“Go ye into the world and make disciples of all men” This is Pastor Lifred Jumbe’s heart’s cry as he serves God in the villages of Zomba, Southern Malawi. Ever since he set out in ministry, his heart has been moved by compassion for people he met who led reckless lives. Men and women in the villages would spend their productive time in drinking dens, many girls would drop out of school because of teen pregnancies and there was drug abuse among young people. As a result of this situation, many people were living in poverty. Whenever Jumbe wanted to step out to evangelize, his mentors opposed and discouraged him – staying within the four walls of the church was more comfortable. Many pastors in Zomba did not actively reach out to the lost.
In 2013, when he was introduced to the ministry of Possibilities Africa, things took a turn for Pastor Jumbe. As he sat through the training session focusing on God’s heart for the communities, our ministry team challenged him to move out of his comfort zone. He knew that for holistic transformation to take place, the villages had to be evangelized first. As a spiritual leader in his community, he had be the salt and light to a dying world. He could not see the need in the lives of people and do nothing! The training made him bolder and more equipped – willing to go against what was acceptable in his denomination and obey God in fulfilling the great commission.
Pastor Jumbe started training his church members at Victory Life Church on evangelism and they set out plans for crusades in the surrounding villages. He has faced many challenges. Whenever it rains, roads are impassable because of heavy flooding. There is poor road network and they have to walk long distances to reach the remote villages. Even so, these challenges have not hindered his ambition to share the gospel. Through the business training he received from PA, he has learnt to be creative and come up with simple ways to address some challenges. From the profits in his farming business, he was able to save money and buy a motorcycle. This means of transport has helped him cover long distances and other members of his church can use it when going to evangelize. He is also able to raise money to meet the costs of the crusades.
This year alone, his church has held crusades reaching out to an estimated 5000 people, out of which, a total of 800 people have given their lives to Christ. The villagers have testified that they are beginning to see change in the lives of people who would cause trouble for them because of alcoholism and stealing. The new converts have been directed to join local churches which are close to them.
Because of this success, other pastors from the accountability group under PA (CIFA) are learning from him and his church. In the coming year, he plans to spend more time in training the pastors so that they can reach more villages with the gospel. The other focus will also be to reach out to as many converts as possible with the holistic message and they will be encouraged to join existing accountability groups in the local churches.