Harare-based Prophet, Lazarus Mashavave has come under fire for ‘blessing’ tobacco farmers who are seeking to prosper as this is being viewed in some quarters as contradicting his mission of delivering those addicted to smoking.
The leader of Life Giving Spirit International Ministries stationed at Premier Tobacco Auction Floors is on record saying he had delivered men who were addicted to smoking among other problems. Men who were addicted to smoking were invited to the church, for deliverance prayers last year.
They practically smoked cigarettes at the Exodus Revival Conference and later testified they no longer had the urge to smoke. They were also later followed to their homes were they testified that they had quit smoking. While tobacco remains one of the foreign currency earners, Christians have remained at crossroads on the route to take about tobacco farming. But they are clearly against smoking.
However, it seemed contradictory for the prophet to bless producers of tobacco which in turn has cigarettes as one of its by-products. The Sunday Mail Religion spoke to some farmers at last Wednesday services after they went to the altar to receive prayers for their problems.
A 29 year-old farmer, Mr Kimton Nyanhongo from Nyazura, Mahere Village said he had no another option than to seek spiritual deliverance as he was in the habit of misusing money after selling his crop yearly.
“I have two wives and our only source of income is farming. The only time I get money is after selling my crop but every year I go back home empty handed.
“I have tried in my powers to restrain myself from abusing the money but I have since realised that it is something beyond my control,” said Mr Nhanhongo.
He added, “My conscience is also telling me that with the seed money that I have given to the man of God my crop will be bought with good money.
“I will call you telling you that I am now in Nyazura with all the money. This year no more hookers, I am sure even my wives will be surprised,” he said.
Another farmer, Mrs Afreda Muranda from Chiendambuya said for the past six years she had been growing tobacco but had all her money stolen soon after selling her crop on three different occasions.
“I am here because of two issues; on three occasions after selling tobacco I lost my money to thieves. I now believe that I have a curse that is upon me hence I am seeking spiritual help. There is no harm in trying considering that my family depends on farming tobacco,” said Mrs Muranda.
Mr Jacob Zongondi, from Mutorashanga said he heard from a friend that there is a prophet who is assisting farmers to get better grades when selling their crop and he decided to approach him.
“These days you just have to try everything. You don’t know what God has in store for you. The prophet prayed for me last night (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday). I decided to come again today because I have realised that this could be my opportunity to prosper. I don’t know if his powers are from God or not but what I know is that he cannot fool all these people who are here. They have seen something good in him,” said Mr Zongondi.
However, Trinity Inter-denominational Church leader, evangelist Moses Mugadza said ‘blessing’ tobacco or tobacco farmers to prosper in their field is against Christian principles.
|Prophet Lazarus Mashavave Attacked For ‘Blessing’ Tobacco|
He quoted 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 which states that, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.”
“People might claim that tobacco can be used for other things but they should be reminded that making cigarettes is the major end product of tobacco,” he added.
LGSIM spokesperson, Pastor Simon Chivasa said their leader had not done anything sinister.
“Christ spent much of His time ministering in the market place and of the twelve apostles that Jesus called, most were businessmen not synagogue ministers. Before Christ said, ‘follow Me’ he had to minister to people’s needs first. That is what the prophet is doing.
“The Bible in Luke 19:10 says, ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost’ that is the main purpose of the servants of God,” said Pr Chivasa.
The church has been operating at the auction floor since last year. www.sundaymail.co.zw