December 30, 2011

Malawi Christmas and a Fruitful New Year

As preparations were made for our trip to Malawi this month, we knew we were bathed in prayer from people around the world for the registration of a new church in Lilongwe. This whole month we could see God’s hand in so many aspects:

We had the unexpected visit from 2 disciples from Malawi. 3 weeks ago we received a call Sunday morning before church from our friend Clifford who said he was at the bus station. It didn’t click right away that this was one of the men who has come to every Bible Study that we have held in Malawi over the past two years. He came with a friend to work for 3 weeks in Lusaka. So starting that first day he and his friend Frank were with us getting a taste of what Greater Grace was like with the church services and Bible College as well.

-Church Registration. Registration of a church is always an adventure because every country’s rules are different. So we had a game plan going into Malawi, but at the same time we also were prepared to be flexible. As Pr. Albert Ntalasha, Pr. Enock Muchindu, and I entered Malawi, God gave us Zephiniah 3:17 as a promise that we could rest in His love for us and the people of Malawi. Although the difficulties were minimal we decided to just rest right through them and watch God come through.

In order to register a church in Malawi, one needs a P.O. Box. In order to get a P.O. Box, one must live in Malawi and have at least a water or electric bill. Seeing we live in Zambia this posed a problem. But by God’s grace, the guest house we stayed at vouched for us and let us use their water bill. Thank God for using Pr. Andrew of St. Peter’s Guesthouse to help us.

-Legal Aid. After obtaining the P.O. Box, we set off for the administrative capital of Malawi, Blantyre which is also the former capital as well. It is truly a city on a hill (literally). We got all our paper work together and set off for a local courthouse to have all our documents notarized. Well isn’t it God that the man who notarizes papers is also a head advisor for the free Legal Aid office of the government. This gentleman was an angel from God, going through our constitution and telling us exactly what we needed to have in order to submit our papers for church registration.

-Final Hour. Once we had everything together, we headed to the Registrar of Societies to submit our paperwork. Again we didn’t know what to expect, we didn’t even know the price to register the church. I was so touched at how friendly and easy it was to work with the members of the Malawian government. Every person we met went out of the way to help us and walk us through the whole process. The registrar was no exception. After looking through our paperwork, he instructed us to pay the equivalent of $6 to register the church. I thought I heard him wrong, but after questioning that was in fact the price. There truly is a respect for God’s people even in the government of this country. The last hurdle we had to jump happened just before we prepared to leave. As the registrar came to give us our receipt, he told us that there was a problem with our paperwork. We thought “Oh great, I knew it was too good to be true.” Apparently we could not use the word “Malawi” in our church name since it Is copy written. The registrar said we had two choices: Ask for an exemption from the tourism board (we had no idea how long that would take) or change ever name in our church constitution. We chose the latter and started changing and printing in hyper speed. By God’s grace and favor, it was done and accepted. God was with us every step of the way and He gave us the present of a registered church in Malawi! THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYONE FOR PRAYING, GOD HEARD AND ANSWERED.


-The right location for a building to rent for the church and Bible College.

-The right housing accommodation for the team.

-Continued excitement and expectation from the disciples until the church is permanently there.

Mquani-Chris' favorite zambian and malawian food (a lot like spinach)

Matt 11:28-30 - "some people are heavy laden with burdens"

November 28, 2011

"By wisdom a house is built,

and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Whatever you write on the heart of a child,
no water can wash it away.
The marks in the sands are erased by the tide;
inscriptions will crumble with clay.
The words in a book will decay with the years
and even engraving in stone disappears.

But God’s Word inscribed on a little child’s heart

for time and eternity shall not depart.
(Author Unknown)

Home is the focus of the work of homeschooling parents. Perhaps like no other challenge in life, homeschooling forces us to consider our identity and our roles as mothers and fathers, and it allows us to shape every aspect of our home—its tone, the way it’s decorated, the media we allow to enter it, what we eat and how we eat, how we celebrate, how we laugh, how we rest, and how we prepare for the unexpected.

November Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for God’s faithfulness this November. There times in our lives where we are unfaithful in our thinking (2Tim 2:13), but the God in His amazing character gives us Grace for Grace. God has poured out His Grace and Mercy especially this month-end.

