Founded in 1999 by Apostle William and Pastor Abigail Makina, Revival Ministries International is described as a “Bible-, Christ- and God-centred” church. Tendai Manzvanzvike (TM) spoke with co-founder and senior Pastor Abigail (AM) about the essence of revival during challenging times.
TM: Revival Ministries International calls itself a Christ-centred church. What does this mean?
AM: A true Christ-centred church has deliverance. It teaches repentance to the core because Christ preached repentance. A true Christ-centred church teaches about the Kingdom of God and also teaches people to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and have a closer relationship with God through His Word.
TM: Briefly tells us who Revival Ministries International is?
AM: Our roots are in Zaoga FIF, but in the 90s, we went to South Africa. We then moved to the United States where we trained at Word to the World Bible College under the Marylin Hickey Ministries. After training, we had a calling to bring back revival to Zimbabwe.
What was different was that we brought back prayer life, revival, renewal and restoration to those whom we ministered to.
The church started in our house with just me, my husband and our two daughters. We then reached out. Our vision was to restore back into the believer what the devil had taken from them.
And, to bring revival, we knew we had to preach repentance, for there is no way one can get revival without repentance. True repentance means that one has to make a final decision to surrender his/her life to Jesus Christ, through confession, through seeking God and through prayer. Restoration would occur after seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit and also after hearing the word of God and applying it. Then, there would be change.
Without change, there will be no revival. This was the mandate that we got from God because prayer is now what is lacking in the believer’s life and the devil is so happy when a church is prayer less.
So, we were called to bring revival to people. We do not care if we don’t have large numbers. Although we would like the borders of Revival Ministries to be enlarged and extended, but at the same time, we are not looking at quantity. We want quality believers. We want to approach God’s throne with those who actually experienced the mighty power and hand of God, those who had a life-changing experience.
TM: Revival, revival, revival! I recently interviewed a pastor who said the nation needs revival. How does the nation get revival?
AM: Revival is impossible without true repentance. As long as our people remain religious, they will not get revival because revival means God’s presence coming to dwell within the believer and, that only happens where there is true repentance, where people seek God, where there is prayer, where there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit like what happened in the book of Acts.
Sadly, our people are now seeking material things, instead of a relationship with God.
TM: Just like you, there are so many churches called revival ministries. Why? And, why also do Christians seek revival when faced with economic challenges?
AM: I know that there are so many revival churches in our country. But, a true church that has got revival is a prayerful church. Just check if there is prayer in that church, because without prayer, there is no revival. Check, if those that are led to Christ truly repent because it’s easy to join a church and become a member, and just fit in.
TM: So, as church leaders, do you speak about these issues and say, let’s renounce our sins?
AM: The whole body of Christ has to actually repent. All of us, we need to repent on behalf of our country.
TM: But people are still facing problems?
AM: Yes, but I teach them to be self-employed and not wait for the Government to employ them. Don’t wait for companies to be opened. Employ yourself. Do something.
TM: How is the message received?
AM: They complain that there are no jobs; they are suffering – forever murmuring and complaining.
But I heard a voice – it was loud and clear during the 40 days of prayer and fasting, that those who fix their eyes on God would survive this year, according to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, which says: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Although we are surrounded by many troubles, people must not dwell on whatever is surrounding them. They must not focus their attention on what is happening now. They must fix their eyes on God who is unseen.
Things will change for the better. No situation is permanent. We have people leaving the country because they are looking for help from the Government, from people. When you read Psalms 121 and 123 they clearly state that our help comes from God.
2 Kings 6:24 says there was a famine in the country, and two women had eaten one of the babies. It was another woman’s turn to offer her baby. And then, the king passed by. The other woman shouted, “Help me, my lord the king!”
The king answered: “Who should help you? If God doesn’t help you, I’m not in that position to help you.” So, our help doesn’t come from our Government; our Government is not the solution to our problems. God is the solution to our problems. We have to shift our focus from the Government and accusing it, and start looking up to God.
TM: And, your message for 2015?
AM: That’s the message – fixing our eyes on God who is unseen. Don’t look for solutions from anyone else. Not even your husband, or the company you’re working for. This is a critical time we are passing through. And, when we’re passing through such a season, if you want to find help from other people, you will be very disappointed because no one is in a position to help you right now. Sister can’t help sister; brother can’t help brother. Even your husband can’t help you. Only God can help you.
TM: Like the king in the Bible who said he was not in the position to help?
AM: Yes, just like he said that if God cannot help you, where do you think I’ll get the help from? So, people should just shift their focus. Our country should return to God as is written in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
This is a period of being humbled. God is humbling Zimbabwe and we should just accept that it’s a period of being humbled. After that, we should go back to God and repent!
TM: As a woman in ministry, there are issues. Do you preach in your church?
AM: Yes! We actually share the pulpit with Apostle William, my husband. I see myself as a called out child of God. That’s it! In Revival, we believe that each member is a minister, a priest of God. We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and you cannot bind those gifts that are within you. We discovered that once a believer receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it brings gifts and the gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ.
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