God is raising women of faith, women who will trust in Him despite and in spite of their circumstances. One such woman is Patience Mlengana who like everyone who has walked by faith, has seen God with her own eyes. She has learned that trials come to make us strong. Patience is a daughter of the most High God, a wife, a mother, a minister of the Gospel and a writer. She founded Patience Mlengana Ministries to alleviate the plight and suffering of the less fortunate in our society. I had the chance to have a heart to heart with her. Be God inspired.
Inside Woman: How did you get to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?
Patience Mlengana: I was brought up in a Christian family. I grew up going to Sunday school but I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord. In 1994 I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. It was such a special encounter, it was amazing! The day I gave my life to Christ, my life took a 365 degree change.
Inside Woman: What do you mean by 365 degree change?
Patience Mlengana: The person that led me to Christ showed me things that I had never seen in the Bible. I was very sick at that time and I had terrible migraines; and the doctors couldn’t find a solution for me. The man who led me to the Lord came all the way from Zimbabwe and told me that God wanted to do something special for me and he has been tasked with leading me to the Christ. After he led me to God with a prayer, he laid hands on me and I instantly got healed.
Inside Woman: How has that relationship helped you during the difficulties that you faced in your life?
Patience Mlengana: The Word of God says in Romans 8:28 that through struggles we know that all things work together for our good. I don’t know if there is a way that we can grow without challenges but throughout the challenges that I have had in my life, Jesus has always been there. He has never left me or forsaken me.
In 2008 my husband went to the doctor for an operation and it didn’t go well and he slipped into a coma for seventeen and a half days. He was in ICU for three and half months. And it took five years to get him completely healed. And in that five years the devil thought he was crushing me but God was building me to be a woman of strength. God was building a woman of character in me. At the time I was so desperate to know God with everything in me and I knew that nothing else could help me out of this. I had the money to pay doctors but the doctors could not heal my husband. Jesus the ultimate Physician was my only Hope.
I also learned that you will never get the Rhema of the Word of God until you go through things. For instance when God says I will give you peace that surpasses all understanding, it doesn’t make sense until you go through turmoil and in that chaos God provides peace in your life - in the midst of all that God gave me peace.
My faith was tested and I had to learn to choose to trust and believe God’s Word above everything else including the doctor’s report.
I wonder sometimes if I didn’t go through those types of experiences would I be the Patience that I am today? I don’t wish for anyone to go through what I had to go through but it's something that I don’t want to trade for anything else as it made me who I am today. I know that it was the Grace of God that enabled me to stand immovable and to stand that long.
Until you get tested you will never know who you are.
Inside Woman: And you had another test in 2011?
Patience Mlengana: While I was at a meeting, after eating a muffin and having a drink I felt uncomfortable, like I’m bloated. The pain continued to get stronger and after the meeting I went to the pharmacy to buy Gaviscon. The pain got worse and then I started praying in the spirit. I prayed all the way to my house and when I got home I asked my husband to pray for me. After he did the pain still got worse so I asked him to take me to the hospital. When we got to the hospital I couldn’t walk. Four hours later I was in theatre and the doctor said I had bowel obstruction and it kills. I knew I was not alone because God promised not to leave nor forsake me. While in hospital I kept on fighting in my spirit and declaring God’s promises over my life. I believed that God was giving me my testimony. On the fourth day the doctor realised that they needed to operate again and they took me back to theatre. The scripture that I held on to was this: the same power that raised Christ from the dead will also quicken, give life to your mortal body through His Spirit that dwells in you. I believed that this power had to overtake everything that is not of God in me. And God was faithful; I came out of fire not smelling fire.
I believe that the devil doesn’t fight you because of where you are at the moment but fights you for where you are going in your life. The devil knew that even though I had been ministering for some time now, I had not launched my ministry, I had not formalised it and he wanted to stop me. But God has been faithful to me.
Inside Woman: Why do you think we go through challenges?
Patience Mlengana: Testing brings out the best in us. You can’t teach what you don’t understand and the tests open up opportunities for us to be authentic in our teachings and it earns you the right to be heard. I have learned that when we go through challenges it’s not only about you. We have to have a telescopic view of what God has in store for us.
I have yet to find someone who God has used tremendously that has not had a challenge. Abraham had to believe God to give him an heir. He had to stand against all odds.
We all have to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling; and every opportunity is for us to grow.
Inside Woman: Why did you start your ministry?
Patience Mlengana: For as long as I have been born-again I have been ministering. My husband and I decided long time ago to use every resource that God has given us to build His kingdom. We have a vegetable farm to feed people. God decided to stretch us and encouraged us to come into partnerships with others because we can do more when we get others involved.
