You May Put Soil on Him But Never on His Soul

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A tribute to Elder Mwamba Chibuta who went to be with the Lord on 3rd January 2014-by Mr. Nsenduluka


Kapambwe Nsenduluka

Mwamba Chibuta

Mr. Chibuta

It is such a taunting task to lift a weight heavier than body weight. Was he not more righteous than I? Indeed He was, younger in age but bigger in life. I have known this man for over 30 years. I can almost say I do not remember meeting him because it is as a person being asked when he met the very mother who bore and brought him up. All I remember are things bigger than first meeting.

  1. The Servant of the Lord
Nsenduluka Chibuta Namibia

At the Ordination Service of Pastor Nsendulula in Namibia

A far as back as I can remember, Mwamba Joy Chibuta had served the Lord in three different churches as member in good standing, as a deacon and as an elder in churches where I also have been; a member and deacon at LBC, a member and deacon at Fairview Reformed Baptist Church in Mufuria and a member and elder at Kabwata Baptist Church where he died in service.I was his elder at Fairview Reformed Baptist Church in Mufuria and he was mine at KBC. Here is how I remember his service:

  • An extremely meek servant; a man whose strong influence you experienced upon your life but who would never forcefully impose his will on you. I am quite strong willed but I do not remember Mwamba and myself in any argument at all no because there was no occasion for it but because he had abundance of wisdom, grace and tact to win it without ‘bloodshed’. Such is the testimony of many who would testify having been blessed with serving with and under him. As I write, Facebook is saturated with more than you wish to find out.
  • He was a very clear and theologically sound teacher, a wise counselor, a gifted singer and a man who was always available for what he could do and be where he was needed. He was a leader who could not betray you even in moments you felt he needed to save his face.
  • Of all who have been my very good elders, I can testify that he is among the few that paid me more visits and had a feel of where and how I was living.

2. An Outstanding Family Man

CHibuta Family

Mr. Chibuta with his family

I was married almost seven and half years before him was quite instrumental, by the Lord’s grace, in his marriage in many ways. But I have had a lot to learn from him. We discussed our marriage lives freely and again I have been astounded by his meekness there. I particularly remember one of his many statements vividly that has rebuked be over the years; he told me that his philosophy in marriage is that he would rather be a happy husband than wind the arguments. There are many who know this but so few of us who live by it.
Not only so, Mwamba was a good father whose own children were his best friends. He would share with me how from the oldest to the youngest of his two daughters and one son, had this freedom to share his T-shirts, warm clothing and even footwear! Even in his illness he more than twice testified to me of how they had taken good care of him and lessened his loneliness in the absence of his dear wife.
Brethren I can go on to talk about his outstanding performance with respect to extended family, his domestic workers, and brethren who would pass through his house. I know of three families from outside Zambia who I referred to them at short notice, and they took them in one family in their absence was accommodated by them.

CHibuta India

The Chibuta’s with the brethren in India

3. A Citizen Worth Emulating
Mwamba was not perfect, but as far as being a citizen in good standing was concerned; he set a very high standard. His career was in the banking industry where he joined virtually as a school leaver; rose through the ranks and reached the top ranks of one of our country’s largest parastatal companies, including acting as chief executive. Throughout that ‘mountain climbing’, it was through excellence, dedication, patience and integrity that took him to the top. It was on the basis of these very values that he left his winding path through that career.
He did not leave that career un-blamed; but speaks of more than one incidence of being falsely accused and was ultimately cleared of the charges. If He has owned anything, Mwamba has fully paid for it or is faithfully paying for it. I just came to realize that at every stage, his principle was to live contented with what he had earned through honest hard work.
4. Through the ‘Valley of the Shadow of Death’
When the illness that finally took his life came, he was up and about faithfully serving us. He has been to India several times for medication, but that painful illness would not subtract from him the substance of what he has always been in character though it had its toll on him physically. He practically was a member at our local church and one of the most prayed for.
When he had little strength, he attended church and sang for the congregation, he attended some bible studied and participated in one outreach program at St Stephen’s Hospital; he visited the sick members of the church prayed and sang for them. But he too had reciprocal visits by some elders and other members of the church. He and his dear wife will be fondly remembered for a long time. From this and more, Mwamba demonstrated his commitment to the Lord even in such severe trial and strange place where most people would have had reason to resign.
It would appear he was conscious his departure was at hand. He always told me that he was ready to go. On this last visit he asked me if it was right to desire to die. While I was trying to find just the right words to use and avoiding eye contact, he had passed out on his hospital bed. Sugar was extremely high, and shortly afterwards he was taken to the ICU. The point is that this man marshaled up his little strength in him to serve the Lord and the people he loved so much. He had frequent fainting episodes, when he came round he just smiled about it. He died serving; indeed he died well
5. A friend Indeed
There is much I can say about our friendship but I will just put it in form of a short tribute to summarize my short experience of you dear brother.

TRIBUTE TO A GREAT FRIEND (from the Nsenduluka family in India)

Memories of you will linger long and searing pain will bite
For you were, to us, a great one; a big fish in our pond
The darkness of the grave will hide your loveliness for a night
But surely you are greater than that grave that opens its mouth to swallow you
For it cannot bury the abundance of good that still lives on and fills our memories

There is a gap that that grave cannot gulp; it is a vacuum you have left
Just what will life be like for many of us with you gone?
Yours was the first face I saw on arrival at the airport to receive me
Yours was the face I last saw on my departure
It will painfully hurt to arrive and know we will never see that face ever again

Your graceful soft disposition had such a powerful influence upon our life
Your generosity so blind to distinctions of tribe, race and else
Your personal sacrifices to ensure and assure unity will be greatly missed
The name Joy Mwamba Chibuta will be missed even in India where you were but for brief while

Yours was the home in which I personally found a home; it was never full for me
Yours was the life we shared to the full and there nothing sharable we could not share
I know not a house but only one in which you made your home and I did not sleep there
I know not a place I made my home and you did not come there
In you was a gift from God that was many in one;
A real younger brother, a real friend, a competent counselor, a true sympathizer

As a family here we have lost a great pillar in our life,
The good part is that we all have the hope of seeing you again
In a place where you will never leave us.

Thank you for the priceless gift you have left us with for a while,
Your dear wife and the children; May the Lord protect and provide for them

Come away into glory, Oh fair one; enter into the eternal joy of your Master;
Your good works decorate your path to glory as the most beautiful of flowers
And Oh, how so sweet also is the fragrance they leave behind
Who can find a wreath worthy of such a man as you
Now go and take your rest in eternal peace
And receive the crown you have earned by the grace of the Lord you so loved

Author: emmanuel

4 Responses to "You May Put Soil on Him But Never on His Soul"

  1. Sibeso Mudenda Posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:52 am


  2. Gabriel Konayum Posted on January 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks ba Nsendeluka for this very exhaustive and clear account of a true servant of the Lord Mwamba Chibuta. To God be the glory for such a life and the privilege to share that life

  3. Arnold Changala Posted on March 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

    My friend you have left us? You are with the Lord my friend. Till we meet again in glory, G’day

  4. Janet Kabwe Sinyenga Posted on May 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    A valiant and faithful soildier He was indeed!
    A great tribute it is that you wrote about Elder Chibuta.
    May the name of the Lord be praised for having given us such a faithful and humble parent.
    Till we meet again at Jesus’ feet.

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