Since our last update we have been travelling each week as the dry and cool season allow us to reach difficult and remote locations. To date we have visited 7 districts during May/June.
In the South we visited Nthobwa branch where storms in the rainy season had razed the leader’s house to the ground. Even though it’s the cool season, it’s never cold in the South! It is always a great honour to present the gospel and be amazed at what God does! So many in this little branch responded. Still, we face the challenge of few Bibles visible in these remote churches. At our recent Council we divided this District due to the numerous branches being a huge challenge to the leader.
We then headed East to reach Nalipiri church, a District that has planted several new branches. Despite Alan losing his voice towards the end of his sermon it was a great day. After ministering to those responding to the message on ‘Jesus as Lord’, a lady asked for special prayer as God had spoken to her that an Apostle should lay hands on her as she believes she has the gift prophecy. It is not unusual in this District to hear people praying in tongues. We truly thank the God for such moves of the Spirit.
At Semu church in Thyolo we attended the outdoor ceremony for the ordination of a new Pastor. Paul Bakali is a graduate of Bible College, and it was a joy to participate in the service. It is exciting as this is one of the few Districts where we now have more than one ordained Pastor. The Thyolo hills are in the middle of the tea estates and cool weather meant we had to dance extra hard to warm up! I mean it was only 20°C but still jackets came off for the preaching. Paul gave a great testimony of God’s hand upon his life and was so happy to be called to the pastoral ministry.
Heading back South we visited the centre that was established in Malawi at Phanda village. This was a long-awaited trip for the members as we hadn’t been able to reach the village in the rainy season. There are now only two Pastors still active who were part of the original group when we arrived, and Pastor Taelo is one of them. We always love our time at Phanda, and it was good to bring encouragement to the members. This is the only church in the village. The South has been hit hard this year as the people have had no harvest whatsoever. If anyone has a bag of maize, then there is a line of people each day asking to get a share. One of our Pastors explained that some are really starving.
Next, we headed into the Central region and climbed the mountains of Ntcheu to pray at Kasupe church. We call this a 12hour shift as that’s how long our day out is, and we return home in the dark. We are always deeply moved as we climb the mountain in our 4×4 in first gear only to find a huge group of Apostolics of all ages who make it to the top on foot! This centre is doing very well despite its remote location, and we had a powerful service together. Some had to sit outside of the building as we all crammed in. It had been a while since we managed to get to this spot, and we were rewarded with 3 live chickens for our efforts.
Our last stop on this report was back East to Zomba and Mtutuma branch. It has been a joy to take the new General Secretary with us and introduce him to places he has never visited. It means so much to the people to see him and gives the opportunity for an up-to-date challenge for the church to be going forward and getting ready for taking full responsibility. In reference to the building his favourite question is “who’s church is this”? a large shout of “wanga” (its mine) is the reply! The message of ‘re-opening the wells’ was well received since in the last few years a number of branches have closed in this area.
Two ladies training weeks will take place in August and September when Sandra will go through Galatians. Please pray for the preparation and a huge impact on the ladies and their ministry.
Relief for those suffering lack of food, that the authorities will recognise the problem and offer help where it is needed. For everyone trying to the best to help.
There are no Covid19 vaccines left in Malawi with only a small percentage having only had 1 injection from the Covax scheme. Sandra and I were not able to get our second jab. Malawi is showing signs of a 3rd wave now.
Regional Pastors Meetings with take place throughout the month of August. Please pray for these meetings as we are putting a large emphasis on them as part of our new administration structure. Finance and leadership are the two main issues.
More access for Christians to Bibles.
3-day ministry tour of the districts in the far South (Nsanje) next weekend.