My name is Christine Gutu, and I am from Zimbabwe, a beautiful country in Africa. So far, I have a Diploma in Pastoral Studies from one of our local Bible schools here in Zimbabwe. I was working on getting my degree in Theology and Biblical Studies but did not manage to finish the studies for various reasons. Thank God, I found the Christian Leaders Institute because now I can pursue my studies without worrying about my ability to pay for my education. Free study at CLI is an answer to prayer. Besides my Pastoral Diploma, I also have a Diploma in Marketing and Financial intelligence.
Growing up in a divorced family was not easy for me. I grew up with very low self-esteem and was emotionally unstable. Although I managed to present myself as a robust person, inside, I was bleeding for years. I was a church girl in my early years of life, but I was never happy. I struggled with a sense of belonging to a point where I tried to commit suicide twice in my teenage years.
One thing I craved the most was love. I needed to feel loved. I wanted someone to love me, unconditionally. However, no one was there to fill that gap that grew bigger and bigger as I grew older. A place that I felt at home was the church. So from the time I was eight years old, I spent most of my time at church. I was bitter and broken and didn’t have a mentor to teach me the ways of God. All the same, at church, I was everyone’s darling and very active in Sunday school activities.
God Was Calling
As I grew older, I finally understood that I had a calling. The Holy Spirit opened my spiritual eyes. I experienced and felt the presence and power of God. However, during that time, my mother got sick. God showed me her death in a vision before it happened, but due to my lack of understanding, I thought it was a vision of healing.
When I received the news of my mother’s death the following day, I decided to let it all go. I remember telling God that I was never going to set foot in a church again because He didn’t love me. First, my parents divorced when I was four years old. Then I grew up in a place where I felt unloved and had to fight for attention all the time. Then, when I was getting to have a relationship with my mother, God decided to take her away from me. At that time, I thought that God didn’t love me, and so I decided to have nothing to do with Him.
Good Girl Gone Bad
After my decision to not go to church anymore, I started a crazy journey of looking for love and happiness in the wrong places and things. I started drinking, clubbing, and spending time with the wrong crew of the town. Somehow, I felt that it made me look cool, and maybe people would value me and respect me because I was “swimming with the sharks.” I did it all, but nothing filled the gap that was in my heart. Every night I said, “I LOVE YOU, JESUS!” before going to sleep. No matter how drunk I was, I never went to bed without saying it. For about six years, I continued with this lifestyle until I realized it was never going to give me the peace I wanted and needed.
Finally, I went back to church, and things improved somewhat. I was very prayerful but still not fully surrendered. I got into some toxic relationships that left me broken with money issues that didn’t make life easier. However, I thank God that this time, I didn’t think about giving up. I decided to hold on. I was a wounded soldier who was not going to put her weapons down in battle.
Saying Yes to God’s Calling
With all that was happening, I knew that God wanted me to do something in His Kingdom. I felt drawn to broken people, especially women and children. I felt this overwhelming love that flowed from me to the orphans. So I spent some time playing with children from the Children’s homes. I wanted them to feel loved.
God called me to do more, but for years I kept running. All I wanted was to be an “ordinary” Christian. However, the pull toward ministry and His voice grew stronger and louder. I finally surrendered and said yes to God’s calling!
First, I enrolled in a local Theological college and got my Pastoral Diploma. I started a ministry to empower women in the ways of God. I gave my time entirely to this ministry, and by God’s grace, we are now in our third year of officially operating as a ministry. Though it’s not easy to run a ministry as a single woman, God’s grace is sufficient for me. My spiritual dream is to see people restored to God and living for Him. All Glory to God!
Free Study at CLI Online
I am so thankful for the Christian Leaders Institute. With the classes I have gone through so far, I have increased knowledge and revelation that will help me to be more effective in ministry. It has strengthened my walk with God, as well. And this free study at CLI is the best thing for me since I cannot afford to pay for my studies. I will give back to this great work so someone else can benefit the same way I am benefiting from Christian Leaders Institute! Thank you, CLI!