Brian is a church planter in Monze, Zambia, a small town 180 kilometers south of the capital city of Lusaka. He planted Monze Reformed Baptist Church in 2009, under the leadership of Kabwata Baptist Church. Brian is also a graduate of Kabwata Baptist Church’s pastoral internship program. Paxina is his wife and fellow worker.
BRIAN'S TESTIMONY OF CONVERSION
My full name is Brian Elias Mutale, and I come from a family of eight children, of which I am the first-born. I grew up in a Roman Catholic home, and from my early childhood I was committed to going to church. I used to go to church very early in the morning; even when the church building was not open I would be at the church gate. I still remember how the elderly people of the parish would say of my commitment, “Uyu umwana alitamwa Lesa,” which means, “This child loves God.”
I remained committed to the church until I reached the age of twenty. But as I studied and practiced all the Catholic rituals, I began to discover that they were empty and could not improve my sinful state. I began to read my Bible on my own, and the more I read it, the more I was convicted of my sins.
In the year 2000, I stopped going to church for two months because I felt that I was not getting anything from it. Providentially, in my second month of being churchless, I began to watch a gospel program that came on ZNBC TV every Saturday. It was called, “Zambia Shall Be Saved.” I do not remember the date that I was saved, but I know that it was a Saturday when Dr. Nevus Mumba preached on the necessity of coming to Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. As I watched, I said in my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, “Here I am, one of the sinners.” I then left the living room where I was watching the program and went to my bedroom. There I knelt down and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins.
For seven years afterwards, I struggled with the assurance of my salvation. This was because, after I was saved, a childhood friend invited me to his Pentecostal Church, and I became a member. Their altar calls were quite popular; whenever the preacher preached, people were called to the front, led in the “sinner’s prayer,” and declared to be saved. Because of this, I kept asking myself the question: “Am I really a Christian?”
This question was only answered when I went to Bible School. It was not until we were studying pneumatology [the doctrine of the Holy Spirit] that I understood what had happened to me when I was listening to Dr. Nevus Mumba. I became fully convinced that I did not need anyone to lay hands on me, nor did I need to say a “sinner’s prayer” in order to be saved, but that I needed only to put my faith in Christ Jesus alone. He is the One who saves us, no matter where we are, whether at church or at home.
On the day that I understood this, I confessed to my lecturer, Pastor Jonathan Mwalimu, and the rest of the class saying, “Now I know that indeed I am a Christian.” From that time, I began to follow around Pastor Mwalimu, asking him many questions about the Reformed Faith.
I have seen the grace of God upon my life in the last years of my walk with Him. He has been gracious to me in granting me the ability to keep on growing in the knowledge and grace of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.
PAXINA'S TESTIMONY OF CONVERSION
My name is Paxina Mutale, and I come from a family of nine children, of which I am the seventh child. I grew up in a Roman Catholic home and even went to Catholic schools. I believed that a Christian was someone who went to church on Sunday and went through all the Catholic rituals. I did not know that Christianity was really about having a personal relationship with Christ.
In January of 2006, I moved to Lusaka from the Copperbelt to stay with my elder brother and his wife, who worshiped at Kabwata Baptist Church. I began attending the church and its youth program. In time, my mind started to open up to reading the Bible, and I began to understand the true nature of Christianity.
The Sunday of November 5th was different from all the others. Pastor Conrad Mbewe was preaching a series of messages from the book of Hebrews. It was as if he knew me and knew how my life had been. The words that struck my heart the most were, “A life without Christ is meaningless and empty.” During the service, these words kept ringing in my mind, and even when I went home, it was still the same. In the early hours of the next day, I fell on my knees crying; I acknowledged that I was a sinner who needed Christ in my life. That very day I went to church to explain to Miss Chitambala, the pastor’s assistant with whom I had been having Bible studies, what the Lord was doing. We prayed together, and she really encouraged me. She is still a great spiritual encouragement in my life.
In that same year in December, I attended my first youth camp. The theme for the camp was, “Assurance of Salvation.” This really helped me to understand and know that I was really a Christian and that Christ had saved me.
BRIAN'S CALL TO MINISTRY
From the time that I became a Christian, I always desired to serve the Lord full-time. This became a reality when the Lord opened the door and provided for me to study at the Centre for Christian Missions in Kitwe. Before going for my theological studies, I worked for five years with a ministry called, “Gates of Glory Ministries.” The more I participated in their conferences, the more the desire to go into full-time ministry grew in my heart. This desire was also confirmed by a number of people who identified my spiritual gifts of teaching and preaching and by the fact that God was opening doors for me to preach at youth groups, schools, and the church were I was attending.
It was under Gates of Glory Ministries that I had the opportunity to come to Monze in 2004. From that year until 2009, I came annually to Monze in order to work with another ministry. It was during this time that I started to desire to labor among the Tonga people of Zambia.
By the time I entered into the intern program at Kabwata Baptist Church in 2009, it was clear that the Lord wanted me to serve at Monze Reformed Baptist Church. So, when the leadership at Kabwata said that the church needed a missionary, I expressed interest in the same.
RECENT UPDATE FROM BRIAN
First and foremost, my wife and I want to thank you for the support that you continually offer on our behalf, both as a family and as a church. We are grateful to the Lord for the many times that you have remembered us in prayer and for the sacrificial support that you have given to us.
As many commemorated World AIDS Day on December 1, Monze was not excluded. As a church, we took advantage of this event by distributing evangelistic material. During the inter-denominational candlelight service, we handed out leaflets entitled, “AIDS! A Call to Repentance,” written by Pastor Conrad Mbewe. The response was overwhelming, and we eventually ran out of the 150 leaflets that we had brought.
Also in December, I was given an opportunity to preach again to the men and women in uniform at the Monze Central Police Station. Every Tuesday at the main police station they have a half-hour morning devotion. Twenty police officers attended.
We ended 2014, with a Christmas evangelistic service, which was well attended. We were blessed to have some of our brethren from Kafue Reformed Baptist Church in attendance, along with Pastor Kennedy Sunkutu, [a former HeartCry missionary].
Though the new year began with the loss of my grandmother in January, we remain grateful to the Lord for all that He has done so far through us for His own glory. My family has now grown to four people, as my young brother Gift Mutale has come to live with us.
During the months of January and February, we did not have any special evangelistic meetings, but simply continued with our usual church services. We also continued to acquire and transport building materials to the church plot. Lord willing, if all goes according to plan, we will start building there this year so that we may eventually begin to meet there. Please pray with us to this end.
On March 7, we held a men’s Bible study on, “A Christian and Politics,” which was ably handled by our brother Mr. Kuelly Tembo at his home. While we men met together, the ladies also gathered together for a prayer meeting.
Please brothers, continue to pray for my family and me, that we may continue to grow in the likeness of Christ and set a godly example for the rest of the congregation. Pray also for our congregation as a whole, that we may grow both spiritually and numerically unto the glory of God and the spread of His Gospel.