Crossway Destiny International Ministry was started by students at then Copperbelt Secondary Teachers College (COTSECO) now Mukuba University. The students were part of ZAFES which was more of a Baptist oriented fellowship way back in 1979/80. These students included Newman Bubala, Brother Webby, Bro Ezra, Bro Petimoya and some prominent sisters. These were in the first year before Bro Friday Mumbi, Clayton Kanguya and Henry Kashweka who joined the following year.
May I mention that Newman at that time was a well established believer and was already on fire from Maranatha PAOG. He came into school with fire especially after being influenced by a revivalist missionary pastor Brums and many others such as Skinner, Sky Banda, Mbulo, Mutemi and others. Newman led the Revived ZAFES and with the fire and support from Maranatha Church in Kitwe, the fellowship was turned around. There was such great revival in the school such that many girls turned to the Lord to an extent that the unbelievers got upset with the brothers in the Lord. No girls would attend disco shows because they got born-again.
The brothers were hated. There was such revival that the born again brothers and sisters would go door to door preaching the gospel to the students. Some students never liked this but in the end some got born again. There is one particular student who hated the brothers so much but one day he was invited to a crusade that was held outside the school and there he met Jesus and he came to thank Newman for insisting to attend. The gentleman planned to take advantage of the bus to go to town and not really to attend the crusade but the way God planned the man ended up attending the crusade and he was saved. The same man after training he took revival to Mbala and pastored the first PAOG church in that district.
The students at COTSECO continued to make impact. The fire continued to spread in college and surrounding places with serious backing from Maranatha church in Kitwe. New students got born-again in the school and among them included the ‘children of thunder’ Clayton and Henry. These added more fire to the team. As mentioned Friday came already knowing the Lord. The earlier mentioned two new additions were like fuel added to fire. They believed every word from the bible and wanted to practice whatever they learnt. I am told they were radicals and uncompromising in the way they approached the gospel. One incident I recall was when they held a crusade at the school and believed God to feed the entire school populace with bread- super loaf. They advertised the event but they didn’t have money to buy the truckload of bread. I remember one sister saying “brothers we should be rational there is no money to buy bread let us not be crazy” God is faithful just before the crusade, it was announced that the students across the country had their allowances increased and paid. The brothers and sisters were excited and used their meal allowances to buy a truckload of bread. When the crusade came, many students were saved and were given a loaf of bread each. Those who never came to the hall were followed to their rooms and were given bread. One brother went around giving loaves of bread, saying ”receive bread you sinners and may God bless you!”. The student populace was saturated with the Word and the impact was real.
One day as the revival continued at the school, in one meeting there was so much power that demons manifested and there was pandemonium in the room. Some people who heard and saw what had happened reported the brothers to the management of the college and exaggerated the story saying women were worshiping naked in the school and that the fellowship was not allowing other people from catholic or traditional churches. The leader who was Newman by then was asked to appear before the Principal. The Principal interrogated the leader and in the end warned him not to hold meetings that caused chaos and also was told to allow other churches. The impact continued to be made in the school and there was great revival.
The students continued to do wonders in the school and the Lord united them so strongly. They participated in a number of crusades organized by other churches outside the school. They were getting more and more formidable in the things of God. There was discipleship among themselves. They accessed some literature such as magazines written by great men such as T L Osborne, Ralph Mahoney, Larry Tomzack, Renard Bonnke and many others who were championing revival at that time. Renard Bonnke particularly influenced the students. There was a time he came to Zambia and they witnessed live what they used to read in the magazines. There was a man called Pastor Kolisan who used to pray for the sick. Renard Bonnke would preach the gospel and there was another who would lead in songs. This was such a combination of gifted and anointed people. The students saw the hand of God. In fact the students were also involved in prayer mobilization and others were ushers during the historical crusade in Kitwe.
They witnessed miracles in the yellow tent and some of the men prayed for the blind and the blind saw – It was such a moment. They mentioned about the Holy Ghost night which was always on Thursday. From the testimonies, this was a night with a difference. The people would be expectant of the touch of the Holy Ghost. When Bonnke would pray for the people to be filled with the Holy Ghost, there would be spectacular things that would happen. The wind would blow over the tent and the tent would shake and everyone would be slain to the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit. This was something that would amuse people. The power of the Holy Ghost was real. The students saw the power of God in reality.
When they were back at school it was time for the second years to go for teaching practice. The leadership of the fellowship remained with the first years. The first years had gotten the fire and maintained the revival. The team was strengthened by ensuring that they practiced what they had learnt and grasped.
Before the second years would graduate they sat together and agreed that the team shouldn’t just disband but stick together and continue to do the work of God. They all agreed to form an organization which was at first called Newman Gospel Foundation which later changed to Gospel Foundation. Their first mission was in Serenje which will discuss later..