Filius Jere is an amazing individual with a big heart. It's been a privilege to know him and find a person who cares about his people living in difficult circumstances. In the short time we've known him....only the last few years, he has done a great deal to improve the conditions for the community, provide water and food. LifeNets enjoys working with him. He is also one who is caring for a congregation of the United Church of God and has been skillful in furthering the Gospel message.
The Chipata congregation grew and was shortlisted by Major Talama to benefit from the LifeNets food relief program during the food shortages of 2016. But instead of just getting food, we asked for permission to use part of the funds to buy inputs for our members; which was permitted.
Each one of the twenty-one members received one fifty kilogram bag of basal dressing fertilizer, another of top dressing fertilizer and five kilograms of certified seed. Using conservation methods of farming, everyone was able to produce enough food for the following year. Just before harvest, the President of LifeNets visited one old woman’s field and was amazed.
The LifeNets Water Facility
Our water source was a shallow well that also catered for over 200 poor households around our Church. So the LifeNets President availed a borehole to us at the cost of ZMK38,000. However, instead of just having the borehole as a source for safe drinking water, I committed myself to a lending institution to get a solar facility installed so that we could introduce irrigated vegetable gardening and raise revenue for our Church needs.
Water from new borehole
About Filius Jere:
He was going to Rhomonte Secondary School, in Runyike near Mozambique border, eastern Zimbabwe a Catholic School and a school teacher who was a member of the Worldwide Church of God introduced him to the Plain Truth and Bible study sessions
From 1965 to 1988 Filius did not do anything about what he had learned (except study and worry about how to respond to “Come out of her. . .” (Revelations 18:4)
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Conscience led Filius to start considering himself as the Watchman (Ezekiel 3:17) of eastern Zambia. So he launched radio programs on Explorers FM in Petauke based on UCG resources and Beyond Today audio downloads, using his own resources to pay for airtime and Wilson Nkhoma’s phone number as a contact for information about the true Gospel and the United Church of God aia. These radio programs also carried the title Beyond Today.
Noticing the impact of the radio programs (because of the numerous phone calls that he received, Wilson Nkhoma, who was a minister by now, decided to visit Filius in Chipata in August 2013. Wilson and his wife stayed for three days in Chipata and on the day of departure, Filius insisted that he should be baptized; to which Wilson complied (17 August 2013).
Filius continued to produce and pay for the local radio version of Beyond Today. But, following Wilson’s advice, this was now moved to Feel Free Fm in Chipata. This was good for monitoring.
Through the radio program, people started to come to Filius’ home on Sabbath for Bible study and the congregation grew until Pastors Talama and Derrick Pringle came to officially establish it as the first branch of the Church in eastern Zambia. They also helped in paying for the radio program.
With time, then house became too small, but it was not acceptable to the members to rent a school classroom as many born-again and Pentecostal churches did. Acquiring a suitable plot to build a church building being costly and fraught with corruption, the church started to worship in the bush under the trees.
Just before FOT 2016 in October, construction of the building started with own resources.
Eventually, Pastor Talama mobilized funds from LifeNets for purchase of cement needed to make cement blocks