Monday, June 30, 2008


In Mngwangwa. It is difficult to contain the joy that overflows every time I go. Right now I am one of Mngwangwa’s very own… for real. Last week I went to see the Traditional Authority, Kabudula. I am learning more and more that the culture of the village is so very different from what I am accustomed to. In the five hours that it took us to talk with the chiefs and then drive and see the T/A, I never spoke. I mean I conversed with Felix in the car as we drove but not once was I expected to speak in a group setting. I spent the entire time saying “zikomo” (thank you). Yes, I had to exercise the fruit of self control, what with my love for talking and all.
In the end, it was done, as of now I am the daughter of Chief Mngwangwa and the TA Kabudula.

For those that know nothing of what I am speaking about, I purchased some land in the village. I am a land owner in the village. I belong there and I want to live there one day (of course I have been profusely praying that my husband will go along with this). Before I build my home, though, we are building a centre (multipurpose hall). When I say we, I mean the community of believers and I. they are providing the moulding of bricks and I, the money for the rest. It all begun with our ministering at Floweza Milanzi’s church, which was a run down classroom with holes in the ground. So then, God begun to speak and after putting the pieces together, I knew I had to build a place for his congregation to meet as well as the group we minister to on the weekends. I sometimes feel like God gives us pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and we have to put the pieces together. As a group (we are made up of different churches) we move from place to place in order to meet. Sometimes we use the CCAP church but when they are busy we move to the hospital room. If they are busy we move to the school and that is when a room is available. So, a multipurpose centre it is. Of course with all this comes A GREAT MEASURE OF FAITH!! But thanks be to God that He increases our faith. Right now it is just 2 hectares of bush but we are visionaries and we see the future, where a community is transformed by the word of God. The Spirit of the Lord is transforming Mngwangwa, Kalimbira and Chilombo. What is within is about to manifest. I believe with all my heart that if we seek first His Kindgom and His righteousness, all other things will be added. Someone on a mission trip once said that they almost didn’t want the lives of people in the villages to change because with growth and change comes godlessness. I understood their point (even though I thought it was not articulated well because I got a little mad) but poverty is not the road to a godly life. Instead it is the first 4 words of the bible… IN THE BEGINNING GOD. If we recognize that He is the beginning of everything, we give Him glory and we are blessed. May we never lose sight of God blessing us. Even in the wilderness there was godlessness as well as in the promise land. It is a matter of the heart and not of the pocket. My heart is that the people of Mngwangwa, Kalimbira and Chilombo, the people of God receive all that God has for them, be it of the soul, body or spirit. May they prosper even as their soul prospers. May they have true prosperity… to know the heart of the Father and to have their own beat in rhythm with it!!! May we all press towards that with all our heart.
At present the community has moulded 20,000 bricks. They come twice a week and work together, different denominations, ages and sexes. They are united in this. “We believe that by Christmas we shall be dancing in the centre”. Yanganani Chisomo Centre. Look at the Grace of God Centre. It is by grace and grace alone that this will happen. We will be still and we will know that He is God!

29th June 2008, Widows Overnight

We came into a small 4 by 5 metres room. It was fitted with plastic chairs with several ladies seated. I was whisked into the adjoining room. This is David Mchenga’s house. We have come for an overnight with the widows. David heard my mother speak on “what is the church doing?” He was convicted to the point that he begun a ministry to the widows within the area in which he lived. Now here we are a year later and David ministers to 20 widows and twelve of them are here for the overnight prayers.

It is cold and my chest expands through the night. By the following afternoon I have a fearful fever and Felix and his wife have to stay with me through the night to take care of me.

I minister on the word from Isaiah 54, not just because it is for the widow but because it is a word in expectation. Enlarge your capacity to believe because God responds to faith. We line up with Him in faith. We speak about relationship and how it is the foundation for expectation. The better you know someone the more likely you are to be at ease to ask of them certain things because they will or will not do it because of the level of the relationship. I can ask my brother to zip up my dress (my husband has not shown up yet) but I would not do likewise with the man who guards my home. The intimacy level of any relationship opens up possibilities. God can do anything! That was the word. God will not do everything! That was the balance. He is capable of anything and as we become more intimate with Him, we are able to hear His heartbeat and harmonize ours to be in sync with His.

They are precious ladies that told me that their motto is to seek first the Kingdom. They did not deny that they have many difficulties but shared their concerns with us.

