“Honestly, I don’t know what God has for me. But only thing: My prayer each and every day is God to help me [be] humble enough, but also to open my heart so that I can really see whatever His thought [is] for me. So I’m excited, and I’m ready [for] whatever comes.”

Wilson Mvinya

Program Advanced Diploma ('18)
Age 40
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Wife and five children (18, 17, 14, 8, 1)

Mvinya has been pastoring a church for the past seven years in Lilongwe, Malawi. He felt the call to full-time ministry at a young age and trusted God to provide for his needs as he left a comfortable job as a manager at a large company.

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

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Wilson explains what it's like to balance his duties as a pastor and full-time student.


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Interview with Wilson Mvinya

2017

Q1

Do you have a family?

Q2

How did you first come to know the Lord?

Q3

Ever since then, have there been any hardships or challenges that you’ve had because of the faith that you have?

Q4

Have you been pastoring a church for the past seven years?

Q5

How are you balancing the duties that comes with being a full-time pastor and a student?

Q6

Why did you initially decide to come to CAPA?

Q7

What are you looking forward to learning in this upcoming year?

Q8

What are some ways that you have seen God’s providence in your life?

Q9

Do you have any prayer requests?

Q1

Do you have a family?

I’m a married man. I have one wife, and three physical—my own physical children, but also I adopted two children. So I have five children all together. Yes, it’s a lot.

How old are they?

My firstborn is 14 and the second one is, umm, she’s a girl—she’s 8 years. And the lastborn, physical one, is 1 year and some few and 3 months. Now the two girls that are adopted—the other one, she is 18, the other one, she is 17.

Are they adopted from around here?

Yes, from around here. Actually, from the southern part of Malawi, because I’m coming from southern region, so I adopted these two girls from southern region of our country Malawi.

We thank God that God has entrusted us with those children, but sometimes it’s really little bit of a challenge. But we thank God, we thank God for His grace. But also, it’s exciting to see how God has used us to raise those children, so we are so thankful to God.

Do your children go to church with you?

Yes, they go to church with us. My firstborn, who is 13 or 14 years—he is the one who helps us a lot in the church, like playing the keyboard, even drums, leading the praise team—so it’s amazing. Actually, I will be missing him very, very shortly, because next year he is going out for a boarding school. So as his parents, we will miss him; but also as a church, we will miss him.

Q2

How did you first come to know the Lord?

It was 25 years ago. Actually, that time… My background is from Roman Catholic, but then one of our youth, who was also a member of Roman Catholic, immediately stopped going to church and went to another church. And immediately I saw his character, his behavior, changed. So I used to know him as a guy who was drinking, doing so many things; but all the sudden, I saw that change in him.

So then I met with him is when he first began to share with me the good news, and is when I realize that, “No, I need to give my life to the Lord.” So that time I give my life to the Lord; and since that time up until now, I still love the Lord. Yeah. So that’s how, to cut the long story short, that’s how I gave my life to the Lord—because of this young guy who is a member of Catholic, and I was also a member of Catholic, but immediately he stopped going to Catholic, who began going to another church, gave his life to the Lord. And looking at his life changes, then I thought, “No, I need to follow him.” Yeah.

Q3

Ever since then, have there been any hardships or challenges that you’ve had because of the faith that you have?

Yes, sure. There have been so many challenges, but at the end of the day, I’m so thankful to the Lord. I think, for us, the first challenge we knew when I gave my life to the Lord—what happened was, I went to a certain school. We call it Youth with a Mission. When I went there, I was so challenged, and I knew that I would go into full-time ministry, but I didn’t know when and how.

And when we came back, we were so committed to our local church. And we were also employed by that time, but I think the time came when the pastor asked us to pray about it, and maybe to go into full-time ministry. And for us, it was a really big challenge because we knew that one day we would be in full-time ministry, but we thought the time when we go into full- time ministry, we will have everything, and then we’ll go into full-time ministry.

But we thank God that, at the end of the day, we obeyed the Lord. We said, “No, we’ll go into full-time ministry.” So that transition—it was difficult for us because I was working: I was a branch manager for a big company. We had everything. But now, just to resign from the work and go into full-time ministry where we are not promised anything, even a salary, it was really a step of faith. But I’ve seen God being faithful to us. So that time it was really a challenge for us, but at the same time, we saw God coming through for us.

Q4

Have you been pastoring a church for the past seven years?

Yes, I’ve been pastoring a church. What happened was, I was a senior pastor; so I was given another branch to pastor that branch, so I went to that branch. I pastor that branch; I raised up a certain guy who was assistant to me. And after one year, I was called to go back to the main church, and I raised that one to be now the pastor of that branch, and I went to the main church. And when I went to the main church after three months, the pastor went back to his country—he is from America. Then he went back to America, and I took over the church. So ever since up until now, I am overseeing the churches here in Malawi.

Q5

How are you balancing the duties that comes with being a full-time pastor and a student?

It’s so challenging; but at the same time, I think it’s overstretching our faith. But also, it’s eye- opening to me. But also, it’s a really blessing because at the end of the day, I’m able to see the God of the Scripture. I’m able to see the Scripture. I’m able really to be helped—it’s helping myself—but also, I know the whole congregation will learn from that. I wish if all the congregation, if all the leaders, would come and hear and see what I’m learning because that will advance the kingdom of God.

Q6

Why did you initially decide to come to CAPA?

I decided to come here to CAPA because, actually, I have a son, as I said. The son was going to a certain school, and actually he [became friends] with a certain boy. And then I discovered that that boy—his father is a pastor. So, we as a parents again develop a relationship, and the pastor began to explain to me about this school. So I came here and saw the form, and heard the stories, so I was so touched that I needed to do this school. And actually, when I heard about the preaching—expository preaching—I was so interested to learn about that. So that’s how I happened to know this place, and that’s how I happened to come to this place. I applied and then they accepted me, so I’m so thankful to the Lord for this opportunity.

Do you plan to continue on with your M.Div?

Yes, my plan is to continue to do this diploma; but also, by God’s grace, to continue with the degree for master’s.

What future plans do you have after you finish your M.Div?

I would love to see even some of the kid leaders and some of the members that feel like they can do this school—actually, [I want] to encourage them to come and do this, so that they can pass on to the congregation, but also to other people. I feel like that’s the way to go.

Q7

What are you looking forward to learning in this upcoming year?

Honestly, I don’t know what God has for me. But only thing: My prayer each and every day is God to help me [be] humble enough, but also to open my heart so that I can really see whatever His thought [is] for me. So I’m excited, and I’m ready [for] whatever comes; I’m ready to grasp it and go forward, so my expectation is so high. And I’ve opened my heart to receive, and I’m willing to humble myself to learn everything.

Q8

What are some ways that you have seen God’s providence in your life?

Really, like even coming to this school—to me, I feel like really, that God has [been] opening doors for me. But also looking for whatever we’re learning here and whatever is happening here, really is God’s provision. Because of what I am paying to come here and attain and do [at] this school, everything is very, very, very small. So, for that, really, I am able to see God.

Q9

Do you have any prayer requests?

Really is just keep praying for us for God to help us, but also so that I know, like, when you are overseeing the churches at the same time, they miss the church. But also, the challenges, because now it’s like, I’m not really doing a lot of day-in and day-out things that are needed for the church. And sometimes, this is like a little bit away from the church.

But just keep on praying for us, as we keep on praying for this school, so that we can go forward. So my prayer is just keep praying for us, so that we can start well, but also finish well—because sometimes we can start, but fail to finish. So our prayer is that so that we should start well but also finish well.