“I always say, if not for CAPA, I would end up being a false teacher who doesn’t know what he’s trying to talk about. But with the coming of CAPA, I am proud to say I am backed in the Word.”

Yohane Tembo

Program Master of Divinity ('18)
Age 40
Ministering in Lilongwe
Family Wife and four children

Yohane is a father of four and serves as the senior pastor of his church for 20 years. He is thankful to the faculty at CAPA for teaching the truth and looks forward to continue improving his preaching and his understanding of the biblical languages.

$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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Yohane shares how he desires to continue expositing God's Word and its true meaning.


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Interview with Yohane Tembo

2017 2016 2015

Q1

Which class have you liked the best so far and why?

Q2

How has your preaching changed since you’ve been at CAPA?

Q3

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Q4

What has been your biggest challenge in school?

Q5

What are you looking forward to learning this year?

Q6

How are you involved at church?

Q7

What are your future ministry plans for your church?

Q8

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

Q9

Do you have a favorite book of the Bible and why?

Q1

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

Q2

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

Q3

What are you looking forward to this year?

Q4

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

Q5

What is your favorite memory at CAPA?

Q6

What are your friendships at CAPA like?

Q7

What has been your favorite class at CAPA so far and why?

Q8

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

Q9

How has CAPA influenced your family life?

Q10

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

Q11

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

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

Which class have you liked the best so far and why?

I, first of all, started in the diploma class—that was three years ago. And when I started the master’s class—this is our final year—coming to all the classes are helpful. It looks like they are teaching to us many things, and every class is special for its own purpose, yeah, though some are more difficult. But they are all leading to something, together.

Q2

How has your preaching changed since you’ve been at CAPA?

I used to be a topic preacher all my years, because this is my 20 th year as a pastor. Yeah, so I used to be a topic preacher. So when I come to CAPA, I was introduced to expository preaching, so my preaching has completely changed—now I can say I’m an expository preacher.

Q3

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Humility and trusting God in all situations and being faithful to the Word. Yeah.

Q4

What has been your biggest challenge in school?

I think time schedule. You pastor a church, you are married, and then you have your studies—so to balance the three, it’s challenging for me.

Q5

What are you looking forward to learning this year?

Since it’s our final year, I’m looking forward to Hebrew, preaching and I’m looking forward to understanding the Biblical languages.

Q6

How are you involved at church?

Our church is an independent church. I founded the church. Now the church is growing—we have a membership of about 500 people and we are opening other sister churches around Malawi.

Q7

What are your future ministry plans for your church?

My future plans for the church is wide. As I say that I found the church, so we have other churches that take after us. We also have the Bible school and the church, so my future plan is that I want to affect the area around, whereby we have institution, whereby we can bring a balance of the Word of God.

Q8

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

As I say, I’ve been a pastor for 20 years, and even coming to CAPA is God’s providence, because I didn’t have a theological background but headed into ministry. I was trying to be an accountant—that was my ambition as a person—but I left work and came to do ministry. Actually, God gave it all. All these years, having four children in a country like this, and sending them to school, God provided food at a time—God’s providence is great.

Q9

Do you have a favorite book of the Bible and why?

Prayer requests? I think my prayer request is one: that God give me grace to be faithful to the Word.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

It’s just to thank the people who has helped CAPA to be established. I always say, if not for CAPA, I would end up being a false teacher who doesn’t know what he’s trying to talk about. But with the coming of CAPA, I am proud to say I am backed in the Word.

Q1

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

A lot. But one I can talk about, His sovereignty. Yeah, He has been so good to me yeah.

I’m doing school and my wife is doing school [for biblical counseling], and my first daughter is doing school, so God has been providing school fees for us, food, and shelter. Yeah, and for the past year I’ve never been sick, my wife has never been sick, my children have never been sick, so it’s God sovereignty, yeah.

Q2

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

There are a lot of things, one of which is humility. Yeah, going through the Word of God and then looking at how God has His things and you are humbled. Yes.

Is there a passage in the Word of God specifically that has really humbled you?
Yes, Galatians 5:1. It talks about it is for freedom that Christ has set us free so we should not go back to bondage again. Yeah.

Q3

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m constructing a church. It’s a big church project so I’m trusting in God that this year we finish this project. We started last year.

