After two weeks we (George Chipeta and Andrew Makwakwa) decided to visit Enukweni on a follow-up. We only planned to visit the 3 pastors who accepted Christ during our first leaders training in January 2018. We wanted to encourage them. The names of these 3 pastors are Laswell Banda from Katula, Harfacs Gondwe from Chiskombe and Evans Nyirongo from within trading centre (Enukweni).
We went on Friday morning and returned to Mzuzu in the evening. We used our motorbikes.
We could only visit 2 of these pastors. Harfacs Gondwe’s village had a funeral and he could not have us visit because of it. Pastor Harfacs Gondwe belongs to Chipangano church. (Chipangano means covenant). All three pastors who were saved by the grace of God belong to churches that do not preach the gospel, the DCI teachings were an eye opener to them.
We first visited the house of Evans Nyirongo the pastor of an African Church. He and his wife Nyuma Mkandawire welcomed us with joy. They have six children: 4 boys and 2 girls. Evans could not believe that we travelled all the way from Mzuzu just to see and encourage him. They were very encouraged by our coming. We had a very good visit.
Evans lives in a village with all relatives (extended family). Soon after we were welcomed into his house, his mother came in and his brother and the secretary of the church came as well (his name is Robson Tchongwe). We had a wonderful time and conducted a bible study where each could participate. We helped them to understand what it means to be a new creation in Christ. While we were encouraging one another from the word of God and from 2 Cor 5:17-18a, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself…” Robson was so touched that he gave his life to Christ. George lead him to Christ through a prayer.
We also heard testimonies from Evans and Nyuma. Evans said, “From the time I was born again during the first leaders training of DCI in January, my life has completely changed. Now I really know what it means to be a Christian. My church is growing because now I am teaching the gospel unlike in the past when I used to teach them to follow what I’m saying, but not my conduct. Now I’m teaching them with my life style. I have realised that you cannot teach the Living Word unless you have the Christ Life in you. In my life I now know peace, love, joy and self-control.”
“My relatives are happy that now I am a true pastor unlike in the past when I used to be like a chameleon that changes according to the environment. The Dynamic Basic booklet has helped me a lot, as I am reaching out to my relatives here in the village. I still get so many insights from this booklet and my relatives are accepting Christ due to the change in my conducts. Every Wednesday we do meet here in our village as a Life Group, learning from the Bible. We have 6 people in our Bible Study Life Group presently. I am discipling my mother though very soon she will be moving to Rumphi. But I know that what she has been taught will continue to transform her life.
Nyuma, Evan’s wife also said that really her husband is a changed man. The way we interact has improved in our family and this has helped our family to live at peace. Now we are living a happy life. Nyuma said she is very happy because of the DCI team and thankful for the teachings that you have brought to us which are life changing. She added that the DCI Team’s visit has been a great motivation to her family and the entire village.
As we were leaving the people who were around the village came to greet us. We noticed the happiness of the villagers as we were saying bye to them.
From Evans’ village we travelled few kilometres to a place called Katula (all these places are in the Enukweni area).
Katula is the place where Laswell Banda lives, he is the pastor of African International Church, who, when he was saved said, “I feel like am being delayed from going out and preaching Christ. I now know I am the pastor of a church of the living dead. I need to go and tell them the Good News!” Laswell is married to Regina Gondwe and they have 10 children and grandsons.
When we arrived at the village where he lives we met him at the church with other church leaders and pastors from different branches. The church is built in the village called Khumalo Jere. Laswell said that after the DCI trainings he reported the Good News to his church headquarters and they allowed him to teach these DCI materials to the church. Having learned about the explosive growth principles, he began inviting pastors and the leaders of different churches in the area who in turn will teach their members about one to one discipling as well as explosive growth.
We found 8 leaders present at the trainings Laswell was conducting. As he was concluding the teaching we talked to them about John 15:1-5 and 2 Cor 5:17. We thank God that 7 leaders including pastors accepted Christ. God is working in Evans in a very amazing way, and the discipleship materials that we gave him during the first leaders training are very helpful to him as he does the work of God. He also said that apart from the leaders training in his church he also manages to reach out to other people of different denominations through one to one discipleship. We thank God that the first fire is burning in him and he is teaching the gospel to others.
Laswell said that he is very happy that his friends have also accepted Christ. He said,” When I accepted Christ at the Enukweni trading centre during the DCI training, I did not consider what people would say. I was pastoring a church without being born again, but what I considered then was the relationship with my God. Now these same people are coming to me asking how they can be born again too. I help them through the discipleship. They are becoming happy Christians and very committed in their various churches.”
He continues, “Now I just want to encourage you, my friends, that the decision that you have made of following Christ is the best decision ever, and discipleship needs to continue well. The goodness of our God is that, our decision that we have made here will greatly affect the churches we are leading.”
Laswell asked, “I need your contacts (DCI TEAM) so that whenever I am asked a tough question that I cannot answer I will call you so that you can help me and my friends here. In this way we can make a difference here in our area.” We gave him our contacts, (we already have his contact number from the first leaders training form that signed).
All leaders gave thanks for the gifts of the NT Bibles which are of great help to them in order to grow spiritually. Another leader said that in the past he used to borrow a Bible from someone and he would be criticized for that. But now I am free to read my bible anytime I want.
From Katula we pass by a place called Khuyukuyu, this is where pastor Hyson Nkhata comes from, and he is our contact person for the Enukweni Leaders Group we trained in January. We greeted him, and we were encouraged to hear that the work is going on well. He said that one to one discipleship has been a good way to approach people. This way many people are accepting Christ in their lives and the discipleship continues right away. Hyson Nkhata is married to Lonia Shawa and they have 7 kids, he also stays in his own village together with all his relatives, that is his mother, father, sisters and aunties etc. The name of the village is called Kazuwa. The church headquarters has accepted the DCI teachings and all the leaders are happy with teachings. He also said that people are very happy with the materials that are used in disciple making. Most of the people are catching the principle of one to one and this has enabled his church to start growing now. In the past when everyone was waiting for a pastor to reach out to people, but now everyone is involved. He also said that people are very much interested to be discipled and given certificates. So he pinned the Dynamic Basic Certificate on the wall in his home as part of spreading the message. When people see it they ask about the certificate and that gives him an entry point to share the Gospel from the Dynamic Basic Booklet.
Andrew, for the DCI Team.
In the left photo are Evans Nyirongo the pastor of an African Church and his wife Nyuma Mkandawire and mother (from the left) and Robson Tchongwe, the church secretary. George Chipeta is also in the photo.
The photo on the right is of Laswell Banda and the 7 leaders he was training and who were saved when our DCI Team spoke to them. Laswell is second from the left, front row.
This an edited version of DCI Trainer Andrew Makwakwa’s report on a follow-up visit to the Enukweni, in Malawi to encourage three pastors of traditional African Churches who had been saved during the training week in January 2018, two weeks prior to this visit..