With advanced degrees in ministry from an American University and a partnership with Capitol Ministries, Pastor Peter Chibinjana is returning to his home nation of Zimbabwe to teach the Word of God to people he feared he would never reach.
While the objective is to teach the Bible to everyone, many African pastors avoid political leaders because they feel educationally inferior to those better educated men and women, Pastor Chibinjana said.
“In Africa, the majority of pastors have limited resources. So when we tell political leaders and the highly educated people, ‘God is good,’ they will respond with, ‘In what way is God good to you? Look at where you come from, look at how you are dressed, look at where you live. If God is good why not providing you with these things?’
“With my limited knowledge, I thought, ‘How can I reach them?”
“I have to walk a long distance before I reach the legislator. After my journey I look at my shoes covered with dust from the road. They no longer look like shoes. So I say, ‘Lord, how am I to reach these politicians. I began praying, ‘You show me your will.’”
Pastor Chibinjana began praying that prayer in 1991 when he began pastoral ministry. Theology degrees are not offered in many universities in Zimbabwe, and so in 2003 he earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Zimbabwe Open University. He had developed a desire for knowledge and began praying that God would help him further his studies.
He had a fulfilling career working for the United Baptist Church of Zimbabwe (UBCZ) denomination and preached at dozens of churches as he rose in the organization’s administration. After serving as the deputy to the president, he served two terms as UBCZ president.
As his second term ended, Pastor Chibinjana got in touch with a Baptist International Ministries director responsible for Africa who he had met years earlier in Zimbabwe.
After asking about his plans and learning about his prayer for higher education, the friend talked to the dean at his alma mater, Virginia Union University in Richmond. The dean invited Pastor Chibinjana to apply for admittance and accepted him to the graduate program in 2016.
“This man understood my story and the Lord opened the door for me after 26 years of prayer,” Pastor Chibinjana said.
He earned a Master of Divinity, and a Master of Arts in Christian education. As he began working on a doctorate degree in ministry, Pastor Chibinjana realized that he had served in all positions with the UBCZ. “I began to pray, ‘What do you want me to do now? Why did you bring me to America?’”
The answer to that prayer came through Immanuel Baptist Church that he attended in Richmond, VA. In 2018, friends who gave him a ride to church went on vacation and another member offered to drive Pastor Chibinjana that Sunday.
That church member works for Capitol Ministries and as Pastor Chibinjana talked about his journey, she told him about Capitol Ministries’ mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ in the political arena of the world.
“I said wow! This is what I have been praying for!” he said. “This is what I need! This is an area that has long been neglected in my country! In addition to the mission of my church to reach people in Zimbabwe, the Lord opened this door for me to minister to politicians.”
Pastor Chibinjana recalled the brief but memorable interactions he’d had with political leaders in Zimbabwe that validated the desire in his heart. Years earlier, he had served as a liaison to ensure peaceful elections and after that opportunity, he was invited to speak at a number of national events that were well attended by politicians.
“I could see these people needed the Word of God, but pastors were afraid to reach them,” he said. And so he used those opportunities to present the gospel.
His instincts were correct. While officiating at funerals and weddings that were attended by politicians, many of them made a point of telling him that they remembered his messages.
“They said to me, ‘Remember the Hero’s Day Commemoration?’ I had told them when the heroes fought, they would hear, ‘Take cover, Take cover!’ That is because the enemy has come and they would run into the bush, caves, or the banana plantations to hide! I said, ‘It is no longer time for this. You have to take cover in Christ!’”
“So they remembered these things. The teaching was important to them. And now, the Lord has opened the door for me to teach the political leaders of Zimbabwe. After 29 years, my prayer has been answered.”
Pastor Chibinjana contacted Capitol Ministries and completed the required training that was held in Ohio in August and has been accepted as the ministry leader to national leaders in Zimbabwe.
He has completed his work for his doctorate and is returning to Zimbabwe in late September to reunite with his family, wife Phoebe, son, Promise, 24, and daughter, Praise, 22, who he hasn’t seen in three years. He will be awarded his D.Min degree in May 2021 and he is eager to launch his legislative ministry.
“I became a pastor for the Africans to reach everyone with the gospel, and now I can,” he said.
“I want to reach the legislators of Zimbabwe with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to disciple them through weekly Bible studies. If the leaders of Zimbabwe embrace the principles of Christianity and come to a saving knowledge of Christ, this will help them and Zimbabweans. They will make policies from the lens of Scripture and they will be guided by the light of God in their daily lives.”
If you would like to support Pastor Chibinjana, please visit capmin.org/donate and choose Capitol Ministries – Zimbabwe.