March 4, 2015
SWMI Pumula South
ccm Cross #0073
Additional photos after Testimony
3761 cdd Making a Choice
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 16 Number 55
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Joshua 24:24b
“The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!” NKJV
My names is Pastor Chawinga from Soul Winning Ministries International (SWMI) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I grew up in Malawi with dad and mom and eight children. I was the 7th. We learned to go to church. And we also learned to have a relationship with Jesus we had to each make a choice. My dad worked during the day and was a preacher, when one was needed. Our family went on holiday from Malawi to Zimbabwe and while we were there a terrible war broke out. We were stranded in Zimbabwe. Eventually we settled here — near Bulawayo. Zimbabwe.
I remember my fourth grade teacher. He was the one who led me to Christ helping me make my choice. I was not a good student. I didn’t like books and studying was very difficult for me. That caused me much distress and I had few friends. My teacher set me aside one day after class and shared with me about my self-image. He said since I was not very good in school it had affected my whole life. He said it did not have to be that way. Then he added.
Jesus loves you, Jesus died for you, Jesus cares for you and if I would accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior He would give me a new self-image. My self-image would be in Jesus — the one who made me and all the earth. I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in my life and my new image was remarkable. My grades began to improve. Before Jesus I was Number 45 out of 47 students. The next year I was 13 out of 47 students. The kids around me liked my new image and I now had many friends. The third year I was near the top of my class and I started preaching the word of God.
By the time I was in high school I was witnessing for Christ all over the streets. Winning souls for Jesus and telling them they too could have a new self-image. They too have a choice to make in following Jesus. We formed a group for street witnessing called the Golden Gates. The Holy Spirit was alive inside of us and bubbling over wherever we went. This went on through high school and I graduated and started a good job in the adhesives business.
I was working for the adhesives company for 15 years and ministering evenings and on weekends. Along the way I met Ellah and we married. She too was originally from Malawi. Together we have three boys — Wisdom, Kingdom and our youngest son is Freedom.
Then tremendous financial trouble hit our country of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe fell from one the wealthiest countries into extreme poverty. It seemed like it was over night but in reality it took years. Today it is said that 80 percent are unemployed. As the economy was slipping away we began Soul Winning Ministries International (SWMI). I began by witnessing to friends and neighbors while carrying Wisdom on my back. The tougher the economy became the more the people needed Jesus.
When we started meeting 10-20 people joined in. We grew rapidly in our local area but with no money for transportation most stayed in their own neighborhoods. So we started more fellowships, and they grew. And we started others. Then SWMI grew to larger cities. We stayed as a neighborhood lighthouse for Jesus. Much like the New Testament fellowships started by the Apostle Paul. Today SWMI is all over Zimbabwe. We continue to grow as we ask people everywhere to make a choice for Jesus.
We were on our way to a crusade in a rural community when our car hit a large rock in a pothole. (Most of our roads are severely deteriorating due to lack of maintenance). The car was damaged and needed welding repair. We found a small welding shop in a village and spent four days there until the car was fully repaired. While there we had an opportunity to share Christ with the village. They made a choice and chose to follow Jesus. Today there is a SWMI location there.
Each SWMI location is totally independent and since we are unable to travel throughout the country we talk by phone. Each Pastor is on his own. Small fellowships with local leaders. We band together spiritually helping to overcome the economic adversity we face each day. And when Jesus is chosen HIS words bring hope and comfort.
Today we claim this verse for all of Zimbabwe: Psalm 10:17
“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” NLT Bible Paraphrase
This Cross planted brings hope. In the midst of all our struggles what Jesus did for us on the Cross brings the hope and comfort that He cares. Pastor Bill long after you leave this cross will stand as a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ. No words to speak just Hope.
Today I leave your readers with the following verse which comforts us each day.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say). NLT Bible Paraphrase
Prayer: Father thank you that there is hope when governments fail, when currencies implode and when abundant crops are left to rot in the fields. That hope is Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Attaching the beams
Prayer with the Cross Planting Team before we begin
Lining Cross up
Lifting Cross into the hole
FIRE IN THE HOLE
Stabilizing the Cross with large rocks
Mixing cement to make concrete
Adding concrete to rocks making a strong base for the Cross
Cross planting team
Pastor Pastor Chawinga and his wife Ellah
Plaque “Declaring God’s Glory”
(Pictures by Twila from Ontario, Canada)