Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Heroes cut across professions
The Standard, Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:23

Two weeks ago I went with my wife to pay our condolences to the Evangelist Chiweshe family in Concession. I had never met him before in my life. I had also never heard him preach. But what I heard about him during his lifetime and at the time he died compelled me to just be with his family. It was a week and some days after his burial. He was an icon in his home area. Somebody we met there who knew me introduced me as tezvara (brother-in-law), to the widow, who is of the same totem as me.

The man who introduced me said about the late Chiweshe: “Pastor, the man who died here was a man of his word. He preached what he practised.”

These words touched me. Here was an ordinary Christian who had observed Evangelist Chiweshe preaching and doing what he preached. The question in my mind was, do I/we as preachers preach what we do or do we just say, do not worry about my deeds; just listen to the word and obey it?

The nation was voluntarily in mourning the week Evangelist Chiweshe died. Messages that came from locals and from across the world were just a clear testimony that here was a great preacher who had helped save many individuals’ lives.

Both the print and electronic media covered the death and burial in detail. I realised that heroes cut across professions. Chiweshe was a hero par excellence. The mentor of many had gone.

Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) has produced men and women who have been great preachers. Though I am not of the AFM church, I was converted at a crusade in Highfield in the early 70s where another legendary AFM pastor, Evangelist Kupara, preached. I could not resist his message for it was full of grace and conviction. He was another preacher who preached what he practised.

Nowadays I have observed many a preacher who say concentrate on what I say and not what I do. My wealth is none of your business. What you can do is to contribute to my wealth and let me enjoy it on your behalf.

This is a far cry from what our Lord Jesus Christ taught us. We are first and foremost servants who should serve others. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet as a sign of what we should be doing as we attempt to follow him.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Monday, September 19, 2011

She got what she had not bargained for

The Standard, Sunday 18 September 2011

Last year I spent two months in Australia. My experiences there varied from meetings and preaching in different places. My highlights were spending some time with Aboriginal people who were kind and welcoming.

One experience is worth sharing. I met this young Australian who had been to Africa. She had all the praise for her lifetime trip to motherland-Africa. I used to explain to people there that if they had not been to Africa, it meant they had not been home. Africa is the cradle of humanity and all and sundry must pay a pilgrimage home, at least once in lifetime.

She spent three weeks in rural Uganda and her experience was out of this world. She slept on the floor in huts and it was fun to her. At one place she shared a sleeping bag with a local girl. They did not sleep that night because they were talking and laughing the whole night. This was to be her experience in most of the places she visited.

After three weeks she was shocked to discover that on her last day, there was a party in her honour. The food was basic but well cooked. She no longer remembers how many chickens she ate. The practice was that at each village she visited they had to chase a chicken and a few hours later they would be enjoying the road-runners of Africa.

One pertinent issue she raised was the preparations the simple rural folk made for her send off. She was given a number of live chickens to carry to town for onward consumption. Neighbours brought eggs for her to take to town. She could not refuse the offer.

The people actually organized that someone would accompany her to town with the heavy parcels. She had brought nothing to this community except her love. In return she got what she had not bargained for. Such was the love of the people she had visited for the first time.

To her surprise, when she got to town she had an opposite experience. Instead of the well to do people she was staying with showering her with goodies she was given list after list of things to buy and send back for the up and coming youngsters of Kampala. They would ask for laptops, iPods, etc. Some even asked for plasma TV sets.

The question she wanted me to answer was, why such behaviour on the part of those who have, yet those who did not have gave much?

The answer I gave her was that those in rural areas loved themselves and those in towns hated themselves. Am I right to suggest that those who love themselves give and those who hate themselves ask for gifts?

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A new generation, but something is amiss...

The Standard, Sunday, 4 September 2011

When I started school 50 years ago, I had the best of education that was available. We sat on the floor and often outside. We wrote on the sand and it was fun. Teachers were just out of this world. They were simple but exemplary in their conduct. Everyone in the village looked up to the teacher for guidance. Above all, children were in safe hands.

Story telling was part of learning. Late comers were not tolerated even though some came from long distances. Along the way we marked places which would help us determine whether we were late or on time. One would stand at a certain point and measure your shadow with the stick or some other item or fixed mark which would be indicators of time.

From this point we would then either run faster or just take it easy depending on whether we were late or on time judging which side of the mark the shadow would be. We learnt these coping tactics from our predecessors.

Today times have changed. I need not bore you with what we all know. Children are going to school younger, at the age of five or six. The schools are nearby in most places. Time is no longer measured by shadows, etc.

Though things have changed for the better, there seems to be much amiss these days. Some would even say tables have been turned upside down. We are catching up with modern times and our children are exposed to so much that they are overwhelmed.

I had a shock of my life a couple of weeks I go when I went into this supermarket. I had a senior student of mine who is in his late 30s. I asked him to pick three dozen loaves of bread, among other items, for we were going to a funeral. One of the workers in her late teens noticed this guy was picking lots of other things and she came to assist him, which was very kind of her. They put 24 loaves of bread in one trolley. At the point of sale I asked how many loaves were there and was told that they were three dozen loaves. Upon counting them they were only 24.

I asked my student the number of loaves that he had picked and he insisted they were three dozen. I called the young lady who had assisted him and she confirmed that they were three dozen.

Upon asking them both how many loaves were in a dozen they said eight, hence the 24 loaves. My student is no longer a primary or secondary pupil. He is in tertiary training. This lady works in a shop, which deals with quantities.

I concluded that we have a lost generation. Comparing what we went through and what our children and grandchildren are going through, one would expect better comprehension.

My grandson who is soon to turn five can count up to 100, recites all the months of the year, all the days in the week and switches on and off the gadgets in the home, be they simple or sophisticated. This I cannot do myself.

Is it a question of what has gone wrong or right? Times have changed!

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge