Farming Team Member, Luapula South
Chafwilai is on one of our trainee Impact Team members. He’s learning conservation farming and teaching others, but he sees this to be inseparable from Christian discipleship. He’s got stuck into the role and tells this story of when he travelled to a village 70km away to help with a week of prayer.
“There was one lady who was very strong in the things of God, but she was coming from very far in the bush. The reason why she was living so far into the bush was because her husband was a witch and they had been chased out of the village. Even her fellow church members were afraid of him. They explained these things to me. I thought that if there is a man that we are going to visit first while we are here; it is this man we are talking about.”
The people around Chafwilai tried to change his mind. They were scared. Chafwilai remained sure that God wanted him to reach out to this man and the next morning, he set out to visit him, taking with him two young men.
“We went to the place where this man lived. It was called Longhead. We found this man together with his wife. When we arrived there, the boys were afraid. They were pulling back behind. They didn’t want to sit close to this man. I went straight to where this man was sitting and I sat down next to him, close enough that we were even rubbing shoulders. I said to him, ‘I am very happy that I have found you. When your wife comes to church, you don’t come to church. Upon hearing that the church people were coming, you have decided to sit and wait for us. You stayed at home waiting for us and have not gone to do your work. From this, I have come to learn that inside your heart there is something that belongs to God. One thing you should know is that people of your age have died; many of them. One thing you shouldn’t forget is that one day you will also die. If there is a thing that has made God keep you up until this age, it is that God wants you not to accuse him on that day that you never received the Gospel. Your age is more than the age of the father who gave birth to me. For me to come here, I have got words that the Holy Spirit is whispering to me that I should say to you. If you won’t listen to the words I am sharing, you will regret the words I am telling you. What I am telling you is repent and turn to God.’ ”
“I spoke to him many words of the same kind. He started crying. After crying, he said to me, ‘One thing that has saddened me, people here are afraid of me. There are older people who come here to preach, older than you, but there is nobody who has been here and spoken to me up to the point of me crying. The words you have spoken to me have moved me.’ This man turned to God.”
“They prepared food for us with nice dish of relish and they watched us as we ate. After we prayed with them, they escorted us, we greeted each other and I said to him “Daddy, God loves you” and then I went back home.”
“After a week, the people in that place wrote a letter to me to say the old man had died. I thank God for this matter because he gave me courage to go and preach to this old man.”
We are saddened to hear of this man’s death, but we rejoice that God sent Chafwilai to share the Gospel with him. We are encouraged and spurred on by Chafwilai’s obedience to God’s leading and his bravery. Sometimes we all need to be brave and speak out the words we believed God is giving us.
Chafwilai has also been using the farming skills he’s been learning. He says:
“People laughed at me when I started. They said that this was not the way they farm and they thought I was foolish. But then they have seen it working and now they want to learn from me!”
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