Tens of scores of congregants gathered at the Lilongwe Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Malawi (PCM) last Sunday to bid farewell to Pastor Grey Makhole and his wife Fyness.
It was a ceremony mixed with tears and cheers.
The couple has served the congregation for six years and now they have been moved to Kamwankhuku Congregation at Msiriza, some 12 kilometres away.
PCM general overseer, the Reverend Stanley Mataya led the church in bidding farewell to the Makholes. He dedicated his sermon titled ‘Uncommon Spirit’ to the minister on transfer.
“I dedicate this sermon to you, sir. May God grant you uncommon spirit, the spirit of Caleb. May God help you operate this uncommon spirit at your new place,” said Mataya.
Clerk of board Andrew Selemani said the decision to transfer Makhole to Kamwankhuku is a call from God, not man’s.
“The Lilongwe congregation,” he said, “would rather have loved to cling on to the Makholes to stay longer, but it was God’s will.”
Asked Selemani: “If God says ‘Go elsewhere and minister to my new flock,’ and bring them to my kingdom, who are we to say no?’”
He went on to say that God doesn’t make mistakes in His choices.
“We’re releasing you our pastor with our blessings. There’s potential out there at your new branch. And you need to unlock that potential. Yes, you need to gather new, lost souls into the glory of God,” added Mataya.
Next farewell remarks came from deaconess Vera Kamtukule, who is Deputy Minister of Labour. She said Makhole has left a legacy as a source of inspiration not only to herself, but also to the church as a whole.
“He has inspired many of us to always walk in the path of God. His absence will be greatly felt,” asserted Kamtukule.
The entire church also expressed gratitude to the Makholes by presenting them with assorted gifts.
In his farewell speech, Makhole first quoted Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, which says: “In everything, there is time and season.”
Then he looked back on his journey to the church, which, he claimed, “was a journey paved with workings of the devil”.
“I came to Lilongwe congregation in 2013 as a mere elder and rejected stone. Satan tried to discourage me from joining the church, but I couldn’t give him a chance. At last, I was ordained two years later—that is in 2015. I was just fulfilling God’s calling. At first, ironically, I was rejecting that calling but then I answered to it after you the church encouraged me to do so,” he said.
Added Makhole: “I am still your child. Please continue praying for us as we’ll be ministering at Kamwankhuku PCM. We also thank you for the gifts you have showered on us. We’ll keep on remembering you for that.”
On her part, missionary Makhole urged the church members to hold fast to unwavering faith, saying it is the only way to salvation.
Said Fyness Makhole: “Unwavering faith is the basis of salvation. Always seek God passionately. So, as we are leaving today, we’re asking you this question. ‘If God comes today, will He find you totally devoted and committed to His name? Will you really win His heart over and buy yourself a ticket to the path of eternal life?”