A Red Letter Day

Today was a truly rrrrrred letter day as the church in Singida witnessed the completion of our first church building on our own church plot. This was in the village of Matongo, in Ikungi District. All the ZGACT pastors from Singida were there to thank God for this wonderful doing.

One final check…


… And bye bye little church


Count Your Blessings

Hi everyone. Shouldn’t we be grateful to God always for the littlest good that He does for us? But He does far more good than that for us.

And, pray, shouldn’t we be thankful even when the cross seems difficult to bear?

When we have the right (i.e. spiritual) eyes, we can see the good that God is always working on our behalf in every situation; and we can thank Him.

Count your blessings one by one, and you will have reason to praise and thank God.

Do Not Murmur

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 1 Cor. 10:10

Recently, someone failed to deliver on a promise he had made to me. The worst part of it was that he began giving excuses and, listening to him speak, it appeared to me as if he did not care that it was going to affect me adversely.

As I sat there listening to him, I could feel my heart beginning to turn black. But, just as quickly, something spoke to my heart. It went, “What is important to you? Is it for the man to deliver, or is it for you to maintain a clean heart?”

The answer was as clear as day. Nothing could come close in importance to me keeping a pure heart.

At that very moment, I felt the biggest burden ever lifting from off my shoulders. I thought, I can forgive and let go; and I did so immediately. In fact, I spoke so peaceably to the man I could see the surprise written all over his face.

At about the same time, someone showed me a clip of some Arabs, purportedly Libyans, beating to death a young black man, supposedly an immigrant. They had stripped him down to his pants, bound his hands and feet with tape, and sealed up his mouth completely with the same. They had locked him in a room and were beating him with what appeared to be a baseball bat. They beat him until every bone in his body was broken. Someone grabbed him by the back of his head and stabbed him repeatedly in the back with a large knife, and soon the boy was swimming in his own blood as he struggled for his life. Finally, as they went on bashing, he gave up the struggle. I had to steel myself to watch the video to the horrible end.

Again, I felt the old anger and hatred rising up in me. But, again, just as quickly, something spoke to my heart: “Watch out!” It was telling me to watch out for the purity of my heart. In my heart I immediately cried out to God; and just as quickly I felt the anger and hatred seeping away.

I am not blowing my trumpet and, indeed, the victories in my life are not always so forthcoming. But I rejoiced greatly when I saw clearly my responsibity in these two cases, and the grace of God that was so easily accessible to me.

Most of us don’t realize how important it is to watch over our hearts. But the Bible in Proverbs 4:23 tells us that watching over the purity of our hearts is the most important exercise that we can engage in here on earth.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Notice, “with all diligence”. The Swahili Bible reads, “Guard your heart above all the things that you guard…”

Murmuring means grumbling, complaining; and it prevents us from keeping a pure heart. Ultimately, it destroys us. In fact, murmuring can be considered the silent killer of the spirit. It is so subtle and muted we often are not aware of its existence in our lives.

Much of the time, of course, we murmur because we feel we have been robbed of our rights. But that is what the gospel is all about. In fact, the gospel is more about us gladly giving up our rights rather than just waiting to have them grabbed from us. It is about rejoicing in persecution (Mat. 5:11-12). As children of God, we must pay the price to maintain a pure heart at every occasion and at all costs. And this state of affairs can only be achieved by the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ in our lives.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:14:

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

And, in Galatians 2:20 he writes:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Paul’s faith was revealed in his dying to self.

Let us not murmur. However great the injustice, let us not murmur. Let us learn to rejoice and give thanks to God in every situation. Notice the Bible says that, when they murmured, the Israelites were given over to the Destroyer. Murmuring will destroy us; it will destroy our souls. Instead, let us learn to take every injustice with patience, for injustice is God’s way of testing our faith. We are to be men and women whose lives are ever full of love, forgiveness, joy and peace.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 14:17)

[And now, for your listening pleasure…]


“Thank You, Lord”

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Heb. 12:1-13

The Americans gave the world the mega-church; but they weren’t half-prepared for the surprise that Africa would give them: the field church. These are super mega-crowds of believers so huge that no structure in the world can hold them. They therefore congregate in open fields, in football grounds, etc. In the southern part of Africa, where they have a propensity for such things, there are countless such churches.

