Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2012 by chinyaz

While on a flight to Cape Town God spoke to me (Please don’t cringe). I left Harare International Airport at 9:45am to Joburg and that morning I prayed I would not sit next to anyone. Rationale – I just wanted an empty space to myself. My prayer was not answered; a gentleman sat next to me and read his newspaper to Joburg. Next leg of the journey was Cape Town, same prayer as Harare, same answer as Harare. This time a young man sat next to me, Johan. He not only sat there but wanted to know my name. Added to that, he told me that “God loves me” – yes me – Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi. He gave me a tract explaining God’s love, not only to me but to other passengers. Here we were mid-air and this young man was “unashamed of the gospel” (cf. Romans 1:16). A Mormon by faith, Johan had spent 3 years of his life as a missionary in Uganda and was returning home to Cape Town. After his “preaching” and “literature evangelism” escapade on the SAA flight, Johan sat quietly offered a prayer and started studying his bible & notes (see picture). I was impressed rather strangely I was ashamed (not the shame of Romans 1:16) but the one that asks the question “WOULD I HAVE DONE THE SAME IN PUBLIC?” God did not answer two prayers of empty seats for me BUT sent a young man to remind me “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ” – even if Johan was white; a Mormon; younger than me and the fact that we were mid-air………Johan was UNASHAMED of the Gospel he believed. Check out these verses about being ashamed maybe you won’t be ashamed next time (cf. Romans 1:16; Mark 8:38; 1 Corinthians 1: 18; 2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:12).

Johan having a bible study mid-air

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5 tips to Women to help Men

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2012 by chinyaz

I believe the male child is fast becoming an endangered species. Men are fast disappearing at a time when their relevance is most in demand. So how can women help us?

I revisited a narrative that has always given me encouragement at a time of despondency. I initially thought that the meta-narrative in the Exodus account was about a man (Moses) and a journey of deliverance. However, the story of Moses comes fully alive (not exclusively) because of the role of some women in his life-story. These women really establish the raison d’être of existence for Moses.

“But the midwives feared God and did not do as the King of Egypt had commanded but let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17)

1. Women – please don’t kill the male child before they are born. Pharaoh had issued a decree that the male child be taken out before they experience life. It is futile to participate in the destruction of life. Here is what Wesley says about this passage: “But the midwives feared God – Dreaded His wrath more than Pharaoh’s, and therefore saved the men – children alive.” Ladies please save the “men children” and not take them out before they are born.

 2. Women – please don’t be participating in the destruction of one of your own. Its symbiosis really, we all need each other. So these two midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) became a bastion of resistance to anything that will destroy the male child. They became archetypes that confront injustice against the male child. They translated love for the male child into action – please do the same for our males.

3. Women – please it’s not rocket science men just need affirmation. The greatest source of affirmation in the biblical plot came when Puah and Shiphrah gave LIFE to the male child and not death. Never have men needed to be affirmed than in our day of injustice. The absence of affirmation shatters a man into being lifeless…..so please affirm us.

 4. Women – please watch over us especially when we are in “tight” situation like floating in a river infested with crocodiles and our source of refuge is a basket with a tar surface. We need more sisters like Miriam who watch out for the male child especially when danger is nearby.

 5. Women – please don’t keep silent when the male child is perishing. In the moment of excitement we often misplace our values and our bearings lead us far from right. It’s been said “all that is necessary for evil to flourish is for the good to stay silent”. Love us to speak out!

 Now try this, substitute where I have mentioned “women” with “men” and you will see no matter the gender principle is the same.

 Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi

"The Male Child Is Disappearing Fast"

10 January 2012

Why Samson Has Not Found What He is Looking For?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2011 by chinyaz

“The next station is Timnah; please mind the gap when alighting”

I think the experience of Samson in Timnah can be summarised in these lyrics:

“I have climbed the highest mountains; I have run through the fields.
Only to be with you, only to be with you.
I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls
Only to be with you, But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for, But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.”

I think I found an answer why Samson has not found what he is looking for:

“Physically, Samson was the strongest man upon the earth; but in self-control, integrity, and firmness, he was one of the weakest of men. Many mistake strong passions for a strong character, but the truth is that he who is mastered by his passions is a weak man. The real greatness of the man is measured by the power of the feelings that he controls, not by those that control him.”           Conflict & Courage, Chapter 126

Maybe the problem of Samson is still prevalent in our day, thankfully we don’t have to be like him.

