Mala Chindongo is pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Blantyre, Malawi. They have a robust and fruitful university evangelism ministry. But here Mala shares the glorious testimony of a student whom the Lord led to salvation through other means, and then led him to Antioch Baptist Church through HeartCry’s website.
“Greetings to you. My name is John. I am a student at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine. I am in my 2nd year studying pharmacy. Last year (2019), when I was 18 years old, in the midst of my rebellion against God, in due time, the Lord saved me. I will forever praise the Lord for His mercy and grace!
This is the testimony of my conversion. I hope to glorify the Lord in testifying of His great love with which He has loved me. And I hope that you, dear reader, will be encouraged by this testimony and see the Lord as exceedingly good.
I grew up in a small home in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, with my mom, dad, my older brother, and my little cousin. I was born into a Catholic family and grew up thinking I was righteous before God. I was very obedient to my parents, I was intelligent, and I grew up very religious. The reality, however, is that I was dead in my trespasses and sins. I was a rebel against God but saw myself to be righteous.
For many years I thought I was a ‘good person,’ always comparing myself to those around me and telling myself that at least I’m not as bad as many I know. When I went to college in 2017, I continued in my hypocrisy. I was in love with many secret sins. There was one brother who in my first few weeks in college came to my room often to talk about Christ. He prayed for me and my friends, and he gave us sermons from men like Paul Washer and John Piper. He gave us content amounting to around 15GB – sermons, Christian music, documentaries, and even interviews with Paul Washer.
Even at my worst moments, indulging myself in all kinds of immoral behavior, I still thought I was a good person. I started attending a Pentecostal church, and responded to the ‘altar call’ many times, yet I remained unrepentant. All my religious actions were nothing but a false profession of faith.
One day I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I download sermons by that Paul Washer guy and see what he is all about.’ I had heard stories that he teaches the truth and is very blunt about it. I downloaded his sermon ‘Examine Yourself’ from Matthew 7. It was unlike anything I had ever heard before; I was stunned and hurled into reality. I listened to another of his sermons from 2 Corinthians 13 on examining ourselves.I kept downloading and listening. These sermons raised a lot of questions about the reality of my salvation, and I even talked to one of the church leaders.
How could I be sure that I am saved when so many claim to be saved, yet the Bible clearly teaches that not everyone who outwardly professes Jesus is a true believer? This troubled me greatly.
I learned through Paul Washer’s preaching that salvation is a sovereign work of God and you can’t just walk up to an altar and decide to get saved. I knew I was not saved, and I knew that salvation was a work of God and I can do nothing to earn it. This also troubled me greatly. Somehow, in ways I cannot explain, the Holy Spirit worked in me so that all of a sudden I believed that Jesus Christ paid for my sins though I did nothing to deserve it.
In listening to men like Paul Washer and John MacArthur, I realized that the church I was in was not biblical. The teaching was not Christ-centered, and I even feared that we did not have a single biblical church in Malawi. I was full of joy that the Lord had given me eternal life, but at the same time sad that I might have to sit in a church and listen to false, man-centered preaching week after week.
One late night on the internet, I remembered that Paul Washer talked about HeartCry in some of the videos, so I visited their website. To my surprise, there was a tab that linked to a page on HeartCry’s missions in Africa. I clicked it, expecting to see something about missions in Egypt or other well-known countries in Africa. To my surprise, there was a tab on missions in Malawi. I clicked it and there was a picture of Pastor Mala and a short biography. I knew that I had seen this face somewhere on the school campus!
My heart was full of joy, realizing we might have a church here in Malawi that is rooted in sound doctrine, a church I would love to be a part of. I’ve been worshiping with the believers at Antioch Baptist Church since August last year, and I’ve had a wonderful time worshiping God with other believers. I am now attending membership classes and looking forward to my upcoming baptism.”
Mala closes with these thoughts: “Our university ministry has been a source of great encouragement. We have seen more conversions and heard similar stories of salvation for many years now. We are thankful to the Lord for the way He has been using Brother Paul across Africa. The question for us now is how do we draw out young people with similar stories in our universities? Please pray with us.”