Mission Malawi – Chapter Eighteen.


30.11.95
Our little grocer business is growing well. How I marvel at the Lords hand. We started off eight months or so ago, with three crates of cold drinks to sell which would give us about K160.00 turn over. Today, by Gods grace we will turn over about K1000.00 per day!

Why not start at the beginning of the series?

As our needs have increased God has blessed the business accordingly, it has just been a case of us watching carefully for the doors HE has opened and obeying HIS word as we go through. Hopefully I will be able to share on a daily basis, the miracles God performs in connection with this business. Up to now there have been so many other things to write.

Malawi RestaurantIn regard to the shop at the market we felt that perhaps a small restaurant would be a good idea. Memories of the last one come flooding back, but this time I believe we have the right ingredients (not just for the food!), and this seems to be in the Lords will and not our strength. We needed a place for people to sit and eat so Titus went to investigate at the site. Almost opposite, there is an open structure which the owner has not been able to use for four months. The only site available in the centre of the market!! What a blessing. Titus will go and negotiate with the owner and we will continue to leave it in the Lords hands.

On the domestic front the Lord has opened the door for much sharing in the area of marriage and past hurts. Sometimes we lose sight of the work which is going on in our own hearts. We become so engrossed in ‘outreach’ we forget that God is trying to work in our own hearts through these external circumstances.

Of course, the ‘Team’ is not exempt and require much pastoring and shepherding. “Christmas” time brings back memories of ‘back home’ – family gatherings and large christmas dinners. How easy it is for us to dwell on those things. It’s in those times of depression that the Lord reveals our hearts once again. He is a jealous God and wants all of our attention.

He does not demand that we don’t love our families, but that the love we have for Him must come first – above all else. As we dwell on the things of family, friends and the world, we are able to see just how much we are still tied to those things in our hearts. God allows this circumstance not that He would gain some malicious joy from seeing us in pain, but that we would be aware of just what percentage of our hearts love him and where the balance is. We must pray to receive this teaching and not become downcast and miss what God is showing us.

We are hoping to go up to the Lake next weekend and see if the Lord will open up some land for us. It seems that all land sale has been suspended along the lakeshore until government surveying is complete.

05.12.95
Today we placed a larger than normal bread order due to an increase in our sales. The bread delivery was due as usual around 7:30 in the evening. The day’s sales in the shop weren’t good and by 3:30pm we hadn’t had enough money to pay for the bread.

As we sat in our lounge area wondering what to do, we noticed an unfamiliar white car rolling backwards passed our drive entrance. It was being closely followed by a rather large lady trying to chase it!Christian synchronicity

We rushed out to see that the car had stopped just short of a deep drainage ditch outside our pavement. The driver got out the car and started shouting at the lady for allowing the car to go backwards. Once the situation calmed, we discovered they they had run out of petrol and the wife was trying to push the car uphill past our house. When she could no longer manage she simply stepped aside and the car rolled backwards!

We were led to invite them in and I asked Arthur if he would mind taking the husband into town in the Combi to buy some fuel.

This was not something I would normally do because I was aware that the Combi was our only form of transport. We relied on it 100% and I didn’t want it exposed to any danger unless we really needed to use it.

On his return, the husband was clearly shaken. He said that he had never experienced such kindness –especially from white people!

He asked me if he could contribute to the petrol we had used taking him into town and proceeded to stuff some notes into my pocket. I didn’t take much notice of what he had put in my pocket and we enjoyed the rest of their visit. They duly left – very grateful for what had happened.

By 7:00pm the bread delivery hadn’t arrived and we had mixed feelings of relief – having not enough money to pay and anxiety because our order hadn’t arrived.

We counted the day’s takings from the shop and we were K135.00 short for the bread payment. Kathy reminded me of the money in my pocket. I pulled it out and counted – K135.00 exactly!!

08.12.95
Theresa-Anne has been asked to help teach English at the local Baptist Church School. Even though she is still busy with her ‘O’ Level qualification and is so young, the need for English teaching is so great. She has agreed to help them every day for no pay so that the arrangement will not break the law in any way.

Arthur takes her to the school each day on the bike.

10.12.95
Arthur has requested to go back to South Africa for a break over the Christmas holidays. He is such a blessing to us and we will miss him, even for this short time.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

A Privilege to be Used


Have you ever wondered why it is that we find ourselves in the daily situations and circumstances that we do?

