money just to come and equip us which is really humbling. Which means for me I need to sort of offer myself to the Lord that God should use me as He is using others to help me. So, He should use me to help other people.

Do you recall any specific advice?
Yes! In two occasions. The first time I had Jim [Ayres]. There was a problem at our church. There was some conflict and that caused our church to be divided. So for me, as a new minister, I was just maybe a month into the church, and I find that church is a mess. So I tried to ask for advice from them and Jim gave me a very good advice, also together with Matt [Floreen] through biblical counseling. [Matt] also gave me good advice to say, “If you are to help people with problems who are in conflict, first you need to target to the heart because the source of everything is the heart.” Also Jim, he said to me, “When you are tackling the issues, you shouldn’t tackle those issues as a group, but you need to see each issue individually.” So when I heard from those advice and apply those advice as I’m talking now, I feel the church is coming together.

Also there was a moment, when I was really struggling in finances, that was also affecting my academic tuition in terms of class. When I approached Jim, he also encouraged me. He said that: “What you need to do is just be consistent. If you see that there are much problems or challenges, sometimes it is really good for you to put priorities. Have priorities in your life. Which is the first and which comes second? So if there is any priorities, target those priorities and the rest should come later.” That was advice that really helped me to put things in order, to do things according to the way things are supposed to be done. So that was advice that really helped me.

Q6

What is your favorite memory at CAPA?

What I love much about CAPA is the focus on Bible. I’ve been in different schools. This is way better. This is my second school in terms of Bible knowledge. CAPA is far much better. The way now I’m preaching now has really changed. So, also in terms of tuition, CAPA is better because in Malawi, many schools, they are very, very expensive. Sometimes it is difficult for them. It is not affordable especially for the people who can’t find money. They can’t find [money], or can’t find [space to enroll]. But I love CAPA because they try to support [pastors].

Q7

What are friendships at CAPA like?

CAPA has helped me to broaden my fellowship with other people. So CAPA has helped me to add more brothers in my life; it also helps us to serve one another.

It also gives us [opportunities] to practice what we are learning, especially in the area of how to respond when you are in the group, when you are meeting different challenges. The good thing with our group is we are not from the same denomination. Some, they are Pentecostals, while others they are Presbyterians; like me, I am a Baptist. So coming together, sometimes it is really difficult. But CAPA has really helped to mold us and put us together and has really helped us on how we can still [be with] another person who is in another denomination, but still we can relate to one another as brothers.

For instance, all of us, no matter what denomination — what CAPA is bringing us together is [reminding us] we are, all of us, saved by the same grace, we are saved by the same God, we have the same faith. If we are believers, we are destined to eternal life which also brings us together rather than focusing on our differences.

Q8

What has been your favorite class at CAPA and why?

My favorite class. I can mention maybe two. The first thing is Greek — always humbling, challenging, but I have loved it. Because Greek, I’m able to see a lot of information which maybe in our English are not there. And when I’m comparing Greek and especially like here in Malawi, we are preaching in Chichewa and our Bibles are in Chichewa, so when I’m comparing the Greek, you find that there's a lot of information that are not really there in Chichewa. Also some [information] are missing even in English. But in the Greek, most an eye-opener, I’m able to see the real meaning of the text which God intended to communicate to us.

The other subject is expository preaching — preaching lab, preaching class. I’ve been preaching for some time. Maybe started preaching when I was — we call it here Form 2, which is high school, as you say. For me, I was saying I was preaching. But when I came to CAPA, I found that preaching is more like saying what God said. If you are not saying what God is saying, it means that you are not preaching the Word of God. So through this class, preaching class, they’ve really helped me on how to understand and how to get the real meaning of the text, and how to apply that text in my life, and how also to apply that text to preach that text to the other person.

Like the way I was doing in the past was more like, when I read the passage, I would just go and preach maybe without understanding it and without applying it to my life. And even the selection of the passage, it was very different. I remember one of our lecturers say, “It is not me choosing the passage, but the passage is choosing me every Sunday!”