The platform is to bring more souls to Christ because this is what it’s all about.
Inside Woman: If you had to do this again what would you change?
Patience Mlengana: My life has been predestined. God chose me. I cannot regret anything that I had done because it has given me a better perspective about being in the world and being in the Kingdom. I will not encourage anyone to live a careless life and think that one day God will find them. The sooner you come to Christ the better your life will be. There is more advantage in growing up in the Lord. I don’t know how it would have been if I received Christ when I was younger but I know how it has been since I did. I don’t want my kids to go through what I had gone through.
Inside Woman: What is your role as the older woman in the lives of the young women that God has given you?
Patience Mlengana: I have to be an example to my children because God holds me responsible for them. My kids need to see me living out my faith not just preaching it. So when it comes to things that we believe God for, we get them involved so that when the answer comes they will know that it is God who has answered the prayer. This is so that they can also learn to trust God when I’m not around to help them like when they are in university, etc.
Children are very clever they listen and watch what you do. My 12 year old daughter once came to me and told me that one of her classmates does not believe in God and she told me that the boy has become her “project”. I told her to share the word with him. She said, "no mommy, he won’t understand that. I will share with him our testimony of how God came through for us when you were sick and when daddy was sick and then share the word later”. You see, because she had seen how we do things here at home, she now knows how to minister.
And now speaking to the young women in the Church, I would say after you get born again, remember that it doesn’t mean you are on a cruise. Don’t forget that there is an enemy. I see this with those who just became born again and got married.
I also remember when I got married; I saw things that didn’t correlate with what I asked God for. I thought maybe I have made a mistake. I didn’t realise that satan was trying to destroy what God has given me. But I am thankful that I had a spiritual mother that was guiding me and helping me. She said to me, "Patience the Bible says you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. One day you will pass this earth and God will ask you What have you conquered? You can’t leave your husband because he came home late or he was drunk? You must conqueror this".
We all have to fight on our knees in every area of our lives. Remember we fight against the principalities of darkness and not the flesh. Everyone who finished strong in the Word of God had to fight for what they believed God for and they had to stand.
Inside Woman: Let’s talk about woman to woman relationships. It seems that women (more so than men) tend to struggle with issues like gossip and backbiting, and are often too quick to take offense. How can we help women to curb those so called natural female tendencies to really have healthy relationships that last?
Patience Mlengana: This comes when women don’t understand the Word of God and their purpose on earth. We all have unique gifts and talents. If I try to imitate other women I will be their echo and I’m robbing myself of an opportunity to be used by God in the ministry that He has for me. When God calls you, He will also give you an audience that will listen to you and be specifically impacted by you. God will also empower you to excel in what He has called you to do. Once we recognise what God has done for us and is doing through us we won’t feel threatened by other women. We will support each other and the Grace of God is sufficient for all of us.
Inside Woman: What if a woman hears from God about starting a ministry, but her spiritual parent(s) isn’t behind her–doesn’t support her. Should she press forward?
Patience Mlengana: A person first of all is called by God but we also have a responsibility to respect authority in our lives. The reason is because we need people who have gone before us because we can’t buy experience. We need to be guided by those who have gone before us. What took my pastor fifty years to do, I can do in a lesser time because he will be there to guide me. And when I sit at his feet and listen, it will build me. Rebellion is not of God.
The heart of kings is in God’s hands. If God wants to use you, God is not limited in showing your pastor the truth of what he is doing. We also have to acknowledge that there are pastors who have not been encouraging their children to move forward because they feel threatened. So when people go out on their own we really don’t know their circumstances. Having said that, I know that nothing is impossible with God. His Grace is sufficient.
Inside Woman: Do you have any words of encouragement for women who are dealing with depression and feeling hopeless?
Patience Mlengana: A lot of people go to Church and are born again but they fail to renew their minds. You cannot fully live by faith just by hearing the pastor preach on Sunday. You need to spend time in the Word of God and understand God for yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting help but like I said everyone needs to work out their own Salvation with fear and trembling. I don’t want to be a Christian that is dependent on pills. I want to grow to a point of trusting God to fully believe His Word that when He says I am healed by Jesus’ stripes then I am. People need to decide for themselves how to live their faith according to the Bible.
Inside Woman: Why is it crucial for Christians to read and study the Word?
Patience Mlengana: Because that is the essence of being a Christian. The Bible says the just shall live by faith and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Jesus said you can't live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God. Without the Word of God you are doomed.
You can contact Patience Mlengana on:
Tel: +27 (0)11 260 6621
Fax: +27 (0)11 260 6620