Ethel Chitekwe, 33, is a proud mother of one. She got married to Dennie in 2003 and was baptised in the Seventh day Adventist church in 2004. Since then, she has played a low key in the Women Ministries department in spite of being in good and regular standing as a church member. This could be the more reason that over the years she has never been considered for any front-line leadership roles in the women circles, let alone in the church.
But activities of Sabbath afternoon, 10th June, 2017 left patrons mouth agape in wonder because of a very exceptional performance that Mrs Ethel Chitekwe and her colleagues displayed to an audience of close to one thousand believers from Lingadzi District gathered at Mvama Primary School ground to commemorate the Women Emphasis Day.
Under the overarching theme “Gifted to Serve” a plethora of high and low profile ladies were featured to role-play Bible characters standing out as models of a real Adventist lifestyles that is filled with the divinely ordained Agape love. Characters like Abigail, Tabitha, the Samaritan woman just to mention a few were showcased in style by the women. It was here where Ethel‘s gift of preaching was exposed! In her 3 minute narrative of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well, Ethel, amid rounds of ‘amens’ from the congregation Ethel displayed the skill of story telling blended in her short sermon to expound and convey deeper meanings of the Written Word. Carrying her earthen pot on her head to parade the Samaritan woman, Ethel tactfully drove a point home; that the love of Christ draws humanity closer to the heart of God if people are willing and obedient to go out and serve!
In her own words after the function, Ethel confessed that she has never had the chance to take to the pulpit to preach despite her long time burning passion for evangelism.
“I thought I was timid but the opportunity to perform before this audience has now given me the courage to serve God” she observed
Commenting on Ethel’s remarks, Vice President of Women Ministries Mrs Chifundo Mtiyesanji, said the event was an eye opener to leadership because the rare talents displayed by the women deserved recognition and nurturing for further service. She suggested that a workshop be organized where hidden talents like Ethel’s would be modeled for evangelistic use in the department.
"These women have really challenged us. With proper empowerment programs, the church could readily tap from such a resource that is gifted to serve” said the excited Mtiyesanji.
In her keynote address during the function, guest of honour, Mrs Mary Gumbala, wife to CMC Executive Secretary, underscored the need for patrons to embrace the Christ centred love called Agape. She said the absence of love among believers in the church was counterproductive to efforts marshaled for soul winning in the church.
“People hear our messages but they will not get moved until they see our message in action through our love for one another” she lamented
Lingadzi District comprises Area 49, Gulliver, Mvama and seven other branches that are scattered beyond Mtedza River. The district is under the pastoral care of Julius Chambwe, an avid proponent of multifaceted evangelism approach.