February 18, 2017

A day in the life…


“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm places to stand” Psalm 40:2


I was laying in bed awake at 2 am thinking about our life here. I have been having stomach problems so thats also probably the reason why I was awake. I was thinking of our children and the reasons why we are where we are today. We receive emails every few days with people saying how amazing we are and how can you do what you do? and you are so brave…I’m always thinking if people knew how my life really is, its probably nothing much different than them …except maybe the location.. and i don't particularly feel like my life has the impact it should have some days.. I haven’t been feeling brave or strong.. and because we are missionaries we sometimes feel the need to be strong and also spiritualize everything we do. 
I'm not famous, I'm just a missionary, a wife, a homeschool mom and ordinary person in about every way imaginable. Im not Amy Carmichael or Elisabeth Elliot. My life is lived in the small things, in the day to day routine and chaos. More chaos and mess than anything. 
     I have to leave all 3 kids with Chris and the team every weekday at 7:30 to teach my one hour french class. When I was asked to sub for the french teacher at the American School, I thought sure only one hour a day, should be a piece of cake. HA! Its a fun experience and a great time to be ministering to these High school kids tho…When I am back nothing is as it should be. My ideal situation would be Noah is down for a nap and the girls are half way done with school. So this week we decided to go on a visit with our whole family. I had all planned in my mind. Wake up, get ready, get Noah ready and fed before leaving. Im so thankful for my girls as they do help a lot. Thank God! But that day, before I left, it was a mess and when I got home from class, school hadn't even started, Noah would not take a nap and everything when down hill from there.… We had then to get ready to go on our visit in early afternoon. 
    Its Africa, T.I.A. we call it, so its a whole expedition in itself. We plan on meeting people in a certain known area like a gas station or other known place and then they show us the way to their house. They can't really give us their address and we enter it in our GPS and here we coooooooome….. Not really. Most compounds have a name but no street names. So the directions we have to follow are always pretty interesting: come to area 25a, then turn left at filling station, then follow the 3 wires, turn right at the market; If you cant find it follow the mini bus route…. lol So there we are in a 100 degree weather with a non working AC car, with our whole family, trying to follow the directions. 30 minutes later we are following a mini bus hoping to finally find the meeting point... 

On our way.....
                                                            Following the mini bus...



Yes we found the place and had a great visit. Noah was the entertainer of the day. Our son does NOT know how to stay idle and he feels quite at home everywhere we go. SO we are visiting at Prosper’s house but he has to run all over the place, outside, and alert the whole compound of our visit lol.






“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me an find me when you seek me we all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13



Pray for me if you think of it. I'm hoping to see a doctor soon and do some test about my stomach issues, and hope to find the root of the problem. We have a friend who is a Doctor here.

With Love from Malawi.


February 05, 2017

February Morsels



Recently we began door-knocking evangelism in the area that our church is in called Mwenyekondo (Indian with a spear).  This neighborhood that surrounds the church has thousands of one-roomed homes. The dirt roads that meander throughout the neighborhood seem more like blood vessels spread  throughout a body than a organized grid. It is fitting because the place is teeming with life that is in desperate need from a touch from God.  

Many of the people in this neighborhood have home-made distilleries and have bars connected to their homes. A lot of people don’t go to church so it’s a great place to minister and a huge open door. We met a sweet lady named Lucy on visitation 3 weeks ago. She barely speaks English, has one child, and lives with her husband in a one room house as part of a group of 4 houses that have a shared bathroom. Amazingly, she came the next day to our midweek service and hasn’t stopped coming for the past 2 weeks. She is our first fruits of Door Knocking. It was so refreshing to see the church in action. As she came she was loved and greeted by all. Soon after coming, the Women's ministry visited her. Then my Mother invited her over to her house with another lady in the church, it was so encouraging to her. 

It was a simple reminder of why we are here, just encouraging people in the Lord one person at a time. Each person is so valuable.



                                     Lucy (on the left)



Please pray for:

-Our Bible College semester started with over 180 students. We have completed one full four year cycle and now for another 4 years!!!!

-Our second church in Chinsapo just started their midweek service and one bible college class.

-Our annual Conference, Malawicon in April and our Bible College Graduation





Some pictures of the past few weeks:













December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

                               



                                                       Children Christmas Play











Writing to you this month has 2 great losses as we go into Christmas, but two great gains for Heaven.
     
Mike Kalako who was one of our first Bible school students. The past year he had a Job like experience going through great ailments. In spite of it all, Mike would come to classes very weak but enduring. He never had a word of complaint, but always exhibited faith. After being in a coma for a few days, miraculously  came out of it. He had been recovering for a few days and then went home to be with the Lord. Maybe God gave him just enough time to spend with his family before he was taken home. We will miss our great friend and student. He was a great testimony of being positive in suffering.





The other sad news is that Pr Jabulani Zwane's wife passed away after experiencing a seizure. We are all in a state of shock as many of us in the church just saw her at the last
conference. Please pray for Pr Jabulani and his family. That God would grant overwhelming comfort and peace. She leaves behind 3 young children.






We ask for your continued prayers for this Christmas season. We had our baptism last week and Christmas banquet coming up. My parents arrived 2 weeks ago. Also, We just finished 4 years of Bible college so we start the cycle over. We are amazed at God's faithfulness.


                                    Baptism 2016





Merry Christmas,

The Armans

November 07, 2016

Treats and more treats...

Two of the major ministries we do in missions are Visitation and Evangelism, which are really two of the major pillars in church planting. While they are so effective in receiving and retaining new visitors, they are met with intense opposition from our own self life and the other kingdom.