The lives of most of the leaders of these churches, though, are less than exemplary. The word “exemplary” means being so praiseworthy or excellent in something as to be an example of. When I say less than exemplary, I mean these men are not examples of the Christian life.

One such preacher of a field church that claims to raise the dead – a man so rich he owns aircraft and a fleet of expensive cars – has a knack for generating fights of every sort, except the good fight of our Christian faith. He has been involved in altercations with the leader of the Roman Catholic church in his country and currently he is involved in a bitter confrontation with one of that country’s political leaders. We get to know of these things because they cover every news channel.

The reason this man is involved in these childish skirmishes is because he cannot afford to be opposed or disagreed with. He is lord of whatever turf he believes he owns and everyone has to bow down to him. He cannot endure to be slighted.

That is in stark contrast to the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that when men opposed Him, Jesus “endured” their opposition.

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself…”

In 1 Peter 2:22-23, it further says of our Lord:

“22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”.

This was because Jesus had the grace of God in Him. And we are called to carry that same grace in us, in order that we may live an exemplary life… a life of faith, forbearance, forgiveness, love. And we are to thank God exceedingly for sending His Son to come down to earth to show us that these things can be lived. If God had not sent Jesus down in human form, we would have no example to follow. We could rightfully say to God, “God, You are in heaven, and we are down here on earth. What do you know of what we are going through? Just continue living your life in heaven and leave us to our earthly lives.”

I tell you, that would leave God speechless and, on judgment day, He would have to waive His judgment on all humanity.

But, in Jesus, we are presented with this amazing example of a Man who, in human form, could live out the grace of God in its fullness and perfection. We are only called upon to run after Him, taking hold of God’s grace that is readily available to us. The Bible says that, in the dispensation of the new covenant under which we are living right now, this grace has been given without measure (Jn. 3:34).

The greatest measure of the grace of God in our life is when men oppose us. That is the moment we can reveal the grace of God in us.

For this confrontational preacher, therefore, instead of continuing to raise the dead, he should instead go back into his closet, lock the door behind him and cry to God; cry to God for the grace to bear with the opposition of men against him. He should cry to God to help him to learn to love them and to bear with them. For it is in the opposition of men that the chastisement of the Lord – and the love of God towards us – is hidden. And this is the gift that we can truly thank God for.

The Awesomeness of God’s Grace – Part 1

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Cor. 15:10

Why would the Apostle Paul speak the words he spoke here? Why would he speak of the grace of God in this manner? It was because he came to understand how unworthy he was. One day, this man realized how useless and how undeserving he truly was before God. Only God could make him otherwise. And thus Paul extolled the praises of God’s grace.

Jeremiah 17:9 makes the point: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Notice scripture does not say, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, but at times it can also be amazingly good, truthful and sinless”. No. (God is not like us. We love flattering people. But God is God and He does not engage in such posturings.)

In fact, the Bible goes even further and tells us that the human heart is not only wicked, but “desperately” so. There is not a scrap of goodness or righteousness in the human soul; only evil resides there.

(We also love to think that we are good people; and when we look at all the “good” we have done, we are tempted to think that our assessment of ourselves is actually true! But the Bible does not even come close to entertaining such a thought, and we, too, should not. I am sure there are a few things that you and I know about our hearts, and it is no exaggeration to say that only through a miracle of God can we find any good in us.)

Inside the human heart there is a spiritual world which is bigger than our known physical universe. And the Bible here declares that this measureless world is full of only evil. That means there are many more things that we do not know about our hearts. There are depths in our hearts that we simply cannot fathom; but, alas! they are depths only of wickedness. That is why the Bible says that no man can know the extent of the wickedness in him.  Only God can know that. He alone can plumb the depths of our hearts.

