This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

African evangelist shares ‘new and beautiful life’ in Christ

MILANGE, Mozambique — The spirit of evangelism is a fire in Laston Bissani Mitambo’s bones.

Humble and quiet in disposition, Bissani commands attention when leading a church, sing­ing and dancing with a vigor that belies his nearly 60 years.

Brethren in Christ evangelist Laston Bissani Mitambo with his wife, Carlotta, and their family. — Mennonite World Conference
Brethren in Christ evangelist Laston Bissani Mitambo with his wife, Carlotta, and their family. — Mennonite World Conference

“I love for other people to know this same Savior who gave me a new and beautiful life,” said Bissani, national evangelist for the Malawi Brethren in Christ Church, a member of Mennonite World Conference.

He has planted many churches in the Palombe District in Malawi and in the Zambezia Province of Mozambique.

Born in Malawi in 1959 and trained as a tailor, he received Christ in 1986 when the words of a street preacher moved him to repentance and salvation.

His brother introduced him to a BIC congregation, where he grew in faith.

“I was also itching to share the message of God’s love,” Bissani said. “I shared the gospel whenever and wherever I could.”

After he completed studies at the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi, the Malawi BIC Church sent the newly ordained pastor to Mozambique in 2003 to grow the Malawian church in the Zambezia Province.

“It is not always easy to reach some of the areas,” said Bissani, who has slept on the streets or in the bush on his evangelistic travels. “I have lost some of my belongings to thieves.”

He travels alone or with an assistant.

“We spend three or four days doing door-to-door visits, then a crusade,” he said. “We leave someone leading the preaching point and follow up whenever we can.”

At one point, the Malawi BIC Church had no more funds to support church-planting work. What would Bissani do back home? He wanted to carry on evangelizing in Mozambique.

He remembered that the Apostle Paul was a tent maker. Using his skills as a tailor, Bissani could support his family while he did the work the Lord had called him to do.

Bissani now receives a quarterly allowance from the BIC Church that complements what he earns from his tailoring business.

His wife, Eniles, died of cancer in 2009. In 2010 he married Carlotta, a recent graduate of a four-year Theological Education by Extension course. She has become his partner in ministry. They have one son together, in addition to his eight children with Eniles.

Bissani’s dream is to start a Bible school in Mozambique to train many leaders “so that it will be easy to pass the baton.”

With support from the BIC Church in Mozambique, Bissani trains church leaders who come to Milange for seminars on leadership, salvation, the Holy Spirit, Christian life, evangelism, church planting and ecclesiology.

After 16 years of sharing the gospel and planting churches in Malawi, and another 15 years in Mozambique, he says he’ll retire when God tells him to.

“I find much joy in bringing people together who have come to know Christ,” he said.

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