There are a number of answers to that question but one answer is that we are used by God as vessels to bring salvation to others as well as presenting situations before Him. What an exciting thought – to be used by the almighty Father! Is it possible the Lord would need to use us as ‘agents’ here on earth? Well, yes it is!

Continue reading “A Privilege to be Used”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Seventeen


01.11.95

Two more little groups have opened up for us to minister. Sue is now sharing with the Presbyterian Youth Group and the Lord has given Andy a home group not too far from us. It’s quite something for him to go on the bike in this heat.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Seventeen”

A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road


“Consider it all joy”, says James from his book in the new testament, “When you encounter various trials…”

 One wonders why somebody would make that kind of statement. James goes on….. “Knowing that the testing (trying) of your faith produces endurance”. He further goes on to say,”And let endurance have its perfect (mature) result, so that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing”.

Continue reading “A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen


Why don’t you start the series from the beginning – click here.

15.10.95
All has been quiet on the ‘wakhuba’ front. We are very tired but still blessed by our hourly watch and praying at night.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen”

Being a container for the Lord….


I’ve heard the expression “desperate times call for desperate measures…” and can’t help but think sometimes my prayer life is something like that. We live in desperate times. Our country’s economy is currently very difficult and as a nation, we struggle with divisions along racial lines, not to mention our ownindividual situations of debt, personal relationships and work challenges.

Desperation - Homeless
Desperation – Homeless

Prayer, which is our communication with the Lord, is obviously influenced by these factors in our lives. One might argue that if we had no challenges in our lives, we probably wouldn’t communicate with God!

Recently, I had a conversation with someone at a fellowship gathering which went something like this:
I asked him how he was. He replied the he was very well.
I enquired after his wife and he told me she too, was very well.
An enquiry about their young son brought a similar answer.
I then asked him how Jesus was…..
There was a short silence and I could see he was a bit lost for an answer.

The thought then occurred to me, that if we are in constant communication with people, we generally know how they are and what they are currently feeling. Shouldn’t it be the same with the Lord? Shouldn’t we know what He is feeling at present ?

How are we currently communicating (praying) with the Lord? Are our prayers only born out of a place of desperation? – In other words, as our personal situations become more grave, our prayers become more intense. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with these types of prayers, but there are additional ways of communicating with our Father.

Pray - Lord Teach Us
Pray – Lord Teach Us

“Oh Lord, teach us how to pray?”

Most of us are familiar with the scripture in
in Matthew. Jesus uses this example to teach us how to pray.
It is interesting to note the following:
Firstly…
“Our Father who art in Heaven….” – Exalting HIM
“Hallowed be thy name….” – Worshipping HIM
“Thy Kingdom come….” – Desiring HIS Will
Then….
“Give us this day OUR daily bread….”

It seems our needs (if translated as ‘daily bread’) are further down the list than the position of exalting, worshipping and desiring HIS Will. A point to ponder: When we measure this against how we pray – what do we find?

The King James Version of the Bible says “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This portrays a picture of someone who is at total peace with the Lord. Not concerned about his needs or fretting in a given situation, but just resting his head on his Father’s heart – listening….

If we go to the Lord throughout the day and place our head upon His heart, we will find the same peace and joy as we listen out for what His heart is saying to us. Not always ‘bombarding’ Him with desperate requests, but listening for His will.

John on the breast of Jesus
John on the breast of Jesus

“Give us this day OUR daily bread”. If we ask the Lord, He will not only supply our daily need, but will give us ‘bread’ for those that we come into contact with on a daily basis. It may be a physical need, a prayer and words of encouragement or perhaps just being there for them.

Let’s desire to be a container for the Lord today. Let Him use us as a vessel to bless those around us. Before we leave home today, let’s ask Him for our daily bread – that which we can deliver to others on our Father’s behalf. What a privilege to be used by Him!

From: “time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities
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button).

Something to Celebrate? – Part Two


Last SupperIn part one we saw how wonderful it is for us to celebrate things in our lives. Our spiritual lives should be the same. We started to explore two incredible truths that are really worth celebrating. We looked at the first truth of Jesus giving up His life so that our sins may be forgotten and how to celebrate this fact. Now we will move on to the other truth and see how to celebrate real life!…..

