Like pressing a switch, we have moved from our few months of winter right into the warm weather. This is good and shorts and t shirts are back on!
This time let me bring you up to date and acknowledge the answers to prayer for the requests we made last month:
We made a 3-day visit to the very far south of Malawi and ministered at 3 out of the 4 Districts there. These Districts are not among the strongest and it was good to encourage and pray for so many during the trip. These are young leaders and one of the district’s has no leader due to an unfortunate situation. It was a blessing then to see two brothers graduate our Satellite Bible College training. The theme over the weekend was the Lordship of Jesus, a topic that challenged and opened the way for a work of the Spirit in many lives. One of the churches is built right on the border line between Malawi and Mozambique, however a mountain range gets in the way so its 1st gear as we climbed the Chididi hills. Please continue to pray for these churches and the young leadership.
While we were there, we visited one our retired Pastors who was very ill. We had not long returned to Blantyre when we had to revisit Nsanje as he had passed away. A large number were in attendance and the gospel is always preached on the open ground at our funerals. It was amazing to see many people raise their hands and for us to hear a crescendo of prayer from the group to receive Christ as Saviour. We fondly remember our late Pastor Tchinga.
Sandra has conducted the first of her ladies training weeks with representatives from about half of our districts. The women went through the book of Galatians, memorising chapter 2:20 and ended the week with a service that included songs and a dynamic drama illustrating the theme of ‘Freedom in Christ’. Sandra said. ‘Wow, that was a great service!’ Please continue to pray for the second week when the remainder of the ladies’ leaders will attend in September.
Our 5 Regional Pastor’s Meetings are underway during this month. Part of our ‘crossing the threshold’ vision is putting much more emphasis on these meetings when all the groups of churches are represented. Significant changes to our financial and administrative structure means these discussions are of vital importance. So far, there has been good reports as most of the leaders are catching the vision and working through a mindset transition.
A visit was made to the Eastern village of Chingozi. This group of churches had been a concern and the original leader is now suffering ill health. A mentoring process has now been adopted and it was a joy to see the fruit of this with a much healthier church and upcoming fresh leadership. It was a sketchy journey home as rain had affected the tea estate roads making for a slippy trip home.
Regional Conventions also tend to take place as the weather changes. Mainly these are held outdoors due to the numbers attending. This past week we attended one at our East Bank District. The battle at Ai from Joshua 8 was the chosen theme and it was such a blessing to participate and know God taking the church another step forward. Many areas in Malawi are more comfortable with an oral approach to life and this is reflected in church. It was such an encouragement to connect in this way with narrative preaching, song and drama all communicating in this way. An extended and powerful time of worship took place at end of which a great number responded for ministry.
East Bank is part of the Lower Shire Region where most of the harvest has failed. We are thankful to receive a gift from ActionOverseas and some other resources so that this week we will be able to share funding for the purchase of maize. Most of the district leaders will join with us this week as we open our new church centre building at Nchalo 2 District. Again, there is new leadership as we recently divided Nchalo into 2 districts due to the number of branches.