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My spiritual journey: A testimony from the first woman to be ordained in Brethren in Christ churches in Southern Africa

10.21. 2016 Posted By: The Mennonite

Jessie F. Kamoto is ordained to serve the Brethren in Christ Churches in Malawi. She serves alongside her husband who is a bishop. This piece was produced by Mennonite World Conference. 

My name is Jessie Francis Kamoto. I was born on November 20, 1975 in a Christian family, members of Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP). I got married in 1993 to Reverend Francis Kamoto. God has blessed us with three children: Memory (22), Vincent (18) and Nancy (8).

I devoted myself to love and work for the Lord. Because of the performance I was showing, the head of the Sunday school teachers recommended that I go for training. I became a full teacher of Sunday school.

However, my life was not surrendered to the Lord completely until 1995. My husband and I had gone to fellowship with our brothers and sisters of the Brethren in Christ church in Ndirande Township, where the preacher preached from Romans 12:9–21. The message, “Love must be sincere,” touched my heart. I questioned: Did I practice hospitality? Did I live in harmony with everybody? Did I have a forgiving heart? I surrendered my life fully to the Lord that day and was baptized that same year.

My passion for serving the Lord increased. This was recognized by some church leaders. One day, I was asked to share the Word of God in the church. I had never preached before, but I thank God for giving me the courage to share. I realized the importance of knowing the Bible well in order to deliver good messages.

By God’s grace, I was privileged to join the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi as a student from 2001–2003.

In 2003, the church leaders realized that women are dormant and they need some knowledge. The board came up with my name to lead the women’s ministry. During my tenure (2003–2015), my husband and my children supported and encouraged me, especially when ministry challenges arose.

The leadership of the Brethren in Christ Church (BICC) ordained me as a licensed minister in 2010. The church assigned me to be an associate pastor alongside my husband at Ndirande BICC in Blantyre.

I feel sad when I see many people who need Christ. This is my driving force in ministry: to see more people get to know Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives.

There are many areas in which I enjoy serving the Lord, among which are preaching and counselling. It is not always easy, but with God’s help, I do those tasks and people appreciate the counsel.

I thank God that I am the first woman to be ordained in the history of Malawi BICC. It is an honor to my family, the church and indeed to me. With this new position, I will be able to serve the Lord to the maximum. It is my prayer that God will help me to serve him according to his will.

I hope this will encourage women to work hard and to learn and attend Bible school. It is my plea to the church leadership to create more opportunities for women to learn the Word of God.

Also, as the new bishop’s wife, I have opportunity to travel with him, meeting people and attending to needs. In our service for the Lord, we shall aspire to know God’s Word better, pray together and discuss issues together.

I want to reach out to elderly people and to orphans. This group of people needs to experience the love of God as we meet both their physical and spiritual requirements. My prayer is that one day, God will provide me with resources that enable me to reach them.

Finally, I want to thank God for his mercies and possibilities as I serve him. I need your prayers to achieve well in this task.

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