Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty


26.02.96

The days are flying by and as usual in our walk there are ‘ups and downs’. I know that although it’s like that, I shouldn’t be ‘feeling’ as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster. If I was truly ‘in Christ’, my emotions about the ‘self’ would have died and I would be consistent in my ‘feelings’, not ‘up’ one day and ‘down’ the next. Much has happened this month.

 Chris and Sally have left for S.A. to prepare for their trip to England. It was a miracle to witness their trip coming together, here in Malawi. They were granted a four year visa for England which included a work permit. One week before all this occurred, it seemed as though they would not get into England. Amazing how the Lord had to send them to this British Consulate (Lilongwe) for their papers. We are praying for them as this will be a very difficult journey for them. We have a contact phone number for them and pray that we will hear from them soon.

 Arthur has phoned from S.A. to say that he won’t be returning. I have to admit and confess my sadness over the situation. We pray always for the Lords will to be done in our lives and then when things happen not according to our will, we get upset – Oh Lord, will I ever change? 

 I am really sad that he won’t be returning to us. It’s as if one of the arrows has been removed from my quiver.  The walk that we have been called to is not an easy one. Arthur, my brother – the blessing – the support. We have shared many things – deep things, that we had a special liberty to do when sharing together. Thank you for this season of time Lord, I have learnt much through this special brother that called us “his precious family in Malawi”. May you be with him always, at every turn.

 Wherever Arthur goes, God will use him in the most amazing way. This is God’s Kingdom branching out – many will come to a deep knowledge of Christ through our precious brother.

 My heart is sore but as usual, our Lord has words for me. Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call because then you are not bothered by what HE requires”. What wonderful, deep wisdom found in these words. No expectation – no disappointmentPerseverance

 Our relationship with God is a fruit of perseverance. The more we persevere in our physical situations, the deeper God will take us ‘in Him’.  That’s because the more difficult a situation becomes, the more we see of our true hearts – our true nature. It’s in that time that we need to seek the Lord for strength to continue and for Him to change our ways to become more like Him. Yes, this road is very narrow and indeed FEW will find it…. because FEW will be able to persevere.

 8.03.96

All the papers for the trailers and Combi have been sent and approved from S.A. It was miraculous how this has come about.

 I did not feel comfortable with asking brethren in S.A. to help us in this issue, as word has filtered back to us that we are viewed as somewhat of a burden in some quarters. I know where this comes from and realize it is a deliberate attempt by the Devil to cause division. However it is a difficult one to not think about.

 The papers were kindly processed by an old school friend. We really bless this precious friend for the trouble he went to and pray that the Lord will richly bless him for his efforts. Without his willingness, it would have meant a trip back to S.A. The vehicles may now be imported.

 The rent agreement for the house that Chris and Sally were in, comes to an end on the 31st March. We are praying for a place for Andrew and Sue. We believe with all our hearts that the Lord will do something – here we go again (thank you Lord)!!

 Kathy and I have planned a trip to Zimbabwe at the end of this month to see her brother who is leaving for Australia. The Combi temperature warning light is on again and we pray that the Lord will help us solve this problem before we go. The finance for the trip has come and papers are all in order.

 EvangelismWe have been led to arrange an ‘outreach’ meeting at the local market place. This has come about because a young man followed me around for two days and when he wasn’t able to speak to me personally, left a message to say, “The Lord says you must hold an outreach meeting here in Gulliver (the area we live in). Do not attend any other meetings until you have begun planning for this meeting. When you have preached here, God will show you where to go next”.

 Having a great respect for what God does to those who disobey, I decided to put some serious prayer into the situation. It’s not 

really in line with what the Lord showed us to do when we first came here. I must confess to not being exactly keen about the idea of ‘preaching’ in a Malawian market place, but if that’s what the Lord wants, then ….thank you Lord.

 We have a very comprehensive little team of ‘disciples’ who are able to do all the follow up work of teaching and praying in the houses of the new ‘converts’, so that none will be left to perish after hearing the word.

 We will also be able to have the assistance of a ministry, who show The Jesus Film in Chichewa, using a generator.

 The local bible college have freely given advice on outdoor evangelism and altogether it has so far been a wonderful exercise of how the body of Christ can work together.

 Malawians are great evangelists. They love to get up in front of an audience and share the word of God (jackets flapping madly!!). Our young guys, although really excited about this outreach, are aware of the seriousness of the follow up teaching and praying ‘operations’. It’s also good that the whole exercise is local, especially for the people of this area.

 We have contacted all local authorities and churches. I invited the local churches to send teams of mature believers for the purpose of assisting with prayers and counseling. No replies yet. We have stressed that this is an outreach to the lost on behalf of JESUS CHRIST, not a particular denomination. How encouraging it is to sit here writing, hearing the young men practicing their preaching of the gospel, for which the Lord used our team as vessels, to bring to them – thank you Lord. We have begun fasting for this outreach (3 x single day – no food at all, only water – full 24hrs.).

