So this is the last of my meet the staff series for now. Mostly because this IS the last of our personal staff…for now! I don’t know if I have ever clarified what I mean by that, but as of now we don’t live on campus. We have our own separate home so that means we have our own staff here. That’s why I introduced our staff here on my blog.
Henry Kalitera, born August 19, 1968. I saved him for last even though I meant to write about him long before now. He is unique to our staff in that he doesn’t work here at our home, unless something goes wrong. I will get more into what he does in a moment. First, I want to share a little bit of personal info about Abusa Kalitera. He has been the Pastor to the Church of the Nazarene here in the boma for four years. He is married to Agnes. They have 4 children: Matrida who is 14, Pricillah 10, Violet 8 and Grey almost 2. They do not have a garden at their home, but Agnes is a teacher at the nursery school. A personal prayer request for them is that God will heal Henry’s body fully and completely. He has been sick for several weeks, and seems to be past most of the sickness now, but still feels very weak.
Henry’s home village is Sabwera Village here in Ntcheu. His mother and father are still alive and reside in Lilongwe. He has 2 brothers and 4 sisters. Pastor Henry finished Form 4 (which would be compared to a high school diploma in the States) and went to college for electricity technician and went again for motor vehicle mechanics. He attended a theology school and is currently working on a diploma to be recognized by the Church of the Nazarene. I asked how he came about to know Jesus and he gave me the typical PK story! I was pleasantly surprised! He said, “I grew up in a God-fearing home, and was exposed to all the religious things. But I had no intentions or desire to become a pastor.” The Principal of Nazarene Theological came to him after form 4 and asked him to go to seminary classes because of his father, and he did it for fun. Still no intentions of becoming a pastor because of the sufferings which most Malawian pastors, including his father, go through. Meanwhile, (back at the farm…jk) he is doing his electrical and mechanical work. Henry was married to Chrissy. They have 3 children who still live in Lilongwe, also. (time period from 1990-2000) In 2000, long story short Chrissy had just come home from the college where she graduated as a teacher in April. Henry becomes ill for a couple weeks, and when he felt better he had some business to attend to. He discussed with Chrissy and she said if he felt better she guessed it’d be ok for him to do that. So he comes here to Ntcheu and the very next day he receives word that Chrissy has passed away last night. His mother had went to his home to visit and check on him and found her ill instead. She attended to her on her death bed. To this day, Henry does not know what happened to Chrissy, and he is hoping to meet her in heaven where she will tell him why she left so sudden like that while they were celebrating her graduation as a teacher. They were hoping their lifestyle would change! He said, “Only God knows.” I could still see the pain and love he had for her. He was very distraught over it at the time, but he said a friend/pastor had come along side him and spent lots of time with him to give him the support he needed during those difficult days. Y’all, I wanted to bawl right there at the table, but was afraid he might fall apart too and then I’d have no clue what to do next. I mean hugging on a grown man, who happens to be a pastor in a world where if you even hold hands (boy and girl) you are considered possibly married but definitely sleeping together. Wouldn’t do. Then, if Jason was to hug on him well…anyway. I felt like I had invaded a very real and personal part of his life. During that time with the pastor is when he realized God was calling him to do his work all the rest of his life. This brings me to where we are today. Through connections, Henry came to maintain the Esther’s House vehicles while Ms. Cindy was here and that is how we came to know him. Henry shared with me that he wanted to do something more with his life to help others, too. He wanted to be able to help surrounding pastors who are struggling and hurting in their villages. Pastor Henry said most pastors want to flock to the towns because there are larger populations. He wants to reach these pastors in villages because of their sufferings to help ease their pains. He was already helping a few pastors, not monthly, but on how God provides to him. He did all of that before he even became a pastor which is what discouraged him in the first place. Pastors in America look quite different than the pastors here a lot of times they are the last to be taken care of instead of the first or second or third. So that’s where OUR (God+Henry+us) story begins.
Jason and Henry have opened a shop up down the road. It’s basically a big yard with “known” boundaries. It does not have ceilings, walls, or even floors if that’s the vision you have for this “shop.” This is one of those God things where He worked it out to not only help Henry and his family survive with some income, but we rent the yard in front of the church so it helps his church out. They are currently building the walls of the pastor’s house through the success of the business. The main purpose of the shop is schooling young men and women for free to help them learn a new trade that will serve their families and their families and their families…well you get the point. During the teachings though Henry is investing in their spiritual lives. Teaching them about the Bible and how to be good stewards with their money and their lives, all to help the struggling pastors in their home villages. You see, Henry sees that investing and teaching them to tithe to their church would be part of the solution for those pastors he has a heart for! What an amazing vision God has given him. Currently the shop has 6 men we are teaching mechanical, driving and electrical skills, too. We have 4 that have already gone on! It may seem small to some, but for 10 families plus Henry’s family and a small church (God is helping, through us and all of you who support us) to help influence and pay it forward-the numbers are limitless. Who knows what children 50 years from now could be saying! You know those multi-level marketing people charts…or the ones your health teacher showed you in high school…yeah completely opposite categories, but that’s what I’m envisioning here.
Now you’ve met Henry Kalitera! I hope you love our God story as much as we do!! We would love it, too if you would come along side us and pray for favor on Henry’s life and all that revolves around the shop!
I am holed up here in my bedroom writing today (Saturday morning) because they are slaughtering turkeys, cutting up a pig they butchered yesterday and there is just “stuff” everywhere. If I ever want to eat again it’s best I keep to myself. And bring in the bleach and water hose tomorrow when it’s all said and done. We are celebrating with our staff, the EH staff and all of their immediate families (yes that had to be clarified lol) with a whole hog, turkey and all the Thanksgiving fixings this evening. I will post some pics this coming week! We are excited to just spend some time getting to know everyone and their families and laugh and eat…or at least try to eat for some of us. Or maybe I’ll just hang out and laugh, and keep a stash of gummy bears in my pocket.