February 01, 2016

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance:

...but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13


Malawi, Africa

I know how the dogs help day after day and night after night, I know the ever buzzing of mosquitos in my ears crowding out my sleep, and I know that constant prayer for my children when i see bites on their skin "Lord let it be a malaria free mosquito", and I know the feeling of sweat dripping down my back (and every other part really lol), I know the stinking feeling of when the electricity goes off (without warning) or the water, again, with no idea when it might come back on, and I know the smell of garbage piled on the side of the road...

I know.  Then I remember the why. I want this temporary life to be that I can not live on my own. I need one in which I can rely on His strength. His joy is my strength. This is how I choose contentment. And living this way brings me joy deep down my heart.


Some News: Jan 2016
We just had the registration of the 4th year of Bible College. It has been a record registration. Our church members and students are coming quickly to the final year of the 4 year program. It is hard to believe that we have been here for 3 years. We have over 150 registered students with not all of the returning students accounted for. We don’t know what to do with them literally. We are amazed at the continued response of people to learning God’s word.

2nd Church Baptism. Baptism is such an important aspect of the Christian faith. Though it is a symbol, it is an open decision of one’s walk of faith to follow Christ and it is so encouraging to the church. This is the second time we used the small pool at my parent’s and the Sliva’s house. We combined the baptism with a church picnic in which the women’s ministry sold snacks to raise money to go to Zambia. We also found there was an abandoned Volley ball net that didn’t take much to get up and running. The result was an incredible time of joy and fellowship. 13 people were baptized and we played 13 games of volleyball.

Volleyball after the baptism
Baby Dedication Sunday 

For the past couple of months I have been mentioning our desire to be on radio. Yesterday, we had our pilot show called “Grace Moments”. Its 30 minutes a week that goes throughout the whole nation. As is the tradition of Southern African Greater Grace, our first program we always play Pastor Stevens’ “Throne Words” message. It warmed my heart to think that Pastor Stevens’  voice was heard in some of the remote villages of Malawi. Immediately we started receiving calls from places as far as 7 hours away. We have some people that have expressed interest in helping us with the cost of radio. And we are continuing to pray to stay on the radio. It costs roughly about $60 per week.
2nd Church Plant. We are weeks away from planting our 2nd church in Lakuni Compound, Lilongwe. For the past few months we have been doing a Bible study in some member’s home in the area. We have a team, a pastor, and a place lined up. We are just praying for the go-ahead from the landlord of the place. We know there will be opposition, but that just means we are doing the right thing.
Sketchboard in Lakuni

"You want to cross that bridge you have to pay a fee" hmmm not so sure I would want to venture over that bridge lol but Chris has gone on it a few times on his many church visits and made it through…  Everyone has to pay a fee, the bridge crosses the Lilongwe river and it has a toll guy that collects money lol 50 katcha (7cents) for maintenance fee..

 One thing we boast of here in Southern Africa is the closeness of our Sister churches. It is a oneness that doesn’t come easy. We are so thankful to Pr. Renaldo, James, and Cedric that visited us from Zimbabwe, Pr. Bernard and Pr. Belias that visited us from Zambia. We were richly blessed by their messages, love, and encouragement. Regularly we receive visitors and send visitors to our sister branches in neighboring countries. I always say that when we first went to Zambia, we said that we would launch into the 8 surrounding countries that it borders (truthfully, I said it but didn’t really believe it. It was the catch thing to say) and now God has done it amazingly.

A warm thank you from Malawi from the midst of our warm rainy season. As I think of how the Mid Atlantic got battered with a 30inch snowfall, we here have been praying for precipitation. Last year there was a drought in Malawi and we have all been praying for a normal rainy season. Thankfully God has answered. It has been raining a lot the past week. Thank you for your prayers. So much of what we have asked prayer for has become a reality.