Bridging the Gap
...While Learning From the Children
PASTOR Philani Nyatsanza’s first contact with the Just Children Foundation (JCF) was necessarily born of his love for children. But never – not once since becoming part of this vision – did he ever visualise God positioning him as the vision’s carrier.
But the passing on of the torchbearer, Apostle Moosa Moses Kasimonje, saw God elevating Pastor Philani – affectionately known as Pastor Pee – to the helm, bringing out the Joshua hidden deep inside him to continue the journey to the promised land where Moses had left off.
It was hard, indeed, as Pastor Pee notes: “It never came to me that I would take over from Mr. Kas. I never imagined that he would die so soon. I couldn’t imagine that the burden of the vision God gave him would be on my shoulders.”
The beneficiaries of the vision, who would otherwise have remained trapped in a vicious life typified by the bondage of Egypt, have already started enjoying the glimpse of the Promised Land, although the full bounty of milk and honey still lies ahead.
While Pastor Pee had already been gifted with the love for children, stepping fully into the vision symbolised by JCF brought him priceless lessons.
“My association with the late Apostle taught me to learn from the children,” he said, adding that there was always an adult tendency to impose on children.
As far as he is now concerned, that also ranks as abuse.
He added: “Mr. Kas always used to say to me learn from the children, hear what they are saying and take time to be with them. This has proved to be an invaluable lesson to me.”
But perhaps the greatest revelation that Pastor Pee – who nurses a heavy burden, and whose heart aches, for those whom society has forgotten – was that God is manifest in children. And nothing could portray His Kingdom more than the lives of those children.
“I see God in the children and I see the Kingdom manifest in their lives. So that is what attracted me to this vision,” he said.
Through this walk, Pastor Pee has been able to testify that JCF is “a school of faith” where one is taught “absolute depends on God” who is so faithful, and whose mercies are indeed new every day.
This has also enabled greater faith to spring up in him, in response to the working of God in his life through this ministry.
“I now give without restraint because I realise that God gives without restraint. I’ve learnt to speak the language of God by spending more time in the word of God. The children have also taught me a lot about who I am,” observed Pastor Pee.
Pastor Pee, who is the sixth born in a family of eight, said although his experience at the helm of JCF has so far been fun, it has had its frightful moments. This has made him realise in a deeper way, that he has taken over from a great leader “filled with the unction of the Holy Spirit”.
He added: “I’ve enjoyed bridging the gap that Mr. Kas left and the future of the work. I’ve had challenges in some relationships as I would never equal Mr. Kas in any way.”
Most notably, Pastor Pee added, he represents change and the nature of change is to encounter resistance. But he takes comfort in the knowledge that God is with him. If anything, the storms he has encountered have energized his prayer life, making him stronger.
“I’ve enjoyed seeing God’s grace abound upon me and the ministry. God has vindicated my appointment as Director by some mighty manifestation of His power,” he said.
The flow of the Spirit has been Pastor Pee’s anchor, and the principles that have been his inspiration are “right thinking, peace and joy”.
Pastor Pee is married to Roselyn, and the couple has two lovely children, Tino and Kundi. He received Jesus as his Lord and Saviour in 1988, and had never looked back since.
He did his high school at Prince Edward in Harare, after which he went for a discipleship training with Youth With A Mission. After training, he joined St. Luke’s Anglican Church as a Youth Worker. For two years he worked with young people from different backgrounds.
In 1997, he went for further training with Youth With A Mission as Team Leader and trained young people to evangelize in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. He went back to St Luke’s as House Group Pastor with the responsibility of planting house churches.
He left St Luke’s and, together with a friend, planted a church in Greendale called El–Shammah Ministries. After two years in Greendale, he led a team to plant a church in Mufakose, after which his relationship with the JCF began.
“I joined the JCF as a friend in 2003, and during this period I’ve done a Degree in Theology, a B.A Degree in Ministry and Leadership at CCTC and Calvary University. I’m also currently studying for a Diploma in Community Development through ABMA,” he added.
Pastor Pee believes the future of JCF is great and vast. He said: “The scope of this ministry can be seen in the diversity of the children. Each child represents a specific ministry.”
He added that while there is still a lot of work to be done, God was making the growth possible as more partners and friends have become part of the vision.
“As surely as God is Head of this vision, we shall prosper from glory to glory. We still testify of the greatness and goodness of God. No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor has it come to mind of man, what God wants to do through JCF,” he declared.