Developing An Elephant Skin
From the President's Desk
Petro Lameck Sukali - President, Central Malawi Conference
Greetings to you all wherever you are. Welcome to the Central Malawi Conference president’s page.
The five years CMC session of 2014 mandated the elected personnel to work for the Lord expired in September 2019. The new mandate has been placed upon me and my colleagues which will run up to September 2022. I don’t take it easy because I know there are challenges ahead of us. One thing that comforts and encourages me is the fact that God will never appoint anyone to a position without giving him or her equal powers and wisdom to the duty prescribed.
May I congratulate the outgoing president, Pastor John Phiri and his team for the commendable work they rendered to CMC. They had many plans and visions for our conference. Some were done and others are still in progress. Our first duty will be to pick up from where our friends stopped and finish all the already started programs and projects. In addition, we will also concentrate much on our mission statement of reaching in and out to the people so that they know God better than before. This will be achieved by organizing many trainings to church workers in both CMC and local church levels. In making quality discipleship, it is a requirement for us to make sure that the necessary working materials are supplied and social welfare of the workers is improved.
As said earlier, it is not an easy road. I may cite so many negative examples of challenges that we are to face but this page is not much about problems but on solutions knowing that what we face today and tomorrow were already experienced by people of the old. Ellen White, in her vision (The narrow path) tells us that there were pioneers who met same challenges and they persevered with the faith for their God and succeeded. In short, I see them having developed an elephant skin. The skin of an elephant is 2-3 cm thick and is rough. When moving in the dangerous forests for its survival, it is bitten by poisonous insects, snakes etc. and because of its skin’s resistance, it is not bothered but just continue forging ahead with its journey. This is the spiritual skin we want to develop so that nothing should distract us on the way to our achieving goal.
2020 is beginning. We need to begin with our Lord who is the only key to our success. The story of the burning bush in the book of Exodus chapter 3 should educate us how powerful our God is. Many think that the miracle was the fire burning. Believe me it was not. What surprised Moses was that in normal circumstances, fire which is a stronger and powerful material was supposed to reduce the bush, which is a weaker material, into ashes. But in this case the weaker bush became stronger than the strong fire. This sustainability of the bush on fire was a miracle. Finally, he discovered that all this happened because of the presence of the Great I AM. So dear beloved let us embrace the presence of our God in our life and in everything we do to achieve success in good and bad times.
My appeal to all is that let us work together for the success of our conference. As leaders, we rely on collective effort. Jesus already achieved the best for us on the cross. What remains is for us to engage unstoppable gear V1 for His mission. What is V1 Gear? In his book, Dr G Mweemba (Start Happening 2019:8) narrates a story of how the pilot fly the plane. He says that when the flight checklist is complete, the captain will announce “Cabin crew—ready for take-off” At that point the cabin crew take their seats. The pilot will then position the aircraft on the runway and wait for the words “Flight NO….. cleared to take off. As soon as he hears those words, he revs the engines. It will sound like it’s already in the air and yet it is still on the ground. He then pushes the thrust gear and the machine happens forward with breath taking speed. After a few seconds, the computer will then say V1. As soon as the pilot hears V1, he removes his hand from the thrust gear. Then next word is rotate and the machine is airborne. So V1 is the speed at which the aircraft is committed to fly. Surely it has to fly. At V1 you must take off.
You cannot abort the take-off and you are not allowed to. If you are to change your mind, you must do so before you reach the V1 speed. The reason the pilot removes his hand from the thrust gear is to avoid the temptation to abort the take-off. At V1 speed it is more dangerous to abort the take-off than to fly. At that point the passengers are safer in the air than on the ground. The danger in aborting the flight lies in that at V1 speed, the runway is almost finished and the brakes are not enough to bring the aircraft to stop without overshooting the runway and crash. Even if there is a problem, the plane must take off and find a way to land back. At V1 the plane is committed to fly, and flying it is a must. So let us begin our life at V1 where with the help and presence of our Lord, we will be unstoppable.
Develop an elephant skin and start at V1 where you are committed to fly. All the best