Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Dear Faithful Friends and Supporters,
As many of you know we have made it safely and soundly back to Malawi. Challenges with flight patterns, luggage handling, and jet lag were certainly felt but all in all our travels were blessed.
After one of the busiest times of our existence (furlough), it is good to be back in a place where I can distribute an average of over 450+ gospel tracts per hour! It has been amazing to once again experience ministering to a people who are generally comfortable with the idea that God, indeed exists. In my experience, no matter how far off someone's view of God or deity is, it is almost always more fruitful to deal with someone who at the very least, does acknowledge God as the creator. It is hard to see how far things have drifted in our own country, and to understand the impact that is had by the never ending narrative of atheistic evolution, until you step back out of the first world setting, and speak to common folks about the subject of God. I can think of countless incidents over the past year and a half in the USA, where just the very mention of the subject of the Bible, or Jesus, or church was unfortunately enough to ruin someone’s day! Through these experiences I developed a great admiration for soul winners and personal workers who are still called to win souls in the hard soil of the USA. I Praise the Lord for you and the work that you are doing! Praise the Lord for the faithful pastors who are still in their pulpits, the men and women who are still on the firing line and for the souls still being saved! I truly believe that God calls us, and prepares each of us for the field he desires to use us in.
Getting re-established here in Malawi has been filled with mixed emotions and reality checks. Without a doubt it has made the biggest impact on the older kids. The little ones simply feel that all is well and normal. Jennie and I are well aware of our decisions of faith and we are trusting that the Lord has his purpose in all the ways he directs our footsteps. Joshua and Bekah however, are fifteen and thirteen respectively, and they have faced some very real trials of their faith. It has always been our prayer that our children would neither become bitter at God through their experience on the mission field, nor would they become the typical missionary kid that can’t seem to function later on in normal life. It is our desire to equip them to live by faith wherever God may call them to serve. Thanks be to God who has given them the victory in this transition, they have both handled the transitions like champs! They are truly doing better than I ever would have when I was their age and for that I am grateful. I would ask you to consider their age and all that the enemy throws at a young person at this time of life, and I would ask you to pray that God would continue to move in their hearts to comfort, guide, teach, and keep them. Missionary kids truly face challenges and trials that the rest of us can only observe as bystanders. I realize that it's not just my children who have been called away from “normal life” through the calling of their parents. I believe we would do well to pray for all of the missionaries teens out there wherever they are serving.
I do still strongly believe that it is always best to be wherever God tells you to be and, for us, there is no doubt about where the Lord has us serving for now. Since our arrival here, we have seen amazing doors of ministry opening left and right. The doors of ministry opportunities such as preaching in the churches , door to door visitation, market tracking, public preaching, village to village outreach, and small group discipleship have absolutely FLOWN OPEN. Mzuzu Bible Institute has restarted & I have been preaching or teaching seven days a week. Believe it or not, it has never been easier! The Lord is pouring out his messages and is sustaining the strength!
Last Sunday I preached in Manyamura, a village about three hours from here by motorcycle. I street preached there a few weeks ago, and then some people who happened to be there at the time, subsequently sent an invitation for me to come “formally” and preach in their village. I preached for over two hours to around three hundred people who had gathered to hear. From there I drove my motorcycle from village to village for the next eight hours, preaching publicly in eight different villages! I distributed hundreds of tracts in these places wherever I stopped and returned home exhausted after riding over a hundred miles in sand. Monday morning I didn't miss a beat as I woke up ready to face the building projects which are currently underway at the Lusangazi Mission Station. For those of you who are aware of my health condition, just know that I am praising the Lord every day that I am able to function. I am following the recommended terrible exercises given to me by the physiotherapist and am thankful to be upright!
Our current building project is a security wall which will enclose our hands on technical skills training center. (Carpentry, Electrical, Solar, Etc. ) We are soon to start our first class through a Malawi government certified course in our soon to open “Lusangazi Mission Technical Training Center”. This will be a very “Galatians 6:10'' type of ministry. In this particular aspect of the ministry, I will oversee trainers who will teach through the curriculums which are provided by government for hands on skills training. My objective will be bringing a heavy emphasis on scripture, personal salvation, and personal discipleship throughout the course. I am really looking forward to how this will provide me “side-by-side” time with the students. There is a mix of students in this first class between church members, ministry leaders of the various congregations, and completely lost people. Pray for us to have many opportunities to witness to the unsaved as well as to strengthen the hands of the believers. These skills, if learned and applied, could be a huge help to the families of the churches, as well as to the ministries of the churches.
I would also like to ask for prayer for Mr. James Phiri. After preaching in a church of a pastor I taught several years ago, Mr. James came forward and kneeled in front of the church and prayed one of the most sincere prayers of calling on the Lord I have ever heard. After praying, he testified to the over three hundred people in attendance to his history of being born and raised a Muslim and having “this day, found the truth of salvation which I have been searching for all these years”! What a blessing it is to see another soul brought to the saving knowledge of Christ even in this late hour of the church! I recently received a message that Mr. Phiri has asked me to dedicate some time for further teaching. Please pray for his growth. The pastor NOT mentioned by name here is a man who was indeed called and trained in our ministry several years ago. Unfortunately however, his faith wavered when it came to opening his ministry. Instead of trusting the Lord to provide a way, he opted to minister under the “umbrella“ of a large established denominational organization, which could provide him the “network of support” which he thought was so necessary. I still go and preach there when he asks me to, but I do not consider him one of our churches nor a real part of our ministry. I would have much rather seen him pastoring one of our churches, but the door of our ministry is always open. Open to come in and open to leave . I do not try to “control“ peoples decisions. At least he is doing something for the Lord!
Preaching in all these different churches and villages makes me more appreciative of the churches which the Lord has used us to start from scratch. Since our return I have had the opportunity to rotate through the Bible Believing, Independent Baptist, KJV Churches which God has raised up here in the north of Malawi. I have a genuine appreciation and love for these churches and for the pastors who are standing faithfully in the doctrine which they were taught. Coming back and seeing these men who are faithfully preaching and teaching in their pulpits has been such a reward. In the short time remaining before the Lord comes I want to do all I can do to help these pastors with whatever they need in the ministry. Pastor Daniel Nyirenda just finished discipleship courses with another small group of five people. They decided to have a small “graduation ceremony“ to honor their efforts and they invited me to attend the ceremony and then preach to them. It was really a blessing to see another five people who had been taught through the doctrinal course WITHOUT ME!!!
By God's grace we were able to purchase a prime piece of property for Light Baptist Church directly on the main highway that goes through Mzuzu! It is amazing to have the opportunity to purchase such a property. As a direct result of your faithfulness and support we were able to take action when the property became available. In the past this church had been renting a community building tucked away in the village. Now they are excited to build the church where no one in town can miss it! I am very excited to help them develop the property and get a church building built. By God’s grace, and as you enable us, we will help as much as possible. What a blessing to see a Bible Believing Baptist Church get prime Real Estate!!!
We have so many praises in our short time of being back on the field that it is hard to know where to start and stop this letter. Let me close by thanking all of you once again who made this transition back onto the field possible. You really cannot imagine how our financial needs were met in such an exact way. We were truly able to come back to the field and step right into ministry again. We returned to Malawi with no financial debt, and we were able to purchase a very adequate vehicle upon our arrival. We thank the Lord for your generosity. By God’s grace, we have been serving in full-time mission work since 2006, it is humbling to see the Lord continue to pave the way one step at a time.