“We were destitute when Pastor David found us. We would go to our bedrooms and cry not knowing where we would find the money to feed our children. We had lost weight because of grief but now we are growing in Christ. “

They have ideas, several and I commended them. They put their money together (what they can) and they help each other with the school fees of their children and things of that nature. Now they want to start a restaurant together. When I say restaurant, this is not a place with stoves and ten or so tables with written menus. This is a small room where they cook on makala (coal) or firewood and serve basic meals. This is not rocket science. I asked them for a plan. They had none but promised to get one to me as soon as possible. “I am not the answer and I am not saying I will definitely get this thing on the road. What I can promise you is that I will get your story out.” I know they were looking to me. I know because I saw it in their eyes. I see it in many eyes wherever I go and there are times I pray that I become so wealthy that I can meet many of these needs. But this is not what is for me right now. Right now what I do is believe that God has heard our cry and that He is the source. There is so much need out here that there are moments when you feel like screaming! Some of them are so simple and so desperate that you can’t help but cry and cry you do, secretly behind closed doors because when you come out you have to be the voice of hope.

We left them around midnight because we had to get to Mngwangwa the following morning. We left them singing for joy. God must have a giant heart. He fits us all in there and loves us so richly. I marvel at His capacity to love. How can you love so many people? At some point it feels like you cannot contain it. It is not always so comfortable to love. Love is heavy, it is pouring out and that is not always what you want to do but it demands it of you. If there is anything I learn from being in the communities, may it be that I have learnt to love.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

18th June 2008, Nathenje


So here I am. I am not my usual self as I am wearing a traditional outfit. I feel very odd for a few moments but then it all fades away. Alas, the jeans are so much easier. I have dressed up for my Father, for myself and for the chiefs I am ministering to.

We wait an hour as they sort things out (there was a miscommunication and some have gone to another venue). You learn patience here in the communities. For one, people here tell time using the sun and so as winter comes in, time is usually misjudged. If you think I am making all this up, one of the chiefs explained this to me as he apologized for the delay. Looking at the overcast sky, there was no telling what time it was. It is interesting to note that in the era of cellular phones, that there are still people that use the sun to tell time. Imagine an overcast day and that your only way of telling time is the sun. What do you do? Some of this is over my head.

We were thirty – eight in the room; Felix, I and 36 chiefs and their spouses. We took off from where we had left off and our subject was ‘the new creation’. This was an exciting lesson. They were excited and as people getting to know each other, we were more at home with one another. Every time we speak about being a new creation in Christ I am overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter how many times we talk about it. When the eyes of someone in front of me are suddenly (or gradually) opened, I am in awe. Every time I speak of it, I experience more and more of the new creation. To be able to tell someone that God has created a whole new THING in us. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, which has never existed until the time that Christ Jesus, our Lord, rose from the grave.

There was an altar call at the end but no one came. Yes, sometimes it happens that no one comes forward. There was a definite conviction – it was there, in the atmosphere. Our prayer was that He that began a good work in them will finish it…

There is a wonderful old chief. He is the postcard type of man. What do I mean? He has a beautiful white beard, a cane and a strong handshake. He is close to his eighties. When I held his hand, we both began to laugh. It was joy. It was beautiful. There are so many beautiful brothers and sisters in the kingdom. We are so wealthy… so rich in relationship, in love. Oh, that we could truly understand that the greatest treasure God has entrusted us with is His people… nothing is worth more to Him than the ones He died for – gave His life for. You and I are responsible for the life of another. May we be found faithful in loving and treating HIS treasure with honour.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pastors' Bookset Conference

“Hello, Pastor, how are you?” “Ah, I’m fine Pastor, what about you?” Aha, the sounds of Pastors from all over the place greeting one another. No one uses their names. It is pastor. It is funny and I smile. There is too much excitement in the air. No one has yet comprehended what all this means. No one can, not until it’s over. We have come here, to Assemblies of God (a hall so beautiful, none of our pastors have ever seen) and there are lifted heads, taking in the beauty. I am looking around too, taking in the men of God we have brought. They are greeting each other and staying in safe huddles. Dear God, no one can begin to comprehend the impact this will bring.

Inside the room, having received a starter pack ( an NIV bible, a book on “Mixing God with Money’ and a Chichewa book kumudziwa Mulungu pa chiyambi (knowing God the Creator), there was such excitement I thought I would burst. Pastors kept coming into the room and giving thanks for being able to be there. ‘Thank you sister’. Sister didn’t have much to do with it but I understand. They were thanking those that got them here. They were thanking the ones who sacrificed for this. I was just the face they could connect all this with.

