Keith Mpata

Last summer, one of the catechists  from Mbuma, Mr Keith Mpata, was visiting the Netherlands. On 16 July he gave a lecture in Capelle aan den IJssel. He also gave an interesting insight into his work as a catechist. For the readers of the Mbuma magazine, here is the second part of his speech.

  1. The blessings and challenges experienced in the mission field.

As I mentioned just now, this work of going into the villages and confronting the kingdom of Satan with the Gospel of Christ is a challenge because the darkness in our country is real, and yet we take comfort in this truth in 2nd Corinthians 10 vs 3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” I would like to share with you 2 experiences.

  • Confrontation with a witchdoctor at Vova

One of the challenges we face as a hospital is that of the sick refusing to come to Mbuma Mission Hospital to receive medical assistance from Dr. Snoek and the nursing staff, and instead the sick go to the witchdoctors in the villages. The common experience is that the sick individual would have sought for “help” from local village witchdoctor and when that “help” in the form of herbs and consultation of the dead ceases to help as he or she had hoped, and when they realize that they have been deceived all along – it is at this moment that they come to the Hospital but then it is too late, the individual will be near death. So in effort to destroy this evil in our society, the Hospital has made the effort of having meetings with the local village leaders, educating them on the misconceptions of diseases. The reason for meeting with leaders in the village is because they are influential in the community and have authority, therefore they can disseminate information to their people who will know what to do when sick but at the top of our message is this – tell your people that they should not by any means consult the witchdoctor whatsoever because they are dangerous deceivers who will rob you of your lives.

It so happened in one of these meetings which was held in Vova Clinic, some witchdoctors were also present and one of them by the name of maDube was offended by my statement. She then said these words, “young man do not be so foolish as to discredit our honest occupation, and do not dare put the source of our income in danger. We are healers, and our power is a good power, after all, there is good evil power and bad evil power.” Upon hearing those words my spirit was stirred in righteous indignation against the diabolical falsehood I had just heard – a person calling evil good, and good evil. I did not keep quiet but confronted her immediately by telling her to “never tempt God by calling that which is evil good, and if you believe your lie, you are in service to satan and are in danger of going to a lost eternity in hell. By your works alongside many other witchdoctors, lives have been lost and other people permanently disabled. Your sin is great, and yet you must repent of it, forsake it and trust in Christ alone for your sins to be washed away.” She was offended, and accused me of being an overzealous young boy even threatening with a promise that I will come running for her help one day, however the following day she did not return to the meeting.

  • Deathbed confession of Njabulo Moyo

Earlier in the year 2020, we received a sick patient from South Africa by the name of Njabulo Moyo. This man Njabulo was a financially successful Pastor of a Pentecostal Church and, as is consistent with the heretical teachings of Pentecostals, he would declare in the name of the Lord that his sickness would go away and claimed his sickness was the attack of satan and believed some men perhaps bewitched him out of jealousy for the success of his ministry. He would be discharged from hospital occasionally after having become better, but he would always return back to the hospital in a worse condition, after 2 weeks every time having been discharged. One day when he was distressed he shared with me the fears in his heart, he said he was afraid to die. Moreso he said he could not understand why he is sick, he had a beautiful wife, a successful church, many cars, so much money and so he could not understand why he was sick. Having heard him unbear his heart to me and even see him cry, I was praying to the Lord for wisdom so as to speak to him. Having felt boldness to finally respond to him with truthful thoughts, I said to him “I am not a prophet, neither am I the son of a prophet, but from the way you have been coming into the hospital and going, and from the things about your life you have shared with me; your sickness, failures and sins I perceive that God in His Providence has brought you to Mbuma and to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ being taught here as a means by which He is preparing you to die.”

Upon hearing that, Njabulo was angry.

He was so angry he refused to see me and talk to me. He even had my phone number and sent me so many messages saying he hates me and that I offended him by telling him he is a sinner who is going to die. 2 weeks later, Dr. Snoek then informed him that he had cancer and that he is going to die and ought to prepare for his soul. Njabulo having heard these words then asked for me, apologized and in tears said `Keith, you were telling the truth. It is painful, but you were telling the truth.` We spent the final weeks of his life reading together from the Scriptures, praying together and discussing about forgiveness in Christ and the glories of Heaven for all who have received the righteousness of Christ. He died in November of 2020.

  • Concluding remarks

In conclusion I would like to say 3 things; firstly to give a word of thanks. And in doing so, I would like to use the words of Reverend Mazvabo which he used in the year 2005 at the Centenary meeting when thanking the people of the Netherlands because those words which he used back then are still true today, and so then this is what he said: “We thank the people of the Netherlands, the Lord has put it in your hearts to give of your substance, to the cause of the Gospel, not only in your country but in other countries. May the Lord bless you. Carry this message for us to Holland, that we thank them very much and desire that they would pray for us; not only to be good stewards of what comes into our hands but to be enabled to bring the light of the Gospel to our own people and to neighbouring countries.” And so thank you very much, your work in Zimbabwe with the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland has been a precious work greatly blessed and so may the Lord continue to bless His work in Zimbabwe and to bless you.

Secondly, I would like to remind everyone that Mbuma is not the only mission institution of the FP in Zimbabwe. In addition to the congregations, the Mission engages in medical work and education in Zimbabwe. The mission runs three main institutions: John Tallach High School, Mbuma Mission Hospital and Thembiso Children’s Home. So may we never forget Thembiso, may we never forget John Tallach, they are also institutions ordained by the Lord which need our support and prayer.

Thirdly and lastly and by way of conclusion I had a special request – Pray for Reverend. Khumalo. In all of Zimbabwe there are 6 main congregations of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland; the Bulawayo congregation, Ingwenya, Mbuma, New Caanan, Nkayi and Zenka – and many smaller congregations, numbering over 40 in all, are connected with the main stations. Each of these congregations are in different parts of Zimbabwe far apart. Each of these congregations should be having a Minister who has a pastoral charge over them – but for all of these congregations there is no Minister except one, Rev Khumalo who pastors the Bulawayo congregation and because of the desperate situation Rev Khumalo spreads himself across the country to all these congregations. What Rev Khumalo has experienced over the years is heartbreaking and we must pray for him, that the Lord continues to sustain Him, protect him and give him grace to continue this work of preaching the Gospel. Also we must be thankful to the Lord for the student of the ministry who recently concluded his studies Mr. Mwedzi, that the Lord protects him and gives him grace in working in the Lord´s vineyard. We must also pray for more missionaries to come to Zimbabwe as it was in the days of old at the beginning of the mission work in Zimbabwe, we must pray for more men to be called into the Ministry by the Lord Himself.