More than 100 pastors, community leaders and business leaders gathered in Lilongwe, Malawi last Thursday for a special repentance conference called by Christian leaders against a backdrop of ongoing unrest in the country over allegedly rigged presidential elections on May 21.
The conference at the Simama Hotel was the main event during a week of repentance and prayer from Monday August 5 to Sunday August 11.
Bishop Joseph Kazembe of the Citizen Development Network assured leaders at the event that God will visit Malawi with spiritual fire from heaven as a result of repentance week and ongoing prayer.
A number of people at the event committed themselves to praying on mountains, in churches, in offices and in the marketplace for the healing of Malawi, reports Rev Dr Edward Mikwamba coordinator for National Repentance Week Malawi.
He said some people did not attend the conference out of fear for their safety as election-linked protests often started in front of the hotel with burning of tyres. Tensions were high in the capital city last Thursday as it was the first day of a court case brought by opposition leaders seeking to have the presidential election nullified. The case, before five High Court judges, sitting as a Constitutional Court, is continuing.
Meanwhile a group organising protests, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition, said yesterday it will shut down airports and border posts in the Malawi from August 26 to 30 as part of its campaign aimed at forcing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign over her alleged mishandling of the elections in which President Peter Mutharika was declared winner.
People who travelled from far to attend the repentance conference in Lilongwe included Dr Matthys de Kock from the GG World Hope Foundation in Cape Town and Roland Benz from Germany. Pastor Jeff Daly of the National Day of Repentance joined the conference in spirit from the United States and helped to fund the event.
Worship artists “Shekinnah Glory” heard about the conference via media reports and drove from Blantyre to lead worship at the event — and committed herself to joining the prayer movement.
Malawi Central Region Police Spiritual Officer, Inspector of Police, Chrissy Salamba prayed for the police at the event — against a spirit of corruption, witchcraft and immorality. She said she would take the prayer leaders to police meetings to preach a message of repentance.
Pastor Nico Katimba of the Pentecostal Assemblies who was the master of ceremonies did a good job of keeping the conference programme on schedule. Pastors at the event took turns praying for peace and prosperity in all of Malawi’s 23 political districts and for other nations.
Other prayer topics at the conference included the Cashgate corruption scandal, abduction and killing of people with albinism, abortion, homosexuality and witchcraft. The gathering also prayed for Christian unity in the nation and experienced a foretaste of greater unity as the event brought together pastors and leaders from Malawi Assemblies of God, Church of the Nazarene, Faith Tabernacle Church International, Citizen Development Network, Baptist Convention of Malawi, Rapha Holiness Ministries, CCAP and several bishops of Pentecostal churches.
Pastor Mikwamba said that during the conference the Holy Spirit called on the Church and the repentance movement to reach out to people in the marketplace and it was decided to host a Christian businesspeople’s conference in Lilongwe in September.
This weekend, prayer leaders will meet in Lilongwe again to plan for a repentance week in the northern region, as well as to set dates for meetings in the other three regions.