Day Eight: Gratitude Challenge

When I look back at my life I notice that the major milestones of my life are marked by one institution: The Church. Today I take time to thank God for the church. Without a doubt it is one of the most significant institutions in my life. My parents raised me in the church but the church became meaningful when in February 1982 I gave my life to Christ and God by His Spirit baptized me into the Body of Christ. One of my earliest discoveries was that my salvation was a personal matter but my Christian walk was a public matter as it had to be lived out within the context of a community of believers called the church. So today I reflect on the church and my life.

I was born again under the ministry of Mr Muti who was Headmaster of St Peters Kubatana when he came to preach for an SU meeting at St Augustine’s. He was a lay preacher in the AFM Church. I was then discipled and baptized by triune immersion within the context of the AFM Church. I thank God today for those early days within the AFM foundational faith. Thank God for the church.

In August 1982 I was invited by some fellow believers to the AWWW Heroes Campmeeting at Goromonzi High School and fell in love with the Family Of God Church. I transferred my membership to that church and served within it for almost 20 years. All the foundations of my faith were laid within that movement. Thank you Lord for FOG. Right there I met and married the love of my life. Thank God for the Church. I fellowshipped with FOG Mutare, Rusape, Marondera, Harare etc. There I made lifelong friends.

In 1989 I found myself in Greece with no known relationships and family. But thank God for the church because right within the Body of Christ I met my new family. I thank God for Abundant Life Church, Kala Nea and Word of Life Church. There in foreign land my family found a home in the hearts of the saints. Both of our children were born and dedicated to The Lord within the Greek Church family. They became a global breed indeed. At the altars surrounded by Greek speaking family we dedicated our children to The Lord. Thank God for the church.

In May 2001 we felt The Lord guide us to transfer our membership to Celebration Church where we have served faithful in various capacities ever since. In this place of the Lords planting our call to ministry matured. Thank God for the church. That why I am thankful and love the church of Jesus Christ. In this place our children grew up and were nurtured in the ways of The Lord. They made friends and explored their giftings. Thank God for the church.

Just after Christmas in 2002 we sadly bade farewell to my baby sister Venencia as we laid her body to the grave there to await the sound of the trumpet. There surrounded by the Church and reunited with my AFM roots we sang songs like Mwari Muri Zuva Rangu to find comfort and make sense of the pain in our hearts and to instil the hope of the resurrection. Thank God for the church of Jesus Christ.

For years we celebrated great victories, graduations, birthdays, weddings and moments of pain and sorrow around the family of believers. We thank God for the church which lifted us in our moments of pain, shared our burdens and celebrated with us our victories. Thank God for the church.

Last year when we bade farewell to my Dad it was the church that helped carry the burden and lighten the load. Our homestead was overwhelmed by hundreds of believers and tens of pastors who gathered to comfort and console us. We celebrated and sang songs of praise the whole night. Thank God for the church.

In August 2012 our son Emmanuel went off to College where many have wandered away from their faith. Instead of being alone and lonely in a strange land, he plugged into Victory Church of Lethbridge and immediately felt at home. Thank God for the church. Today he is an active worship leader in this amazing transformational church. I can never thank God enough for the Church.

Many people are surprised when I speak about my love of the church because they feel that I should love Jesus Christ and not the church. I argue that it is biblical to love the church. Jesus loved the church. I love Jesus and I love what He loves. So I love the Church of Jesus Christ because I love Jesus. Thank you Lord for conceptualising and creating the Church as the Body Of Christ on earth and an extension of your hand.

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