Dalai Lama once said: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
These are the words that could keep lingering in the mind after an inspirational encounter with a man whose life has solely been dedicated to serving God through ministering the word, healing the sick and proclaiming success to multitudes.
With over three million ardent followers on the continent and beyond, Archbishop Paul Ernest Mwazha of the African Apostolic Church, who turned 99 on Wednesday, could have easily used his influence to amass wealth over the years. Surprisingly, he gave up his own commercial business entity to pursue clerical work and today the nonagenarian is not concerned with worldly possessions.
While some of his calibre and social standing are concerned with the latest makes of posh rides, Archbishop Mwazha does not even need the simplest of a cellphone! Selflessness, prayerfulness and humility are the hallmarks of persona.
He is a typical good man who would never harm or oppress another, a good man who would share his last morsel of food with others in need.
No wonder heavens have blessed him with so many years on the face of Mother Earth. “In life you should keep the law. You will only reap what you sow, I sow seeds of wellness and life to those in my church and God gives the same to me,” said Archbishop Mwazha in a one-on-one interview at his Hatfield home in Harare on Wednesday afternoon. Elderly, grey haired and frail in the eyes of many, Archbishop Mwazha’s energetic antics during the African Apostolic Church pilgrimages have proven that looks are deceiving.
Following proceedings throughout sessions with keen interest, instantly interjecting with authority whenever testimonies go out of way, standing up to intercede to God after every other testimony, giving spiritual and fatherly advice where necessary, at 99 Archbishop Mwazha still leads his church with so much energy and aplomb that leaves any neophyte in awe.
Asked about the secret behind having been able to keep his church intact at a time that power struggles and greed has seen some churches disintegrating, Archbishop Mwazha said:
“It is the work of the Lord. The bishops and pastors give the right teaching to the people. Again it is also all about keeping the law.” A man is as fit as he feels and Archbishop Mwazha feels he still has the energy and zeal to work in his ministry.
“I am strong. I am not complaining about any part of my body. The truth of the matter is that we condemn heathenness and immorality in our church hence the gift of longevity,” he said.
To some, the secret to his longevity has been a riddle wrapped in mystery to many and Archbishop Mwazha’s grandchild, Shingirai, who shares the same birthday with him, shared insights into the well being of his elderly granddad.
“I think it all has to do with divine intervention. Archbishop is always in prayer. He is someone who has devoted his life to praying for his followers. I am one of his grandchildren and I am happy that even with a huge following in his church, he still has time to teach us morals as his grandchildren.
“He is a man who is highly favoured by God. His health is awesome. He is so energetic especially when he is in church maybe because that is where the presence of God manifests more.
“Apart from that there is also the issue of diet. He just does not eat anything anytime. He is so particular about what he eats. He relies more on traditional dishes and fruits,” he said.
Such is the inspiring life of a devoted church leader who has made a name for the good work he has done for his followers. Manica Post