Q4

What wisdom from wise men has benefited your ministry?

A lot of things. One of it is to just to be a servant of God — a faithful one and committed to the Word of God. And the slogan is, “If you don’t start it, you don’t see it.” So if you trust God for something, start it and you see God taking you through it, yeah.

Q5

What is your favorite memory at CAPA?

When I was in the [Advanced] Diploma class, there were a lot of things that I could not clearly understood and that was bringing a lot of tension between me and the teachers. So, I called that as memorable time because it was when I discovered that “I don’t know.” Yeah.

Q6

What are your friendships at CAPA like?

Oh! It’s like a family! Everybody is a friend. We are growing together as a family. So, the relationship is good, yeah. It’s like now I have a group of people that I can call brothers and that I can look up to them, I can talk to them, even things concerning my personal life, yeah.

Q7

What has been your favorite class at CAPA so far and why?

Counseling, yes. Because in Malawi, we deal with a lot of family issues. So, of which in the first place, it was more like when somebody brought to you a family problem, we just go like, “Let me pray for you, let me pray for you.” But this time now, it’s not [just] that. So the counseling class has taken me through a process of understanding that the root of all problem is the sinful nature that we all possess. So, we deal with the heart, not the behaviors or the actions of the other person. So it has been really an eye-opener to me as a pastor, yeah.

Q8

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

There are many books I have read from CAPA, but the one that has left a big mark upon my life is Uprooting Anger [by Robert Jones]. At times, you think you don’t have anger, but then you go through that book. You begin to realize that we are all struggling with anger in one way or the other. So, that book has been so helpful to me. So, you begin to look to your own heart and your own motives and then you begin to grow trust in God, yeah.

Q9

How has CAPA influenced your family life?

I’m loving my wife and my kids, yeah. Traditionally, Malawian people, we are not so close with our wives and children. But going through the CAPA lesson classes from the [Advanced] Diploma class to the Masters [of Divinity] class, I have been helped to be closer to my wife and my children.

Does your wife notice the difference now?
Yeah! A lot! She always say it would been much better if before I married her, I found CAPA first. [laughs] Yeah, because I’ve been married now 16 years. Yeah, so that has been so helpful. Like that tip we used to have in Diploma class, we were taught to have some dating with the wife — going out, having a walk, and giving some feedback [to each other]. So it really brought the two of us close and that is what also helped my wife to go on to study Biblical counseling. Sure.

Q10

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

The challenge is that combining school and ministry… it’s hard work. Looking at -- you have sermons to do and you have also to shepherd the church, so that becomes like a challenge but the joy is that with the training, CAPA has helped me. I am now into expository preaching, of which I didn’t do in the past. I was more like topical preacher. But now, I’m doing expository preaching -- like right now, I am preaching through the book of Revelations after finishing through the book of Colossians and the book of James.

Q11

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

I would say that there is a need to get a proper training as far as ministry is concerned. And one word, one more sentence I can say is that the best way to preach is expository preaching, yeah.

What about to an everyday Christian in Malawi?
Life is all about glorifying God. Everything that every Christian has to do is not for personal qualification or benefit, it is to the glory of God. That is what I can tell to every Christian. Whether they are doing business, they have to do it to the glory of God. Whether they are in sports, whether they are in school, whatever they doing, they have to do it to the glory of God.

Q1

Why did you decide to become a pastor?

When I was doing my accounting work, there was a great need to be at work, looking at the provision for myself and my family. But also when I look at the church I attended, there was a need. I needed to make a huge decision and I left my work to be a pastor. To tell you the truth, it has not been easy. It has not been easy for me. I thank God that up to now I’m still a pastor.

In the first place, I did accounting and pastoring for 6 months. It was almost impossible. Because you find yourself at work from Monday to Saturday. And then Sunday, you are to be at church and preach. During the week, people need you to be their pastor, to help them. So you find that to balance out the two was difficult for me. But when I decided to not continue work, and to do pastoral work, I have seen tremendous change in my own life, in my church, and with my family.

I was trained to be an accountant, when I became born again. When I became born again, I had a desire to teach. I had a desire to grow up in the Lord, but I discover that there are very few people that are willing to make me grow up, so I saw a need that somebody needs to be there to help others grow in the Word of God.

