Would you briefly describe the conference?
We brought in old people from all over Nsanje for a conference because I really feel that there is no point in bringing them food now and again but they need to feel useful. We brought them here; we are teaching them the principles of God, especially prayer. We truly believe that when they pray, God hears. He can turn things around not just for them but the nation too.
Did you bring members of your ministry only, or you brought ordinary elderly people across Nsanje?
They are just ordinary elderly people. Most of them do not even belong to our church. But our pastors have gone to seek particularly those who are needy. Our list now shows we have not less than 350 of them.
Do you think that the gospel in Malawi is not reaching the elderly?
Definitely. Probably, half of the elderly people we have here have never been reached with the gospel before. We have trained almost 25 pastors to reach out the elderly people so that they do not fall from the gospel net. So our pastors follow these elderly people into their homes to supplement the usual Sunday services.
Is what you are doing here part of what Alabaster Ministriesâ€™ is all about?
Exactly, this is what the ministry is all about. We want to reach out to elderly people, make them useful and to inspire them to do something until God takes them.
Are there plans of extending the ministry to other parts of the country?
Currently, no. 350 are all we can manage right now. We plan to build a community centre for them in Tengani, Nsanje.
It appears your ministry is mostly about social responsibility. What happened to the gospel?
Well, God told us to care of elderly people and children. As I have said before, there is something gone wrong in Africa. Culturally, the community took care of the elderly people and the orphans. That is not happening now. As such, somebody needs to come in. It is not right to just come and preach the gospel to these people and leave them with broken hearts: with no food and clothing. So we have to feed and clothe them. But more importantly, we need to reach them with the gospel.
What actually is your ministry trying to say to Malawians?
Through intercession, we believe that we can change this nation. Prayer is power because we pray to a powerful God. When we go to Him, pounding hard on heavens, He hears us. He can change the situation here. Prices are rising. City people have jobs but people in rural areas are struggling to manage. As a ministry we cannot do much about that because it demands unbelievable financing. Of course, we have an organisation that can do that, for instance, World Food Programme (WFP). But still we need the Lord to give us direction to reach out to the elderly.
I know itâ€™s quite expensive to bring all these people here from different corners of the district. Even worse, with rising cost of commodity prices in the country and across the globe, itâ€™s not easy to feed all these people for four days. How did you manage?
We have wonderful supporters from the USA that support the programme. I am praying that when I go back I should also talk with a number of well-wishers to help us with funds to finish the project at Tengani.