Solomon Zuze was from the Nsilanga area near the Chididi Mission Centre. He attended school at the mission school and later became a teacher at a mission supervised government assisted school. While a teacher he was also a church elder with a strong Christian testimony.
In 1958, together with his wife, he joined the newly opened Bible School started by the Longs. This was because those who worked for the government and mission in those days of political turmoil were regarded as collaborators and deeply hated by other natives.
In 1961, he graduated and went back to his home as a teacher. There he and pastor Simon Mvula witnessed and testified to many in the area. Probably due to his strong Christian testimony, one night an unknown arsonist set fire to his house. Awoken from sleep, he, his wife and children managed to escape but lost every thing they had. This however did not deter him and he continued steadfast in the Lord.
After some time, Rev. Bob Barr, the mission director for the South Africa General Mission, asked him to work with the Dorothea Mission in Zimbabwe. He enthusiastically accepted and went to work as an evangelist preaching to the masses on the European farms where conditions for the African tenants were poor and immorality and witchcraft were the order of the day. Their work was not to plant churches but to preach the gospel and to bring to Christ people who would then be absorbed into the mission churches. At one point Zuze became so ill that he was on the point of death. Around that time he claimed to have seen a vision in which God told him, “I will heal you. You have one more year to serve me.”
Miraculously he got up the next day. It is said that within that one year the Lord granted him, he worked unimaginably hard evangelizing,–more than any other person in that area before him–to the amazement of the missionaries under whom he was working. He went onto the farms tirelessly to preach and testify to what the Lord had done in his life. His testimony brought many people to Christ. It was acknowledged that his last one year’s ministry was tremendous and probably overshadowed all of his previous ministry.
According to God’s words, he died after that one year. The circumstances of his death are not known. It was just reported to the Chididi mission that “their man” had finally gone to be with the Lord.
Louis W. Ndekha
Mary Long,(former SAGM/AEF/SIM missionary 1952-1962, 1991-1997, 2002), with her husband Charles, pioneers in the founding of Chididi Bible School where Solomon Zuze was trained. (Mary Long, Bonis Avenue, Scarlborough, Ontario, MT 3rd, Canada. [email protected])
Rev. Jimu, former General Secretary, Africa Evangelical Church, under the South Africa General Mission.
This article, submitted in 2003, was written and researched by Louis W. Ndekha, DACB Liaison Coordinator, at Evangelical Bible College of Malawi, a DACB Participating Institution.