Another class is counseling. Because as a pastor, you can’t run away from counseling. Always there are people, always there are problems, and always there are issues to be handled. When I [started pastoring at my] church, there was an issue which was really difficult. People over there were scattered. People over there were divided. But through this Biblical counseling, it really helped me on how to handle that situation with the help of God, with the wisdom from Him. They are teaching us how to help the person because sometimes when a person presents an issue, we are focusing much on the issue on which he or she has presented, forgetting what is the cause of those things which is the heart. So through counseling, I’ve really been helped so far as pastoring is concerned.

Q9

How has one book you have read this past year influenced your thinking and living?

Yeah, this time I’m reading on Sweethearts [for a Lifetime by Wayne Mack]. It’s a wonderful book. It talks about marriage — what is marriage really about. It has really changed my thinking. In the specific area which I was so impressed is about how they have explained Genesis 2:24, where the man shall leave and he shall cling, and the two shall be one. The way they have explained in Sweethearts — it’s really amazing. There’s a lot in terms of leaving, a lot in terms of cleaving, and a lot also in terms of one body.

And also there’s another book which is Shepherding a Child’s Heart [by Ted Tripp]. There’s a specific example which when I was reading comes to my mind. It says: When two child, they are fighting for a toy. Another one is fighting, wanting to grab the toy which his friend had. Maybe the other family will ask a question, ”Who had it first?” which is the wrong question. But the question is supposed to be — both of these kids have problems. This one doesn’t want his friend to enjoy the toy the way he is able to do it. And also the other wants to take it because he feels he needs to enjoy it. So yeah, shepherding the child’s heart has also helped me as a pastor, not only that, but also as a father.

Q10

How has CAPA influenced your family life?

My family life has really changed. In my case, maybe I’m a little bit — I have an advantage because I married in 2013. That’s when we had our wedding. But I joined CAPA, maybe a year after that. So it’s like the whole of my marriage has been shared by CAPA. Yeah, because at first, we had that dating class [a lesson in “Pastor’s Home” class]. Oh! It was really nice — taking my wife to the lake. We were there trying to chatting which was very strange to me. But it has really helped us.

And also not only that. For me, I know that I’m a man. I’m the head of the family for most of the families here, I can say in a village, the man — if he is leading, he is leading with power and oppression. Maybe sometimes the men treat women as slaves, property because we are doing this dowry, where the man pays the price to get him a woman. So they [think] like they buy them.

But what I’m getting from CAPA, we are able to practice with our family. We are able to teach one another. We are able to help one another. How can we improve each other. Each has done something which is really not good. My wife, we are able to apologize and ask forgiveness. The way I approach her is different with the way I was doing. And also the way I see my wife, I don’t see her maybe as an opponent or slave, but I see her as a helper who can really help me and we can serve together. Because in our culture, sometimes they say don’t trust your wife because she can kill you any day. So through CAPA, we find that — “Oh! My wife is the best partner which I can have in my life because that is the one God has created, [my] half for me.” Yeah, so through CAPA, I can say my family has been shaped in a very good way, yes.

Q11

What challenges or joys have you faced in ministry this past year?

Some of the issues which became more like a challenge is fees, tuition. It doesn’t mean the tuition is high comparing to how much education fees is going on nowadays. It became a little bit of challenges, a difficulty, but we thank the CAPA faculty because they introduce the work-study which really is helping to cover [tuition].

Are you doing work-study right now?
Yes, I’m going to continue to do my work-study. I see that as one of the means God is using [to provide].

The other challenge is like distance. I’m coming from Mzuzu [about 350 kilometers away], so also that contributes to the challenges in terms of finance because coming here needs some transport. Not only transport, but also coming here, I need to find some resources to leave with my wife. As family, I cannot leave her without anything. So yeah, finding money and finding means and ways on how to fundraise, to raise all the money can be challenging. We see also God intervening in such areas that He is able to support us.

Q12

What are your future plans for ministry? Has it changed since last year?

Not much changed, but maybe just continue to add a little bit on that. Many people [call themselves] pastors. I need to focus on training other people. As I’m talking now, we’ve already started doing the evening studies, the evening training. We are training other men, like especially elders of the church, on how to preach, how to preach faithfully, and to do expository preaching.