A great example of these two ministries is our church member named Maria. On Saturdays we take half of our Bible school students and fan out over the entire our community. As a group of students and I was walking through the community we ran into a group of ladies. We asked them if they were Christians to which they replied yes, then we asked them if they went to church. One of the ladies honestly said she hadn’t been to church in 3 years. Lovingly we explained to her the importance of church fellowship in her life and invited her to our church. Amazingly, the next day she came and put up her hand for salvation. You could see on her face that she had been touched. It was incredible to see how all the ladies in the church ministered to her. We sat down with her after the service in our New Visitors table and encouraged her further. Every new visitor gets a packet and in it is a translated copy of Pr. Steven’s booklet: Just Let God Love You in Chewa. Also there is a coupon for a free Coke. It’s our version of the Café. Maria has been coming since for the past 3 weeks, there we saw the results of evangelism in action.

The other edge of the sword is Visitation. In Africa visitation is huge and Maria again is a great example. We told Maria that we would love to visit her home. The first week we weren’t able to trace her house, the next week we tried again. This time we met her at a market near her house: Peter, one of our leaders, Poema, and I were all together. As we met in the market, her face bore a beautiful smile, ear to ear, as if she couldn’t believe we actually made it. She lives about a 15 minute walk from the church, down dusty roads in a house built on the outskirts of the community our church is in. When we arrived at her house, we were touched to see the condition she lives in and her story. She is a middle aged widow that is living with her son and two grandchildren. The grandchildren are children of her older son who also passed away. She doesn’t have a job but just washes clothes on the weekends to raise money for rent in her 1 bedroom dirt floored house. When we came to visit her, she was overwhelmed that we would take the time to come and see her in her home. This is the value of visitation.

We also just came back from bringing 3 of our leaders to a conference in Zambia. It was so encouraging to see all our brothers in Zambia and spend 3 days with the as we see the church in Southern Africa continue to grow. It was 12 short years ago when we spoke of branching out from Zambia into the surrounding countries. Now that is a reality. God is amazing.

Please pray for us as we:

1.       Prepare for Christmas Banquet at the Church – We are praying for 30 new visitors

2.       Our Church Picnic and Baptism in December

3.       Our 3rd Malacon April 15-16,  2017 as we have over 50 graduating


4.       Our Trip to Zambia on April 21-23, we are believing God for big things: that we could rent the whole bus to bring 70 people to Zamcon



Some pictures of this past month:
Ladies tea fellowship at our house

Noah's 1st birthday
GG Chisapo Church


Outreach at the Post Office




September 09, 2016

Malawi Time


It’s so hard to believe that we are beginning our 4th year of being in Malawi, but we are back on African soil God is faithful as usual. I am so thankful for our family, the fact of their adjustment from America to Malawi is a miracle in itself. It’s basically 2 days of travel to get here: 8 hours to Paris, another 8 to Nairobi, a surprise stopover in Zimbabwe to pick up people, and finally arrival in Lilongwe at 1:30am. The great thing about getting to the airport  in the middle of the night is that everyone is tired, even the immigration officer. I was able to talk the immigration officer to giving my son a free visa since he was not included on our work permit yet. I said please help the people of God…you can still do that in Africa without offending people…and he had mercy on us.
After the whirlwind trip, we began the reinsertion into Malawian life (which really is the more sensible way of living- as our Malawian brethren would say). The day begins at 5:30am when the sun comes up whether you like it or not.  You are getting texts and calls that early. “Pastor, when is Bible College registration…Do you know its 5:30 am…Yes, so.” Its amazing looking outside our window in the morning since we live just off of a main road: Cars, Deathly old minivans that should have been scrapped long ago (David Livingstone said that he saw the smoke of a thousand villages…I’ve seen the smoke of a thousand minibuses where no mechanic has ever been), Bicycles, and Pedestrians all moving to begin the day. Even with a very low rate of formal employment, Malawians are extremely hard workers and are up early on the streets to find their daily bread physically. This motivates us to minister seeing the great needs both physically and spiritually.
One learns very quickly what the fundamental needs are for humanity here in Malawi. We used to complain when our internet was not fast enough in the US or when our calls were dropped. Because of the recent drought, there has been water rationing. Water is off for 2 days then on for 12 hours. Thankfully we set up a fairly large water tank in our back yard which we can draw water from when the water is out; but maybe it’s God’s way of identification with the people whom we minister to.  The majority of people in our church do not have running water in their house even in the capital. They go to a common tap to draw water for the day, often having to wait in line;  so walking out to the back yard doesn’t seem so bad. Thankfully our power has been on with very few blackouts, which is great when boiling water to take a bucket shower.

Upon our arrival we had Mindy Stein from Berlin, Germany visit us, and she was put through the crucible of the Malawian welcome. No running water, bucket showers, flushing toilets by pouring water down them, etc. She was a trooper and looked beyond the details to really minister to people. I think Philippians 1:12 describe it best: the hardships that have befallen us have happened for the furtherance of the Gospel. This means that it’s worth it all because the Gospel is preached. Pray for us this year. We have more turnout than ever before for Bible college (over 200 registered), visitation of the cities where we sent the summer missionaries, our National Radio Program, home school of the girls with little Noah in the mix, and the running of the church in visitation, women’s ministries, couples, etc.

More chairs for our church and Bible College




Also pray as my Step mom, Carol Arman, who is receiving knee surgery in the States and will come with my Father hopefully before Christmas.           
Thank you for Your priceless love, prayers, and support; we are nothing without our Spiritual Family,

The Arman Family









Poema's 8th birthday