College Outreach. 2 weeks ago we had one of the greatest times at the University of Zambia that we ever have had. Normally we do a Bible study at a restaurant on  campus, but the past few weeks we were invited a few feet over to do a Bible study with some young people working at a Photocopy kiosk. Last week the response was amazing. 10 people were there listening intently and we preached two messages: Christ is the Photocopy of the Father (Exact Representation) from Hebrews 1:3 and the 5 barriers that Christ crossed to save us (from an 1990 ABD class by Dr. Stevens). We were amazed with the incredible questions these hungry souls posed. Afterward 3 of them received Christ and we said to them that we are having church right now here in your workplace. We also reconnected with our friend Kwezi after a few months. We are excited to see what God will do.

Car Request Answered. God gave us a car. Praise God, we found a great deal on a car. It was such an answer to prayer. And even to go above and beyond, we registered it in record time (which is much different than the registration in other countries. What normally takes a day at the MVA/DMV takes 3 to 5 days here. We got it done in 2).

The Malawi Front. Pr. Albert(future Malawi team member) and I have a great expectation for our trip to Malawi next month. We made a call to our contacts in Lilongwe, Malawi to let them know we are coming for a few days. Our goal again is to register the Church and pick future locations for the church and team house. 

Thank you so much for your prayers and support, we experience the presence of God in each step we take.

November 18, 2011

A few weeks ago...

Leadership Conference with Pr Scibelli - Oct 2011
Kitwe, Zambia, about 5 hours north of Lusaka

Bus ride up north

Leaders meeting - Pr Schaller's call

Greater Grace Church of Kitwe - Pr Adam
Noah is walking!
Rap in Kitwe with Pr Scibelli

Rap at our home

Greater Grace Women Conference in Zambia 2011
Guest Speaker: Latasha Brown, Millie and Ida from Uganda

Food fellowship with the ladies:)

Pool time

Julie and Callia

October 29, 2011

One Church one Family

Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. When Barnabas saw the unity in the church of Antioch he was glad and told the church to guard their unity of Grace by depending on Jesus Christ. Our hearts have been made glad with the unity that God has brought. It is so amazing to think of what God has done in seven years. We have gone from a small Bible study in a hotel room to 7 churches gathering to hear the Word of God.
-For the past two week we have had Pr. Scibelli, our missions’ director, visiting and doing a leadership conference.  This is also the second year that a group from the Greater Grace Church of Uganda visited us taking a 4 day journey on a series of buses to get here, so encouraging! So with a group of 30 leaders from Lusaka, we brought another bus 5 hours north to the Copperbelt area of Zambia. There we met the Greater Grace Church of Kitwe with the Speedy family. It was a time where we discussed God’s eternal purpose, ate together, played basketball, and did evangelism together. The last night of the leadership conference came to a crescendo with a message on the importance of soul winning. Pr Scibelli played the last message that Pr. Stevens (the late founder of Greater Grace) preached on the radio before he died, which was a heart stirring message of “Souls, souls, souls”. To top it all off we received a call from Pr. Schaller (the current pastor of Greater Grace in Baltimore). The timing was impeccable, it was the Holy Spirit. Pr. Schaller spoke about keeping the garden of our soul. There was about 40 people in the room and all of us could sense an incredible anointing of God. While we may have been thousands of miles away we had unity that transcended distance – this is the Body of Christ.
-This is also the second year for our annual Women’s Conference, which is one of the few women’s events on the Continent for our ministry. It was an incredible blessing to the women in all the churches in Lusaka. Over 50 women came out to hear the Word of God and it continues to grow every year.
-Pray for us…This year Pr. Albert Ntalasha and I will be travelling to Lilongwe, Malawi to do the leg work of registering the Greater Grace Church of Malawi; and encourage the brothers and sisters in Christ who are waiting there for the church. We are asking for prayer for divine wisdom for “we have not passed this way before”…Josh 3:4. We know God will be faithful. Our vision is to have the church registration, church location, and living arrangements in the next 9-12 months.
-We also ask for prayer for our family. Julie has spear-headed the education of our children at home. It is great; she is very motivated and motivating as I am helping teach some of Callia’s classes.
-Lastly we are praying for wisdom in finding the right car as soon as possible. As anyone would hope we would love to find a deal thatdoesn’t need much work. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
-Thank You for your prayers, they are everything to us. We really sense God’s move and know it is because of your prayers to God for us. Thank you for your support and love. We are part of a wonderful family of Grace.