Truth Two (of many):
Paul the Apostle in the book of Romans, explains to us that not only were our sins forgiven (by the shedding of the blood), but that our sinful NATURE was buried with Jesus, NEVER to return. This in order that we may no longer be a slave to our sinful nature. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Resurection Jesus

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

Jesus on the night He was betrayed broke bread and said, “This is My Body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” As we break the bread and proclaim His death, let us remember this powerful work that was done for us – our sinful NATURE was removed. We can now walk in the newness of life knowing that we do not HAVE TO sin anymore!

Surely, in two amazing acts that Jesus performed, we have reason to celebrate. Next time we sit with friends around a table and have communion, let us focus and be truly grateful for the freedom we have received – our sin has been forgotten, and our sinful nature removed – forever!

Yet another celebration…
What an exciting revelation – Jesus took our sinful nature into the grave with Him and when He was raised from the dead, we too, were raised together with Him, into the newness of life…” and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Notice here that the scripture speaks in the past tense! Heavenly Places

Such a great sacrifice and work that it is, the Lord did not intend for us to focus so much on the death of Jesus as much as on His resurrection. For it is in the resurrection of life that our ability to overcome sin is found. Seriously – if we could truly appreciate that our sinful nature has been taken away – that engine that drives us towards sin – how different our lives would be. No more being a slave to do the things I do not want to do. Reason to celebrate? – Absolutely!

Once again, what better way to celebrate this truth than to demonstrate an outward sign of what we have understood inwardly – going into a pool of water, being submerged and rising up in ‘the newness of life’ for all to see. This simple act tells the world that we understand and believe that our sin nature was removed by Jesus at His death on the cross. Of course, there is little point in celebrating something unless we understand and believe it.

Yes friends, we have many reasons to celebrate in our worldly lives, but how much more do we have reason to celebrate our spiritual lives which will last forever!

Jesus intended us to live a burden free life. Forget the things of the past – as He has – and walk in a new understanding that our natures have been renewed. Reason to celebrate – most assuredly!

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Fifteen


October 3 1995

Another visit from the thieves. This time we foiled them at the chicken cage but they still managed to get away with one of the chickens. It seems to be a syndicate operating in the area. One group patrolling in a vehicle, picking up the ‘booty’ while others are working. As we chased them into the darkness everything was still.

 After 15mins we heard the alarm,”wakhuba!!” a few houses away. Great scurrying around the houses but nothing. 1:45 Am. We went back to bed. At about 4:30am, we were awaken by a great commotion a few houses away.

 The one thief had been caught by a watchman after falling in to a septic drain trying to escape. His partner got away but not unscathed. He was wounded by an arrow shot from a bow. The crude arrow heads are beaten out of red hot metal and are extremely sharp. Anyone pierced by one would surely be infected by blood poisoning. Bow and Arrow

 The ‘law’ enforcing crowd marched on pulling the thief. The jeering and cheering got louder and louder as they came past our house. We tried to explain to the angry mob that we could take him to the police. They just laughed at us saying, “White man…. these are the ones that stole your tires and you want to help them?”

 The thief was burned around his groin and feet after first being beaten senseless. The mob took him to one of the local chiefs for judgment. He was handed over to the mob to do as they pleased. They took him to the church yard to be burned, but by the Lords grace nobody had the courage to light the dried branches and leaves thrown on top of him. He nevertheless died two hours later of his wounds.

 A savage killing to satisfy the hearts of a people who say they know God. Without the power of God touching their hearts, we have no chance of teaching them the Gospel.

October 9 1995

This wicked action has not deterred the thieves and last night they came again. This time Stephen (another precious soul the Lord sent to us), woke us up. As we watched the thieves, hearts pounding, they investigated the Combi and realizing the alarm was on, moved off. A few minutes later we heard the scream, “wakhuba!!”

 As we ran out into the road, there were people running in what appeared to be all directions. The thieves had stolen tires from two cars and were on their way out of the area (each carrying two wheels!), when they were disturbed. They dropped the tires and car jack in front of our house and got away.

