Zimbabwe Holiness Summit is Formative Event for Many
Over 300 Nazarenes from across Africa Central Field (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) gathered at the Harare Institute of Technology in Zimbabwe for a holiness summit August 18-21, 2011. The theme for the conference was “Holiness: the Hope for Africa.” Workshops were held each day and worship services in the evenings.
Rev. Paul Mtambo, field strategy coordinator for Africa Central Field, spoke the first evening from Acts 2:42-47. He stated that there would be no church growth without fellowship. His prayer for the conference was that, as everyone fellowshipped together, they would worship Christ in spirit and truth so that people would see Christ in His people. Despite a power outage, those gathered continued to sing praises, worship and fellowship together.
A Nazarene Theological College of Central Africa (NTCCA) student from Zimbabwe, Admire Manyere, said, “This conference caused a metamorphosis to take place in my heart. I appreciate all that was done by each facilitator to help us to grow and mature in the Lord.”
Rev. Wellington Obotte, mission coordinator for Malawi, gave the Friday morning devotional from I Peter 2:9-12. He spoke on the theme of the responsibilities that come with being a chosen people, a holy nation.
At the beginning of the service on Friday evening, a young man, Alfred, from the Chilinje Church of the Nazarene, Lusaka, Zambia, quoted from memory the first and third chapters of James. The passages reminded those in attendance of how important it is to “hide God’s word in our hearts” to live a holy life.
Friday evening, Rev. Larry and Tamla Leckrone, evangelists from Kurtz, Indiana, U.S., provided the worship music. The theme of his messages was “Anchored Faith for a Drifting Culture.” He stressed that Christians are resident aliens in this world, that their home is not this world.
In the words of Pastor Jabulani Mafohla of Zimbabwe, “The leadership workshop was fitting for our culture. The leader said, ‘as you rise in leadership, responsibilities increase and rights must decrease.’ This is where we miss it in our African cultures. Rev. Leckrone’s messages were powerful, especially the lesson on ‘Faith for the Long Haul.’ Faith for the long haul is rooted in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
“I went back home a different person,” said Rev. Daniel Makumba, district superintendent from Malawi, Lakeshore. “In spiritual matters, it touched my life in a new way.”
Regional Director Dr. Filimao Chambo arrived on Saturday evening. He briefly shared with district superintendents, pastors and missionaries about what God is doing across the region.
A highlight of the conference was the closing service when our regional director, Dr. Filimao Chambo, spoke from Acts 3, in which he noted that there was urgency in Peter’s preaching. There was a message of hope – to repent and turn to God so that our sins would be wiped out – then there would be a time of refreshing. Dr. Chambo challenged all of us to stop saying, “it is just my culture,” because that is not true. There are times we run away from the light but we must turn away from our cultures and turn to the light.”
The good news of the message is that when we turn to the light, the time of refreshing comes. In the following time of prayer, the front of the auditorium was crowded with Nazarenes seeking just such a refreshing.
“I am going home blessed and grown in Christ and for the ministry,” said one person.
“It was from glory to glory,” said another.
“As a Nazarene, my sense of belonging was strengthened, and my needs spiritually were met,” someone else said.
Africa Central Field Nazarenes began returning home Sunday afternoon refreshed and renewed in spirit and ready to share the message of holiness in their various places of ministry. The feelings of many were expressed by one attendee who said, “It was so great, and we must continue with the same spirit of love and caring that we have experienced here at the conference.”
— Rev. Marquita Mosher, with her husband, David, is a global missionary in the Church of the Nazarene, serving with Nazarene Theological College of Central Africa, Lilongwe, Malawi.