Q2

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

The time I became a pastor, in 1997, I didn’t go through formal training, until I pastored a church for two years, and I discovered I have needed to know more of the Word of God. So I began to look for formal training. For the first 3 years, I did basics in theology. But still, there was a need to know more concerning the Word of God. I didn’t do expository preaching, I was a pastor who just wake up in the morning, think what to preach, then look for it in the Scriptures, and if there’s a verse in agreement, then I preach it.

I want to get to the meaning of the Word. If I let my thoughts go into the Word, then I am in error. But let the Word of God control my thoughts.

Q3

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

Currently, I pastor a church, where the membership is about 480 people. So from that church, we have planted other churches. I planted this church, then I oversee others and 2 Bible schools. I discovered there was a need for training, so what was happening was when I went to the first training, I immediately started a school, training people under me. We train pastors for 2 years.

Currently, I am on the church project. So what we are doing is, we are building a better structure. My future plans is to restructure the church, switching from topical preaching to expository preaching. What I do, is I’m calling back some of our pastors, giving them a training in expository preaching. And then they go back.

Q4

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

Another challenge is cultural issues. I am preaching where it’s a set up of educated people and uneducated people. Some are blessed with resources, others are not. The challenge is in leadership. To pastor a church of that size, and to make sure, everyone is pastored. It’s a matter of having people to talk to, touch, and impact their lives in a positive way, so they feel that we have a pastor. I am training other people and separating the church into small church groups.

I have learned that it takes God’s grace. Like Paul says, “I am what I am, by the grace of God.” Even me coming to this school, I did the diploma class, now I’m in the master’s class. God has given me grace to be at this level. I’ve learned to be consistent. Know what you want to do, and trust God. I define that in 3 angles. I have to know who God is, I have to know who I am, and I have to understand circumstances. Knowing who God is gives me confidence, knowing who I am it gives me limitation [because] there are things I cannot do. And looking at circumstances, I believe that even if I’m not a pastor, I will still face challenges. Facing challenges as a pastor does not mean people are not pastors, everyone face challenges. It’s a part of life. My main focus is to see someone change, to make a decision to give their life to God.

Q5

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

I grew up in a Christian family, but it was dysfunctional. My father professed to be a Christian but he never lived like a Christian. My mother died when I was young, so I grew up with stepmothers. Growing up with stepmothers affected my Christianity so I stopped going to church. When you grow up in a Christian family, you think you’re already saved, you feel like you’re Christian. But a lot of the times, you’re not. When I went to secondary school, it was when I heard about Jesus.

In 1993, I decided to give my life to Jesus. When I went to school, there was this girl that I wanted to meet, so she said let’s meet where there was a fellowship. So I go there to check if she’s there, then I would take her outside. So when I got there, I heard someone preaching, from Mark 5, about the compassion of Jesus Christ. So I thought about my background and what I had gone through with my stepmothers, and I listened some more to what she was talking about. The pastor began to talk about the need to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and preached about people walking with Jesus, but never experienced the touch of Jesus, except the woman who went and touched Jesus. I was convicted that I needed the touch of Jesus. I was the only one who responded to the altar call, and received Christ. I have followed Christ from that day.

Q6

What is your favorite thing about Malawi?

There are two things. Malawians are good people. They are enduring people. We have gone through issues, but Malawians are still good people. Every night, we gather around the fire, and the elders tell us stories.

Number two, I like the geographical position of Malawi. If you have an opportunity to travel, you’ll see the uniqueness of Malawi. To the north, it’s full of mountains. Center, it’s a plane. South, it’s a valley. It’s a beautiful country.

Q7

What is one of your favorite verses and why?

Colossians 2:20. “The life I live in the flesh, Christ lives through me.” It does not matter about me, what matters now is about Christ. I have to live for Christ.

Q8

What are ways we can be praying for you?

I have one prayer request which is that God would open up a door in Malawi that the Word of God will be preached in truth. If you move around to ask people, their life does not match their conduct. I want to teach the Word of God. That’s why I love CAPA. It acts like a tool which helps us. CAPA is not the only Bible school, but they help you to go through the word. If you can pray for me, please pray that God will use me as a tool to help, and to be used to bring out the meaning of the word to the Bible.