And also, it’s also my wish, if possible: I need to be writing some books. Many people there don’t have much books written in our language like Tumbuka, Chichewa, and other languages. Most of the books which have been written are English, while most of the people whom we are serving are — they can’t read English. They can’t understand English. The need of writing the books in our own vernacular language. If possible, if God allows, I’ll also need to do that. Especially, I’d really be able to help since I have knowledge of Greek and have knowledge of Hebrew. It’ll mean I’ll be writing biblical truth into vernacular language.

Q13

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

I’m preaching through 1 Peter and I’ve been so encouraged how Peter is exhorting Christians how to live especially among suffering and going through oppression and trials. What I can encourage people is whenever we are facing temptations, whenever we are facing trials, whenever we are facing sufferings, we need to focus on God. We need to trust God. At the same time, in 1 Peter 2:21-23, Peter is exhorting the Christian to take Christ as an example. When we have suffered, if we are facing trials, we need to see how Jesus responded to different situations. We also need to respond in the same way. As believers, we are the chosen people. God has chosen us and we are His own possession. So because of that we shall not lose our hope. We should not lose our trust in Him. When things are going not according to our plan, we need to still continue to trust in Him because God’s timing is the best in our life.

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

Yeah, at first, my desire was to be a doctor, or an automobile mechanic, or an engineer. Very different. But when I reached that mechanical college I found that things didn’t go well with me. I passed through some difficult times and difficult situations, and later on is when I feel that I think I need to respond to God’s calling. So in 2008, is when I joined this pastoral ministry.

The first thing which I thought is like… I started loving ministry. Because I started preaching and serving God when I was still at high school, that is, in form 2. But that feeling or that calling started growing up—when I finished my high school is when I was I think, “I enjoy serving as a pastor,” but I would not respond. That’s… I thought the people they are missing, but also this like… passion in my life. It’s a good passion and it’s a great feeling of serving the Lord.

What was it like when you first became a pastor? Did you get a diploma first or did you just jump right into it?

I was already a pastor but I went to school to acquire some knowledge. So when I went first at school and when I was getting my first diploma, it’s like they were just equipping me in the field which I was already in. So I was already preaching, but my preaching, I was not preaching as a pastor. Physically. That’s why when I finished my diploma course, it’s when now I started officially serving as a pastor.

Q2

How did you preach without being equipped?

Yeah, that’s… it’s very common here, and it’s only when you go to theological training is when you discover, “Oh! I was preaching wrong!” [laughs] I know after when I went to college is when I discovered I was making a lot of mistakes. I was preaching, but… not that good. Not that great.

How did you write your sermons?

Yeah, most of the time, like when I was just beginning preaching, I was troubled. I was asking usually people who were already preaching: “How do you know that this is the message God wants?” But many of them it seems like, they didn’t have any [ideas on] how to preach because also they were preaching without going to school, so there was no any specific way on how you can preach.

So it was like, ah, maybe if you hear someone preaching and that message has convicted you, then you take that message, and sometimes when you are just going through the Bible and you are studying the Bible you feel, “Ah! I think this is it. This message is gold, and I think I will preach this message.” And you just choose.

Q3

Did your preaching change after you came to CAPA?

Greatly, greatly! My preaching has greatly changed, and even the people I’m serving now, they are able to see the difference. And also they are really appreciate.

I remember one of the members of the church, he came to me to say, “Ah, but pastor! The way you are preaching and the way you are teaching, if [you are imitating] a person, and I don’t know if maybe you understand from another person because, your preaching is completely different.”

I believe because now I have obtained some knowledge and some skills, so, yeah, my preaching has really changed. I am preaching from the Word.

For instance, now, we are going through the book of Nehemiah. We started from chapter 1, and now we are in chapter 10. So we’re going through the whole book of Nehemiah, so, yeah. But at first, I could not do that.

Q4

How have you seen your church change after using expository preaching?

Yeah, what I love most is… I see the people who were not growing spiritually, but now it seems like they are really changed. Because at first, maybe if I’m out of the church they will say “Ah! There will be no service today because the pastor is out.” They will not even understand the word of God.

But now, I appreciate because some of the members, they are showing spiritual maturity, and some of them they are showing that they are growing. At first they were only depending upon me, but now they can go and read the Bible and actually understand the Bible, and I know some of them, they can really stand and also they can preach.

