MZIMBA FOLLOW UP
The trip to Mzimba was successful. It was a long trip and we visited a number of places where there are some old Life Groups (“old” as in having been established two years ago). The main purpose of this trip was to hear the testimonies on what the Lord has done, encourage the Life Group leaders and introduce the Life Study booklet. We were very encouraged to hear what the Lord is doing in people’s lives and in the different Life Groups.
People gave so many testimonies and they were very happy to have the DCI team visit their places after a long time without seeing each other. As we were travelling from Mzimba Boma to Matopoto we saw many public transport (pick up trucks and mini buses) carrying bags of maize and people. As they were approaching Mzimba they stopped and let some people off because they exceeded the capacity of the vehicle. This was done because they knew that they are approaching the traffic police checkpoint. So the people they let off the vehicle would walk a distance of about 2km past the traffic police checkpoint and then they would board again to continue their journey to the Boma (Mzimba shopping area). Most of the people around this area are good farmers. They grow crops like maize, cassava, beans, groundnuts (peanuts) and millet. They are also good at taming live stocks like cattle, goat, sheep and pigs. Every week there is a cattle market where farmers bring their cattle to the market for buying and selling.
At this place we found the leaders and members waiting for us, they were happy to see us. We introduced the Life Study booklet to them. One of the leaders said that the work is going well only that most of the people have been so busy with their farms. Now some people are done with their farm work and are able to meet as a Life Group. They added to say that though they are meeting as a Life Group attendance is not very encouraging. Some of the members are not committed to the work of God, mainly one to one discipleship. In spite of this, we as leaders are not getting discouraged because we know that this is God’s work and God himself is the one sustaining it through our prayers.
Our visit to Chikapo was a reminder to the members of the Life Group of the good times when Hans and Elly visited Chikapo. They shared with us some memories of the good time we had together with you Hans and Elly. One of the members of the Life Group said that Hans and Elly are very humble people because they would eat with us during meal times, and he added by saying that may God continue blessing them.
People expressed their happiness on the gifts of the Bibles that have greatly helped them to grow in their spiritual lives. Though Chikapo village is in a Catholic community, we thank God that many are responding to the gospel and one to one has greatly helped the people in the area. And another member said that one to one has also grounded us in the Lord because now we are able to have the knowledge on what to do and how to do things according to the will of God. And we truly know that salvation is by the grace of God, not by works.
Edith Mbeye said that, Life Group has helped her a lot, for in the past she had a limited knowledge of the things of God but now, through the teachings of DCI, she is able to teach her friends/others about the goodness of Christ our saviour. Through this knowledge, she is now able to live a free life in Christ, free from fear and grudges. “My freedom in Christ as a leader has helped me to reach out to many people through one to one and this has enabled us to have our Life Group growing and multiplying, we love one another”.
Here many youths are being discipled and placed in the Life Group, and these young people are zealous to reach out more and more. This has helped us too to have our Life Group in Chikapo multiplying into 3. We really thank God for this. Very soon another Life Group will be multiplied again.
Another member of the Life Group said, “My husband is a drunkard, but through the Life Group I’m still having faith that one day he will be set free. And through the Life Group I have learnt to keep on loving him a husband, which will make him see the love of God in me and that will make him draw near to Christ. And I’m urging you my brothers and sisters to keep on praying for him, and his name is Cryton Ngoma. Though my husband is a drunkard, I cannot stop worshiping the Lord for I know that God is able and one day my husband will know the truth by the grace of God”.
Berere is a Catholic community and a long time this Catholic community has been trying to interfere with the Christians in this area. And this has been a limiting factor for growth of the Life Group. The leader for Berere Life Group has been meeting so many challenges, from the church and from the community. Jabulani Jere, the leader until recently was moved from Berere LG to elsewhere. This brought so many challenges for the Life Group. Jabulani belongs to Presbyterian Church and he felt very free to worship the Lord and that encouraged many people to also be free in worshiping the Lord even in the Life Group. Jabulani was doing a great work and his transfer has caused a set back to the Life Group. The Life Group is in disarray right now and needs a new leader.
Upon reaching Berere we went to the house of Anna Phiri, an old woman who loves to worship God. She was so happy to see us because she was not expecting to see us at her house. She said that she likes to be gathering as a Life Group and her prayer each day is that people in Berere, including the leader, should ignore the problems and continue to gather again each week as a Life Group. Anna added by saying that to please continue praying for Berere LG for the revival of the people including the leader too. It seems like the leader is afraid of the Catholic community, which is threatening her by saying that she will be excommunicated from the church if she continues with the Life Group. Now this should be our daily prayer for Berere LG.
At Kalikumbi the work of God is going on well and many people appreciate the help the Life Groups that are in this area have given. After we introduced the Life Study booklet the leaders and the Life Group members were looking forward to the new insights from the word of God these studies would give them.
