It is indisputable that the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has brought fear, hopelessness and despair among many people in Malawi.
Even the state machinery is panicking as it leads concerted efforts in fighting the pandemic and addressing the shocks it has brought forth.
At the height of the current Covid-19 wave, hospitals had been overstretched and schools closed for weeks.
As everyone can see, the pandemic has almost crippled all sectors of the economy including small scale businesses and enterprises.
Churches have had their own bitter pills, too. The restriction of gatherings to not more than 50 individuals meant less people being reached with the gospel.
On the other hand, it meant some churches having less offerings coming through to run the affairs of those churches.
But, in troubling times such as these, as has been the case many generations before, men and women of God must rise to emancipate people from fear, to preach the message of hope and restoration.
Apostle Clifford Kawinga, leader and founder of Salvation for All Ministries International, has emerged just in time and taken up his rightful position among men and women of God who are giving hope of a new beginning to people.
His church, a moderate cream white building which is the size of two classroom blocks combined, is situated in Six Miles, area 38, on the outskirts of the Capital, Lilongwe.
It is not only a place for worshipping and praising God. This church also feeds and dresses the needy.
“This pandemic is a season. It will go just like other pandemics in the past,” says Kawinga, one of the most youthful apostles in Malawi.
Here, Kawinga refers to the many pandemics highlighted in the bible, the pandemics that came mostly because mankind had sinned and fallen out of the grace of God.
According to Kawinga, these calamities were eradicated when God’s favour returned upon people.
“The bible in Leviticus 26:25 tells us that some plagues were directly sent by God for a specific purpose of punishment. And in II Chron. 7:13 the bible tells us that in other times God allows pandemics just to come,” he says.
Kawinga assures that despite God’s wrath on his people whenever they have departed from his teachings, he “forgives and restores order so his name is glorified”.
He urged people to support government’s Covid-19 containment measures, saying “even the bible talks about authorities doing such things when plaques struck in those times”.
“It is not strange that governments enforce preventive measures these days to control the further spread of an outbreak. The bible says such measures were there when there was leprosy,” says Kawinga.
He adds: “In Isaiah 26: 20-21 scriptures commanded people to enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past, because the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain”.
However, Kawinga bemoaned the tendency of current generations who “want to adhere to containment regulations only when law enforcement agencies force them to do so”.
He said: “People of God, the pandemic we are facing now is like a season of maize. We plant and harvest, then the season is gone, we start a new season. This is the way the Covid 19 will disappear. So let us cooperate with authorities”.
Kawinga reiterates that the pandemic knows no boundary.
“Believers and none believes are into this together. While we pray to God for his grace, let us also follow the containment regulations put in place by authorities to stop the spread of the virus,” he says
“Our ministry has spent about MK45 million to support over 6000 people with Covid 19 prevention materials in Dowa and Lilongwe since January. We have done this because we know that while we pray to God for his mercy and favour, we need to do something to provoke Gods mercy so that he grants us his mercies and favours quickly,” adds Kawinga.
According to the apostle, there is an “assurance that the world will be restored back”.
He quotes the book of Joel Chapter 2 where it is written: “God heard the cry of his children who were fasting, weeping and praying for his mercy and he restored them because they prayed before him”.
“God did this for he is gracious, compassionate and slow to anger,” notes Kawinga.
He then calls upon Christians to believe that the restoration, once done, will be abundant as cited in Joel 2 V 26 which says “when restoration is done, you will have plenty to eat until you are full.”
Kawinga is also a renowned entrepreneur and managing director and chief executive officer of Creck Hardware and General Suppliers, CK Ceramics and Shalom Private schools.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :