“I was in darkness for thirty-six years. I knew all about God, yet I was lost.” Life circumstances had taken a toll on Ottilia Nyagura, and although she sought refuge in the comfort of her church, the religious nature of her denomination actually compounded her suffering.
Ottilia is a single mother of three children, and her cultural surroundings, in Zimbabwe as well as within the walls of her church, never let her forget it. She lived under the burdensome weight of shame, condemnation, and rejection by society—until she heard one of Andrew's teachings. “Listening to ‘No More Sin-Consciousness’ completely changed the way I perceived my relationship with God,” remarks Ottilia. “I know that Jesus Christ has already paid for my sins—past, present, and future—and that my righteousness is in Him. It’s a done deal. I don’t have to fall apart like a two-dollar suitcase.”
After having tasted the sweetness of the Word of God, Ottilia moved to Walsall in West Midlands, England, to attend Charis Bible College. “I heard a voice say, ‘Come and learn My Word. I have called you to be My servant.’ How could I do the Lord’s work when I did not know Him?” she says. Fulfilling the responsibility of being a parent, Ottilia attended her studies during the day, while working part time at night, sending money back to Zimbabwe for her mother and three children. It’s said that a mother’s work is never truly done. Ottilia knew just how true that was, even thousands of miles removed from her children.
However, Ottilia stayed the course to finish what God had told her to do. She went on to graduate from Charis West Midlands, complete her third-year apprenticeship, and was ordained into the ministry in October 2009. “Feeling as though the brook had dried up in England, I traveled to South Africa in January of 2010. I was inspired by the opening of a Charis there and had this zeal to start one in Zimbabwe. I was then connected with Keith Chigondo, a graduate from Charis St. Petersburg, Russia, who was already located in Zimbabwe. We discussed the visions we both had to start a school in our mother country. A few months later, we received the tremendous blessing of materials from Charis West Midlands and were able to watch our visions come true, as the planting of Charis Zimbabwe commenced.”
Life on the mission field isn’t always easy, but the goodness of God proved to be Ottilia’s strength when she didn’t have any strength of her own. “It was tough for me, leaving my children and mother for the sake of the Word, but the words spoken by Paul Flanagan at my ordination kept me going: ‘It is a great honor to be able to send a mighty woman of God to the frontlines, fully equipped, fully trained, and fully armed. She is a devastating weapon to the Enemy. Faithful. Faithful. Faithful.’ I knew that God had called me for this message to reach out in His goodness.”
Today Ottilia serves as the assistant director for Charis Zimbabwe, alongside Keith Chigondo, and is fulfilling the call of God on her life to be a missionary in her own country. You, too, can experience the surety of living in God’s perfect will for your life. Visit Charis Bible College online to find a school nearest you. God only knows the adventures awaiting those who take the first step.