Petros Nkhata was the leader at first, but he went back to school in Blantyre. Paul Mvula replaced him as leader and this has caused some little hiccups to the Life Group because he is not seriously following the Lord these days. Because of this the Life Group gave the leadership to Nyembezi Theu. She is very commited and she is leading the Life group well.
People from this Life Group told us that they do have the zeal on the things of God and that they are reaching out. They have seen for themselves the importance of discipleship in people lives, starting from their own lives.
Nyembezi Theu testifies that her spiritual life has grown and that she is able to reach out to people. Many are accepting Christ through one to one discipleship. “I have seen in my life that a Christian who has been well discipled becomes a strong Christian in faith because he/she knows what to do and how to do since he has acquired the knowledge from the Bible, through discipleship”. She added, “The Zambia Life Group is still growing and discipleship is still continuing and many are testifying that DB Booklets and Bibles are very helpful to grow people’s spiritual lives. The DCI teachings have helped our area to know Christ and so afar we are having 3 life groups”.
Hancy Ngwayi said, “At first I had no New Testament Bible and due to that I had a limited knowledge on the things of God because I was not exposed to the word of God. But soon after being discipled and after I received a Bible I was able to begin reading and understanding the scriptures. In the Life Groups I learn how to read and understand the scriptures. I’m so thankful for the Life Groups that are greatly helping us here in Kalikumbi”.
Judith Mvula said, “In the past, though I was a born again, I was asleep in many things as a Christian. Now I have learnt a lot and the teachings are the eye opener to me. I have learnt a lot of things that are very good, even to my church. I did not know how to pray, but now am able to pray because of the word of God is within me. And Life Group becomes a training place for prayers as well as studying the scriptures. Many of us who attend the Life Groups have become great helps in our various churches. Also many begin attending the Life Group because they have seen something good in us”.
This is the place where we had Foster Mlenga as a leader and he got transferred to Kavinkhama, and was replaced as a leader by Flywell Mtonga, who is continuing the work. Upon our arrival we found the leaders from different Life Groups and members waiting for us. We were welcomed with joy and we were so encouraged with so many testimonies about what the Lord is doing.
Robson Chirwa, “Since we started gathering as a Life Group at Chizimbi we have been so helped in our area, and most of us are so happy for the knowledge that we have acquired from the Life Group. We are also giving thanks for the gift of the New Testament Bibles. The translation of its Tumbuka is very good. Through these Life Groups many of us have learnt to love one another and our spiritual lives are growing. This motivates others to come and worship with us and through that they are exposed to the gospel and accept Christ in their lives. Discipleship takes over instantly from there”.
Wyton Nyirenda, “Matandani Life Group has helped to transform our area through the good teachings that are found in the Life Group. Our leaders are very committed to teach us on how we can pass on what we have been taught. Many people are very interested with the DB booklets that gives them the basic knowledge of Christianity through one to one discipleship. And this has helped us also to live well with our various neighbours. We love them and help them and at the end they do testify that we are of Christ, and then they become interested to join the Life Group and are exposed to the gospel and then they accept Christ in their lives”.
Milliam Mtonga said, “The DCI teachings has contributed a lot to the building up of my family. In the past I had no knowledge of how to respond to my husband who is not a born again. But after being discipled I learnt that though my husband is unsaved, that through my conduct he will see God in me and accept Christ. So I started showing love to my husband by being polite and subject to him, and after some time he joined me in the evening prayers that I always have with my children. We prayed to together and the other day he insisted to be helped in order to accept Christ in his life. And so far the discipleship is in progress and he likes reading the Bible even if I’m not around. Lastly I just want to thank the DCI Team for introducing of the Life Groups to our area and for the Bibles that you are giving to us. The bibles are helping us a lot and our spiritual lives are growing now because we are able have the word of God available with us in our homes”.
Flywel Mtonga said, “Since the teachings that Hans and Elly taught us in the year 2015 my spiritual life has changed. It has helped me as a leader to live an exemplary life to the community. When people see my good example they are able to admit that God is really working in me and that draws them to God too by accepting Christ in their lives. That is another reason why more life groups are still being started here in Mtuzuzu, even though Foster Mlenga has been transferred. We thank God for He is still leading us to His own glory.
From Mtuzuzu we crossed a certain river that becomes very full with waters in the rainy seasons, but this time the water was not very high and that is why we managed to cross to the other side to Kanyenyezi. Upon arriving at Kanyenyezi we found the leaders and the members of different Life Groups waiting for us and we were welcomed with joy. The work of God at this place is moving on well and Life Groups are multiplying as leaders are being trained. The people were so happy to see us and we were very encouraged by what God is doing here.
Dygrace Chirwa said that the DB booklet has helped her a lot for now she is able to have a very good understanding of her faith in the Lord.
Blessings Kasalu said, “The LG has contributed a lot to the community, because most of the people now are able to understand the gospel and accept Christ in their lives. In the Life Group they are being encouraged to reach out to others through one to one, and this has enabled us to have a quick spread of Christianity. I thank God for the DCI teachings, which have taught us good strategies on how to reach out to people. This has helped us to reach out to people of different churches without being limited by denominational differences. The DCI teachings helped us even to have well trained leaders who belong to the Roman Catholic church, but by the grace of God, they are strong born again Christians”.
Mercy Shawa gave thanks for the gift of the NT Bibles that have helped her so much to know the word of God and helped her to live a free life, free from fear and disappointments.
Leonard Thole said that he has been so helped with NT Bibles and the DB Booklets that have greatly changed his family for the better. Now in my family there is peace, unity, love and harmony. This has been made possible through the discipleship that we received with my family. Now we are enjoying the love of God in our family.
Upon our arrival at this place we found people eagerly waiting for us, we found out that Foster Mlenga, the leader had moved from the first house that he used to stay in the year 2016. He was forced to move from the first house by the people in the area. This house belonged to the Presbyterian Church and some of the church elders of the Presbyterian Church, especially who are not born again Christians, were not happy seeing Foster living in this house. They were not happy to have Foster staying there because they were practicing witchcraft. So whenever Foster was praying: their operations were being distracted by the prayer that Foster was offering to God, and this caused them to become very angry with Foster. The Presbyterian pastor of this church was a born again Christian and he became friends with Foster. He would not allow Foster to move out from the premises and this annoyed the elders of this Presbyterian Church. One Sunday service the Presbyterian elders arranged to give an offering of a charm in an offering box. This threatened the pastor and he reported to his headquarters and he was moved instantly from Kavinkhama to another place called Chisengezi (inside the charm was a black powder stuff, 2 holed coins and human hairs and 2 animal horns). Foster upon seeing that his fellow pastor had been transferred, made a quick exit from the premises. He moved to a very lonely place with no houses around and that gave room for thieves to come and steal from the house while he and his family were at church on a Sunday. He moved again to the house where he lives now. This seems to be a safe place because it is along a road with some houses around. And now he lives in peace with his family.
We thank God that all these happenings have not affected the Life groups, but instead it has encouraged the people who were seeing what was happening, knowing that our God is powerful: the God who never fails us.
The Life Groups in Kavinkhama are going on well. More leaders are being trained and discipleship is taking place and more people are being discipled, including chiefs. We were encouraged with different testimonies.
Matias Phiri said that since we started our Life Group, our lives have changed and now we are able to pray without being ashamed or afraid, knowing that the one inside us is greater than the one outside.
Anastasia Zimba said, “I thank God for DCI because it has brought unity amongst different churches within our area; it has also helped me to be free in sharing the word of God without fear or being ashamed”.
Kondwani Zimbiri said that the Life group has helped me a lot in my spiritual life, I have been shaped well as a child of God and now I am going to the Bible school. I had no knowledge of being a real Christian but the Life Group has done great in my life, I have developed a zeal for serving the Lord, knowing that what the Lord has done in my life I have to share with others”.
Austin Soko GVH (the Group Village Headman) said that DCI has brought change in my area, for many people are saved, for I was the first person to be convinced and to accept Christ in my life. When Foster Mlenga brought me the gospel, I was convinced when I saw the life style and good behavior of Foster Mlenga and I knew that what he was teaching me is really true. And these teachings have helped me to lead people in the right way of the knowledge of God. And these Life Groups should continue because my area has been greatly transformed and disputes have been reduced”.
From Kavinkhama we pass by Champhira LG, and we thank God that the work is still continuing well, leaders are being trained and Life Groups are multiplying. Alfred who is the acting leader/coach said that the work is going on well and people from different villages shows more interest to the gospel. More people are inviting them to go and disciple them .
Alfred continued by saying that as we are reaching out to different people with the gospel, we have found one main challenge: most of these people we are reaching out to are slow learners, but we are praying and trusting God that they will catch the vision. Once they catch the vision we know that the load will be lightened for us, for they will also be able to pass on what they have learnt.
We also have a youth life group that meets in the evenings.
Margret, added upon what Alfred said, “We are taking the gospel to the villages where people are positively responding and this gives us hope that very soon more Life Groups will be available here in Champhira and that will require more Bibles for the discipleship”.
They were very happy that we came to visit them. They added by saying, “This has also encouraged us to see that we are not alone, for we thought that as we have completed the third trip of trainings, we thought the DCI Team would no longer come to see us. But the picture that the DCI Team has portrayed to us is exactly what we have been learning, that is relation building. Thank you so much for paying us a visit again”.
This is how we travelled on our Mzimba follow up trip