Wilson now knows he will be going to heaven when he dies
Beer, drugs and smoking cigarettes were very attractive to Wilson Nyakunyada, but his mother wanted him to become a minister.
"I was a responsible drinker who liked his beer and drugs," Wilson shares. "My mother used to say, in Chewa; 'Awiri ndifuna kuthi mukhale (mupunzisi) mubhusa wavathu muchalichi – osati zakumwa mowa', that is, 'I want you to become a minister and not a beer drinker'."
"But I didn't want to be a church minister because I hated ministers."
Throughout his 20s and 30s, Wilson's mother continued to remind him of her desire, but Wilson refused to listen until he began thinking about death and eternity at a funeral.
"The preacher talked about the story of the rich man and Lazarus that Jesus spoke about," says Wilson.
This story contrasts the fiery judgement for a wealthy man who did not listen to God, and the heavenly reward of a poor man named Lazarus who did listen to God.
Jesus taught in this parable that riches are not a clear sign of God's blessing, but only those who listen and respond in faith to God's Word will go to heaven.
Jesus concluded the story by saying that for many people "even if someone should rise from the dead, they will not believe". By this Jesus meant that many would not believe that He is God and can forgive their sins even after His own death and resurrection.
"The preacher kept on pressing his points," Wilson recalls. "And he was always looking at me. This preacher put the nail on my final surrender to Jesus Christ.
"The next Sunday, September 1995, I went to church, and prayed, 'Ndauya zvachose kuti ndizo paridzira vamwe kuti vapone.' 'I'm laying my life down totally so that I can preach the word for others to be saved'."
Sadly, Wilson's mother died before she saw him become a minister.
"Her death caused me to pray each day and stop drinking beer. Finally, when I was 42, God told me he wanted me to become a minister through three identical dreams about the same Bible verse.
"I was told to read Isaiah 10, verse 6, which says, 'Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him.'
"Then I had to spend another 11 years studying and reading the Word of God, so that I would completely keep myself from temptations like materialism and money."
Wilson was formally ordained as a Christian minister in 2006.
Through his daily relationship with Jesus Christ, Wilson says that God has grown his love for his family, and graciously kept him in good health.
However, when he accidently swallowed rat poison in 2008, Wilson says the hand of God became very evident in his life.
"On the 17th of March, I was chewing garlic and, oh God, for a few seconds my heart stopped. I immediately remembered the plastic bag of rat poison in my pocket that must have contaminated the garlic.
"As I started to fall down I said to God in short – 'God I do not want to die, but if it is Your will let it be.'
"After I said 'amen' I suddenly threw up and everything was all black like charcoal and I felt my heart start to pump again.
"I praised the Lord and here I am today because I did not doubt God.
"All praise be to God!" Wilson concludes.•