Celebrating a birthday brings back memories of the day someone came into the world. Often the experience is told to us by our parents. But the second birth, the spiritual birth is unique and different. You can actually remember when you were born again. I can still remember mine as though it was yesterday. To know Him is the most powerful thing you can ever do and to miss out the opportunity while you are still on planet earth – to meet Him and know Him will be the biggest regret you will ever face.
It was on 14th August of 1986, I had just reached my dad’s farm after a wonderful Brethren In Christ Youth (BIC) camp lasting one week at Choma Secondary school. Reminiscing the many sermons that had been preached throughout that week, I decided to hold nothing back. I was all by myself that dark evening by the fire. Exactly 43 kilometers away from Kalomo town in Chief Siachitema. This was not the first time I had prayed to God. I had done so many times before, but this particular day, I made an unconditional surrender to God that made the difference. I gave Him everything I had been, was and ever hoped to be, all that I owned, myself, and my whole life. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and cleanse me from all manner of sin and make me as clean as a forgiven sinner can ever be. I cried to the Lord for mercy in my hopelessness and helplessness. For the first time, I realized that I was such a sinner and nothing that I could ever do on my own could make me acceptable before God. Not my holiest of acts for they were as filthy as a rug. Nothing in my hand did I have to bring, but simply to the Cross of Jesus I clung. I felt peace of mind, that I had never felt before. My life transformed thereafter and I have never looked back again. And now thirty years later, more than ever, I cherish the cross, more than ever I sit at His feet. The miles of my journey have proved my Lord true, He is so precious to me.
In 1986, I was so young, only 17 years old but a new life begun. I wondered what I was doing surrendering my life at such a tender age – the dawn of my life. I expected to lose it all, childhood pleasures and youthful adventure, all gone. Jesus let me keep my life and placed me on a pedestal. Everything else went, and new life for me begun never to be the same again.
In exchange I got the most wonderful love relationship with my Lord and with others who loved Him as well. This was the beginning of the most wonderful thirty years of life as a christian. The only “gift” that I received at this time was the promise of His word and a ministry of giving which I have shared with joy as a servant of the Lord. Throughout the thirty years, I have learnt to give not only my life to God, but everything I own to God. I have learnt to hold on loosely to the things of this world. To let material things come through one hand and go through another and yet without lacking anything for myself nor my wife and children. I have learnt to hold nothing that I may receive more from my Lord. I have seen the Lord’s favor in my life as I have sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all many things being added unto me.
A few important people the Lord immediately brought my way to nurture me and lead to on my path were my teachers, Mr. Hamoonga Choongo and Ms Rachel (Melhorn) Phiri. Then along came my childhood friend late Ray Munsaka, late Gift Mukonka and my brother Luundu Mwaanga. A combination of these people ensured I was on my path to the Kingdom. The same year, I also met the then school chaplain, the late Rev. Mfula who introduced me to the doctrines I now hold on so dearly – the reformed way of life.
So, does that make me perfect?
No! Not at all. In fact, I am not perfect just forgiven. I have not yet arrived, but I’m on my way. Since Jesus found me and forgave me, can’t say I am perfect but I can say I am saved. I have fought a lot of battles, sometimes I have won and sometimes I have lost. Many times the evil one comes reminding me of some past wrong I have done questioning my salvation and trying to make me doubt. But when I think of Calvary I can stand right up and shout – No I am not perfect just forgiven. He is still working on me, to make me what I ought to be and thank God, the anchor holds, though the ship has been battered and the sails are torn. This anchor holds in spite of the storm.