Can you think of an example recently in which you see the fruit of the Spirit in someone’s life?

Yeah, ah, a good example, is… at first, as I’ve already started to say, some of the members were failing to preach, and to teach, and also some of the members had a lot of conflict in their families.

And also one of my members, I remember he was a drunkard. But now when, he was even hiding from me, but now after coming here, I sat with him, trying to explain the Word to him, trying to teach… I found that he is one of the leading factors in the change. He is the person now who is now trying to say, “Pastor, I’m really changed.” He’s able to lead his family well, and he has stopped all… he’s no longer taking alcohol whatsoever, his life is one of the models to see. Yeah, directed him in God’s word.

And also we have some Bible studies… like this time we are teaching them about marriage issues, how can a Christian marriage be. So that also has helped some of the members to have a good marriage in their family.

Q5

What are your future ministry plans?

My plan for future ministry… for me, I’m serving at a village, where there are very few people, they have, they are exposed to the truth from the Bible. And then we have some pastors who are there, but I feel pity because they are not handling the word of God the way they are supposed to be. So I feel like, if God would allow me whatever I’m obtaining here, what I’m receiving from this CAPA, I should also able to go and teach the people.

So my plan is, I should be a pastor, serving the church—at the same time, also I should, maybe I should have like a training school, seminars whereby I can gather these leaders, church leaders and maybe some pastors, and also can give them some teaching, because I know that it’s not all of them who can have access coming at CAPA. But what I have received from here, I should also go and impart and also preach and also teach some of the people who can also able to teach.

So my big plan, my vision is, if possible, I can have like, organize school, training school like that, so I am also able to teach the guys. Because in village, especially here in Malawi, in village, people, they don’t know the truth. I don’t know, maybe in towns, but in village, people don’t know the truth. So I really, I have that passion for the people in the village. So I need to be committed and serve the Lord.

Are you from the vilage yourself?

I'm from there! It's where I'm staying.

Q6

In your seven years in ministry, what are some challenges you have faced, and what has God taught you through the challenges?

Ah… the most great thing which God has taught me through the challenges which I have come across, is like always, we need to depend upon Him. And always, we need to trust Him, no matter how tough it goes.

Ah, and also, whenever we try to shift our focus from God, and we focus maybe on other people, we focus on other things… our life spiritual also goes down. And God always need that, as we are serving Him, always, we need to depend upon Him, 100%, always need to trust Him and always we need to see Him!

Because there is a time when, I do go into tough time, and tough situation, and sometimes I do think of people say “Ah! Maybe go to such person, and such person maybe will help me and will come.” But even those people you think that are going to help, sometimes they disappoint you. Even maybe some of the people whom you do think, “Ah! I think that guy, if I will explain my situation, he will maybe will comfort me,” and the very same person will maybe bring some pain in your life.

So through these situations, all that I have come across, it’s like ah! I think God is [teaching us] that we need to depend upon Him always. And also He need that [if] we have maybe successful life, we need to bring glory to Him. All this happen because of God Himself.

In your ministry, what do you think are the most difficult challenges?

For me, ah, the greatest challenge… you come a time, when you are committed to serve the Lord, but you find that… maybe you don’t have the… all the necessities, all the materials, and skills.

And also you find that even the people whom you are serving—they are not responding to the word of God. And you find that you are trying your ever best to say, “Ah! I think this is what I’m doing,” but you find that the people, they are responding negatively. So it becomes a little bit tough, you say, “What can I do?”

Also as I’ve said say, maybe you are committed to serve, but you don’t have the material. You don’t have the tools to use when you are serving—it’s also a little bit, difficult. Like, you find that in a church, even the people cannot even manage to have Bibles.

And even yourself as a pastor, because… as you are preaching, [you] really depend that God will going to… to give that support. You find that in the village, you live in a situation whereby… you don’t know who support you! Because you know that, ah! I am going to get this support from these members, because I am serving them spiritually, so they need to support me physically.

But! Those members, whom you are depending upon or you are… expecting that they are going to support you, they also seeking support from you, physically. So it becomes a little bit, difficult, and, yeah.

