What Happens When You Tell God No?

called to ministry
Kwenzo had a mom and nine siblings to support. So when God called him to ministry, he thought it was impossible.

Kwenzo’s father was dead. His mother had eight other children to support. And as the oldest son, Kwenzo couldn’t just watch his family struggle.

Ever since high school, he’d wanted to be an electrical engineer. It wasn’t just interesting. It could provide for his family!

So when God called Kwenzo to a livelihood of ministry, he resisted.

What about school? Kwenzo thought. How can I take care of my family on a minister’s salary?

But then came the dreams.

A Savior He Had to Follow

Kwenzo was in high school when he met Jesus. A friend invited him to church, and Kwenzo loved the experience.

“When the pastor was preaching about Christ, I was hearing about something new that I’d never known,” Kwenzo says. “Like, in Christ there is peace, Christ forgives and things like that.”

He asked his friend if he could come the next Sunday.

The following Sunday, the pastor preached on Romans 3:23, and Kwenzo knew what he had to do. He accepted Christ that same day.

Then came the call that Kwenzo didn’t want to hear.

A Call to Give Up His Dreams

Kwenzo was already on track to become an electrical engineer, so, when he felt God calling him to ministry, he resisted.

Sometimes, God spoke to him in the form of a dream.

Once, Kwenzo dreamed he was in a church service. A friend came up to him and said, “Hey, why are you trying to run away from the Lord? Because I can see that the Lord has put something in you and called you into ministry.”

When Kwenzo woke up, he immediately asked God to confirm whether his dream had been a true calling.

When Kwenzo went to church later, the pastor asked to lay hands on Kwenzo.

“He told me that he could see God put something on my life to share the Gospel with other people,” Kwenzo says. “And even then, I didn’t take that so seriously because that’s common today. People will just come and say, ‘God has called you. God did this.’ But perhaps He did not.”

Gradually though, Kwenzo began to sense that these dreams and encounters weren’t just coincidences.

called to ministry

Recurring dreams convinced Kwenzo that God wanted him in ministry. But Kwenzo refused to give in.

Kwenzo started having recurring dreams that he was a preacher, but blind.

In the dream, Kwenzo said, “People would have to lead me to the podium and then take me back.”

That’s when it really hit Kwenzo — there was a task God wanted him to do.

But Kwenzo couldn’t let go of his plans.

He just kept thinking about his mother and eight siblings. He knew firsthand the financial hardships they faced. And a career in engineering could help much more than a career in ministry could.

“I grew up struggling, and even when I’m old, I’ll be struggling,” Kwenzo prayed. “So, Lord, I can’t do it. Please choose someone else.”

Reluctant Bible School Student Transformed

Kwenzo went to a local university and picked up admission forms for an electrical engineering program.

And in an effort to get God off his back, he also signed up for monthly classes at Zion Bible College. That’s where he met TEAM missionary, Dr. Brett Miller.

“[Brett] used to just come to school just to come and sit and chat with me, give me advice, ask me questions,” said Kwenzo. “Like, ask me why I’m confused.”

Kwenzo says Brett and the other ZBC teachers taught him things he never knew about leadership, ministry and personal spirituality.

“As you continue to attend their classes, you develop that intimacy with God and understand the Scriptures so that, when you’re given a chance to share, you are able to preach what the Scriptures really say,” he says.

The biblical knowledge Kwenzo gained through ZBC propelled him to share the Gospel confidently at school, and even preach in his home church from time to time.

All the while, Kwenzo’s strange dreams continued — until one night, he finally broke down.

Half Hearted was not Enough for God

Once again, Kwenzo dreamed he was the blind pastor. But this night, he decided not to fight it.

“I [woke up and] started to pray and say, ‘Lord, let Your will be done,’” Kwenzo says. “And that same night, when I prayed before I slept, I was like a normal person. … I could see everything.”

It was the confirmation Kwenzo needed.

He prayed. And then he put his admission papers for the engineering school aside.

Kwenzo enrolled as a full-time student at TEAM’s Swaziland Evangelical Bible College — and he hasn’t looked back since.

called to ministry

Once Kwenzo accepted his call to ministry, God provided everything — from Bible school training to food for his family.

Kwenzo’s teachers saw his obvious gifting and got him an internship with his former school, Zion Bible College. He took classes at SEBC during the week and taught them at ZBC on weekends.

As for Kwenzo’s family, the Lord provided sponsors to meet all their needs.

“They thought I would be the one who would be responsible for the family, but the things they seemingly hoped I would do, God is doing now with His provision daily,” said Kwenzo. “They’re in school. They have uniforms. We have food on the table.”

Kwenzo is Ministering Because of You!

Thanks to you, Kwenzo is now set to graduate SEBC this November! His dream is to become a leader in a Swazi church and share the Word from the pulpit.

“It has changed my life in a very positive way, being at SEBC,” says Kwenzo. “And I see the future is very bright. I see the Lord opening so many doors just to preach the Gospel to His people.

Thank you for making it possible for Kwenzo to receive the training he needs to pursue God’s call in his life. You may never know how many souls will be blessed because of you.

You can train more people like Kwenzo to spread the Gospel in their home countries by giving to TEAM right now.

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About the author

Brianna Langley

Brianna served as TEAM's Associate Editor and Staff Photographer. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University, where she double-majored in journalism and international affairs. She grew up on the mission field in Romania, but now resides in East Tennessee. Some of her favorite things to enjoy outside of the office include hiking, reading, writing and a good cup of coffee.


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  • Thanks Brianna, this is such a great story about Kwenso. So glad God kept guiding him to finally say Yes, Lord, I will!! I was asked to serve on our church’s Mission Team years ago, and have never grown tired of
    being a supporter of these wonderful people that God brings to us. I have seen families that we supported when I first started – eventually “retire” ; and now God is bringing in so many young families or single young adults to us to support. We carefully screen them, and God is blessing people around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ because we and they serve a Mighty God. God bless you and Team!!

    Caryl Johnson

    • Caryl, thanks so much for your kind words!

      Be encouraged and blessed in the work God has called you to.

  • Lord let your will be “done”, great decision ever, not all of us do respond to our calling, in most cases we do think what we enjoy doing its our calling yet at times its even contrary to what God is calling us to, i my self i have always been having same struggle in my spirit, actually am going through the same up to now, cause at time i do pray to the Lord to open up doors for me to preach the word but i get low in my spirit yet i hear the spirit convincing me not fear anything but i shutup my mouth and the few i share with do ask me to talk to them again, and i cant explain how much joyous i feel when i share with someone the good news, i only need a serious ministry in mission trips i think, i remember one time it became heavy on me i went to my pastor asked him wether we can go out for evangelism he didn’t give a clear clue or any plan as church that we have, and the country i come from mission trips are always not considered so much so we dont normally experience it yet we can and its our mission as Christians to accomplish, thank you for motivation.

    • Thanks for reading, Tumuhaise! May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve Him through evangelism.

  • Thank you Brianna Langley for this encouraging and inspiring piece about Kwenzo. It is quite encouraging. My wife and I are working as independent missionaries in far away Nigeria. I hold a first class masters in Media Anthropology and she holds a bachelor in Education government and we have two boys. I personally wanted to be a University lecturer and business tycoon but God changed all of that by calling us into full time ministry and mission. Though we do not have that we wish to have but God has been very faithful. This Kwenzo’s stories encourages and inspires us more to keep our trust in Him.

  • Kwenzo had a wonderful testimony. Such is common in most persons around the world. it is only by grace we are called to discipleship not by our merits,strength, wisdom or acumen, all we need do, is to surrender our hearts, mind and will to God through Christ Jesus

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