Warning! Friends Can Be Addictive .

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2011 by chinyaz

One of the greatest battles any addict faces is the desire & willingness to stop. Think about it, he or she knows that this addiction is causing so much pain emotionally, physically and straining relationships with others.  One night they make a vow as strong as ropes of sand to STOP – the next they fall again into the same claws of addiction.

Been ruminating on a thought after receiving news of the death of a friend – friendships can be addictive. I guess facebook provides a forum where this indulgence can happen. It’s even more interesting when you get to meet someone in person and put a voice to the chats and messages sent online. No sooner you realise you are addicted into a friendship, a good addiction it is.

On one of my travels to Zambia, I met Rodney Jere Ntabeni. A young man with a zeal for life and driven by the mantra of mission and service. Armed with enough fortitude to call it like it is – he was the kind of friend who you would want to keep company with.

To realise that he is no more is just sad and casts a gloomy picture of reality and life without him.

I guess friendships have a way of getting us bound, connected and dare I add addicted to each other. So another friend writes a letter to some friends in Corinth: “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” A song writer also pens some words after losing a friend to “the last enemy” to advise other friends –  

                                   

“And friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them. 
And a friend will not say never, Cause the welcome will not end 
Though it’s hard to let you go, In the Father’s hands we know 
That a lifetime’s not too long To live as friends.”

 

ImageSee you in the morning Rodney Jere Ntabeni, my friend!

Lest I Forget Gethsemane

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 by chinyaz

I am so paranoid about forgetting. So in my life at the moment I have gadgets to help me not forget. For starters, I have a phone, an IPAQ and my outlook email all armed with facilities to make me not forget. Just in case I wake up one morning and all these virtual facilities have failed; I also have a physical diary which I carry with me all the time. Given this artillery no power can take me out and no event will escape unnoticed. However, this defence system against forgetfulness was tested and found wanting.

Diary Entry: 17 February 2011 – Meeting with Diane at 10am in the cafeteria

This event had been recorded in the diaries on my phone, IPAQ and my outlook email. Coupled with this – I scribbled it my physical diary; in big and bold letters. However, Diane sent an email two days before our scheduled meet pushing the time to 11am.  So “Einstein” arrives at 10am and begins to sip through some tea, fidgets with papers, counts the number of people wearing blue and even recollect my life story. Diane did not show up – even though diaries on my phone, IPAQ, outlook email and physical diary said 10am. The price I paid in forgetting to change the diary entry.

Jennie Hussey, a lie long time Quaker took time in taking care of an invalid sister. In the moments of this service she penned a song which to me transcends to being more just a lyrical composition but a diary entry for each day of my life. The interesting thing about this diary entry is that it concerns an event that has already happened. Now before you dismiss me as being a lunatic. I write every-morning in my diary:

The cross a reminder for me

“Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.”

A reminder worth recording each day in my diary of a series of events that happened in history and now shape my present and my future. Someone took a rusty nail for me; endured abuses and insults meant for me; tasted a bitter liquid for me covered under the veneer of water; embarrassed by people who a few days had hailed Him King…..finally, this person went all the way that I may be free from addictions and self-destructive habits.

The account in Luke 23:33 simply reminds me: and when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him…”

Help me NEVER forget the cries from Gethsemane and the crowning act of Calvary.

Diary Entry: 28 February 2011 –

Lest I Forget Gethsemane Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.”

Lessons about FAITH and being late for Church

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 by chinyaz

It was one of those occasions when it pays to be late for church. I had decided to take a holiday in Malawi, for one special reason. My grandmother is from Malawi and her history is laden with narratives from Malawi. I wanted to learn about my identity and would soon learn about FAITH as well.

I was to attend a church located along a dirt road with a short stretch of visible tarmac peeled off by the unmistakable tracks of cars. As I walked through the township my face was a mask of confusion at the sight of life I saw.

On arrival at church I was greeted by a young man; with broad shoulders and a big smile. “My name is Odassi, I will wash your feet today” he spoke in a voice not proportionate to his physical stature. I responded, “My name is Willie and I don’t mind washing your feet as well.”

