What I learn, I can pass on
You can equip young leaders like Mukuza Zihalirwa to serve growing churches.
I was a child when I decided to dedicate my life to telling people about Jesus Christ so that they might come to him. While I was at school I promised God that I would serve him. I knew that this was my calling.
Once a month an Anglican pastor came to Luhwinja and preached outdoors. This led to a small gathering of people. Soon there was a need for a lay leader to start a new Anglican church. When I finished secondary school the pastor proposed that I lead this new congregation. In early 2015 I was made a catechist.
Training for growth
My name is Mukuza Zihalirwa. I am 24 years old and am married to Vanessa. We have one child. The members of my congregation are very poor. They must do so many things and work so hard to keep their lives going. The new congregation began meeting in our home. As there is no ordained pastor we do not receive Holy Communion.
To learn to be a pastor I was sent to Bukavu Bible Institute. Three times a year I travel to Bukavu to complete a one-month training module. The trip takes several hours in a vehicle as well as walking. Another catechist was appointed to look after the congregation while I study in Bukavu. Thanks to your generosity the library has many books including dictionaries, commentaries and introductions, and I have my own copy of the Africa Bible Commentary.
Books open my mind
Books have opened my mind to things I had never thought or learnt about before. While reading The Bible Explained I was excited to learn about the Apostle John who was given a revelation from God to pass on to his people. I had not understood this passage before. Now I can better understand and apply the Bible as I prepare to preach and teach our congregation. Books will help me to pass on God’s revelation in the Bible to my people. While in Bukavu I can use the library and when I return to Luhwinja I have my own Africa Bible Commentary.
Leading and longing
Our congregation now has 45 members. We were able to buy an unused church building. It is old and the corrugated iron on the roof is starting to leak and fall off but it can hold 300 people. A third catechist has been appointed. He is the director of the local Anglican school. We work as a team.
I long to see my church grow and develop as the congregation learns more about God.
Please pray that I will finish my studies at Bukavu Bible Institute and have the opportunity to study theology at tertiary level. Pray that my wife may also receive training. Pray that others from my church might train as evangelists.
Mukuza Zihalirwa is a catechist and student at Bukavu Bible Institute, Anglican Diocese of Bukavu, DR Congo.