Kamutshinga Mukwemba came to Christ at fifteen on Good Friday and would have killed himself right then if he hadn’t received good counsel to do otherwise. The advice that saved his life and led to a lifetime of service came from the man whose words introduced him to the Savior of his soul.
Kamutshinga had just attended a week of messages leading up to Easter. On Friday the speaker explained that Christ didn’t just die for the world—He died for each person in the world. As he shared this truth, he pointed to individuals in the crowd, stating “Christ died for you … and you … and you …” and one of the people he pointed to was Kamutshinga. Since the offer of salvation now felt more like a personal invitation, he decided to receive the gift of eternal life that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection purchased for him.
“I went home and prayed all night,” Kamutshinga recalls, “and I felt pure and more at peace than I had ever felt before. I thought it would be a good time to die because I knew I would only sin again, so I thought ‘Why not just die now?’”
Fortunately, he went back the next day to share his thoughts with the speaker, who explained to him that he shouldn’t take his life, but that he was “saved to serve,” which is what Kamutshinga has been doing since that day.
Kamutshinga grew up in Kitwe in the Copperbelt province of the Republic of Zambia. His wife, Thokozile, was raised in Chingola, a village about thirty miles away. Upon graduating from college with a teaching degree in 1982, Kamutshinga took a teaching position in Lundazi, around 400 miles from his home. Once there he sought out a Bible-teaching church but found none, so he began one himself.
A year later Thokozile also graduated with a teaching degree, and was sent to the same school as Kamutshinga. When the principal learned she was a Christian, he told her of one other teacher who shared her faith, and introduced the two. Kamutshinga invited her to his church, and she began attending.
They became better acquainted over the next year and when he asked her to marry him she accepted, but the couple had to wait three more years to wed. “We were from different tribes, and marrying outside of your tribe was just not done,” Kamutshinga explains. “When two people marry, it combines two families, and it is very disrespectful for a couple to marry against their parents’ wishes.”
Kamutshinga’s family members were all believers and supported their marriage, but Thokozile was the only believer in her family and her parents opposed it. The couple wished to show respect for her family, so they continued to pray for their approval and their salvation. Their patience and prayers were rewarded as the couple married with both families’ approval, and now all the members of her family have come to Christ as well. The Mukwembas’ daughter, Precious, was born two years later, in 1989. She is preparing to leave for college with a desire to teach and to practice law.
Kamutshinga and Thokozile plan to establish Kitwe Graduate School of Ministry, modeled after what first brought him to Dallas Seminary: a focus on the Bible. “Even the textbooks chosen for our classes [at DTS] pull their principles from the Bible,” he explains.
The Bible is highly regarded in his country, and Kamutshinga hopes to equip more Zambians with God’s word.” Zambian culture is based on respect. A younger person cannot say to an older person, ‘you cannot steal’ or ‘you should not commit adultery.’ The only authority a pastor can have is that of the Bible. If the people do not see you reading from the Bible, they do not believe you are speaking the Word of God.”
One of the biggest challenges for those ministering in Zambia is frustration, as it often takes people a long time and many instances of hearing truth before they can process and respond to it. Besides the desire to mull over what they’ve heard, Zambians also must respect the one bringing the message and be confident that he or she is accurately communicating what the Bible teaches.
Kamutshinga received his Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary in May, 2009, and returned home. His grounding in the Scriptures, commitment to leading by serving, and his proven patience make him the ideal candidate to begin Kitwe Graduate School of Ministry. And although he’s been able to visit them during his two years in Dallas, Thokozile and Precious were glad to have their husband and father back in their lives full-time again.
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.