December 29, 2012

Christmas and New Years Greetings from the “Warm Heart of Africa – Malawi.”

We are overcome with great Thankfulness for what God has done in the last month and for your prayers, love, and support. What has happened with the birth of the Greater Grace Church of Malawi is nothing short of miraculous. Ezra 8:18 characterizes what we are experiencing, “the good hand of God is upon us…”


Since our last newsletter God had done so much, we received our work permits as well as a tax clearance letter for our household goods. We spent a week in early December fixing the plumbing on the house and visiting future church members. While Pr. Albert, Pr. Belias, and I worked, Julie had the task of watching the kids and selling the car (in a foreign country). Amazingly, with 2 kids in tow, Julie was able to sell the car – what a hero of God’s faithfulness.
Bible study w Pr Belias

As we returned, our next task was to move our things. Although we had an agreement with a truck driver to add our household things to his load, he wouldn’t return our calls. After a few days of frustrating phone tag, we found out that the truck we were promised was broken down. In an act of desperation, we made a call to our friend who owns the bus company that we always use to travel to Malawi and he agreed to load our things on the next bus and even brought the bus to our house to load. As we went through the border, we realized why God prevented us from using the big truck – the border guards overly scrutinize them. Buses, on the other hand, are full with passengers so they are more lenient and didn’t even examine our things. Praise God, we made it through and the bus driver agreed to drop all our things off at our new house – an international move!
Moving day with the big Bus

The final stage in our move was to find a car in Malawi, get it registered, drive it back to Zambia to pick up Julie and the girls with our final things, and return to Malawi before Christmas. This proved to be the most challenging. The first car we called in the newspaper was the perfect one. It seemed as if it was from God, but the owners didn’t have the proper paperwork for us to change the ownership. After giving up on that car and not finding anything else, we received a call from the owners saying that they got their papers in order. Then in rapid fire sequence, we changed ownership of the vehicle and got it ready to cross the border and left for Zambia (things that normally take weeks took days).

Packed car destination Malawi!
Malawi team house
Lastly, was the icing on the cake- total Grace! The place we would like to rent for the church is a center for battered women and street children. The director of the center requested if we could do a special Christmas service for the children before we even finalized our lease agreement; so last Sunday we had our first service in Malawi. We invited the members who have been waiting for the church to start and began with 14 people! It was truly a grace service. We are excited for our evangelism program to start as well as Bible College. Please pray for us as we meet with the government officials who run the center after New Years to finalize our lease agreement of the church. We also plan to begin an introductory Bible college course, “Grace and the Finished Work”, for the month of January and begin the full semester on February 2nd. Thank you for your prayers – we see them being answered before our eyes. We love you and are thankful for you!

1st Church Service