September 2017 will remain the month deeply engraved in the history of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church in Malawi as the church baptized over 10,000 in a single revival crusade.
The month-long comprehensive revival meetings, dubbed Saturation 2017 crusade, ran from September 3 through September 30 making it 28 days of inspiring sermons by veteran evangelist Tony Yoramu-Nyirenda. In an exclusive interview on Friday, head of the church for the central region Pastor John Phiri [Cenrtral Malawi Conference] could not hide his delight on the outcome, saying it surpassed their expectations.
“To us, this is great news. At the moment, we are still collecting reports on baptisms as they happened all over the country, with the biggest presence in the Central Region. However, I can confidently say that the figure has already hit 10,000", said Pastor Phiri. “We have unconfirmed reports that some were also baptized in neighbouring Zambia as a result of the events at the stadium. So you may appreciate the complexity in consolidating all the data at one go. We should be releasing the final statistics soon.” He explained. Phiri dedicated the success to what he called fervent prayer life and team work, adding the results would have been different were it not for the commitment of the church’s members and other well-wishers who he said “understood their role and the role of the church, which is spreading the Gospel in these last days.” “Above all, we attribute it to the Holy Spirit who infused His people with zeal, passion and commitment.” The Pastor said. He was however quick to exercise caution against complacency over such resounding results; arguing it meant the work had just begun. Said Phiri, “The baptisms, though huge in number, may account to nothing if we don’t improve on retention. In this case, we have to nurture these people. We are therefore encouraging all our members to actively be involved in befriending and mentoring the new members. The church will also continue to train membership in discipleship and nurturing to ensure that the converts stay.”
The Saturation 2017 mega evangelism crusade that was also some topical issues like health, finances, and enhancing social relations were beamed live on various leading television and radio stations across the country. It followed a similar event held at the Bingu International Convention Centre in 2013 by the same preacher where, according to the church, gaps were exposed as regards taking the message ‘far and beyond’; hence the BNS event. In between the revival, some top government dignitaries including the First Lady Getrude Mutharika and Vice President Saulos Chilima once graced the event at the stadium.