February 02, 2013

Mazuka Bwanji!

One verse that really has ministered to us this past month is from Revelation 1:4b: Grace be unto you and peace, from Him who is, who was, and who is to come… Pr Scibelli preached a message once, that our faith in who God is today, is based on His past faithfulness to give us a future hope. Every church has challenges; we expect them, especially in a new work. We expect the details of life to come; we expect the enemy to attack godly decisions, but we also expect God’s faithfulness to be at the forefront.

We are so excited to watch God move here in this new country. He is really building His church.
The sun rises early, we are to the east of Zambia about a 12 hour drive from Lusaka; around 5am the bright African sun shines through the curtains. Pr. Albert and I have attempted to start an early regiment of “Team Exercises” which has been hit or miss at 5:30. Usually around 6:30 we hear the scurrying of the girl’s toys in their room. They hit the ground running…we have our daily team prayer meeting at 7:30 and then listen to one of the latest messages from Baltimore. Then our daily routine continues in between home schooling the girls and the church schedule. We go soulwinning everyday for about one hour and a half at the main Post Office and the Church area; and then we have our visitations in the afternoons.

After living in Lilongwe a little over a month, we have seen many similarities with our previous Mission field of Lusaka, Zambia; but we have also seen some definite contrasts. Malawi is nicknamed the “Warm Heart of Africa” which is very true. People are incredibly friendly; I don’t think we have ever greeted someone in passing, that hasn’t taken the time to greet us back with a smile. People here are very receptive to the Gospel. It is a city of over a million people and yet has the feel of a small town. The tribe here is the Chewa tribe and although cousins to Zambians, Chewa is the 1st language of the people, they do speak English but are very eager for us to learn their dialect.
One contrast is the beauty of the landscape. Malawi is high in elevation, much like Lusaka; but it is full of green trees, rolling hills, and small-scale farms. Malawi is definitely an agrarian society; almost every available plot of land is cultivated with corn growing even downtown. People are very hard working and proud of their culture. As a result, we are receiving a great blessing. Fresh produce is everywhere at very low prices. Our neighbors sell us two huge bunches of bananas for the equivalent of 60 cents. 

There is a more visible presence of Islam here, than there was in Lusaka. Passing through the main street of town, there are 2 mosques that stand out. We can faintly hear the calls to prayer in the mornings and evenings from our house. What is most surprising is to see that most Muslims here are Malawians and not just refugees or North Africans. This influence is because Malawi borders Tanzania and there was a time when Arabs from Tanzania came to Malawi and trained Malawian slaves to become Muslims. This gives us a burden for the Muslims here and motivates us to find creative ways to bring the Gospel.
We also had our very first visitor here in Malawi, Julie's mom was with us for a month!!

It is so interesting the way God works, we chose for the church meetings, an area of the city that is central and very close to the main bus station in hopes that it would make coming to church easier. It seemed every school and the community hall in which we had previous Bible studies was full. We just went around to all available halls in the area and began asking. One woman who is the director for a government office for women and children’s wellbeing offered to have us meet in their hall. For the past month we have met in the hall and had our services. It’s amazing because she has about 25 children that she has rescued from the streets, some with families and others who are orphans that live at the center. As the month continued, we were worried about a place to have Bible College. Literally, just last week, as we had to make a decision to either postpone our full Bible college semester or find a new area; God opened up a room in the school directly across the street for the center. Now we can have the Bible College and continue ministering to the children. We just put an advertisement on nationwide radio offering a free Bible College for the next 2 weeks. God is Faithful and we are excited to get started.

    Thank you for your prayers. We are so touched to think of all the prayers that are sent to the throne for us here in Malawi. Truly the fields are white here and our vision is to train people here and send them throughout the country, region, and world. Just as God has guided us each step of the way, we know he will continue.

Following is our Radio advertisement with pictures!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment