Meet the Chiwasas
I know that as am writing this blog, America is voting! This great country is the focus of the whole world for whatever happens in the USA has influence on the world's affairs. It's like the whole world is also voting! My prayers are with the American people as they exercise their rights during this election. God bless America!
Meet the Chiwasas: PastorAmon Chiwasa will be graduating from TCCA this coming December and has up until recently been geared to go back to his home town of Lusaka where he hoped to be called by any of the ECZ churches that would be willing to support him in his ministry. He is married to Precious and together they have two children; Gift (8) and Marjorie (3). However, his ministry with Twapia Evangelical Church from the time he was attached to the church as a student pastor has made members to call for his services as their permanent church pastor. He has reluctantly accepted the offer as he knows the poverty levels of his parishioners may entail difficulties in his children’s education, late alone their own survival as a family. The church has never supported a full time pastor since the times of the missionary who built it.
Twapia Evangelical Church is situated in a densely populated part of Ndola. Poverty is evident in the surrounding communities. The roads leading to the church have never received a facelift for quite a long time. It was difficulty to drive through to the church as the road was impassable. I can’t imagine how worse it becomes during the muddy rain reason. However, Pastor Chiwasa assured me that vehicles do reach. The place is more or less like the one Ryan, Kate and I visited when they came to Ndola last June.
I was however impressed with the way most people glowed with life and seemed contented. I was reminded of Paul’s words to the Philippians in chapter 4: 12 “I know what it is to be in need…I have learnt the secret of being content…whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want”
I visited the church on the 28th of August to familiarize myself with their projects. The church is built on a relatively big plot of land. It was built in the early 1980s, but due to its location, it has never managed to support a full time pastor, and hence there has never been any tangible ministry development, especially ministry to the underprivileged members of the church and the surrounding community.
By God’s grace, during the three years Pastor Chiwasa has been attached to this church, there has been a remarkable change in many areas of the church’s ministry. He has laboured to preach and teach his congregation the Word of God to be the word of truth and life for the people. Their giving, in poverty, has improved and their commitment to church programs has also improved. His coming has indeed breathed a new lease of life in the church’s ministry to its members and the community around. The membership has seen a steady growth from 96 to about 180. This has allowed the pastor to build a working team of elders that help in the smooth running of church programs.
The church plot is blessed with a number of hills that can be harnessed into blocks that are burnt and sold to raise funds. This has become a source of sustainable income that helps send their orphans to school and other church programs. But these hills will one day be nomore. This is why they are now busy trying to build something that will sustain their ministry to widows and orphans. They are currently molding blocks for an ablution block and a pre school thatwill sustain the church ministries for a long time to come.
They are also digging a well that will not only serve the church with water, but the surrounding community also, who up until its finished travel quite some distance to fetch water. Members that have skills in carpentry and bricklaying within the church have volunteered to make more benches and build a pastor’s office for the church. In fact, the pastor’s office was almost completed at the time of my visit.
The ministry of Forgotten Voices International in partnership with local churches in their local projects has brought relief to the church’s ministry and their surrounding communities in Zambia. Your support to this ministry is doingwonders in the lives of many children orphaned mainly by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These kids can now walk with their heads raised up again as they walk back to school with a hope for the future; a future that was almost lost forever! God bless you!
Pastor Chiwasa outlines the following prayer requests as he struggled to accept taking up pastoral work with this church against a rather unappealing scenario:
Pray for provisions as he prepares to serve the church with a very little or no salary. The church has never had a pastor on a salary and this will be a big change for them.
Pray for his children’s financial support in their education.
Pray for security as he will live in a house without a toilet inside and water has to be fetched some distance from the house.
Pray for continued maturity of members in their Christian lives as this will be the only way their commitment to church programs will continue improving.
Your fellow servant in the Lord.