CO-LEADER of the Family of God Church, Prophetess Dr Rutendo Wutawunashe, has vowed to continue with her women empowerment ministry despite a marriage breakdown that left the church split in half.
Precious Stone Ministry for women holds its three day 17th International Precious Stones Convention starting next Thursday.
The ministry was founded with the vision to harness women of wisdom, wealth, true beauty, fear of God, excellence, strength and honour.
This year, notable speakers include Bishop Duro Lombonya from Zambia, who has been ministering at the convention for the past 16 years; Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni and Mrs Sherrie Shereni who has proven experience in the corporate world.
Commissioner Bessi Nhandara, legal expert Mrs Vimbai Mutendereki and health expert Mrs Regina Kanyemba completes the line-up of guest speakers.
Precious Stones Ministry’s future had seemed gloomy as its visionary Dr Wutawunashe is facing divorce from husband and FOG leader Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe who has been rendering support since the ministry’s formative years. Dr Wutawunashe said she believes that God made way for Precious Stones Ministry and would continue leading the way in its future.
“There is a way, it’s not just my own initiative, my thinking, but it came from God. So this is what regulates my reactions, particularly the faith because these things are detrimental in many ways.” Apostle Wutawunashe recently filed for divorce after he unceremoniously left his matrimonial home a decade ago without an official separation.
Revelations of the couple’s separation came to light after a letter written early in February by Apostle Wutawunashe to the church’s elders citing that he had separated from his wife for ten years and that he intended to remarry “sooner rather than later”. Dr Wutawunashe said the other woman in Apostle Wutawunashe’s life is a youth pastor within the church.
As a result, Dr Wutawunashe has had to dig for her ministry’s values within herself to deal with the storm of the divorce ravaging through her life.
Speaking ahead of the convention, Dr Wutawunashe explained her silence and steadfastness throughout the ordeal.
“I have not had many platforms to speak but the other reason why I have not really become militant is because my strength comes from the message that I teach. I don’t just teach women, I also live the word, and so God helped me to know that the value is not what is placed on you, but the value is the journey inside and I work on that as I teach others.
“So basically I haven’t spoken a lot or done what an ordinary woman would have done because that leaves so many unanswered questions, so many lives affected. When I prayed to God about this it wasn’t easy. God dropped into my spirit a word to contend for the faith,” said Dr Wutawunashe.
“Some women in this kind of challenge die, some commit suicide, some suffer stroke or high blood pressure (but) I am so glad that God has preserved me. This is part of what made me see clearly that for the storms of life, a woman needs to be equipped. “When I look back at my life, this experience strengthens me to understand the woman more. It’s different when you just read the word of God and preach than when you are preaching from experience.
Although it is something I wouldn’t have prayed for to come upon me, now I can use it to strengthen others.
This is why I am convinced that women need to be resourced so that it is not that easy to be instructed to pack and go.
“People don’t even notice that lives are hurt. I will minister from a position of strength. I am grateful to God that this is an experience I can use to strengthen and minister to women,” she said.
Her ministry’s theme for this year’s – “Resourcing women and girls spiritually, mentally, physically and materially to survive the storms of life” – couldn’t be more telling of what Dr Wutawunashe has grown through.
“When you teach a woman about the journey of life, you tell them not to laugh when they come across people who are struggling with something because next time, the storm could hit them. There is no woman who gets into marriage hoping to divorce or be widowed one day.
“But when it happens, you don’t die; you are still a vine, you are still valuable.
Though someone rejects you, God hasn’t rejected you. lf someone dies, you are still alive so that’s what I teach other women, to be able to go through that experience and still love God and still preach.
I count it a great privilege,” the mother of six said.
Dr Wutawunashe revealed that her husband’s adulterous relationship uncomfortably went on for years yet she could not find evidence to that effect. She said only this year, some message came “that showed that this relationship was not maybe as clean as we would want it to be”.
Her worry has been the repercussions the marriage breakdown will have on her children, individual lives and the church as a whole.
“Apart from us being pastors and teachers, we have built on faith which we have taught. Standing up after 36 years of teaching the word of God and doing the opposite, it doesn’t make sense.
“So what I decided to do is to say well this thing we have, we hadn’t talked about it. But I decided that since it was uncomfortable, I couldn’t run around fighting like an ordinary woman.
“Because when we look at the scriptures in Malachi 2, God says I hate divorce. So you can’t stand and preach and then oppose yourself doing what God says He hates.
There are not many things God speaks so strongly about but when it comes to divorce, He says I hate it. “When you read Matthew 19, the Pharisees were asking if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause. Jesus began to explain that God created male and female and brought them together, He wasn’t thinking of the choice to divorce, He made them one. “So the Pharisees then asked why Moses gave them divorce papers.
Then Jesus said it was because Moses was giving room to hardness of heart, because when people come to that place their hearts are hardened. He says it wasn’t God’s idea, but room was made because hearts get hardened. The marriage institution, when we look at the faith, it’s a relationship of Jesus Christ and the church.
“So these are some of the fundamental issues that affect my reaction. I am a woman of faith, I look at myself as a woman who retains some kind of stature. Some look up to me in the church and beyond. It may be a low season but God will restore,” she said.
“I want as many women as possible to make it in life. This (divorce) is happening every day, it may appear big when it happens to big people but so many women are hurting over these marriage problems.
“So I am not exempt. When I have overcome, I will look back and teach the next woman, the next girl – the requirement of faith.
“The value and importance of a woman is the purpose of upgrading women from being a lump of soil to being precious stones. This is why this calling is satisfying,” she said.