The Sunday Mail
MANY pastors’ wives fall in the shadows of their husbands who have been called into ministry. There is no manual on how to fit into the puzzle.
Despite their unique abilities, their potential can remain hidden.
Not so for pastor Chichi Bismark, who is co-founder of Jabula New Life Ministries International with husband Bishop Tudor Bismark.
Pastor Chichi made a deliberate decision to seek her purpose in prayer.
She is now recognised as one of the greatest intercessors in Africa.
“I would go from one prayer meeting to another. So I got to a place where I would be in prayer and not have the urge (to continue). After 15 minutes then I would be done. So I said, ‘Father I can’t just do 15 minutes, you have to teach me. That’s why I titled my first book “Teach us to pray”.
“So the Lord started teaching me. It was not just about kneeling down, it was all kinds of things – being quiet, being in meditative prayer, crying, calling out to Him and being in warfare,” she said.
Her teaching gift has taken her around the world, while her love for prayer is evident in the books that she has penned.
Her books include “Altering Lifestyle,” “Teach us to pray” and “Prayer Strategies”, among others.
Pastor Bismark said when she authored “Altering Lifestyle” to challenge Christians into prayer, she was inspired by how Muslims pray five times a day.
However, in the process of discovering herself, she encountered a challenge.
One of her four children, Bernie, was diagnosed with a heart problem at the age of 12.
“My son had a 9 out of 10 heart problem at the time he was born. He has a condition that gives him mind and back problems,” she said.
They were told that they needed US$350 000 for the surgery.
“There was no solution to bring any kind of corrective surgery here. We are pastors and we don’t earn that much. We were actually in deficit as we were paying to the church.
“I think at the time I was earning maybe $429 Zimbabwe dollars. And his (Bernie’s) oxygen saturation level was very low. So that’s when we individually decided to pray about it,” said pastor Chichi.
“Two of our sons were asthmatic. I had no driver’s licence and their father was now a travelling preacher. I would lay them on the bed, kneel and just pray. TJ was asthmatic and Jason was high in allergies,” she recounted.
Pastor Chichi marvelled at how prayer has given life to her fourth born son, Bernie, who is now turning 23. Doctors had said he would not live to see his 18th birthday.
“The other day he walks up to me after we had left the surgery and said, ‘You know what mum I realise that I don’t have to believe what man says about me.
I have to do what I know to do and that is to pray and thank God that he can bring everything into order in my life.’
“So he has set a time, his own altar to pray.
“Sometimes the enemy paints everything so dark and you think there is no solution. But all of a sudden God says I will bring a testimony.
“If I say anything negative, Bernie will say don’t forget once you pray for something, you cannot speak against it,” she said with an infectious smile.
“When you make men your answer, it doesn’t mean the problems will go away. It only means its band aided, you just put a plaster. The devil comes just to rip it off and you have a bigger wound.
“But God knows the end from the beginning. When He stops something, nobody can start it again. That’s what we don’t seem to understand, we cannot swap a man’s solution for God’s solution. Our problem is that we want quick solutions.
“We don’t get salvation without working. God said you have to work out your own salvation. It is not an if – with fear and trembling.
He doesn’t leave out fear, there is going to be things that cause you fear and trembling but you have to work it out and it becomes your salvation.”
Apart from pursuing her purpose, pastor Chichi supports her husband’s work.
“When he is on assignment, there is prayer that goes in his travel to cover him in whatever encounters. You must know that each country is territorial, assigned to its own spirits.
“You have to make sure that as he crosses borders, the territorial spirits are taken care of because attack comes on any platform. Then I make sure I pray for him if he has any meeting with 50 000, 25 000 or 4 000 people in attendance because even churches with smaller congregations may have more as far as religious spirits are concerned.
“If he is preaching during the night, I wake up to pray, fighting every human spirit, because human spirit is the hardest of them all as you will be dealing with human will.
“I also make sure he has lunch, supper and air time in his phone,” she said.
But just like any other couple, they also have their own misunderstandings.
“I do not feel like I will ever be at a place where I will not be submissive. When Bishop says something, I have to submit. If there are things I don’t agree with, I will go into prayer.
“I found out that submission is the place of power. lf you step out of the way and let God deal with your husband in any issue, you will have victory because who can challenge God?”
Pastor also runs a small business and has taken up cleaning parts of the city.