Testimonies

Born for mission, die for mission

Madalitso Kaputa, his son Temwanani Kaputa and wife Ethel Chirwa. Photo: Doug and Barb Miller

Renewal 2027 testimony: Anabaptists today

Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events organized by Mennonite World Conference’s Faith and Life Commission to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. This series highlights leaders in the movement from history to the present.

“I was born for mission; I will die for mission.”

Madalitso Kaputa has an insatiable hunger to reach the unreached.

The Brethren in Christ (BICC) Malawi Conference encouraged his development with service and leadership opportunities since he was a youth. Honoured, Madalitso Kaputa has not looked back.

Madalitso Kaputa is the son of Kuyele Samson Kaputa and Mary Suwedi Kaputa. He married Ethel Chirwa in 2014, and they have a year-old son, Temwanani Kaputa. “My wife supports me fully on my quest for this ministry.”

Dual upbringing

Madalitso Kaputa’s name means blessings in Chichewa. He tends to focus on the good things that God has done in his life rather than the negative things. He smiles a lot. The joy of the Lord is his strength.

His parents separated when he was five years old. “My father, a chief in his area, was a Christian believer, and my mother was a committed Muslim.”

He lived with his mother for two years. “I remember being trained to be brave, and to understand Islam.”

At age 7, Madalitso Kaputa went to live with his father. “The messages of faith preached at my Dad’s church grew roots and budded in my heart.”

At 16, he repented of his sins and was saved after listening to a message. He avidly read an English Gideons Bible. “I was fascinated with the stories.”

Fired up in faith

Madalitso Kaputa interprets Doug Miller’s preaching from English into a local language. Photo: Barbara NkalaHe and his friends began to minister in Mposa and Mtepa villages in Machinga District.

“I shared my personal testimony; people gave their lives to the Jesus I now knew.”

People were keen to listen to Madalitso Kaputa because he was a very good footballer.

“Bit by bit, I quit going to soccer games. My Saturdays were fully occupied with evangelism work, and that gave me more joy.”  

The BICC Malawi Conference sent him to World Missions Centre, an interdenominational institute started by the Assemblies of God Church, for one year of studies.

“The hunger I had to reach the unreached was fired up.”

With a team of like-minded friends, he travelled on borrowed bicycles for up to six hours one way. Kind people gave them food to eat and shelter. “At times, we slept in the bush, but we were happy to see people saved.”

Go out and bring in the people

BICC sent him for further studies at Evangelical Bible College of Malawi (2009–2011). He is now turning his dissertation into a book.

“I believe a church is not like stagnant water, but that it must move. Church needs to go out to bring in the people.”

After he requested the bishop send him on mission, he went to Paraguay to attend the Mennonite World Conference Global Youth Summit in 2009. “I was greatly encouraged and motivated to get back home and do more in sharing gospel.”

Next, the bishop encouraged him to apply for International Volunteer Exchange Program with Mennonite Central Committee. He spent 2013–2014 in Souderton, Pennsylvania, USA, assisting the chaplain at an Elderly Community Centre at Dockwood and Dock Meadows.

“This exposure also helped me realise the importance of service. This deepened my faith in missions. I knew I would die for missions.”

Madalitso Kaputa is also a talented singer and dancer for leading worship sessions. He has a gift of interpreting sermons in different languages.

Madalitso Kaputa at a Yao fellowship believers’ group. Photo: Doug and Barb Miller

In 2016, Madalisto was excited to be commissioned to share the gospel with the predominantly Muslim Yao people of the Mangochi region.

Though he comes from a similar background, the evangelism approach was different, so he followed the footsteps of mentors Doug and Barb Miller: start with developing good relationships, especially with the chief.

Once the gospel had taken root, the villagers began to say, “I have a relative in another village. Please visit them as well.”

Of late, Madalisto is involved with a Christian community radio station. He runs radio programmes: Bible discovery, daily devotions, “The Way of Salvation.”  

Many villagers get together to listen to the broadcasts. They want to know about this Man who brings salvation for eternity.

“The gospel of God’s love is full of grace and love. Peace is paramount.”

Only death will stop Madalitso Kaputa from sharing it.

—A Mennonite World Conference release by Barbara Nkala. Barbara is the MWC regional representative for Southern Africa.

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2 May 2019 - 10:44am