Sometimes you find that you can be committed, but… because maybe you have a family also, you need to be… to be supported, it’s very easy for you to be a half-time pastor. And you can be committed to serve the Lord, and also you have another work to do, so that maybe you can, I can support my family.

At the moment you do that, you find that… your life is… you are not really 100% committed to serve the Lord. Yeah, so it’s like, you are trying this another hand, and also you have ministry in another hand… ah. So it’s become tough.

Q7

How did you come to believe that Jesus died for your sins?

Ah, for me… I was brought up by my grandparents. And my grandparents, my grandmother is the one who was… I can’t call she was a believer, but she was a regular church member. So I can say I was born in a family, I was brought up in a family whereby they were not Christians.

But we were going to church. [laughs] We were going to church mostly every Sunday. Yeah, our grandmother was teaching us some of the insights about God’s way, but not about salvation.

But now when I was in… we call it standard 8, there was a group of missionaries who came in our village. They were calling it… ahh… “Gideon”? Is it “Gideon”, or “gospel”? Or whatsoever. They came there with, they had an open-air to do evangelism, so during the day they came at our home and preached the Word, and also they invited us to go for open-air meeting.

So I went there, ah, that was in the evening. So, because I was going to this church which my grandmother was also going, but they were not teaching about salvation, and there was no issue about the love of God whatsoever.

But when I attended this, I remember they preached about… about sin! The wages of sin, it was like, I was like “Oh! It means… I will die.” Yeah, because I was doing all these things and I was committing things and I was like “Ah! But then, how can I have hope?”

But when they preached about the love of God, and about Jesus Christ who came and died for us, and through Him we can find the way, and through Him we can be forgiven, it’s like, my heart was burning, and “I think I need this Jesus.”

And when they invited the altar call, say “Those who want to come, who want to receive Christ, they need to come in front,” I would not wait! I went there, at right moment, and they led us in a confession prayer, and I prayed, and… from that I changed [churches].

I moved from the church which my grandmother was, we were going, and I joined Baptist church. Yeah, so I joined… I received Christ, that was in… 1999. It’s when I received Christ to be my Lord and Savior.

And from that time, my grandmother was not happy, because I changed the church. But later on, when she… she started observing some changes in my life, and she said, “Ah! I think now you are changing.” Because, some of the things which I was doing which was not… maybe sometime I was ignoring my parents and I was not obeying them, they started observing some changes, that’s when they said, “Ah! I think you are really changed.” And from that time is when I believe God has really transformed me.

Q8

How can we be praying for you?

1)Ah… first of all, I think the great thing which you can pray for me is like… I need to be committed. To serve the Lord. And also I need to be faithful to the Lord, no matter how tough, or no matter how [successful] I should be, but I should always be faithful.

2)And also, you need to pray for me especially, as I am sad to say… that sometimes we lack support. We can be committed to serve the Lord, but to find that physically, you have some challenges. So… I think God that should open some doors, and should bring some means of how can be supported, so that I am able to—if we are able to find these fees? who need, and also should be able to preach well, yeah.

3)And also, I think also you need to pray for my church, so that the members should grow spiritually, as well as the gospel should be extended to all the people in the village. Because the village which I am coming from, the gospel is… yes, people are there and they are preaching, but… most of them, they are not preaching the gospel, because they do not know it—they don’t have knowledge. So I think… you need to pray for me that I should bring the gospel to many people.

4)And also that my vision should come true. By the end of the day, I need - I should see that, I think I am training other people so that also they may able to know the word of God.

Q9

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

Ah, my favorite thing? Maybe in therms of food, or...?

Anything you want!

[laughs]
Okay. Ah, usually… I don’t know. But, as a family… I do love much to be with my wife, to chat with my wife. And when we have some free time, yeah sometimes we do go together, swimming in the lake. I am coming from Mzuzu, but sometimes we do go to Lake Malawi.

But also, I love serving with the youth. I love teaching the youth. I’m still a young pastor—I’m still in that age of youth, so I do like serving these, helping the youth learn that they should know God, and they should also walk in the life of godly.

In terms of sports, I do like soccer. That is my favorite sport activity.

Do you have a favorite food?

I do like...rice and chicken.

I had that yesterday!

Yes, so yesterday was my day.[laughs]