HOW WET MET with CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
LEWIS Shikapwasha and his wife, Esther, have been married for ten years but one could easily mistake them for newly-weds because of their affection for each other.
“Marriage is beautiful. Our love journey has been awesome. We are both determined to be the best of friends. We work together, stand for each other, no matter the situation and this has helped us get closer,” said the couple.
Pastor Lewis and Esther got married on March 31, 2007. The two met at church, where Lewis was a pastor of the youth ministry at Bread of Life Church in Lusaka and Esther was a member of the youth ministry.
When they first met, it never clicked to both pastor Lewis and Esther that they would one day fall in love and get married.
However, pastor Lewis was transferred to Mpika to pastor the Bread of Life church and when he visited Lusaka, he met Esther again and they fell in love.
Although he was not sure if Esther would agree to his proposal, he went ahead to ask her on a date.
“I was just a pastor serving in the rural area of Mpika. I had nothing in terms of finances to offer her but I had love for her,” pastor Lewis said.
To his surprise, Esther agreed to his proposal and that was the beginning of their love affair.
After some months of dating, pastor Lewis proposed marriage on New Year’s eve and the wedding followed a year later.
“Our ten years has been a good journey of love. God has blessed us with three boys and, above all, we have remained good friends. We are looking forward to many years of being husband and wife. People say two trees close by will rub each other but we have chosen to resolve our challenges and we are good friends,” the couple said.
What humbled pastor Lewis in their love journey was when his wife gave up her job to join him in Mpika, leaving the good life in Lusaka for a rural area and to do the work of God.
He never imagined that one day Esther would give up her job because when they got married, she remained in Lusaka.
Pastor Lewis described his wife as a real person, strong and loving, is a non-pretender and easy to live with.
Esther describes her husband as a good father, a God-fearing man and a kind person.
Pastor Lewis and Esther urged couples not to take out all their challenges in marriage to people but seek God for guidance and wisdom and table the matter and find the root cause of the challenge and tackle it from there.
“There are instances in our marriage when we face a challenge and when we realise who was wrong, take responsibility and apologise to each other,” the couple said.
The Shikapwashas, now running Bread of Life Centre in Zimbabwe, have been mentored by Bread of Life Overseer Bishop Joe Imakando and his wife, Bernadette.
Pastor Lewis and Esther say the life of Bishop Imakando and his wife has been exemplary in the way they live their lives, raise children and encourage couples to spend quality time with family, especially children.
They urge young couples not to shy away from counselling as it helps to build a good marriage foundation.
“We still refer to most of the things we were taught by counsellors, especially in resolving conflicts. I am also urging those who are married and never went through counselling to seek counselling,” the couple said.
The couple urged churches to ensure that couples intending to get married undergo extensive counselling.
Pastor Lewis, who has made it a point in his church to speak against GBV, takes time to talk against GBV and encourages couples to live in harmony.
He also urged young people to be focused and not date for fun.
“The young generation should not base marriage on material stuff but focus on building a good home that will contribute to the stability of the nation.”
Pastor Lewis said if marriage is not a friendship, one cannot enjoy it. “Marriage is not a trial and error; you can change jobs but not marriage.”
The pastor said a great nation is made out of great families. If marriages are unstable, then the nation will be unstable, too, but when families are united and have peace, they will transport it into their business and work places, which results in productivity.
“If people are living in peace in their marriages, they become productive, contributing effectively to the social and economic development of the nation.”