Spiritual Life Evaluation
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I was born in Mutare. My mother was an active church member and she went to the The United Baptist Church in Sakubva Township. So I was raised in a christian background though my father did not go to church. However even though he did not go to church, he wanted to see all his children go to church. Every Sunday we would wake up early to attend Sunday school. Mrs Mlambo who was also the pastors’s wife, was our teacher. Sunday school started at 9:00am and I really enjoyed my Sunday school. Sunday school for me was a time to see church friends after a long week of separation. We would read bible verses and the teacher would explain these verses to us. At times we would be required to memorize these verses as homework. We would sing songs full of dance and clapping hands. One of the common songs are : Verse 1
My bible, my bible and I (repeat)
Oh, what a wonderful treasure, God gave without measure.
We are traveling together, my bible and I.
My Jesus, my Jesus and I (repeat)
This went on until I was eleven years old when I also graduated from Sunday school to Junior Youth. As a young girl, this did not mean much to me and I viewed it as just a way of living. At the age of thirteen I went for baptism lessons which preceded baptism. We were later to bring white clothes on the day of baptism and we were to wear these white clothes after removing the wet clothes. When it was my turn to be baptized, I meditated the phrases and words said in the baptism sermon. The pastor said ” I have buried the old Winnie, you are now a new creation”. We all wore white clothes and the church was so thrilled and there was jubilation. Each one of us was asked to choose a new name since we were now new people and I chose Tsitsi. I kept on reflecting on what had taken place and surely I felt the new change. I was sorry for all the sins I had done before and I cried and groaned. I could feel the love of Jesus who died for me on the cross. The above is the account of how I came to Christ. Everything about me changed, I now had a passion to live a spiritual life, I prayed and also earnestly sung songs of praise and worship to the Lord Maturing in Christ.
From that spiritual experience I had passion in reading the Word of God. I followed and never wanted to miss a sermon. I tried to live according to christian life. For my leisure time I stopped going to the cinema and I preferred going for church activities. My desire was to do voluntary church work. Some of the voluntary work that I did included sweeping the floors, cleaning windows and other such housekeeping chores. I also went for various youth conventions and it was always a pleasure for me. I was married and I was an active church member. My husband used to come with me even though he was not yet a born again christian.
I prayed for him until he had an encounter with Jesus Christ also. In that year I saw God, I organized devotion time for the family and we would do devotions once every week. It helped me mature spiritually. My husband was later appointed deacon in 2005, I worked with him closely and sometimes I was left to do ministry work while he was away. As a deacons wife, the Pastor would sometimes ask me to lead the women’s meetings. These experiences made me pray to God for wisdom. The prayer life I was living made me have a closer relationship with God which made me mature and eventually made me desire to learn the spiritual life hence today I am at Harare Theological College. Hindrances to Growth
In 1992 when I joined Bethel Assemblies Church, there were regular women’s fellowship meetings. We met every Wednesday. Pastor Irene Charema, the wife to my bishop was the one who facilitated the women’s meetings and she always delivered wonderful sermons that uplifted my spirit. The meetings were later re-scheduled from Wednesday to Saturday in a move to accommodate working women. For reason beyond my understanding, the spiritual moral reduced, there was poor attendance and the meetings were no longer consistent as per schedule. This impacted negatively on my spiritual life as such was a hindrance to my spiritual growth. I still had a strong zeal and desire to do the past events but it continued to be a thing of the past. The church is being taken as a business venture by some church leaders. Church members pay for the pastors personal domestic expenses. They are put on church budget. Expenses include pastors groceries, monthly bills, clothing allowance, car expenses and medical bills etc. These can be donated voluntarily by capable members and not to be compulsory. This frustrates uncapable church members and other members will end up leaving the church.
It was an hindrance to me when I lost some people from the leadership team who used to encourage me in difficult and good times. Leaders are too busy such that they forego the work of God doing their own business. On special once off occasions like New Year, Easter, Christmas and weddings of long serving member the leaders will be absent. Church members will be so excited and looking forward to get a good appearance from the leaders only to notice that they did not even come for the event with no proper justification given as to the absence. The end result is that members lose confidence in their leaders and I am also one such member who has been affected. It disturbs me because I would like to see leaders being exemplary.
In some instances I will be alone as leader and the planned agendas will not come out as planned and people will blame the entire leadership team. Of course I will be innocent but no one will know that. Personally I had a lot of work last year. I visited the plot during the week in Marondera and I was unable to come for church programs during the week and this affected my intimate relationship with God, I missed fellowship time with my group, that is when I learnt that we are family not a mere group. Due to the above challenges the church becomes stagnant and it will not grow. Mature spiritual members will now leave the church and join other churches. The situation affected the remaining members and I was among the affected people and it impacted my spiritual life negatively. Spiritual Life
I made my mind not to be moved by physical and spiritual challenges. My spiritual life is now stable and steadfast. I fellowship at Bethel Assemblies Church. Most challenges including those I have discussed above made me a strong christian. Hindrance taught me to rely on God always and not men. Therefore, I take them as stepping stones to my success in the ministry rather than stumbling blocks. They have actually developed me spiritually and I have nothing to regret, in fact I point myself blessed. I sometimes organised prayer sessions with the youth group and women’s group. I am entrusted with the assets of the church which I keep at my house such as kitchenware, decor cloth and church instruments to mention a few. I also take turns with the pastor and the deacon (my husband) to lead different church events. It is my responsibility to see that the church decor has been done well and on time. When the pastor and his family go on leave, we are left to do all the ministry work. We have no challenges, instead church members appreciate our ministry and leadership. We have no church building of our own and we rent, since our branch is new and small.
On this basis I offer my home as a venue for different church activities. The activities include administrative meetings, church kitchen teas, bachelor’s parties and other events done during the week. I aspire to be a spiritual giant hence the passion to learn about spiritual life. I would love to be an evangelist of the good news to people in future. This I will do to friends, families, communities, continents and worldwide. I will start by organising devotion time once a week with my family. I will later invite people of all walks in life, my neighbours, my friends and relatives. As the group grows I will split it and open other centres of fellowship in the community. Further sections of fellowship can be opened again according to different similar groups. These will include children, youth, women, men, widows, special people and others. The groups will be taught the principles of spiritual life and how to obey them. I will have followers who will act as disciples to spread the good news to the world.