Soon we were learning. Most sat close to me (my posse). We spent the day learning from great bible teachers from several african countries as well as Malawi. For five solid days, we listened, took notes and fellowshipped. It was early mornings and late nights but it was all worth it. The minibuses had to be on the road by 5:30 in the morning and retired at about 8:00 at night. It took some maneuvering to get them all there on time. Four groups lived over 1 hour away. Another three were 30 minutes away. The rest were within twenty minutes drive. They all had to be picked and dropped with two vehicles. My heart went out to the drivers. Felix hosted two of the leaders from far off places. It was hard but the reward far surpassed what it took.
As Friday approached, the reality of 65 books begun to be real. Up until then, they were just on display in the front of the pulpit stage. Yes, if you are not aware of what I am on about, we took 103 pastors and leaders to the ‘pastors’ book set conference’. It was MK10, 500.00 for each pastor to attend. This included a meal and at the end of the conference each was to receive 65 books (bible, commentaries, dictionaries, books on marriage, money, missions and much more). 65 books!!! This is to people who perhaps only have one or two books, if they are lucky. Suddenly, a man who meets his congregation in a rundown classroom with holes in the floor will have access to books that he has never even heard of!! Milanzi, Nkhoma and Mwale were with us of course. Sometimes, because of accents I knew they had had a hard time understanding but most times they followed. The conference was for English speaking pastors.

My heart is overwhelmed. I am not sure any of what I have written makes sense. The only thing I can say is to God be the glory. God has a plan for the communities and villages we work in. He has done something that can be described as “eye has not seen and ear has not heard what the Lord has in store for those who love Him.” No one could have anticipated this and no one can say what impact this will have! All the things that seemed hidden from them are now accessible; treasures within pages worth more than silver. The cost of the books is over MK100, 000.00. The MK10, 500.00 was just the fee for transporting them.

There was such jubilation at the office (we all went back to the office after the conference was over). There were tears and much celebration. The last thing I saw was groups of pastors being dropped at points and them carrying their sack of books over their shoulders and on their heads. Aha, there is a time a man will carry katundu (stuff) on his head!

There is a light beginning to shine in the communities. The mandate of somebody cares is to cause the communities to see the light. The light is shining. God’s ways are not ours. We cannot even comprehend what will happen as a result of this. Over 100 pastors! In 13 village communities! To God be the glory!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

4th June, Mgona

on wednesday we went to Mgona. it has been a month since being there. nine people gave their hearts to Jesus including a pastor of more than 80 people. He reaslised that baptism does not save you and that it is only by the gift og the life acquired through the sacrifice of the life of Jesus. he was the first to come forward and my heart went out to him. in the face of the other pastors and his own congregation, he stood up and came forward.

if this is not what all this is about, i'm not sure what else it is about. here is this man, who after so many years of pastoring has come into the Presence of the one he speaks of.

salvation is truly the greatest miracle. right before our eyes a person is translated from one kingdom into another - someone is brought from death to life. there is no greater moment than to be a part of the resurrection and the life, to be a part of Jesus.

7th June, Mzumanzi

Here we are in Mzumanzi. I spent the better part of Tuesday working on a teaching on Ambassadorship. Here we are with 70 people and I’m wondering how good a representative of Christ I am. It’s hard to talk to people about something you yourself are unsure about. I know that it is said that we should allow the word of God to dwell in us richly and that it is only then (when it has become a part of us) that we can now give it out. It is like giving fruit instead of the seed you yourself have been given. Plant first in your own life and then allow others to eat of the fruit of that word. I know this but sometimes you’re not sure that the fruit you have is good enough to share. Back to my question: how good an ambassador am I that I can share this word? As far as ambassadors go, I am not the best of them. But here I am… with this word… hopefully from the heart of God.

It was a wonderfully surprising session. We spoke about representing Christ in our speech and conduct and then things changed. We begun to speak about husbands (pastors) and their wives and how they are treated. If we cannot take care of our wives with dignity and in servant hood then what business do we have with His bride? Are we using our wives to lift us higher into our position of fame and recognition at the expense of her crushing (as we step on her to be better seen)? My usual line frequently invokes laughter “you can stone me later, but first please listen.” It’s funny but I mean it.

We talked about husbands being the representation of Christ and how Jesus laid His life down to carry His bride and His sacrifice was her stepping stone. Are we like that with our wives? What is the picture of Christ, that we, as pastors, are giving to our people and families? It was exciting. There were those that were excited to be challenged but within the same atmosphere was the sense of “little girl…” and I leave the rest to your imagination. We could sense the power and presence of God in our midst. It felt like the Father had paid us a visit and set the record straight. The women were quiet throughout and I wondered if it was because their husbands were in the room.