 The Lord has sovereignly sorted out the deep freeze and washing machine import duty. After sharing the challenge with a brother in the Lord who works for Customs and Excise, he immediately got in his car and kindly went to sort it out for us. It was miraculous for Arthur Jacob and me to witness the Lord using this brother to help us. Within a few days we were able to switch on the deep freeze and washing machine. What a great blessing! Now we could order meat and other luxuries for the first time in many months. Thank you Lord.

 Our little ‘mission base’ is about to be increased in size. Andrew and Sue will arrive any day from the Mission Base at Nottingham Rd, South Africa.

My brother Christopher and his family will also be arriving shortly. They are on their way to England for a season of mission work there.

It will be necessary for us to find additional accommodation for them all.

October 10 1995

In the business of all the thief actions, our precious brother and sister, Andrew and Sue have arrived from South Africa. Originally from England, they have just completed nine months at the mission in Nottingham Rd.

 They left the mission with little or no money as their funds were all tied up with the South African Immigration authorities. At the station in Johannesburg, a friend met them briefly and blessed them with some money which would be enough to last them the trip.

 After a nightmare train trip through Zimbabwe and Zambia, they had a 28 hour ‘African’ bus trip from Lusaka to Lilongwe. They arrived somewhat shaken, but truly blessed having witnessed the Lords hand. It took them 6 days. Normally the trip would be done in about 2African Bus days!

 October 13 1995

Getting meat for us to cook is not very easy. Most of the cuts available in the city centre butcheries are too expensive for us to buy – apart from the cheaper cuts such as ‘shin’.

 However we’ve discovered the village butcher is much better suited for us. At certain designated places in the rural areas, cattle and sheep are slaughtered and then hung up by the back legs in a tree. This allows the blood to be drained. After the blood has been drained the animal is skinned and cut up as customers require.

A great discovery today was that most Malawians don’t like the fillet meat of the cow as it is too soft for their liking. We have been able to buy fillet meat at a very cheap price!!

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

 

 

Something to Celebrate? – Part One


We received an invite to our Granddaughter’s 7th birthday party. What an exciting event! I began to ponder that seven short years ago she was about to be born. At that time our lives still had an empty space that she was about to fill – what a joy! Reason to celebrate? – most certainly!

Recently our youngest daughter got married. Who would have thought 26 years ago that she would make such a beautiful bride and indeed, wife. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Marriage Celebration

Over the last two years, our youngest son had been having a great challenge finding a job after we had spent a good sum of money putting him through his training. Two months ago, he received a job offer in the industry he loves and is now employed. Reason to celebrate? – absolutely!Quatar Cabin crew

All of us have reason to celebrate something in our lives at one time or another, however big or small. Generally speaking, we put a lot of effort into the celebrations because we want to show those concerned how much we love and appreciate them.

Our spiritual relationship with the Lord should not really be any different.

Among the many reasons that we have to be filled with joy at what the Lord has done for us, are two incredible truths. These two acts are worth us celebrating – wholeheartedly.

Truth One (of many):
Jesus died for our sins. Our debt has been forgiven . Why do we still go through our journey of life bearing the weight of our mistakes?

Provided we accept Jesus as our saviour, and are truly sorry for things we haven’t got right in our lives, then our Lord has paid the ultimate price so that we can be free of the guilt of all our wrongdoings. “…and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”, says the book of Hebrews.

Friends, from this moment onwards, let us walk in the newness of life, unburdened, as we realise we no longer have to account for our wrongdoings. Jesus gave us this free gift, all we need do is accept it. Reason to celebrate? – most certainly!

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

In 1 Corinthians we see that we should “..celebrate the feast…in sincerity and truth…”.

As we gather around the table to celebrate, we have something in common. Communion – from the word ‘common’. Jesus shed His blood for our sins. ALL sin for ALL who will accept the gift. ALL sin for ALL cultures. ALL sin for ALL nations. Jesus gave His life that the whole world could have something to celebrate – in common. A universal ticket out of spiritual death.

As we take the drink (which maybe any suitable liquid), we remember the words of Jesus when He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me”.

To Be Continued……

Something to Celebrate? is a two part series, join us next week for part two.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Mission Malawi – Chapter Fourteen


‘Mission Malawi’ is a series, printed from the Journal of Brother Ray, His family and a team of missionaries. Why not start from the beginning of their journey – you will be truly inspired.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Fourteen”