He is blind, but Reverend Lemmy Chisi did not take this as a barrier for him to serve God as a pastor. In today’s Forum, Chisi shares his story with our reporter WATIPASO MZUNGU JNR.
Who is Reverend Lemmy Chisi?
I was born to Helario and Anne Chisi on July 31 1975. I come from Simon Chisi Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabulabo in Mzimba.
Were you born blind?
I was born sighted. But it was around 1980 and 1981 when I started having difficulties to see in the notebook. I was, however, able to see on the chalkboard. At the time, I was in Grade Four in Chingola in Zambia where my father was working. My parents took me to different specialists for diagnosis and treatment, but to no avail.
Didn’t this mark the end of your education considering that there were no specialist teachers then?
Certainly not! Instead, my parents returned to Malawi and enrolled me at Chilanga School of the Blind in Kasungu. From Chilanga, I was selected to St. Patrick’s Secondary School at Mzedi in Blantyre. At the time, this was one of the few schools with specialist teachers.
I quickly accepted that this was the will of God for me. And as a believer, I have always held on to my faith that whether sighted, visually-impaired or totally blind, God has a will for us.
How did you receive your calling to serve God as a pastor?
While I was at St. Patrick’s, I started feeling the urge to serve God. In fact, I wondered why most of the educated blind and visually-impaired people end up in teaching and nothing else.
While I appreciate the role these people are playing in the provision of education in the country, I felt serving God would be the best option for me.
I was determined to prove to the world that God can call anyone irrespective of our physical appearance. Thus, I applied for a place at the Church of the Nazarene Theological College in Lilongwe.
But did your church or the authorities at the theological college believe you?
Not necessarily. Many doubted me. In fact, they still doubt to date. But when I stand before them to preach, they are able to see the wonders that God is performing through me. Remember, disability is not inability. I have proven to the world that God calls anyone irrespective of our physical appearances.
Where else did you go for your theological studies?
I have been to various theological colleges, including the Nazarene Theological College and the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi where I obtained my diploma in theology.
How long have you worked as a pastor?
This is my 12th year. I launched my ministry at Nkolokoti Church of the Nazarene before being transferred to Bangwe where I am now.
Tell me about family. Are you married?
I am married to Beatrice Chisi and together we have three children. She is sighted, but a God-fearing woman. She discharges her duties with diligence and total reverence to God.
Has she ever complained to you about the stigma and discrimination she might be going through for marrying a blind pastor?
One can only face stigma and discrimination if they don’t accept the situation in which they are. Fortunately and I thank God for that, my wife accepted her situation. She doesn’t face stigma and discrimination of any sort. On the contrary, she is receiving a lot of compliments and support from her friends for standing with me. She is very loving and doesn’t care about the situation I am in.