AE team leaders can tell many amazing stories of redemption, and it’s not often that we have an opportunity to hear about their own journey, and what underpins their life-long commitment to evangelism. In this article, we cover the early life of African Enterprise’s Bishop Guide Makore and his pathway to evangelist and team leader of African Enterprise Zimbabwe.
Guide Makore was born on the 14th of November 1967, in the city of Gweru in Zimbabwe. Born third of five children, Guide’s earliest memories are of the care of his maternal grandmother, who raised both him and his siblings while his mother was a resident house carer on a nearby homestead. His father lived apart in a distant village, and rarely came to see his children and did not provide financial support.
To help earn money for his family, which was largely living in poverty, Guide’s grandmother would brew traditional beer to sell at the markets. Not wanting to waste any of the bi-products of the brew, she’d mix in the leftover fermented home-brewed traditional beer with his lunch, served in a disposable plastic container, “I remember that cup so well,” Guide reflects. “I didn’t realise that at a young age I was basically intoxicated as a result of these fermented herbs and I was constantly sleepy.”
At the time, people in his village were also under threat from guerillas and national forces fighting the Rhodesian War. For his own protection, his mother’s employer, who served in the airforce, invited her family to live at the homestead with his wife and children.
The location of the homestead also happened to be the home town of his father, and as a result of the new close proximity with his dad, he started to form a relationship with him and miss him greatly when he was away. To satisfy his yearning, he pleaded to be able to travel to be with his dad, and after a couple of years of this, his dad decided that Guide could come with him.
However, the idyllic perception of being close to dad did not come close to reality. On his first trip away, he was left to live with his paternal grandmother and did not see his father again for almost a year. As a result of inter-village family issues, he also did not see his mother or maternal grandmother again for the next 6 years.
Understandably, the situation came as a complete surprise to Guide, being abandoned for the second time by his father, but this time it was a far worse situation, now being raised by a new family and without contact of his mother and grandmother. “I thought my father was hiding somewhere in the house at first,” Guide said. “But as the weeks went by I asked my grandmother if he was coming back, and she said that he wasn’t.”
As months went by, his new grandmother enrolled him in the local school and life started afresh as an eight-year-old. In his new home he had access to more food, and a slightly better quality of life. However, the situation eventually took its toll on the young Guide, and he found eventually that he was crying day and night over his situation. It was his constant distress that eventually came to the attention of villagers, and through their intervention, his father eventually visited on occasion, but did not reconnect him with his mother.
Around 6 years later, Guide moved into an apartment his father owned in the capital city Harare and he finally made contact again with his mother during school holiday periods. Aged 14 at this stage, Guide started to become influenced by drinking and escaping the daily grind with his friends. However, God soon intervened in his life to prevent further escalation of his issues.
Coming across a tent crusade in the city, Guide finally heard about the loving fatherly nature of God, who’d come to save him through His son Jesus Christ. The words affected him powerfully, and at that meeting Guide accepted Christ into his life. Following the meeting, all the new converts met weekly at the tent church, and they were provided with a minister.
Sadly, the small group couldn’t raise enough to support the minister. When he left, they continued to gather, singing songs, praying and waiting for breakthrough to come as well as adding donations to a locked box the former pastor had left behind.
Then, some ladies in the church asked Guide to preach. Somewhat forthrightly they announced that they had tasked him with preparing a sermon for the following week. Somewhat taken aback by this ‘request’, Guide told them he didn’t have a Bible. The retort from the ladies was “That’s why we asked you a week early!”.
There was no getting around this, so taking up the challenge, Guide joined the local scripture union to find inspiration for his message and was given a Bible by one of the members. After preparing a sermon based on material he obtained, he found that he actually had a gift of preaching. The congregation were thrilled by his message! There was no going back from there, and Guide became the preacher over the next two years from age 15.
Two years after the tent crusade had completed, the original minister who preached there came to visit the village and was astounded to see that the group was still meeting! He wanted to know who was preaching, and they invited him to hear Guide speak. He was sufficiently impressed to endorse Guide’s role as a preacher. As a gift to the visiting minister, he received the original locked donation box the small church had been contributing to over all these years.
Guide continued to lead the church, and was eventually heard by a visitor from African Enterprise called Sheke Masila, who happened to run the youth evangelistic program. Recognising Guide’s ability to reach to younger people, Sheke invited Guide to join the Foxfires.
Guide became one of six Foxfire leaders, preaching in farms, cities and border towns. He was then accepted into a Pentecostal bible college.
The Principal accepted Guide in good faith, recognizing that Guide had no financial support but would pay colleges fees when he could, and he offered every service he could including food and board until Guide could achieve this. “God will provide”, Guide told the Principal, and indeed that came to pass, with an anonymous donor taking care of all his costs over three years.
With support funds received, he was able to assist not only his fellow students, but his sisters who needed assistance to attend school. After all the challenges, he reconciled with his dad and family and finally his dad provided some support and a new suit for his graduation day!
Guide’s ministry progressed as an evangelist and church planter, and he planted new congregations in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and even in the UK. He took on other roles with Bible Society (as Chairman) and leadership roles within the church and faith-based organisations, before finally being appointed Team Leader of African Enterprise in 2011.
Through his varied life experiences, in obedience to the Great Commission and Great Command Guide retains his passion to see every believer have their own bible, for lives and communities to be transformed through Jesus. He wants to encourage all of us to stay strong in the faith and reach others for Jesus. Who knows if there is another budding evangelist like Guide, just waiting for the opportunity to witness to hundreds of thousands of people and bring many into the kingdom of God, through Word and Deed.
For those of us reading his story, Guide provides with some final encouraging words. “God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the called”, he said. “Do not be limited by your background, upbringing or past experiences. Like in my testimony, God can turn your trials in triumph, your testing into a testimony, your rags into riches, stumbling blocks into stepping stones, your bitter lemon into lemonade according to Ephesians 3:20. I therefore challenge you in your sphere of influence to seriously consider giving chance and opportunity to those budding, passionate, gifted and talented people, quite promising, but lacking the means and encouragement.”
More details about AE evangelists and their countries of operation are found here: https://africanenterprise.com.au/our-locations/