“I was interested to come to CAPA so that I can be equipped in how I can be able to handle the Scriptures and preach to the people with accuracy.”

Raphael Mataka

Program Master of Divinity ('20)
Age 30
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Wife

Raphael is currently a full-time pastor, but also has a desire to be a missionary across different continents. He was saved while in prison; after he was released, he wanted to study and teach God’s Word after being saved in a prison.

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

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Raphael shares what a great need there is for biblical resources in ministry.

Raphael shares some ways he's seen God's providence in his life.


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Interview with Raphael Mataka

2017 2015

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

Q2

Have you ever faced any hardships or trials because of your faith?

Q3

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

Q4

Is there anything that you think will challenge you this year?

Q5

Is there anything that you’re excited about for this next year?

Q6

What are your plans for ministry? Do you want to just stay at this church or do you want to go to a different church or do you want to stay in the area?

Q7

How have you seen God’s providence in your life?

Q8

How can we be praying for you?

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

Q2

Why did you decide to attend CAPA?

Q3

What is your current ministry?

Q4

What are your future ministry plans?

Q5

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

Q6

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

Q7

What’s your favorite thing about Malawi?

Q8

What prayer requests do you have?

Q9

What are some things about CAPA that you are thankful for?

Q1

How did you come to know the Lord?

I came to know the Lord um when I was in prison. Yeah, there people were coming to preach in the prison so I was one of a those who were there listening to the Word and I decided to make up my mind that I should follow Christ. So that’s when I started following Christ.

Do you remember what they said to you?

Yes, yes—it was a message of telling us to say that Jesus came to save us. Yeah, regardless of whatever we have done, but if we make up our mind to give our lives to Him, He will save us.

Q2

Have you ever faced any hardships or trials because of your faith?

Uh, more specially, when I was there in the prison, it was like people were saying, “No, you are just doing this because you are here in the prison, but when you go out, you abandon Christ.” So it was kind of like insulting us because we are praying. Yeah, they were saying, “You think that you, when you are praying, God release you today.” So it was like a challenge to us.

Q3

Why did you decide to come to CAPA?

I decided to come to CAPA just because, when I came out of the prison, I was attending a local church. So I started having some discipleship training whereby, after that, I was given a church to be pastoring. So after going through that period of pastoring, that’s when I had an opportunity to hear about CAPA, what CAPA does, in terms of trying to teach people how to interpret the Bible. So I was interested to come to CAPA so that I can be equipped in how I can be able to handle the Scriptures and preach to the people with accuracy. So that’s what made me to come to CAPA.

Q4

Is there anything that you think will challenge you this year?

Yes, especially I’m a little bit conscious because of Greek. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s my first time to come across this kind of language. Yeah, but I believe I’ll persevere and I’ll make it. Yeah, though there are some challenges, but I pray hard so that I can make it at the end.

Q5

Is there anything that you’re excited about for this next year?

Yes, because I’ve heard that next year also having Hebrew. So I’m excited to say that I’ll be able to interpret the Greek Bible and next year I’ll also be able to interpret the Hebrew languages. That will help me to understand the Bible fully.

Q6

What are your plans for ministry? Do you want to just stay at this church or do you want to go to a different church or do you want to stay in the area?

Yeah, my plans for the ministry is that as of now I’ll be pastoring the local church, but when I finish my studies I would like to also be going different areas to teach to the people so I’ll be a missionary.

Q7

How have you seen God’s providence in your life?

I have seen God’s hand in my life, more especially the time I cannot forget when I was in prison but still more God has protected me. I could see some of the friends dying in the prison, suffering there, but the grace of God was upon me. I came out strong so that’s, that I cannot forget and I see that the hand of God was upon me.

What is life in the prison like as a Christian? Did you try and talk to other people about your faith?

Yes, but it’s very hard because of some—the challenges that people are going through is very difficult for them to respond with the faith just because they say, “No, I’m here. I’m focusing much on my situations which I am going through so I have no time to listen about that.” But still more there are some who are able to at least give their lives to Jesus; so it’s hard, it’s hard.

Do you keep in contact with some of those people?

Yes, and the good news is that some of them I’ve also introduced them to CAPA. We have one student was also a prisoner, now he’s doing a diploma class. And also some of the guards, the prison guards, the soldiers, yes, three of them, they are also here. That’s because I was going there to preach to the inmates so they are saying, “How come that you are doing this?” so I told them that I went to CAPA. So they came here to CAPA to find out what’s going on. So they also decided to apply and they are considered. They’re here doing the diploma classes.

Q8

How can we be praying for you?

More especially, when I’m doing my studies, you should be praying for me that God should at least protect me so that I can finish this period when I’m here, should be healthy, yeah, and also that God should at least provide me with the finances so that I can be able to be paying my small amounts that I’m supposed to pay at school so that I can finish my studies here at CAPA. And also that God should keep on encouraging me in terms of my spiritual gifts so that I can be active in the church and wherever that God may wish to use me.

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

I decided to become a pastor after going through some tough situations in my life. Having escaped from those situations, that’s when I realized that God has got a purpose for my life, so I gave my life to Him and I decided to serve Him.

Q2

Why did you decide to attend CAPA?

I decided to attend CAPA so that I can get some knowledge, because I am a pastor, but I have not gotten any training that can enlighten me on how to do my pastoral work.

Q3

What is your current ministry?

I am a pastor, but I also do some business, so that I can serve some family programs that the church is not yet able to manage.

Q4

What are your future ministry plans?

My plans are to train other pastors that, as of now, are not other pastors, so that they can go into areas that I cannot.

Q5

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

Our church has just started, so there are some things that we are lacking, like equipment that will help us with outreach so that we can be heard at a distance. We are also lacking a suitable place, or infrastructure.

But from these things I have learned that it all goes by God’s time, and I believe and trust in God that in due time, He will help us with those things.

Q6

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

I heard about Jesus when I was very young, from my parents. But for me, to talk about believing in Him, it’s when I grew up, and when I realized that Jesus gave His life for my salvation.

It was in 2004, through some hard situations that I was going through. I had some friends who by that time were born-again Christians, and they were encouraging me and preaching to me, so I decided to give my life to Jesus.

Q7

What’s your favorite thing about Malawi?

My favorite thing about Malawi is that it is a peaceful country. We are free to worship, we are free to do whatsoever. And nature pleases me a lot.

Q8

What prayer requests do you have?

I am traveling from not very far, but I use transport [minibuses], so the journey to school is a bit long. Also that God would provide for tuition and my family, so that they can be encouraged while I attend school.

Q9

What are some things about CAPA that you are thankful for?

I am very thankful to CAPA for enrolling me to be here, to attend studies. I didn’t dream of this time! I am interacting with many people here, and I never thought of seeing [any of the people here], but I am now talking [with them], so that is very great for me.