December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

A christmas wedding at GG of Malawi

Peter and Mercy

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

A few pictures of the past few weeks

Ladies tea/fellowship at Lisa's house

November 11, 2015

Happy Noahvember (The official month for Noahs everywhere),

Thank you to everyone for your prayers. We are coming to the close of our extended period here in the US. We really would have wanted to do a little bit more traveling to our sister churches in the area, but it may have been wishful thinking with a newborn in tow. There is always next year God willing. 

We are so thankful to God for our new addition to the family. Noah is a healthy, hungry 6 week old with bright eyes and continual grunts and chuckles. He has 3 Moms: my wife and 2 daughters who constantly want to hold him. It is so cute to see our 7 year old hold our newborn, a little person holding an even littler person. Its been 7 years since we have had a new born, but all the long nights, constant diapers, dirty clothes, and blown out eardrums (from crying) seem like nothing with a precious little life in your arms. When that little guy is looking up at you with his bright, twinkling eyes; wow, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. What blossoming potential one can find in a little child. It gives us a fraction of understanding when we think of how God sees us. He puts up with our complaints, cleaning our messes, dealing with our little attitudes; because He sees our potential on the other side of it all. Its a 1 Corinthians 13:12 deal: we see through a glass darkly.

We leave in a couple of weeks back to Malawi. A growing church and Bible school await us. Our parents and friends also co-labouring with us. Many of the church members, leaders, and students are finishing their third year in Bible college which is hard to believe. It is worth so much investing in people. Whatever cornes of the world you are in, if you invest in people with the priceless seeds of the word of God, Doubtless rejoicing will come. It is a promise from Psalm 126:6, and it is so true. For us whether we were laboring in Hungry, Baltimore, or Africa; the relationships we have made bring rejoicing to our hearts. We begin to understand Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 when he told the saints that they were his crown of rejoicing. Maybe those are the crowns we throw back at Jesus’ feet, those that we have given the seeds of the gospel.

Lastly, to encourage everyone! Many have looked at us with surprise that we are leaving so soon back to Africa with a small baby. Many people look at foreign missions with fear. But I think that is a phobia that is put before us that we can easily break through. If God gives you a calling, and He has, any place He leads us is Bread for us. Its just another place. When Julie was pregnant with our first child, Callia, I asked my uncle, who was a doctor, “Do you think it is safe to bring a baby to Africa?” He asked me, “Do the people in Africa have babies?” I said, “Yes”. He said, “Then I guess you’ll be fine.” I loved his simplicity, it set us free. We have so many preconceived notions of what places are like because of things we have seen. The world is so much bigger than the documentaries on the discovery channel. Our lives can be a discovery channel. The world needs missionaries, more now than ever. People are much more open to the gospel than we think. They are waiting for us to come and tell them the good news and to love them with God’s love. Its just wrong perceptions that are projected at us that prevent us from just breaking through the fog and finding treasures in people.

We want to thank Greater Grace Baltimore and Greater Grace Christian Academy for loving us so much. We are thankful to the school for allowing our girls to attend for a quarter. It may have been a few short months but it is an eternal investment. Camp Life too, was crucial in their lives. We truly are so thankful at how so many people serve God by loving and investing in people in the church. You have filled the seeds in our seed bank for us to so!

August 30, 2015

Summer (winter in Malawi) 2015

After a long break from blogging I figured it was about time to be back and share some news... As I'm nearing 35 weeks in my pregnancy, Chris is back in Malawi for a few more weeks. A lot is happening there with the church. Bible College is starting again with over 120 students. A second church in another part of Lilongwe (Lakuni Area) is about to open; Pr Albert started this Bible Study a few months ago and God is really opening doors!
Chris is there with some of our team members, not all are back yet. His parents are there along with faithful Pastor Albert.

Malawi Bible College registration 

Lakuni Bible Study

Summer in America
In the meantime here we are in our almost over Baltimore summer. It is hard to believe we've been back for about 3 months now. It is quiet a challenge to be back in the States, different foods, different schedule...Africa is more of a morning and early night way of life; here we are all having such a hard time going to bed at night. A lot is happening at night or starting later in the day. 
And well after a few weeks talking and praying about our extended time here, we have decided to put the girls in our christian school here at our church in Baltimore. After 4 years of homeschooling God is giving us peace and a lot of Joy for our girls to experience school at least for a few months. So here we are with their first day of school tomorrow :) I'm so excited for them both!

We also had a chance to meet up with one of the relatives of our church member in Malawi who lives in the suburbs of DC. Amazingly she lives a five minute drive from one of our church branches in Silver Spring. So we picked her up, her mother, and daughter and visited pr Shibley and the church along with Matt and Lisa from Team Malawi. Quickly it became Malawi sunday.

We are also getting ready for baby number 3! Our baby boy is healthy and growing and we cannot wait to meet him at the end of September!

When our family was in town for a visit - July 2015

May 18, 2015

Great News from the Arman Household:)

1st graduation in Malawi

 Hello to all,

Just some brief news: I know it has been a bit of a delay. We have had a lot going on so it was hard where to begin. One of the biggest events in our year is the Conference in our Western neighbor Zambia. It is special to us, we lived there for 6 years, and the church there was instrumental in planting the one here. This year God was so faithful to allow us to bring more members than ever to the conference. Almost 30 of us attended and many were there for the first time. Of course, we can say that this past conference was the best; it always gets better, we are always growing. But we could see it in the fellowship, everyone had a great expectation and God commanded a blessing Psalm 133. It was amazing to see that after 11 years in Zambia, God had done so much. Teams from Congo, Zimbabwe, Northern Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa were in attendance. It was so edifying with a theme of “Mercy Forever”. Of the group that we brought,  5 of them had earned a 2 year certificate in Bible college. They were allowed to graduate with the Zambian graduates which was so encouraging to them.

On the heels of the conference and the edge of us returning to Baltimore, we are pleased to report that Greater Grace Bible College just had its first graduation. 13 students in total have completed our 2 year certificate and graduated. We had 3 Zambian pastors with us for the event. Two of them, Pr. Nelson and Pr. Enock, were the ones who came on missions trips here in the beginning, so it is fitting that they could witness the fruit from the seeds they planted years ago.
As we travel back to Baltimore, we are so thankful for the year we have had. God has answered so many prayers: He gave us a new place for the church which is such a blessing; Marriages have been healed and families put back together; people growing and learning the Bible, Visions developed to reach surrounding neighborhoods, cities, and countries; and the Team having great unity. We have a great expectation for the year ahead. And one more thing: We are having another Baby! A few months ago we found out Julie was pregnant and she is progressing well. Thank you so much for your prayers: we don’t deserve the least of God’s mercies, but He has given them to us in abundance. 

Some Exciting things to pray for:

  1. We have the possibility to go on nationwide radio weekly. We are in the process of doing a pilot show, seeing the response,  and then negotiating the price.
  2. We have been stirred up to re-evaluate our visitation program and many in the church are excited about it. We have 6 visitation groups that will visit church members and new visitors in their areas.
  3. We have a vision to begin a Bible Study in another area of the city called Likuni. We have devoted one day of our evangelism program to sow the seeds to this residential area in the Western part of the city and the response is amazing. 
  4. Please pray for Pr. Albert as he leads the church here while we travel. He is so faithful, and a great friend and team member. He will have another pastor from Zambia joining him for the time we will be away conducting a Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Bible College Program.