CYRUS & PRISCA MFULA’S STORY
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Cyrus & Prisca Mfula have been married for 17 years. They started their journey
together in 2000 and, from the very beginning, they “had the same desires.”
At that time, the HIV/AIDS cases had risen to pandemic levels in Zambia and
the number of street children was alarming.
“We were very zealous and very young before we got married”,
Prisca recalls. But, together, they knew that they needed to fight for justice
in Zambia. That very year they started a ministry called “Primach Hope”,
named in part after Prisca’s mother and also
“because we needed to give hope”.
Initially, they developed a proposal, like every other nonprofit at the time,
in an effort to seek out funding to launch the organization. They sent out letters
to over 20 different organizations, hoping to find financial backing, but it never came.
After their plans fell through, they regrouped.
They knew in their hearts that their motives were pure.
They wanted to serve the Lord. So, instead of joining the ranks of every
other nonprofit and launching projects, they simply began to start
conversations with people. As they walked the streets, they shared
the Word of God with them.
“We knew that God was walking with us.
We didn’t have money, but we would preach
to them and we knew God would do the rest.”
Month after month, they continued to go into the streets and talk with people. As they encountered child after child, they were compelled to do something. Prisca recalls, “I always thought, when I walked the streets, if I met a child on the street, I thought, I should just make a difference, even without anything. The story we heard from each and every child we met was; “My mother died”, “we’ve got too many problems at home, that’s why I come to the streets”, and “we don’t have any food so help us”.”
Despite their lack of money, Cyrus and Prisca, were able to share the
love of God with others. They continued to preach in the streets and
speak with people. They used what God had placed in their hands.
As they were faithful over what little they had, God began putting them in charge of more. Slowly, God enabled them to grow their ministry, and they started an outreach to 20 kids through a local church in Choma. From there, the number kept growing.
According to Prisca,
they started asking themselves,
“What can we do to use
our hands to make more money?”
With their goal being,
“to create income-generating projects
so that we can send a child to school.”
Both Cyrus and Prisca have always been highly entrepreneurial, business-minded, justice-driven individuals. In 2006, they started a small-scale farming operation in Choma and slowly began to work the land by hand until it produced enough for them to feed themselves. It wasn’t until 2012 that they were able to “effectively start working on the land”, Cyrus says to us.
“We noticed that relying on one crop
was not serving us well in terms of business.
There was a time when we had over
2,000 heads of cabbage, but it just made
the price [in the market] go down.”
They were selling their cabbage to SPAR (the local grocery store)
and to others in the local market, but they noticed that they were
flooding the marketplace with a single product and needed to diversify.
“We ended up planting different types [of vegetables],
so if the price of cabbage isn’t well, we have onions,
carrots, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs to sell.”
Over the years, they began to further understand the local market supply and demand chains
and have made great strides in utilizing best practices in farming techniques. From crop rotation
to letting the land heal for a season, they’ve honed in on an effective rhythm which has helped
them see some financial success.
Building off of their agricultural efforts, Cyrus and Prisca began
expanding their operations in a number of new ways by adding
goats, pigs, chickens, and fish. These new revenue streams
were great, but they also presented new challenges.
Each fishpond can produce about 5,000 fish in 5 to 6 months.
“What happened the first time, we were trying to prepare and we were going to buy a freezer to hold the fish. We were getting nervous as to how we were going to keep this perishable product.”
Fresh fish in Choma is a HOT ticket item. When word got out around town that they were harvesting fish, customers didn’t want to wait for it to get to the store or the market. “When people heard that there was fresh fish, they started coming to our farm and buying it directly from us. When they saw the fish jumping up and down in the pond, they started calling their friends and neighbors and our freezers were empty. They scooped up everything.” Cyrus tells us.
Managing multiple business verticals with different yield times requires good planning
and having solid strategies in place. Many of the projects Cyrus and Prisca now run on
their nearly 20-acre farm began by being self-taught. Cyrus credits Youtube and other
online articles for how they equipped themselves. Over the years, they’ve attended
various workshops and seminars and are always looking to learn new ways of innovating
and growing their businesses. Striving to do things with excellence is at the core of
what they are about.
“We have made mistakes, we have had to re-do some of the things,
but I think there’s a lot that we can celebrate God for.
A lot that we can look back to and say,
The motivation behind all of their business endeavors and various
income-generating projects is to support their ongoing ministry work.
They currently sponsor over 80 kids in Choma and 18 kids in Lusaka
to go to school.
In July of 2017, they continued to listen to the Lord’s leading, and that prompted them to start The Point Church, which, depending on the week, has around 35 regularly attending adults and just over 70 kids. And, as they have been faithful, the church has been growing.
In May 2018, our Poetice Zambia church decided to give
an offering of 20,000 Kwacha to the Point Church. This gift helped
them make some much-needed upgrades to their church building,
sponsor and provide school supplies to 10 additional kids and helped
them purchase 400 chickens to grow their income-generating project.
Just after they were able to paint the interior of their church building a vibrant purple color,
Cyrus tells us that they had over 160 people attend on a Sunday morning
and, somehow, they managed to pack them all into the tiny room.
“How we fit all those people… I don’t know.
It always feels like God extends the building, then soon after church,
it comes back down. It’s a miracle every Sunday. It baffles me every Sunday.”
After nearly 20 years, their story is now coming full circle.
Leading by example, Cyrus and Prisca are able to show
others in their community how to use what God has
placed in their hands, even if it’s very little, to glorify
and honor Him.
In the last few months, they have launched business trainings
and a new savings and loan program within their church
where members contribute to a fund that gives small loans
to others in their community which are then repaid with interest.
In the very first month, church members raised 9,400 Kwacha.
“I never knew that money existed among the people. No idea.”
Cyrus said. The second month, because loans were beginning to be repaid,
they were able to raise 15,600 Kwacha. Then 25,400 Kwacha. Then 31,800 Kwacha.
All from within their church congregation.
“When you know that this is out of our working heart,
working together as one unit, there’s that dignity
and attachment to it. You know, it’s not donated…
the people that are struggling are the very ones
who are able to do this, who are able to do that,
there’s ownership in that. It has really been helpful.”
We are so honored to lock arms in Kingdom work with like-minded,
justice-seeking, Church family like Cyrus and Prisca in Choma.
Together, we are seeing communities transformed in
Mwapona, Kabanana and beyond.