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and ‘Mission Malawi’ 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.

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Mission Malawi – Chapter Nineteen


 o3.o1.96

Well, “Christmas” and new year have come and gone for another year. Some Christians have again been drawn into the pagan origins of Christmas celebrations for the wrong reasons. How the Lords heart must break at this time when He witnesses the goings on during this season. He weeps and says, “Why do you only focus on Me at this time of the year? Don’t you know I have made you a people set apart, a Royal Priesthood? But instead, you follow the ways of the world in celebrating something which lacks My power and majesty. It is in the death of My son, whom I GAVE for the forgiveness of your sin, that My power is made manifest.

You sing songs and give gifts in My name, but your hearts are not with Me. I need your obedience to fill My heart with Joy. Not only over this season of time but ALL year round, each and every minute of every day”.

 It’s sometimes very difficult to understand how God works. The other day I sensed God saying to me, “Am I a man that I should explain my ways to you?” The words came as a bit of a shock to me but after deliberating on them, I could see the truth and when I realized the real awesome, mighty power of God (which words cannot describe), I wondered how I could dare to question Gods ways. Who am I? It is only for me to obey not to question His mighty ways.

 I felt that way this morning during my prayer watch between 4-5am. The challenges that faced Kathy and I have become so big. Where to start?

 Our immigration permit expires on the 4/2/96 and cannot be renewed. This means we have to go out of the country for three weeks and then we are able to return on new permits.

 The one trailer which we brought with us has also reached the end of it’s permitted time in the country and must be imported in to Malawi before the end of February. It cannot be imported until it is released from South African customs, which cannot be done but at the border post in R.S.A. This means a trip to S.A. at great expense (which we don’t have!).

 The lease for the house which Chris, Sally, Andy and Sue are staying in, expires at the end of March. Chris and Sally are leaving on 24th January as the doors have opened for accommodation in England, but the question is: Where will Andy and Sue stay?, not to mention all the furniture we have been blessed with that is in the house.

 The Owner of our house is not certain whether we can stay on as he may want to move in. At our last meeting he said he would let me know soon.

 If we go out of the country, there will be no transport here for the brethren to continue the businesses. Andy and Sue will be on their own and will have to manage with the bicycles.

 Arthur phoned from R.S.A. and it seems he is uncertain when or if he will be back. Another great shock!

 So, we sit. Does God want to end this work now? ”

 Another call from S.A. tells us that Rene (my mother), has no place to stay and needs to come to be with us. I would love to have her here, but how will she cope?

what now lord
What Now Lord?

 There is a certain anger which wells up inside of me when I’m trapped in this kind of circumstance. There is nowhere to turn. I feel like screaming at the Govt. departments and saying, “It’s for your people that we have come here, not for our own gain – where is your support for us? – why should we have left what we did just to be treated like this?”

 It’s then that I realize it is only by God’s grace that we are here. We are under His “orders” not our wills. HE must decide what will happen. We must follow the Shepherd and trust that He will not desert us. But it’s so hard to trust during uncertainty like this.

04.01.96

I prayed this morning and felt myself becoming softer and softer. It was like a great pair of hands enveloping me. I hear the accuser saying….”The calm before the storm” but by God’s grace, I choose not to buy that thought.

 We have been in this kind of situation before and the Lord has never failed us. Each time it occurs I have forgotten the past experience and how wonderfully God worked and shielded us. So, it now seems like a new experience and the pains are being felt all over again. 

 After that prayer time, these are the words I received: “When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt – wait. Never act on the impulse of feeling, if you do, you will cause difficult situations to arise that may take months or years to untangle. Wait for Gods timing and He will do it without heartache or disappointment”. And so, by His grace that’s what I’ll do……

12.01.96

The Lord is definitely doing something, but I wonder what? As I’ve learned previously, it’s not for me to question but merely to obey (by His power).

 I have received a letter from the Immigration dept. to say that I may proceed with my application for a Temporary Employment Permit which, if successful, will last for two years, in the meantime I don’t have to leave the country until the application has been answered, one way or the other (thank you Lord).

 In answer to my prayers about Rene, she arrived yesterday from Cape Town. She was in a terrible state, hardly able to walk or remember anything. Anyway, there is a great improvement after only one day. Kathy has been such a great blessing with Rene and I’m really grateful. Both Kathy and I really want to look after her, to help her find peace and a sense of belonging. It will be a very trying job, but we trust that the Lord will guide us and give us the necessary strength because we understand this to be the right thing to do.

 We should look after our parents so that they may have life and fellowship in the body of Christ and not amongst the world in special ‘homes’. We should have the opportunity of giving back to them something of which they gave to us as they brought us into the world.

 It is a wonderful time to minister into fears, regrets and doubts. Lord please let us know that we have the grace you have so willingly poured over us.

“…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.

 

 

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.