Apostle Florence Kanyati is the face behind “Rizpah – the uncommon woman” project and co-founder and senior pastor of Zoe Life Changing Ministries. Tendai Manzvanzvike (TM) spoke with Apostle Florence (FK) about the church’s activities in 2015, women in ministry and other issues.
TM: What is Zoe Life Changing Ministries’ theme?
FK: Compliments of the New Year and thank you for the great work that you and The Sunday Mail are doing. You are such a blessing to the nation. May the Lord remember you!
Our theme for this year is “Year of Distinction”. In 2015 the number five, is a number of grace. There are 3 fives in 15, which means there is triple grace. If you remove the zero you remain with 2-15 and in the book of Esther chapter 2:15 it says, “When the turn came for Esther… Esther won the favour of everyone who saw her.”
I believe this is our time as a nation; as a ministry; and, this is also our time as individuals. Esther was a nonentity, but because of grace, God pushed her to the frontline of history.
Our theme comes from Daniel 6:3, which talks about Daniel a man of God who was in Babylonian captivity but who distinguished himself among the administrators and satraps.
The Bible also says an excellent spirit was found in Daniel. Remember what happened with Joseph in Genesis 41:38? In a very unlikely environment, he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and Pharaoh proclaimed, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Joseph brought solutions to challenges of the time.
TM: So, what does this mean for the church and the nation?
FK: It’s time the church brings solutions to national challenges and also interprets the King’s dreams.
You also see that in every chapter of the book of Daniel, God was glorified. In Daniel 1:20, Daniel and his friends distinguished themselves. They were found ten times better than the rest of the men.
In all these instances we find that the king in power always referred to the God of Daniel as the true and only God simply because Daniel distinguished himself.
In Daniel 6:3, an excellent spirit was found in Daniel in whatever area, including health.
TM: Why is that Daniel and friends succeeded under harsh conditions?
FK: Every person should have a value system. I’m saying that a person predetermines to be led by the word of God. For example, Daniel was offered wine and swine by the Babylonian king, but he purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s meat and wine.
When someone purposes in their heart, it means that they have made up their mind. Therefore a person needs to operate with a value system. For example a person in business can purpose in their heart and mind that they will not make profit through corrupt means.
We need people who will stand out of a crowd and operate with a value system. If God is important in your life, it becomes difficult to give in to the dictates of the world. Sin can be avoided intentionally like what Daniel did by operating with a value system.
TM: So, are people compromising their Godly values?
FK: I believe that as Zimbabweans, we are getting it wrong when we fail to adhere to what the bible says in Mathew 6:33, which says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We have a “things” first generation, seeking things and concerned about things before they have sought first the Kingdom of God. When the Bible says first, it means there is a second, meaning that seeking the Kingdom of God and its righteousness should be the priority.
If we can go back to making the kingdom of God and righteousness our express priority we’d have done well.
TM: Are you saying that this foundational message is not being preached in churches?
FK: Even in churches today if you only preach about the kingdom of God and righteousness, people sometimes think you’re not preaching right. Preachers are even manipulated to speak about things and not about the kingdom of God.
Where we are also getting it wrong is when people need the declared blessing but they don’t want to take the responsibility. What I am saying is that having a blessing declared over your life does not take away the work ethic. We now have a syndrome where people are no longer as hard working as they are supposed to.
God honours the work of our hands. Let each one of us also have a mindset of creating employment. That way, we will distinguish ourselves. We need to raise a generation that is going to become service providers and wealth creators.
TM: And, what does Zoe in your ministry name mean?
FK: Names carry power and significance. We are a church of life – Zoe Life Changing Ministries. Zoe is Greek and means a God kind of life, abundant, spirit-filled life and a spirit-given life. It’s a life that cannot fail. We derive the name from John 10:10.
TM: You are a product of the Scripture Union (SU). Shed more light on Apostle Kanyati’s journey in God’s vineyard.
FK: God used the Scripture Union to reach to me. I received Jesus as a young girl in 1986 at an SU service.
The SU played a pivotal role in my life from the moment I received Jesus as my Saviour. They took time to mentor, train and raise me into a God-fearing young woman. The desire and burden to serve God in ministry was also put in me while doing voluntary work with the SU.
TM: As a woman in ministry what are the positives and negatives that you have to deal with?
FK: Let me start with some of the challenges of the past few years. It has not been easy but it has been worth it. We have climbed mountains, crossed Red Seas, tearing lions, but all in all, we have come out victorious. We also had our fair share of prodigal sons (Luke 15), but some are now coming back.
In the past, the ministry used to be a male dominated. Women in ministry had to deal with issues of acceptance.
Being a woman in ministry also means you have to balance between being a wife, mother and the ministry. Fortunately women have been given grace to multi-task and to impart, inspire and impact the world.
TM: You’re a prolific writer, and have published 24 books so far. Where do you get the time?
FK: I have a 24-hour day like everyone. Living a priority-filled life has helped me achieve the dream of writing because for me writing is a calling so I create time for it by removing things that unnecessarily seek my attention.
I also spent a lot of time in prayer and there is a spirit of strength operating in me. When you spend time in prayer your energy is renewed whenever you enter in the presence of God.
TM: Your final remarks…
FK: I feel very strongly about leaving a legacy. Every generation owes the next generation. We are holding the baton, which we need to pass on one day. As a generation, we need to create an environment i.e. political, physical, economic and social that is beneficial to the next generation, an environment which glorifies God. Thus the current generation must lift the next generation, allow them to stand on its shoulders and see the world clearer.
I also feel strongly that the life that we live is a donation and we must donate ourselves for the benefit of others. I’m inspired by the words of Mother Theresa who said if you cannot touch twenty, touch one; if you cannot feed ten, feed one. In our small ways we can make our contribution and through these collective efforts still create a better Zimbabwe, a better Africa and a better world all for the glory of God.
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