There is neither white or black, yellow or brown. There is neither rich nor poor. There is neither cultured nor uncultured. Fact is, we are all the same. We are evil through and through.

But through His grace, kindness and mercy, God takes our evil heart, washes it sparkling clean. It is like someone picking up a piece of dung-covered something and, while you would expect that he would bury it away, he instead cleans it and out of it comes the most beautiful gem you ever saw! That gem happens to be us, when God washes us of our sins. Remember God created us in His own image and likeness.

We therefore have absolutely nothing to boast about when it comes to us and God. Indeed, it is a miracle that we can be found in Him. That is why we should be extremely thankful to God for His grace. It is by grace alone that we were reconciled to God, and it is by that same grace that we stand today. The Apostle Paul understood this aspect of grace probably more than anybody else. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am…”

That statement reflects the highest point of faith.

But not many believers can live out that statement. Many of us say: “I am what I am by the grace of God and a little effort on my part”. We do so subconsciously, of course. Our faith is that small.

But Paul did not say that. Instead he said, “All that I am, I am by God’s grace alone.”

But that is not all. After He has washed us clean and reconciled us to Himself, God comes to live in us.

The Bible declares, “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4). God is in us! This is a tremendous scripture. It is also a scripture which we love to think that we know perfectly well; but, again, few of us are really capable of grasping it in its fullness for it can only be fully comprehended through the kind of faith that Paul had.

In the second part of this post we shall see an even more surprising aspect of God’s grace.

[Below: “I Stand In Awe Of You”]

Nature Glorifies God!

All of nature, except man, naturally declares the glory of God. Man is naturally so selfish that He wakes up every morning grumbling instead of giving thanks.

The birds wake us every morning with their joyous chirping. They are happy to see another day. The house rooster crows and flaps its wings in utter abandon upon observing a new day. The trees sway in unison to declare the glory of God. The honeybee begins its rounds to collect the materials needed to make sweet honey.

Every part of God’s creation wakes up bright and cheery – except man. He can only wake up cheery if there is anything that will profit him in the flesh, like a new job, or if he is getting married that day.

But in the Spirit, I believe we as believers ought to be bright and cheery all the time. That is one of the ways to declare the glory of God. If we could only see in the Spirit, we certainly would wake up shouting like madmen with joy every morning.

That is why Paul and Silas could pray and sing songs of praise after they had been badly beaten and were put in the stocks (Acts 16:25). Do you know what stocks are? It was a most agonizing form of  punishment way back in those days. It was difficult to breathe when in the stocks; but Paul and Silas were so happy they sang praises to God! They did not sing the blues, no; they sang praises!!

God has done so many things for us in the Spirit. Many of these things cannot be seen with the eyes of flesh. They are only discernible in the Spirit. And yet they are the most profound things that He has done for us. And when we see them, nothing can stop us from praising God.

The Lord also blesses us in the flesh. He gives us many things freely.

When we are seeing in the Spirit, there is nothing that can be above us. There is nothing that can prevent us from rejoicing in our spirits even when the flesh is undergoing persecution.

May we pray for a spirit of revelation and understanding. When we walk in the fullness of this spirit, it is one way that we can bless the Lord.

[Below: Children, too, naturally declare the glory of God]


A “Cross” New Year!

The title there is not intended to make anyone cross. It is my way of saying “Happy New Year!”

To all my beloved brethren in the Lord, I wish you a happy and blessed New Year, 2015. I wish it to be a year where we all, you and I, will come to understand and live the revelation of the cross in our hearts as the Lord Jesus gave it to the Apostle Paul and the Early Church.

On a personal level, I thank everyone who took so much as a peek at this blog. Every “Like” and every comment was of great encouragement to me. May the Lord repay you for your love and kindness!! There were those who took it upon themselves to be especially close to me. I am especially thankful!

To those dear bloggers whom I was not able to show my support in word or deed, I sincerely ask for forgiveness. I certainly ought to have done more, and I pray that in the New Year I will be more of a giver than a receiver of love and support.

