The past month has been a busy time and started of with Easter celebrations under the Malawi sun in the large Southern town of Nchalo. The South has suffered drought conditions throughout the growing season and I’m sure everyone was looking forward to this weekend together. Representatives had gathered from the surrounding Districts and as is our custom the services ran from Friday to Sunday. It was a blessing to be with the large crowd with many responding for ministry. One lady had testified of her real struggle to survive, and her face was beaming as she explained how someone had given her soap during the Easter prayers. It was also an opportune time to present the latest group who have just completed their SBCI (Satellite Bible College International) course.
Covid guidelines for last year saw the children on the programme being divided into two groups to comply with numbers allowed. This complicated logistics a bit but at least we were able to continue the work! Guidelines have been changed recently so by August Sandra is hoping to have brought the two groups together again.
There has been a steady flow of new babies – from a few weeks to a few months old – who need powdered milk feeds. This can be quite overwhelming emotionally and Sandra has been known to send a quick prayer of “no new ones this week, please?” At the moment there are 45 babies receiving milk powder and as we endeavour to continue supplying milk until the babies are two years old, this is quite a commitment. Having said that, God is faithful and through His people throughout the UK the funding continues for this programme, for which we are truly grateful! Sandra sends a huge thank you to all who are involved in this.
We then headed on the long journey towards the far North. The region has been enduring persistent rain and certainly we barely saw the sun. Unfortunately, this has caused damage to the crops. The first stop was in the city of Mzuzu when we had an ordination service. Pastor Munthali was ordained as an evangelist and Alex Chanza from a District near the Zambian border (the road to Mbalachanda was impassable for us to go there) was ordained as a Pastor. As is our norm, there was a terrific atmosphere as we praised God for these steps forward in the church and in the lives of these two special brothers.
We then headed even further North to the town of Karonga a 3.5hr drive navigating through the potholes. On-route two lorries had wedged themselves together on the mountain pass and a bit of a fracas had broken out. We were thankful for some entrepreneurs who built up the road edge with stones for us to squeeze through. Well worth the 50p they charged us to pass! Our church in the town has an up and down history and a church elder from the city had sacrificed to go and live in the town and has truly seen the church progress with people finding Jesus. We had our service in the outskirts squeezing in between two houses. Already a second branch has been planted near the Tanzanian border and land has been acquired in the Karonga town for the building of a Centre.
Our third stop was with our church near the lakeshore at Nkhatabay. Recently the Apostle from the District had transferred to the capital Lilongwe. We had already identified an assistant pastor and now he would be responsible for all the churches at Nkhatabay. No need to call him assistant anymore and it was such a blessing to see Brother Dondo ordained as a Pastor. Please pray for his wife who had just made it to the service after being hospitalised. She gave a great testimony!
There are several languages spoken in these Northern Districts and it was good to also carry Bibles in some of them.
As we started homeward to Blantyre, we stopped over in the capital Lilongwe and enjoyed Sunday with the church there. There are several issues in this city church, and we are thankful for the transfer of an Apostle into the situation. Some changes have had to be made and we ask you to remember Pastor Longwe in your prayers as he serves God in this new location. Leaving your home in Malawi means also leaving behind your garden, the source of the family’s food.
By the end of the month our Pastors Seminars and Council were upon us! 25 Pastors attended the HQ facility, and we had a great week together. We always start with seminars/prayer times and God had promised prophetically that He would meet with us. That was fulfilled, and we had powerful days with most of the pastors being ministered to. Our subject was called ‘crossing the threshold’ and taken entirely from the book of James. It was my 21st Malawi Council and a blessing to witness more of the prophetic coming through in the lives of the leaders. A good foundation was laid for our Council discussions and with God’s help we got through our lengthy and sometimes difficult agenda with good participation from everyone.
2021/22 is a significant year for the Malawi church and we would value your continuing prayers as the leadership reaches a threshold point and by God’s incredible grace will pass through into His purposes for the warm heart of Africa! We all shouted the promise at our Council, “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.” Hag. 2:9