Day Nine: Gratitude Challenge

As God would have it I have passed through the hands of many servants of God during my earthly sojourn and each one has touched my life and deposited something into my life. I can safely say that my life is a composite of the input of these men of God. So today I take time to thank God and salute these pastors who have influenced and impacted my life.

My first pastor and shepherd was the gentle giant Pastor Stanford Chirema. His wise counsel during the days of both our youthful zeal and little wisdom was an establishing anchor. I remember some of his messages as we served in FOG Mutare in the Meikles Hotel. I have fond memories of crusades with him across Manicaland and teachable moments when he gently corrected our young and zealous team without crushing our zeal. He taught me how to redirect young people without quenching the fire of a God inside their bellies. It’s sad that many pastors and entrepreneurs once they have scaled the heights they become extinguishers of the flame of the next generation instead of being the “sparks” that fan their flame! Thank you Lord for Pastor Chirema. I look forward to that grand reunion in heaven!

I thank God for Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe who taught me a radical commitment to the cause of Christ. One of the critical things that I learnt from him was being sold out for the Gospel and refusing to compromise on principles. I cherish his fiery messages and believe that he is one of the premier pulpiteers of his generation. He laid a powerful foundation of the Word in my life for which I am grateful. I marvel at the sense of family that he created and nurtured within the Family of God Church.

I first heard the name Costah Gomba when I was still at St Augustine’s Mission as we joined the Witness Ministries Library and would order so many books to read. He served us faithfully posting the books we requested to us. Years later when I was at BMC I bumped into Pastor Gomba who was now pastoring the Family of God Church Marondera. As students he accepted us into his family and pastored us well. The main lesson I learned from Pastor Gomba was a passionate love for the faith message. He introduced me to giants like Dr Fred KC Price, Brother Capps and others. I was awed and appreciated the way he would teach the Word practically and simply. Thank you Lord for Pastor Gomba. I greatly was influenced by his care and concern for the flock. He pastored me and later my family for years. I saw him struggle with pastoral challenges and win. I can comfortably say that I learned to pastor by observing him. I remember the many battles we fought as we took the Gospel all over the schools in Mash East. I appreciate you Sir.

While at UZ I remember the meetings led by Bishop EW. I thank God for his heart of a teacher. He sparked in me a love for teaching the Word precept upon precept and basing teaching on mining of meanings out of solid Greek words. Little did I know that I would later spend almost ten years in the nation of Greece. More importantly I thank you for officiating our wedding and blessing our marriage. I still remember your message on that day 24 years ago. I am persuaded better things of you Sir.

The inimitable and humble Bishop Mirai Chinoda took me into his home when I was a student without residence at UZ. I thank God for him and his family. I learned how to love people sincerely from him not in words but in deed. More importantly I Learned to pray from Bishop as he spend most of his time in prayer. I owe a whole lot of my prayer life to this humble man of God. Thank you Bishop.

I am thankful to my first Greek pastor, Pst Tony Galatsianos who took care of us while in that land. We served God together. You were daring sir to entrust me with your flock for a year while you went to Bible School in Uppsala Sweden. I thank God for you and remember you with fond memories. May the Lord have regard to your tears and restore you fully to fulfil the calling upon your life. I love you and Vaso. I also take time to thank Pastors Urban and Suzanne Wickstrom who took care of us in Athens and entrusted us with their pulpit often. I declare to you that your labours in The Lord are not in vain.

My life has been significantly influenced by Pastor Tom Deuschle who through his vision and faithfulness to the call of God provided a platform for me to use my giftings to serve God and serve His people. He trusted me with his flock when he barely knew me. I can still remember how he entrusted me to minister in CC Borrowdale barely three years after joining the church. As if that was not enough he trusted me with a mandate and commission to plant the church in Bulawayo and to shape the training of the church’s leaders through Celebration College. Thank you lord for Pastor Tom. I stand amazed at the immensity of his vision to Build People Build Dreams and Build the Kingdom of God and his life assignment to reform nations and transform people. While there is no doubt that a whole lot of my ministerial training and foundations where laid within the Family of God movement under Family of God pastors, it was clearly under the pastoral oversight of Pastor Tom Deuschle and under His spiritual cover that my ministerial calling would be commissioned and unveiled. Thank you Pastor Tom. The key learning point that I got from Pastor Tom that touched my heart and impacted my life immensely is his humility and willingness to correct course humbly once he notices that either he or the church are moving from the central call of God. His willingness to redirect himself and the church back to what is core and true is legendary. His life message is more legendary that his verbal communication of the Gospel. For that I am thankful. He is the embodiment of His life message. Unfortunately there are many whose verbal message is clearer and more articulate than their life message. Would to God we would have more pastoral leaders whose lives are more eloquent that their oratory skills in the pulpit?

Finally I would like to thank God for a man who championed my cause without my knowing as I settled into the Celebration Family. I thank God for Pastor Paul Nyamuda who saw the gift of God in me and helped create platforms for its recognition. I love the way he unleashed his brilliant mind for the cause of the Kingdom and reformation. Pastor Paul introduced me to lots of Christian leadership resources for which I am thankful. It was an honour to serve alongside him at Celebration College. May The Lord have regard to the seed of love he sowed into my life and may He receive His due reward.

Time fails me to talk and thank God for Pst Samuel Magara, Pst Peter Pasaya, Pst Henry Muzhari and Pst Nick Munhawa. And many others.

Lord I thank you for these gifts of God that you sent my way to equip me and train me for the work of the ministry. May they see of the fruit of their labour and be satisfied.

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