Get to know a TGC Africa Council member! Panganayi Sithole from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe shares with us who his hero of the faith is.
Council Conversations // Panganayi Sithole’s Faith Hero
If you are committed to God’s cause, and if you continue to be committed to God’s cause, God will always provide for his ministry.
“One particular instance that always strikes me is the one that we find in Acts. Paul is beaten and left for dead and he is dragged out of the city and all that. But quickly he returns and gets back to the city and he continues to preach the gospel.”
Topics & Timestamps
0:05 – Introductions
0:18 – Please tell us a bit about your hero of the faith
4:48 – When have you seen the Lord grow your own faith in a similar manner?
7:01 – Please share with us what your favorite Christian hymn is and why?
“When you look at Paul, he sets a perfect example of what it means to love and serve Christ even when things are extremely difficult.”
“Paul is certain that suffering is unavoidable. But even in the midst of suffering he is saying, “I’ll still go there. I’ll still preach. I’ll still testify about Christ.”
“If you are committed to God’s cause, and if you continue to be committed to God’s cause, God will always provide for his ministry.”
Other Content On This Topic
Paul Was Poured Out For Christ, And We Should Too
A Brief Guide To Persevering Through Ministry Hardships
Enduring Faithfulness In Zimbabwe
Do You Have a Biblical Understanding of Suffering?
I’m Panganayi Sithole, I’m a Gospel Coalition member the African edition and I’m currently serving in Zimbabwe in Bulawayo with Living Hope Church.
Who do you consider to be your faith hero?
Just thinking about my hero of faith – I think over years I’ve been, after reading Paul a couple of times I’ve been adorning him and I’ve been asking myself, “Why? Why do I sort of look at Paul as sort of my hero of faith?” And for me I think it’s actually his sort of, you know, an unmatched conviction for the gospel- for Christ. How he deeply loved Christ, he’s always made me adore him. You know even in very much difficult circumstances you would find him following Christ and wanting to serve Christ.
So, one particular instance that always strikes me is the one that we find in Acts. He is beaten and left for dead and he is dragged out of the city and all that. But quickly he returns and gets back to the city and he continues to preach the gospel. And that to me it’s really unmatched conviction and I’m like, “I think if I can have that kind of unmatched, undying conviction for the gospel, I think I can do a lot.” You know, because most of us when we face suffering or persecution we tend to turn our backs on Christ.
But when you look at Paul he sets a perfect example of what it means to love Christ and serve Christ even when things are extremely difficult. So I’ve always adored Paul particularly for that you know. Acts 20:22-24, “And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
So here is Paul and he’s saying, “There’s one thing that I’m certain of- that wherever I’m going imprisonment is waiting for me.” You know, but he’s saying, :Whether imprisonment, whether afflictions, whatever is awaiting me I’m not moved up until I finish the task that the Lord Jesus has given me.” And what is that task? It’s the task of sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul in the midst of suffering
So, he’s certain that suffering is unavoidable. But even in the midst of suffering he is saying, “I’ll still go there. I’ll still preach. I’ll still testify about Christ.” And in the same vein in Acts 21:13, of course here we find there is this sort of prophet and they’re saying to Paul, “You know what, where you are going in Jerusalem things are not going to be well. They are going to imprison you, they are going to harass you. And here’s is Paul’s response, “Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Here is a man with undying commitment to the gospel. And when I read him, I’m like, “If only the Lord can help me to have this kind of faith. To have this kind of conviction – the kind of conviction that changes the world.” So, I’m really moved when I read Paul. Because I see a perfect example of what it means to be committed to the cause of Christ. It means being willing to give it all for the sake of Christ.
When have you seen the Lord grow your own faith in a similar manner?
When I went to Bible College, my first theological training. You know where I felt like I was really going through a very difficult time. Because when I made that commitment to say I’m going to go for full-time ministry therefore I’m going to train, go to a Bible College – I’m going to for training. My uncle who was looking after me in terms of finances and all that, I’m telling him of this and I’m so excited, and I’m thinking that he’s going to support it, and whatever. But all that I received from him, the response that, “I wont to be able to support you. I have the capacity but I won’t be able to support you because I don’t subscribe to that kind of conviction that you are talking about.”
And here is me with this excitement that I want to study so that I can get into full-time ministry but the person that I was basing on in terms of resources is saying, “You’re not going to get anything from me.” And I’m like – I was devastated. I want to do this thing but resource wise I can’t. But it’s so amazing to see how God can actually stand with his people. How God can make sure that he fulfills what he has planned. Because a good Samaritan came from Norway and committed to paying for my training for the whole three years that I was up for training. So, I think it has taught me to say, you know, if you are committed to God’s cause, and if you continue to be committed to God’s cause, God will always provide for his ministry. And throughout my ministry time I’ve always seen God’s hand intervening. And so, we may face challenges here and there but God will faithfully carry out his ministry through us his servants.
Please share with us what your favorite Christian hymn is and why?
One of my favorite Christian songs is, ‘How Deep The Father’s Love For Us’. This Song speaks so deep into my heart. And because it takes us back to to the heart of Christianity- which is the cross, you know. If it was not for Christ who came to die for us on the cross so that he can pay for our sins, and so that we can be forgiven and be acceptable before God on account of what Christ has done. We could be nowhere. It’s such profound truth. In other words, it’s such amazing grace. Isn’t it? So, each time that song is sung, whether the band is singing it well or not, but the lyrics speak so deep to me so much that I hear God’s word powerfully being preached through that song. It’s such a wonderful song and it is speaks to my heart.