Church Planter – Chipata, Zambia
Sangwani was discipled by Brother Percy Chisenga, a former HeartCry missionary who is now with the Lord. He recently completed a pastoral internship under Pastor Ngoma at Calvary Baptist Church in Chipata (a church plant of Lusaka Baptist Church). Chipata is located on Zambia’s eastern border with Malawi. In June 2015, Sangwani was ordained and sent by Calvary Baptist to plant a Chewa-speaking church in the Magazine district of Chipata. Chewa is the language of eastern Zambia and Malawi.
Testimony of Conversion
I was raised in church. My parents used to take me and my siblings there from a very tender age. Although this was the case, the only time I remember feeling a need for salvation was somewhere between the year 2000 to 2002. I can hardly remember how this feeling started. During that time, the only means I knew to give one’s life to the Lord was through being led in a sinner's prayer. That was because altar calls after preaching were the order of the day. So I started looking for that opportunity.
One time there was a crusade at a certain school. I left home with a made up mind that I was going to give my life to the Lord. But being in a company of friends, I started thinking about what they were going to think of me. So I said in my heart that if any one of them responded to the altar call then I would join him and give my life to the Lord. It happened that none went forward, so I did not.
But the Lord was so gracious that one day, when I went to visit a believing friend at his work place, I met another friend who was staying with him. He invited me to their home, which was close to that place. I knew what this was all about - the gospel. Although I really desired to be born again, strangely I found myself telling a lie, giving an excuse that I was in a hurry. But thank God he insisted, and said it was not going to take long. So we went and he shared the gospel and I gave my life to the Lord that day. You would expect such a person to be full of joy, but I was filled with fear. Knowing how I used to live my life and the kind of lifestyle that was expected of everyone who belonged to Christ, I was afraid that I was not going to be able to live it. But God took care of my fears.
Call to Ministry
After I was saved, I attended a lunch hour fellowship where the word of God was preached. There I met a friend who was under a Christian organization that encouraged and equipped believers to go into villages to spread the Gospel. I used to accompany him and we alternated in preaching.
When I went to Intec College in South Africa to train in electronics, the pastor of the church I attended started using me, firstly as a worship leader, then later as a preacher. Although this was the case, I never thought of or desired to be a pastor. But after being at that college for some time, I lost interest in what I was doing and decided to go back to Malawi.
At this point I began entertaining the thought of serving the Lord in full time ministry. But how to go about it was difficult for me, so I started working to sustain myself. However that feeling to serve the Lord continued haunting me. So I shared this with my pastor, the late Percy Chisenga (former HeartCry missionary). He was serving as a missionary pastor in Malawi under KBC. He sat me down and counseled me. He then connected me to Covenant College in Zambia so that I could pursue theological training in pastoral ministry.
Betty's Testimony of Conversion
I used to go to church and thought that was all there was to Christianity. In 1994, my aunt came to stay with us and she started sharing the word of God with me. Then I realized that there was more to Christianity, that something needed to be done apart from just going to church, singing in a choir, or being a good child appreciated by many, and the like. Then one time there was a crusade my aunt and I attended. The preaching was about salvation and how we become God’s children. We read from John 1:12. This really opened my understanding more, and as a result, I surrendered my life to Christ.