May the love of Christ encompass you all. I love you!

Your brother,

Zakaria Mwita.

[Below: My laptop, too, has been of inexpressible help in the running of this blog!]


A Liberal Heart

26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;

27 To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,

28 And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,

30:29 And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites,

30 And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach,

31 And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt. 1 Sam. 30:26-31

Someone wanted to send me some money recently, and they asked me for my bank account number. I told the brother I did not have a bank account.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I just said I do not have a bank account, didn’t you hear?” I shouted back. Anyone from my tribe is simply unable to talk quietly, especially on the phone.

The man was livid. “Mwita, don’t be stupid! Are you telling me that at your age you have never opened a bank account?”

“Exactly. Yes.”

The silence was deafening as the man, a fellow tribesman, tried to find his cool. We are also famous for our ‘short fuse’.

I sat quietly back and gave him all the rope he needed. As I sat there listening to him huffing and puffing, my mind went back to those “stupid” years, the early years of my salvation. In those years I used to work and had a salary, but I never felt the need to open a bank account. Instead, I would share my money with anyone in need.

Those were the days. There was no greater joy than to bring a smile to someone’s face, to alleviate someone’s misery.

I believe that when the joy of the Lord comes to our hearts, one fruit of that joy is that we immediately think of other people. Carrying a generous heart is one way of telling God, “Thank you.” And yet, still, that does not come from us; it is of God. In all my saved life, the Lord has never blessed me financially or materially and never put it on my heart to bless somebody else. To my shame I cannot say that I have always obeyed His soft voice, but He has always been faithful to remind me.

That is what we see David doing here. The Lord had blessed Him with much spoil. David’s joy was expressed, not in hoarding what he had received, but by sharing it with his friends, his brethren, and everyone, near and far.

This is the heart that we all need to have, for it is the heart of God. That is why whenever God blesses us, He will always remind us to bless others.

[Below: An African wood carving]


My Mother Also

Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Rom. 16:13

I am sure that Rufus’ mother was not just lounging about singing lullabies for Paul and Co. whenever they would visit her home. She and Paul must have had a relationship that so touched Paul’s heart to the extent that he could say of her, “She is my mother also”. She probably did not do something physical, but that she did something, of that I am sure. Paul would not go about scattering compliments like confetti. (Today we do a lot of that, unfortunately, especially in Pentecostal circles.)

And right here I can tell you exactly what Rufus’ mother did: she gave her life. Many Christians have this idea that ‘giving your life’ to Christ only involves making that initial confession whereby they accept Jesus into their lives.

But actually, giving our lives to Jesus is living a sacrificial life. Rufus’ mother must have given her life to Paul in such a sacrificial manner that he could say of her, “She is my mother”. It was a pricey relationship.

When I began writing this blog about two years ago, I did not have a laptop. I had an old desktop, which gave up the ghost not long after I had purchased it. I would therefore work this blog and do all my other stuff on borrowed computers or in internet cafes.

When our Canadian friends Frank and Carol came over to visit us in February last year, I was asked by my church elders to go keep them company in the house they were staying in in the city of Mwanza. So I travelled all the way from Dar es Salaam to go stay with them.

On arrival I remember noticing Carol using this flashy-looking laptop, and I quickly performed an act of “deliverance” on myself to ward off the spirit of covetousness that I could feel creeping up on me.

After about a week I had forgotten all about the laptop (Carol would use it only minimally). Then one evening Carol got it out and said to me, “Mwita, this computer is for you”, or words to that effect. She then proceeded to tell me how she had managed to purchase it: she had sewn sweaters (she is an expert at the art), and with the money she got from selling them to friends she had bought me the laptop.

As you can expect, I was deeply moved. I will not tire you with the details of the many conflicting emotions that rose up in my heart on hearing this very unexpected news, but suffice it to say that today I write this blog and do many other things for God’s Kingdom on a brand new laptop.

I happen to know that this blog has been a blessing to one or two people, at the very least. And although I might not understand God’s ways very well, I am assured that if even one person might have come to a deeper knowledge of God through what is written herein, that is an incredible blessing.

I know also that Carol did not give me this laptop so I could write about her (she was not even aware that I was running a blog then), therefore I am not blowing anyone’s trumpet here and I am sure her reward is safe in heaven.

But what I want to say here is that whenever I think of any tiny thing that could have been attained for the Kingdom of God through using this laptop, I always think of Carol. I think of the heart that must have gone into doing what she did. Of course, having known each other for more than 20 years Carol and I have much that unites us; and yet it is the work that I do through this laptop that makes me think of her more than anything else.

I consider her my mother in the Spirit, just as much as she is many other people’s mother. I love her with all my heart. And I thank her exceedingly.

It is therefore with a deep sense of gratitude that I write this post and I feel deeply satisfied that I have finally found the grace to do so.

I know also that she and her husband have paid an incredible price in many different other ways for the Kingdom of God. But suffice it here to just mention this little act of kindness which has meant so much for me and, hopefully, for God’s Kingdom.

[Below: My mother, Carol]


A Celebration of Life!

I have many special women in my life (in the spiritual sense, of course), women whom I love with all my heart in the Lord and who equally cherish me. But there is no doubt about the fact that, apart from my wife Flo, none has a more special part in my life as “Cucu S.D.” Her real name is Eunice Manyama, but we nicknamed her “Cucu”, a Kenyan word meaning “grandmother”; S.D. are the initials of her husband’s name, also a dear friend.

Cucu and I have that heart love that words can simply not express. It is an indescribable love. Just the thought of her is sufficient to make my day. With me and her, it is simply love at its best.

Since the first day we met it was love at first sight, and each day thereafter has been a celebration of that love. After we married, Flo came right in and fit perfectly into our love triangle. The Lord has granted us to enjoy many memorable moments together; not just we alone, but even with members of the church, since Cucu S.D. is an integral part of the church I spent years overseeing with Pastor Amas before moving to Dar es Salaam.

Having ‘known each other’ now for more than 20 years, our love has simply matured with time and today, more than ever, Cucu and Flo and I are woven together in an indescribably tight love knot which we can only ascribe to and thank the Lord for.

But, now that we are far apart physically, our opportunities for interaction have naturally been severely curtailed by circumstances and sometimes we can go for months without hearing from one another.

But the Lord in His grace confirms His involvement in the relationships that He builds amongst us, at times in dramatic ways.  About a week ago Flo came from Dar es Salaam, where she and the kids are, to visit me here in Singida. The morning after she arrived I was listening to a song on my laptop and I said to her, “I don’t know why, but whenever I hear that song I find myself thinking of Cucu S.D. I recall everything about the times we spent together! This song always leaves me feeling terribly nostalgic.”

Flo and I then spent some time talking about our delightful times with Cucu. We even spoke of how long it had been since we last heard from her. I had not heard from her for many months, nor had I called.

A few moments later I moved from the bedroom and was just beginning to prepare breakfast when my phone rang. Unbelievably, it was Cucu!

“Flo!” I yelled. “You won’t believe this!”

“Who is it?” she enquired.

“It’s Cucu!”

“Impossible!” she exclaimed. She scrambled out of bed and came crashing into my tiny sittingroom-cum-kitchen.

We settled down and after a long round of greetings, African-style (you have to ask even how the grandchildren are doing!) I deliberately asked Cucu why she had called. The profound coincidence had more than tickled my curiosity.

Was she probably aware that Flo had come to visit?


“Well”, she explained, “I woke up this morning and simply felt this indescribable feeling that I needed to call you – and I did!”

She was 500 miles away; the Holy Spirit had ‘connected’ us supernaturally.

But if Cucu thought she had given me a surprise, I was about to give her a bigger one. I narrated to her the morning’s goings-on in my room just a few minutes ago. She was stunned.

But so, again, were we!

[Below: A celebration of life with Cucu S.D. during my last visit to Musoma]

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