Pastor Daniel from the Assemblies of God- Back to God
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
And boy, has Pastor Daniel Josias Chungwane followed this scripture! He was 17 years old and in a Bible school in Zimbabwe during Mozambique’s civil war when he gave his life to Jesus. Alone in this foreign country, surrounded by hospitable, welcoming brothers, he promised God that if he survived, he would do the same and help the poor. He started right there, providing for orphans to get taken care of before establishing a church in Harare and Tongo-Gara. He preached at a refugee camp in Chambuta after which he established the Movimento para Deus (Movement for God) in 1998 back in Mozambique. As the leader of a denomination of churches, he set up his main church in Chokwé- Igreja Movimento Volta Para Deus (Assemblies of God- Back to God).
He has been a full-time pastor for 22 years and has helped out numerous children, over and above the 5 he has biologically.
Pastor Daniel’s focus is to uplift the Mozambican country by bringing people back to their original ancestors- the Shangaan who aren’t fighters but live peacefully with Jesus. To him, moving back towards the Creator is essential in curbing the killing and stealing taking place in both the Gaza Province as well as the greater Mozambican country. Unreached areas, especially, need to be given special attention. Sewing, gardening and various other small skills are taught for children to come out of poverty in line with Pastor Daniel’s view that “one needs to work for their daily bread and not depend on other people.” He also encourages his churches not to let anyone suffer but to rather become a ‘family house’ for those in need.
His vision for the community is to live in harmony with one another, be they Christian or not. One day he hopes to build a big 24 hour church in Chokwé, capable of taking in 2000 people, school children who don’t go to school, feed them daily, and provide resources to study there.
But before he can get to that, there are still needs to be taken care of. Church leaders need more Bible education; there are still not enough church buildings set up; and church leaders aren’t supported enough either, especially if one wants to procure a car, instruments, or a mike for services.
Meanwhile, Pastor Daniel reaches out and evangelises, organises men and women’s conferences (teaching on how to take care of their wives/husbands), fasts every Monday and preaches on the local radio for 15min twice a week. Since 2007, his partnership with MOZaic has already planted several churches in rural areas, organised water security solutions, and brought in dentists and technicians to assist and teach the community about oral hygiene.
Feeling like he can win the whole country in a year, Pastor Daniel wants to have made a difference before he dies. To give him courage, he keeps this scripture in mind: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5)