By: Aubrey Bunguzu
The mass rallies that the Lutheran Hour Ministry evangelism team in Malawi (LHM-Malawi) conducted late this month made many groups of Chigumukire Lutheran Congregation to reunite again with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM).
Chigumukire Lutheran Congregation is situated at about 20 kilometers northern part of Salima District Office along the shore of Lake Malawi, and previously had an average number of 100 congregants before the number dwindled naturally to as low as 30 adults.
In recent mass rallies that LHM-MALAWI conducted at Chigumukire, many groups of people including the choir members came back and reunite with the church after they learnt more about love of God to His people through Equipping The Saints (ETS) workshop, Music and Drama and personal contact and dialogue.
During ETS workshop, amid discussions on how Islam is advancing in our societies, a young man of 21 years of age named Maxwell Mathias stood up and spoke more on Muslims tactics because some time back he had experience with their ways.
He said his friend is a Muslim and a friend used Mathiasi’s lack of knowledge about Islamic and Christian teachings that he could not differentiate between the two religions, and thought the two are the same.
“I think I should learn more about the two religions so that I make informed decision and defend my faith with justice, because these Muslims use our ignorance to advance their ideology.” Mathias interrupted the facilitation on ‘Reaching Muslims and Traditional ,’ soon after Mr.Mphatso Thole (Director) mentioned that Muslims rarely use Qur’an but mostly the Bible while evangelizing to Christian community.
Mathias also reported to a class of 34 lay Lutheran members on training that this friend (he did not want to disclose the name) has a prepared questionnaire and confront young people including Mathias to counter argue with what Christians believe, for instance, that Jesus Christ is Son of God because according to them it is blasphemous to God.
Maxwell was given enough time to explain his conversion to Islam and every participant was amazed, and shocked with the story because Mathias is old enough to use his common sense to denounce the religion however ignorance superseded the little knowledge he had about the truth of Christianity. Instead Mathias was referred to church through Dean Reverend Henry Makawa to continue teaching and nurturing Mathias.
While Maxwell Mathias wants someone to teach him about Christianity, Mrs. Veronica Kazembe who, four years ago left the Lutheran for a pentecostal church in the same area, stood up among congregation and announced she has now onwards reunited with her church and ask the fellow Lutherans to pray for her and her family.
During the Church service at a time of receiving new members, Dean Reverend Henry Makawa pastor responsible Salima Parish including Chigumukire congregation Mrs. Veronica said “I have come back from where I left to, may the congregation pray me and my family so that I remain faithful to my former church. We cannot stay there, I detected that there is difference of worship, and Lutheran is unique.”
A youth choir group that disbanded due to traditional religion also regrouped this time when LHM-MALAWI evangelism held music and drama at Chigumukire. The group members, energetic, dedicated and committed in nature one by one dispersed away and joined the traditional initiation ceremonial groups of local community and forgot about their role in the church. The drama and music that were performed by young people as well attracted and won local youth to be engaged in the church activities throughout the Outreach program.
The power of god through LHM-MALAWI team worked in the hearts of the lost people at Chigumukire and brought them back to God’s service. May the good Lord abundantly bless those who prayed for this ministry in various ways.