“A pastor’s wife is not only good for starting choruses (praise songs) and sweeping the church. Do you know what God has deposited in her and are you man enough to help her discover her full potential or are you the one who, when the master returns, digs your wife out of the place you buried her and presents her as she came to you – without any multiplication of her gifting and potential?... Milanzi’s wife smiled and leaned into her husband. Mark’s wife looked proudly at him and it was beautiful to see. There were uncomfortable murmurs and strong shouts of affirmation. I could feel the heart of the Father, and it hurt. Ultimately, tradition does not hold a candle to the Light of the Word of God. There are moments when I watch it illuminate and completely obliterate the dull deceptive flicker of tradition – tradition that does not line up with His desire. This was one of those moments. God’s heart is exposed and lies before us and we have the choice of shunning it… or embracing it.
I am more conscious of what kind of witness I am, having taught this. What are my traditions that I so possessively hang onto that are opposed to His desire and His heart? How seriously do I take the call to be His heart and hands and feet here in a hurting and dying world? If I am His ambassador, what is my life saying about who He is? Ahhh, always coming home with questions. That’s good. When we speak the word, even the ears of the speaker should be open to hear the Shepherd’s voice.

Half way through, I looked up and saw the goat that was wondering over at the back. It brought a smile to my face. Ministering in the village is priceless. Nowhere else does one get to minister with goats roaming about in the background. God has a way of helping us keep perspective about what really matters. When I watch goats and chickens come into the room sometimes, I am reminded of the manger and of the humbling of Christ and am reminded that I am just a servant and that these animals are here to make sure I have the proper perspective on what I am doing here. The truth is there is nothing greater than to serve Him. I cannot believe that God would take dirt and breathe into it and it would come to life. The muck and mess of Keta stands and with the breath of God, speaks forth His heart! I marvel and I think, it will take us eternity to scratch the surface of the grace of our most Amazing and Incredible God!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

1st June 2008, Chilombo

It was so good to be back in Mngwangwa territory (chilombo was where we were at, it borders Mngwangwa). Chilombo is Sidwell Mwale’s place; Calvary Chapel.

It was an interesting time for me as we talked about money. It is a hard thing to talk about money to people without it but the kingdom principles work just the same for everyone (5, 2 and 1 talent alike). It is foolish of me to think that talking about money and our relationship with it is only for the rich. Can the poor have a wrong relationship to money? Should we talk about tithing to people who struggle to feed themselves? Is it my call or yours? Is it an opinion that we use to justify our stance?

In the end I did talk about money and about how we look at it. It was hard because you are talking about people who live in their farm intakes and monthly cash of about MK1, 500.00 (R75, US$ 10, £5) to MK 15,000 (R750, US$100, £50) for the better off. The song during the offering was ‘kupereka kumadalitsa koposa kulandila’ (it is more blessed to give than to receive). So I asked the question: is it? Does it feel that way? Is the evidence of your life a testimony to that saying or is it a song we sing during offering? Do we have faith and no works? The truth is we do have faith but our faith is evidenced by our works because faith without works is dead. So we went about the equation in reverse. We looked at our works and discovered our faith. We walk into church an hour late and yet we stand hours earlier for fertilizer. It is because we understand the value of the fertilizer and do not know the value of fellowship together in worship of God. This was our talk. There were dead silences and hearty laughs. It was family talking to one another about a subject no one likes to hear mentioned in church. Yes, sex and money – taboo words in the body of Christ and yet, two of our strongest prison guards.

The truth is when you believe you have nothing, you give nothing. Most people here don’t know their gifts. They don’t see themselves as people who have something to give. Their only understanding of giving is monitory and so everything else is hidden under a patch of earth. And yet… in each of them is everything that pertains to life and godliness. In each of them is every spiritual gift in the heavenly places. Not talking to a person struggling with their finances on how to manage the little they have is robbing them of being equipped. If you wait until they have money worth talking about (not sure what that really is) is it not too late? I left Chilombo and found myself at home, full of questions, so many questions. I left Chilombo reflecting on the church and where we are as a body. I know we all have our individual assessments but cooperatively… where are we? Will it get better?

Yes, some days, I come back from a high on the word and excitement of the people and slump into a spiritual depression (if there is such a thing). This is one of those days. I know the bible tells us that we will always have the poor among us but my question is: was it meant to be THIS MANY?

I am in a dark place, no one can see me
My light is imprisoned in ditch darkness longing to be free.
There is nothing here, no way about
The exit is guarded by a mighty hand stretched out.
It presses down on me, ‘you don’t belong out there,
There is a place you will never see.
I am trapped, bound, a prisoner
No word has penetrated through to release me.
I am intercession and I long to be free
I long to reach out and grab a hold of those that need me.
But here I will lay, in this invisible room
Until someone comes and speaks me out of my tomb.

If the one talent could speak (Matt 25)