Paul Muwowo: An Interview about the Reformed Church in Zambia

By Milena Rampoldi and
Japhet Mphande, ProMosaik e.V. – With this interview, we would like to
introduce you to our coordinator Japhet Mphande. We had interviewed him so timeago, and then we decided to start talking about his country Zambia and its
people. First time which came to my mind were two matters: religions in Zambia,
and the problem of HIV and AIDS and social problems and poverty. Today we would like to introduce you to the
Reformed Church in Zambia. We talked about it with Paul Muwowo. We would like
to thank him for his time and precious information. 80% of the Zambian
population is Christian. Then there are a Muslim and a Hindu minority in the
Milena Rampoldi: Please
tell to our readers a bit about the Reformed Church in Zambia in its history?
Muwowo: The Reformed Church in Zambia was founded through the missionary
activities of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Orange Free State (OFS) of South
Africa.  They began their work at “Magwero”,
meaning “origin” in the Eastern Province of Zambia on 5 July 1899. That was the
first mission established by the Church in Eastern Zambia. Rev P J Smit and Rev
J M Hofmeyr were the pioneers, although there were other local men who assisted
in the work of the missionaries whose names were not recorded.  
the RCZ has expanded throughout Zambia except in few places.  The RCZ also offers, though with great
difficulties, services that benefit the communities.  The runs schools, health institutions and
also Magwero Schools for the blind and for the deaf.
PICTURE:  Pupils from Magwero School for the Blind
first school for the Normal was established in 1915 and the Church on 27
September, 2015 celebrated the education centenary.
church as also a health centre for the mentally challenged patients in Nsadzu
in Chadiza district in Eastern Province.
MR: What are the specific characteristic of the Reform Church
within Christianity?
PM: Within the Christianity the Reformed
Church in Zambia (RCZ) believes in the following
–  the Church believes in unity for all
the people based on the spiritual life of all. 
Ephesians 4:23
– the Church believes that holiness comes only from Christ and only through his
blood that all believers in him are sanctified and kept holy.  Ephesians 5:25-27
all the people -the Church through Jesus Christ is for all the people.  It is unifying factor which brings, races,
tribes, political figures together. Above all Zambia was proclaimed
based on what the Apostles – The Church is built on the Word of God and on
Christ alone.  Acts 2:42
The Reformed Church has the following
True preaching of the Gospel:  The Church believes that in any worship
service, the Gospel has to be truthfully preached and in relation to the text.
Sacraments – baptism and Holy Communion:  Sharing of Sacraments, baptism and Holy
Communion should be guided by the Word of God as these were instituted by
Church Courts:  The courts within the Church are based on
God’s Word. All members of the Church, that is, Communicant, Catechumen, and
all office bearers, are subject to discipline. 
Everyone has equal rights and equal opportunity to present their cases.
Church also believes in the five Solas (Sola
[Scripture Alone], Sola
[Faith Alone], Sola Gratia
[Grace Alone], Sola Christus [Christ
Alone] and Sola Deo Gloria [Glory to
God Alone])
MR: Tell us about your
building project for the congregation please.
MP: Chunga RCZ Church has been building for
the last four year. We have seen growth in membership and hence then need to
expand the Church. Once completed the church will have a sitting capacity of
approximated 800 people.

main income to the Church building comes from tithes, Church Sunday offering
and Pledges from Church members. The current economic down town and the fall in
copper prizes on the world market has had a negative impact on Pledges and
offerings. This has in-turn slowed down the building process.
MR: Which are the most
important social activities a church has to offer to the community. Which are
the biggest problems people face in Zambia?
Looking at our Country and our Church at large, the most important social
activities revolve around helping each other. Most Churches in Zambia have men,
Women and Youth fellowship groupings that make social programmes for respective
fellowships. These groups visit vulnerable households, help the sick and also
gather to share the Word of God and testimonies.
is biggest problem that Zambia faces at the moment. People of all ages suffer
from malnutrition while some children of school going age are unable to go to
school. Early marriages as a result of poverty is on the rise. The number of
street kids is also on the rise.  Youth
unemployment and lack of funding to support Youth entrepreneurship has added
another dimension to poverty.

The Reformed
Church in Zambia Provides open space for discussion with the youth and free ICT
lessons with support from well-wishers.  
MR: Which are the most
important strategies you use for the education of women?
Our Church uses functional literacy as a strategy for educating our women. We
have girls brigade to looks after the youths who later graduate into Women’s
fellowship. Sharing God’s word, testimonies and hands own teaching of cooking,
house shores and how to be a good wife based on biblical principles are taught.
Women in RCZ church meet every Tuesdays and Fridays to discuss, share and teach
each other on a number of topics.
MR: What is important for the religious education of children?
Which are the most important principles according to your own experience?
MP: Christianity has to grow from
home and in most homes there are children who have to be taught the basic
values beginning from a tender age.  One
has to learn of the origin of humanity and the cosmos.  Then learn of the following principles:
Stewardship, we all as
human beings should be good stewards of what God has given us.  We are in charge of animals and nature
therefore extra-care has to be considered.
Excellence, in all we do
we need to embody excellence.
Justice, all are made in
the image of God and therefore there is need for justice to prevail as we are
all equal.
Compassion, – as
demonstrated and taught by Christ we need to be compassionate beings. 
To add on
as part of the core values of the Church, they have to embrace
Accountability, – everyone
is accountable for his or her signs, words and deeds though it is not easy to
take accountability of a wrong thing.
Transparency, – Doing
things truthfully without hiding anything.
Integrity, we need as
human beings at all time to uphold integrity both in private and in public
Love, love for one another
has to be taught and practiced.
Holy Living, as Christians
there is need for upholding holy living that pleases God.
Servanthood – Everyone is
encouraged to serve someone.  The world
needs this service today than ever before.
When these are practiced in the
life of children then the communities and the nation are likely to unite and
develop in many all areas.