Convincing The Chiefs
Chiefs of the culture come in many forms, but in Malawi, the title “chief” is literal in more ways than one.
Malawi employs a traditional chiefdom structure that is divided into districts governed by Traditional Authorities, which is made up of chiefs of different hierarchical levels. The Traditional Authorities are like “custodians of culture.” To reach the people, one must first convince the chiefs.
Tendai Juanita Mayani is passionately pursuing this endeavor to show these chiefs the justice and hope that comes from Jesus Christ alone. Tendai has been able to open up a dialogue with the Traditional Authorities and use existing challenges as vehicles for sharing the Gospel. Tendai and her team have stressed Jesus Christ as the only true problem solver.
Tendai says, “In spreading the Gospel, the aim is to ensure people know of Jesus Christ and are discipled to ensure Christ lives in them.”
The cultural and logistical challenges in doing this are considerable. For one thing, illiteracy levels hinder those who have received Jesus from continuing their journey and furthering their education through reading. Lack of electricity makes it almost impossible to use multimedia presentations unless there is reliable access to a generator. Many in rural areas also lack basic needs such as food and shelter. Tendai reports that people are hesitant to focus on getting spiritual food if they are not getting physical food.
Tendai needed every resource she could get her hands on, and her time at the Haggai Leader Experience gave her the push she needed to take her role in the Great Commission to the next level.
“[The Haggai Leader Experience] has changed me, as it has made me conscious of who I am in society,” says Tendai. “It has made me realize that my lifestyle and personality can bring more into the Kingdom of God or push many away.”
Since her time at the experience in April 2017, Tendai has trained 100 church members on the Biblical mandate of sharing the Gospel. She has reached out to 259 chiefs, and 158 of them have received Jesus Christ as their Savior.
“[Until now], this ministry has been dormant in my church,” says Tendai, “but Haggai International has ignited the fire for reviving the need for sharing the Gospel in our church.”
Thirty of the leaders she’s trained in the church have put their newfound skills into action. One leader is now appealing for the verdict at the end of all her sermons.
Whether it is in the church or to a company of chiefs, opportunities for sharing the Gospel are immeasurable. Tendai is facing challenge after challenge head on and works to make sure that everyone she comes into contact with hears the Good News. But she knows that no matter what, she is never alone in her pursuit.
“I have realized that I am a vessel, and the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts people to receive Jesus Christ,” says Tendai.
Tendai Juanita Mayani
Technical Advisor for Nutrition and Gender
Share this Post