So the pleasantries had been exchanged and as he began to wash my feet he said; “you see Willie, today I wash your feet because you are my brother”. Our eyes then met and he said; “I left my troubled Rwanda where Hutus and Tutsis have killed each other, I pray that one day I will also wash the feet of my Hutu brothers as I have done yours today.”

Upon further inquiry Odassi would then share with me the reason why he fled Rwanda. His entire family was butchered just because they belonged to the other ethnic tribe. I asked him rather ashamedly what keeps him going. At which point he got his hymnal and started to sing in the loveliest tenor; “but until then my heart will go on singing, until then with joy I’ll carry on.”

As we sang these lines together again, I did a bit of reflection myself. Odassi’s FAITH is rooted in a promise that he will see his loved ones again and this is enough for him to go on each day. In Hebrews 11:1 FAITH is described as the

“substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is the FAITH I saw and learnt about in Malawi, a FAITH that springs forward in hope even in the face of great difficulty. I learnt about FAITH when I was late for church.

Personal Diary Notes and Reflections  from Malawi – 2005

Reflections on Faith: Dead bones & Unborn babies

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2010 by chinyaz

One of my greatest endeavours and rather unashamedly has been trying to conceptualise “faith”…..I mean my whole life is laden with narratives of faith and I guess it makes sense to understand this. Let me illustrate…..

Deadline for a paper looming & no hope in sight – “Oh Willie have faith”

Seated at a dying friend’s hospital bed – “Brethren we need to have faith”

28 & Single & Black Male – “Young man you need to have faith”

Could it be that 8 pound of matter called the brain can never understand faith or even has not been called to understand faith…..I mean everything is empirical these days – “show me the colour of your money and then we can speak.” As a result faith has lost its currency and has been sidelined to something for the extreme “fundamentalists” or even societal outcasts. Is there a battle over faith and its relevance in modern society?

I think faith is radical in nature and defies logic, sequence or even structure. Dare I add faith is not some utopian wishful thinking or positive affirmation albeit harsh circumstances – that’s something else masquerading as faith. Rather faith, yes real faith counteracts logic and the pendulum of fact, sequence and structure to opt for something supernatural…..conscious though that fact, logic, sequence and structure are needed by some. In its nature, however, to so few faith has fact, logic, sequence and structure on something supernatural but is not an avenue of many by choice.

In Genesis 50:26 a frail Joseph breathing his last makes a solemn request that his bones be carried from Egypt to the Promised Land:

“Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.”

Fast-forward through the lens of time little boys are playing in the dunes of the desert as they go to the Promised Land. One of the boys notices a coffin as part of the luggage of the Israelites. Curious he asks his father – “Dad what in the coffin? can we not bury it in the hot dunes that surely will make our travel easier?” The father puts a smile on his face – “Son these are the bones of Joseph, we made a promise that we will bury him in the Promised Land….we are keeping that promise.”

Generations could have passed and yet the bones of dead Joseph still spoke “carry my bones to the promised land”.….that is radical faith and yet not an avenue of many but so few and also defies fact, logic, sequence and structure.

From dead bones to unborn babies. A friend of mine shared a story – of how they sing each day a song to their unborn babies and this ascends with prayers as well:

“Should Thy mercy send me sorrow, toil, and woe,
Or should pain attend me on my path below,
Grant that I may never fail Thy hand to see;
Grant that I may ever cast my care on Thee.”

She does not even have a husband at the moment but she sings by faith “grant that I may never fail thy hand to see.” She does not even know who her husband will be but she still sings by faith “grant that I may ever cast my care to thee.” Finally, she is not even pregnant and does not know when this will happen but clings to faith to sing a song for her unborn babies. Once again like the story of Joseph the experience of my friend is not an avenue for the majority and defies fact, logic, sequence and structure…..this is radical faith.

Experiencing such stories makes one think and reflect. I think somewhere in our fibre is a desire to cling to that unseen hand by faith and my advice [reflecting on faith in dead bones and singing to unborn babies]….my advice is…reach out in faith…an “evidence of things hoped for yet unseen.”….that is radical and fact, logic, sequence and structure cannot contest.

Dedicated to the stories of faith I listened to in South Africa in November 2010 – thank you every-one for such an experience and one that has changed my life. To my friend singing to her unborn babies – “Mwari akanaka” – “God is good”

Willie Chinyamurindi

Keep the blessed hope alive

(9 December 2o1o)

Song to an unborn child