September 06, 2011

Still small voice of God

1Kings 19:11-12

As we prepare to return to Africa, we want to thank God and you for your prayers, friendship, support, and love. God miraculously finds a way to piece together every little thing to bring about the edification of His church (Eph 4:16). 

This  past week in Baltimore we had both an earthquake and weathered a hurricane both felt by not only us but the whole east coast. Last Tuesday as we sat in our basement apartment, we felt a little rumbling. I thought it was road work or a pipe that broke, then the whole house began shaking. Our two girls had just gone down for a nap, so they slept right through it. We quickly woke them up and went outside. It was the first time I ever felt an earthquake here in Baltimore.  Later in the week we began getting warnings for a hurrican that could potentially pass right over Baltimore. Thankfully it was not as bad as it could have been here in Baltimore. Hours before it came someone mentioned 1Kings 19:11-12 which says that a wind, fire, and earthquake passed Elijah but God was in a still, small voice.  I thought about that reality of how God speaks to us.  Like God spoke to the woman at the well in John 4:29, and she left saying come see a man who told me everything I ever did is this not the Christ? That small conversation changed her whole life because God was personal with her in a still small voice.  This summer we had times like that where God really spoke. I think of early in the summer when we attended the Marlboro Missions Conference and God visited and spoke.  The next week was probably one of the most memorable  that Julie and I will remember the rest of our lives.  We went with Pr. Mike Daigle to visit 2 of the prisons where he is the chaplain.  We saw men who don't have much in the natural life to live for, but have heard the still, small voice of God and have real joy.  We have heard incredible messages that have moved us.  We have so much to bring back with us and share with our brothers and sisters in Southern Africa. 

Please pray for us as we go back for a year in transition.  Specifically we are praying for the church to be registered in Malawi, the encouragement of disciples in Lilongwe, Malawi, and the ability to get work visas. We are believing God to get a lot of the administrative work done before we actually move there so when we arrive we can jump right into church.  We plan to make a number of trips to Malawi this year and are asking God to give us creativity to minister to people through sketchboard evangelism, introductory Bible College Classes, and simple Love, Visitation, and Investment.  Our vision is to plant another Greater Grace Church in Lilongwe and establish a Bible College that will train people to reach the rest of the country with the Gospel and down the road open a Christian School and Orphanage as the Lord leads.  

Thank you for your prayers as we have seen the Lord work mightily in people's hearts and minds.

July 08, 2011


We would like to dedicate this Post to the memory of Uncle Billy. He was Chris' Uncle, Chris' mother's brother, a well known Doctor who practiced in New York and in Athens, Greece. He past away 2 weeks ago. I had the privilege to meet him a few years ago while visiting my husband's family on the Island of Lesvos, Greece. We will miss you very much. God bless his precious family. We love you Thea Zana and Stavros.

  Callia and Uncle Billy-2007

Uncle Billy and Thea Zana

Chris' mom, Julie, Uncle Billy, Chris, Zana, Chris' cousin

Uncle Billy with Chris and the girls-2010

June 27, 2011

Back in Baltimore via France

Hello Friends,

So here we are, back in Baltimore. And I am finally taking a little time to talk to you guys:) and put up some pictures. Since we've been back we went to the Missions Conference in Malboro, Massachusetts where we spent one week with our spiritual family there, and then we had our annual International Convention here in Baltimore, "Anointed for Service". What a week this has been with every portion a special anointing. we are really blessed with our Pastor and the Leadership and the visiting pastors; and this has been a real spiritual refreshment. We are ready to go back, really we are:) Chris will be working here until August so you will see us around for a little while longer for those in Baltimore and for the others in America, we really hope to see you around sometime this summer.

There pictures are from our layover in France, on our way to Baltimore from Zambia. We visited my family in Nimes, France and my home Church. Chris' parents joined us for one week from Croatia.

My grandparents with Chris and the girls

Greater Grace Church of Nimes, France

Friends from the church, Fanny and her new husband

At my aunt and uncle's house -from my dad's side

"Maison Carre" famous Roman scare house in my home town

Chris' birthday Party with the Family

My 3 brothers, Yann, Nicolas and Thomas and Us

Grau-du-Roi, beach close to Nimes

Montpellier, visiting my long-time friend Stephanie

Stephanie and callia

Long-time friends from the Church in Montpellier, Amandine, Claudine and Laetitia

May 05, 2011

Hello from Southern Africa,

March and April were jammed packed namely with preparation of our yearly conference. Pictures are in the following posts...

