I was unable to download original pictures from the Malawi collection, for technical reasons and hope to have this sorted by the next issue. Thank you for bearing with us in this challenge.
The instances of ministry are too numerous to mention during this time of the restaurant. I was able to minister daily to the people who were working in the business as well as the customers. Many refugees from Somalia, Mozambique and Rwanda came to eat and received spiritual food as well. Some were healed of sicknesses as we prayed for them during our time of work.
There was an incident of a young man who came to a meeting at the Chinese Garden one lunch time. He approached the gathering and just lay on the ground mumbling. I, supposing him to be one of the usual beggars, took little notice until after the meeting. Some of the brothers and I prayed for him. A few days later he arrived again and sat with us. This time he said nothing. We weren’t concerned because we felt that with years of alcohol and drug abuse, he probably could speak very little. After a few days he began praying with funny kinds of grumblings. Every now and then, there was a “praise you Lord” and as the time went on he worshipped God more and more.
Some brothers correctly discerned that he was possessed by a demon and wanted to begin warfare to cast it out. I was led to share with them not to rush into something like that unless they could confidently say that it was the Lord who led them to do so. It would be better for us to keep sharing the gospel with him and the truth would set him free. Indeed, this is what happened. From a groveling, grumbling human, he grew and ended up working in the restaurant with us, serving and praying with customers. People who knew him before were absolutely amazed at the change.
Wayne used to go up to the market place near our house to buy a luxury for us – Malawian fried chips. There was a young man by the name of Vincent who had a ‘chip making’ machine. Wayne felt he was always fair with his portions and so gave him business. One day, Wayne asked him, “Do you know Jesus?” to which Vincent replied in shock, “Yes, why do you ask?”. Wayne said he could feel the presence of the Lord in him which really interested Vincent.
A few weeks later Wayne came to me and said please would I speak to Vincent. When I saw him, he looked very dejected. I asked him what the problem was and he shared that his chip business had gone ‘bust’ because of competition. I began to share about the Lord and offered him a position in the restaurant (for no salary, but the same basis as the others). He was hesitant because he felt that the others living in the area would think that he was ‘sponging’ off us white people. By Gods grace he joined us and then became my eyes and ears in the restaurant while I was away ministering at lunch hour in the ‘Chinese Garden’.
On the business side, it seemed, as hard as I tried, we could not make a decent profit. The money we got in would only just be enough to buy our needs. I was to later discover that one of our ‘Brothers’ was helping himself to profits. God showed me who it was quite early on but was very clear in telling me not to do anything to him except pray and forgive him. The Lord said that He would watch us and care for our needs as well as vindicate the party concerned. This was really difficult and the Lord had to give me much grace because at times we had only a small amount to eat but the culprit was fine.
The restaurant season came to an end when a meeting was called to discuss various mishandlings of monies and goods. The men working in the restaurant had put up long enough with the culprit and had decided to expose him.
By this time Vincent, who had now been renamed Titus, was growing spiritually every day. His growth was incredible. He said that he still had a problem of supporting his mother and father. I shared with him that it would be better for him to trust the Lord for his parents support and that he should preach the gospel to them as it would give them a life after here. What better gift could a son give to his parents?
He was not totally convinced and said he would like to go to S.A. and buy certain items which he could then resell here in Malawi at a profit to raise money for his parents. I asked him to consider the fact that travelling by mini bus was very dangerous and asked him what his parents would do if he went to S.A. and then was killed in an accident on the way back. I could see this touched his heart.
It was about 7 months later that he came to me and told me of a young man who lived near us who had been killed in a mini bus accident returning from S.A.
Meanwhile on the home front, David’s children were told to treat us in a bad way, in the hopes that we would leave and life could return to ‘normal’.
David and I continued to pray daily for God’s grace through this situation. After returning from town one day, I found Wayne and Theresa-Anne crying. Things were just too much for them. They couldn’t understand this hostility towards them. It was against all the Christian principles they had learned. We sat together in our little room, as a family, and wept before the Lord. For the first time in our walk we were experiencing true brokenness.
We did not want to leave in our own strength for fear that we may be running away from the work the Lord was busy doing in our personal lives. On the other hand, I as a father and husband did not want to expose my family to more than they could handle. We prayed one last time…”Lord where will you have us. If it’s here, please pour out your grace that we might persevere, otherwise open a door for another place for us.”
It was around this time that the Lord sent a very precious couple to encourage us. Eric and Lesley, from South Africa, who were here on contract for a business machine company and were fellowshipping at the Baptist Church in Lilongwe. Eric was David’s boss. They had invited us to come to their house on Fridays so that we could have a ‘decent’ meal and some likeminded fellowship. What a great blessing to us. We have become very close to them and praise God for their kindness.
One day Eric said he felt the Lord telling him to give us K250.00 per month for the purpose of rent. I was not sure that we would be moving from David and so asked if I could let him know soon.
I had to visit the Malawi Customs and Excise regularly to have our passports and Combi papers stamped. It was always the same official whom I saw. After visiting there regularly over the past few months I’ve been able to share some testimony with him.
I was surprised to see him and his wife knocking on David’s front door this Sunday morning. David invited him and his wife in. They brought a small gift of fresh eggs for ‘the Mzungus” (The White people). After we had greeted and thanked them, they asked if we could be excused as they wanted to talk to David’s wife.
Even though it was their first meeting with David’s wife, the couple spoke quite harshly to her saying they felt that God had sent the Mzungus here to teach her the word of God and she needed to be appreciative of that and thank the Lord by showing courtesy. Kathy and I were absolutely amazed.
In my visits to the Department I had never shared detail of what was happening in David’s house as I didn’t want to embarrass David.
God is truly with us!
…time with the Master…
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