23 November 2017
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Holy gift of memory

Written by  Emily Kaliwo
Jali and Husband Gilbert Jali and Husband Gilbert

CHIRADZULU, November, 05, 2017: Margret Jali, 55, is not an average person with lukewarm faith and a forgetful memory. 

A member of Chiradzulu Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) under Blantyre Synod, Jali is able to memorize and churn out several chapters from the Holy Bible.

“I got inspired in 2011 when Bible Society of Malawi organized a competition for Christians to memorize bible verses,” says Jali, a mother of four from Jumbe Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mpama in Chiradzulu.

Before the competition, Jali used to memorize just a few bible verses for preaching to fellow women guild members (Amai a Mvano).

“In 1998 I was appointed as a full time worker at Chiradzulu CCAP Church in Mbulumbuzi. That is when the interest to memorize God’s word started,” she says.

The coming of the Bible Society of Malawi Bible Verse Competition instilled her with a consuming desire and strong desire to take practice to high levels. Now she is able to recite several chapters from the Bible.

With her strong faith and enthusiasm, Margaret did exceptionally well in the competition. She scooped position six at a national event followed by positions two and five at district and Synod level competitions respectively.

Although the Bible Verse Competition is erratic in that it is not held every year, Jali never falters with her passion in memorizing the Bible.

“I wake up at night while others are sleeping so that I should am not disturbed. My husband supports me, he takes the Bible in his hands to verify whether I am not making any mistakes when reciting the verses,” she explains.

So far, the Chiradzulu woman has eight chapters committed to memory.

With her gift, Jali tours different congregations, spreading the word of God without holding a Bible in her hand.  She says the main aim of the tours is to lure fellow women into reading the Bible. 

“Time has come for people to memorize the word of God because it helps them to walk in His direction and keep them away from committing sins,” says Jali whose tours has taken her to a number of churches within Blantyre Synod.

Some of the churches include Saint Michael and all Angels, Nthemba and South Lunzu in Blantyre, Malabvi, Mpumbe and Ndata in Chiradzulu.

Her goal now is to expand her reach to churches as far as Nkhoma and Livingstonia Synods as well as other denominations. But she needs support.

“I appeal to well-wishers to assist me financially to accomplish my dream,” she says.

Jali’s feat has received praise from several people including members from within and outside her church station.

Felix Chikaonda, a member of Malowa CCAP in Chiradzulu, testifies to Jali’s ability to recite several verses and chapters from the Holy Book.

“I was checking my Bible as she was reciting the chapters. She did not miss a word despite the chapters being very long,” says Chikaonda in reference to the time Jali recited three chapters non-stop at Malowa CCAP during a sermon.

On that day, Margaret recited Luke 24, 2 Kings 4 and 1 Samuel 17. The three chapters have 53, 58 and 44 verses respectively.

Margret Jali’s husband, Gilbert, says God blesses everyone with different gifts through the Holy Spirit and his wife was blessed with the ability to memorize Bible verses.

“Husbands should be in the forefront assisting their wives to perform church duties as God always guides us through his commandments,” says Gilbert Jali, who is also Music Director for Chiradzulu Presbytery.

He adds that he always supports his wife even during her tours because it aids the spread of the gospel.

Chiradzulu Presbytery Moderator Reverend James Kanyochole also commends Margaret for her zeal to memorize bible chapters.

He says having people like her is a good development because you never know when they will become handy.

“The scriptures say a time will come when the bible will be scarce and people like her will be at an advantage since they have the Word of God imbedded in their hearts,” says Kanyochole.

He advises women and all people in the church to borrow a leaf from what Jali is doing reiterating that God’s word also shields us from sin.

“The woman is walking with weapons. She will never be defeated just as it is written in the book of Ephesians that keeping the word of God in one’s heart is keeping a weapon in your life,” Kanyochole says.

Margaret Jali sums it up all by quoting Joshua 1 verse 8.

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

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