“I’m very excited about [learning Greek and Hebrew] because I will be able to understand the Bible better.”

Raphael Chisi

Program Master of Divinity ('20)
Age 42
Ministering in Dowa
Family Wife, one daughter (12), one son (5)

Raphael works both as a pastor and a police officer. He has faced many challenges because of his faith, but he is thankful for the opportunity to learn more about God through his time at CAPA.

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

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Interview with Raphael Chisi

2017 2015

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

Q2

Did you face any challenges with your faith, especially with your family?

Q3

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

Q4

Is there anything you are nervous about?

Q5

Is there anything you are excited about?

Q6

What are your future ministry plans?

Q7

Is it hard being a police officer and a pastor at the same time?

Q8

Are there any ways you have seen God’s providence in your life?

Q9

Do you have any prayer requests?

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

How did you come to know the Lord?

It was, well, in the ’90s. 1994, to be specific—when I was in secondary school, my fifth year in secondary school. In fact, before that, I didn’t belong to any church—I was a total pagan, son of witchdoctor. Then, at secondary school, there was a sit-in organization, which is called Student Christian Organization School of Malawi. They came to our school, and they conducted their prayers there. They preached a lot of sermons, and at one of the sermons was when I gave my life to Jesus Christ. And from there, I joined the church. [laughs]

Q2

Did you face any challenges with your faith, especially with your family?

Ah, yes because by that time, I was still living with my father, as I was still in school, and my father was a witchdoctor. And when he came to know that I have joined Christianity, there were some conflicts. Yeah… he was not happy with it, and he discouraged me a lot. Thank God that, at the end of it, he allowed me to go with Christianity. There was also a certain time—that was after my secondary school—I joined the primary school teaching. And I was posted along the lecture where the majority was Muslims, and it also festered a lot of resistance [from] the Muslims, to the point where I was almost beaten by the Muslims because of my Christian faith.

Q3

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

Since I became a Christian, I’ve been preaching. I’ve also been invited by certain churches to preach. But my fear was that I had never attended any Bible school. So when I heard about CAPA, I made a decision to join CAPA. And that was 2015, when I joined the diploma class.

Q4

Is there anything you are nervous about?

Yeah, I’ve been hearing about the Greek. [laughs] Yeah, that’s because I’ve heard that Greek is very difficult to learn. I thank God because it has been my prayer, that, at least, I should know one of the original languages of the Bible. And now, I’m here, though I’m nervous; but on the other side, I’m so excited.

Q5

Is there anything you are excited about?

Oh, yes. That is learning the original language, the Greek and the Hebrew. Yeah, I’m very excited about that because I will be able to understand the Bible better than I’ve been doing, yeah.

Q6

What are your future ministry plans?

Yeah, I intend to venture into full-time ministry—that is, after I retire in the civil service. In the years to go, I am retired, so I can venture into full-time pastoring.

Q7

Is it hard being a police officer and a pastor at the same time?

[laughs] Yeah, it is somehow hard because police work is too engaging. There are times when you are wanted at the office, and then at the same time, you are wanted at the church. And because I’m not a full-time pastor, then the pastoring suffers a lot. Are there challenges of being a Christian police officer? Yes, there’s so many challenges. It’s—you know, the police work is already challenging, one. And then now working in Malawi, where their sources are not that adequate—so challenging. And now, being a part-time pastor and then police work. No, sometimes it confuses a lot, and there’s also a challenge of being a police officer and a pastor. People… the way they think about police officers, they don’t think that a police officer can also be a preacher or can also be a pastor. Sometimes, they doubt you when you tell them you are a police officer as well as a pastor. Among your police officer coworkers, are there any challenges? Yes, yes, yes, there are many challenges. You know, sometimes, police officers are, uh, not that good. Sometimes, they go where we use unnecessary force, and when it comes to that, now as a pastor, I don’t advise—then there arises conflicts. No, this is not a church, my friend. Yeah, in amidst some resistance when it comes to advising them, or when it seems like they are working beyond the hour.

Q8

Are there any ways you have seen God’s providence in your life?

Yes, yeah. There have been occasions where I have seen, even coming here to CAPA, being a police officer—they tell us that we work hours a day, and then coming here is really a grace. It’s a grace. I didn’t expect that I’d be allowed to come here, but I thank God that the authorities have spared me from duties so I can study. So you do not have duties during modules? Yeah, that means I have to do police work during the weekends when modules are in session. And then when we are off the modules, then I’m doing the police work.

Q9

Do you have any prayer requests?

Ah, yes. You know, although I’ve been allowed to study… but sometimes they change, because I’ve seen some police officers who are allowed to study, but before they finish their studying, then they’re with the drunks […] and they are no longer studying—they come back to work. So you can pray for me for that, so that this will not happen to me. Let me finish my course.

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

I had the passion of preaching and teaching, which is why I became a pastor. I started teaching small groups, then small churches.

Q2

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

Most of the preachers here in Malawi do not have an education for preaching. This is my opportunity. I pastored for 10 years before I came to CAPA.

I’m expecting to learn details of preaching and of course, how to understand the Bible. And some history of the Bible.

Q3

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

I am a member of the Living Waters Church International, and I am one of the leaders of Holy Trinity Embassy Ministry. I am a pastor.

I hope to have a school to train pastors. There are preachers who are not pastors, somebody who is a leader of a church is a pastor. A preacher is when a man teaches the Word of God but is not a leader at church.

Q4

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

There is a lack of resources. Our Bible, Chichewa Bible, doesn’t have references or commentary. Another challenge is that most of the preachers in Malawi don’t have proper training. This is then producing Christians who are half-baked spiritually. And then you end up struggling with these people because they hear different things.

The church in Malawi’s knowledge of being a Christian is very shallow. I’ve learned that I’m at a risk, where there’s a certain verse in the Bible where it says that those who teach the word, if they do not do it right, they will suffer strict punishment before God.

Q5

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

I was in secondary school, and there was Christian Student Organization of Malawi. They organize Christian meetings and they came to my school. What the preacher preached touched my heart, and I decided to give my life to Jesus. Jesus died for my sins. I was convicted, I was so convicted.

Q6

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

Malawi has so many opportunities that one can do. We have opportunities to preach, to do business, and I like this.

Q7

What is one of your favorite verses and why?

Colossians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ, and I am no longer living on my own, I’m living His life. He’s living in me. I like this verse very much.

Q8

What are ways we can be praying for you?

That I can continue with CAPA, that I can do my Masters here too. I work for the police. I might face challenges because of the nature of our job. They might stop me from coming here, so I don’t face any challenge at work. I have to come here during the day and I’m on duty at night. We’re in the course of negotiating this. This time belongs to God, I do ask Him to help me manage this. When it’s time to do work, I do work. When it’s time for ministry, I do ministry. When I’m at home, I’m a father to my kids, and a husband to my wife.