Visit From Dave.  What made this year particularly special is that we had a visitor before the actual conference.  Dave Petersen, a classmate from Greater Grace Christian Academy and long time friend, came to visit us for 2 weeks.  Dave and I have worked together on numerous occasions and he and his family would often encourage our family as we planned to return to the missionfield.  He wanted to come and see what everyday life was like at the church here.  We did visits, taught Bible college classes, evangelism, prayer meetings.  It was a great time.  What really topped it off was on the day before Dave was leaving; we went looking for souvenirs for his family.  At one particular store we walked through, Dave looked like he recognized someone.  Then out of the blue, Dave yells, “Tim Hilty!” Tim looked at Dave in disbelief – it was a Divine Appointment.  Dave and Tim had studied abroad for a semester in Tanzania 10 years earlier.  Now Tim and his wife were organizing an Aids Educational Organization here.  It was so cool to witness such an impossibility knowing with God such things are commonplace.

New Church.  We officially opened our 5th Church in Lusaka!  GGOK – Greater Grace Church of Kanyama.  Kanyama is one of the most populated areas in the city.  It is a residential area just behind the main market.  For years people have asked us to open a branch there.  God was just waiting on the man.  That man was Martin Koti, an assistant to Pr. Nelson in the Chawama church.  Pr. Martin lives in Kanyama and has a small business in the local market.  Once a week during the lunch hour he would do a Bible study with others selling in the market.  After 2 years of investing he began having the study in his back yard.  It got so full they had to rent a hall, thus the beginning of the church.

Zamcon!  We always pray that every year our conference will be better in both attendance and quality.  God always answers our prayers in Ephesians 3:20 fashion.  This year was truly a milestone.  Pr Renaldo had a vision that the churches would fund the conference for the first year without outside financing.  The conference we do is at a boarding school within the city, so it is like a conference and camping trip in one.  All the members bring their blankets, bowls, and cups and stay in the boarding school for three days while the kids are on vacation.  We rent the main hall of the school for the meetings and hire the school cooks to cook for us.   Amazingly, every church took on different areas to raise funds to provide for the conference and God came through using His people.  Pr. Scibelli came as the guest speaker and God anointed every message.  God brought more people than we ever had for Graduation night – 600!  Also 4 men were ordained.  Pr. Ray Kosiolek and Pr. Jon Herb brought a group of 7 from Carlisle, Pennsylvania as they do every year faithfully.  And Pr. Jabulani from South Africa came with 6 as they also do faithfully every year.  We were so encouraged.  Also one thing we can count on is the moment Pr. Scibelli sets foot in Zambia, our children’s sugar level skyrockets.  I guess it his grandparental instinct.  Our girls renamed Zamcon to be Ice Cream Con. 

Malawi.  Almost as soon as we said the last “Amen” of Zamcon, 3 of us made our way to Lilongwe, Malawi to visit the contacts we have made over the past year.  We prayed that God would give us a special visit that would be very personal.  Pr Albert Ntalasha (who has been a missionary in Congo) and Pr. Enoch Muchindu joined me as we went.  God gave Pr. Albert the verse from Mark 10:30 saying that whoever forsakes houses or land for the calling of God would receive 100-fold in this life and the life to come.  We considered that to mean that we would gain brothers and sisters  in the family of God who would welcome us into their homes.  That is exactly what happened.  We asked some of our contacts if we could visit their homes on this trip and all agreed with joy.  We went to 3 families’ homes and ate with them.  It was an incredible time of fellowship.  At the end of the trip we had our meeting in the same hall that we rented last year.  This time those three contacts brought their whole families to the meeting.  In Luke 24:43, the disciples were fearful of the resurrected Christ until He sat with them and ate with them.  Then they identified with Him and their hearts were put at ease – the power of visitation.  Pray for us as we feel that Malawi is the next step for the Arman family.  We are believing God to be in Malawi with a new church by Fall 2012.

April 29, 2011

"Grace for Now, Grace forever"

This was the theme of our annual zambian convention this year! ZAMCON 2011!

So here it is, bits and pieces in pictures of our great time! Welcoming our numerous visitors from all over, Pr Morkley from Ghana, Pr Ray and his group from Carlisle, PA, Pr. Scibelli, Latasha Brown, Bella and Andy from Baltimore, Pr Adam and familly from Kitwe, Pr Jabu and his group from Pretoria, South Africa...