Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty-Two


END IN SIGHT?………..

Since February, life has been hectic with the usual spate of attempted robberies, but by the Lords grace we haven’t lost much. It’s very sad to witness the amount of thieving especially from those who come to stay with us saying that they want to be taught the gospel. I guess times are so bad now people will try anything and obviously ‘third world’ Africa is even more desperate. Sadly, one of those we had been teaching for over eight months left on a sour note. We discovered afterwards that he really only wanted us to pay for his education and had managed to deceive us for that whole time. Well, the Lord knows and we have been enriched by the experience.

April 1996
Kathy, the Kids and I left for a short break to Zim at the beginning of April. We had planned to go for three weeks and had left the mission in the capable hands of Andy and Sue. We were a bit concerned because they never had transport, but having had that experience ourselves for six months and learned a great deal, we weren’t too concerned as we would only be away three weeks.

Our funds were extremely low – in fact we didn’t have enough for the journey. We received a message that the headmaster and his teachers from the school where Theresa-Anne has been helping would like to come and visit us before we leave for Zimbabwe.

The visit was really amazing as they all squashed into our little lounge area. The headmaster spoke about this ‘little white haired ‘mzungu’ who had helped so many children with their English studies and how to find their way to the Lord. He said they were very grateful to the Lord for sending Theresa-Anne and thanked Kathy and I as parents for trusting them and allowing Theresa-Anne to go there. They presented TA with a gift wrapped in a cloth. When she opened it later it was K220.00 – exactly enough for us to get to the Zimbabwe border!!!Teaching

Well, well, well. The Combi broke down just before the Mozambique border and we were set for a repeat of the previous year’s journey. My Mom was with us again (as if she hadn’t learnt the last year!!), and we decided to plod on somehow.

Eventually, to cut a long story short, we were helped by a couple who live in Malawi. Their towrope snapped and they were forced to leave us just before the Zim border. We were so grateful for their help as it cost them a whole days journey (and a tow rope!!).

Two men from Zim who were on their way back from Cahora Bassa Dam towed us into Zim with a piece of seat belt less than a meter long!! Both had been drinking beer their whole journey so it was a very hair raising trip to say the least. The Combi breaking system doesn’t work well when the engine is turned off – we spent the last part of the journey praying like we had never prayed before – at 120km per hour!

All was well and we slept the night at a filling station. The next day we plodded on slowly until Kathy’s parents came to the rescue again.VW_kombi_Wheels

The Combi was again sent down to Johannesburg, South Africa, for repairs. Some weeks later, Theresa-Anne and I journeyed to Johannesburg to collect it while the rest of the family stayed on the farm with Kathy’s parents. Unfortunately it wasn’t yet ready. Just to help things along I got a bout of Malaria while waiting in Johannesburg.

The friend that I was staying with took me to a hospital in Johannesburg. I explained to the Doctor on duty that I had come from a Malaria area and that in Malawi we were able to get medicine from their local supermarkets, which was a course of tablets we could take for three days. He simply laughed and said, “who’s the Doctor here?”. I was given aspirin and told to go to bed!!

As the Malaria worsened, I asked my friend to take me to another Hospital where they diagnosed Malaria and gave me the treatment.

Theresa-Anne needed to write her ‘O’ level exams in Lilongwe but there was no way I was able to undertake that journey in my condition. The Lord was good and we were able to set up for her to write in Zimbabwe at the British Consulate. Leaving the almost completed Combi in Johannesburg, back we went to Zimbabwe on a bus and she wrote the exams.

After that, we both again returned to Jo’burg to collect the Combi. Once again the Lord undertook for us and the brother that had previously repaired and paid for the Combi, once again repeated the blessing for us. After final repairs were made, we journeyed back to Zimbabwe to join the rest of the family.

Just outside Harare the fan belt broke and the engine overheated (Oh Lord – how many more times!!).
The Combi came to rest at the entrance to a farm and I went in to seek help. A very precious couple who farmed in the area helped us with a fan belt, but by that time, Kathy’s parents had dispatched help for us from the Farm.

While waiting on the side of the road, some men arrived and tried to distract my attention. While they were busy, one of their group spiked the back tyre. They tried to open the sliding door. When we realised they were trying to steal from us, I drove off in a hurry. It’s then that I felt the flat tyre. We stopped at the first garage to ask for help. While I was at the office, the thieves arrived following us in their car. Theresa-Anne was screaming but I couldn’t hear because the Combi windows were closed. When I saw what was going on, I ran out with the wheel spanner in my hand. I’m afraid my ‘missionary cap’ came off as ran towards them. The gospel was the last thing I was going to give them!! Well, thank the Lord, they took off without any further incident and I drove the combi into town with the flat wheel to the safety of a large hotel.

That was the last straw as far as the Combi was concerned.

As we sat on the farm, we were then seriously challenged as to whether or not it was the Lords will for us to go back to Malawi. Originally planning to be away from the group for 3 weeks, 5 months had passed!

In those five months, the mission in Malawi continued as if we hadn’t been away. During Kathy and my prayer times, we began to sense the Lord was saying that our time there was now complete and we should go back to Joburg and wait on Him for the next season. Those we had worked with over this period of time should now be ‘set free’ to continue sharing the gospel with others as the Lord led them.

The final confirmation came in a prayer time where the Lord showed us that if we were to stay with the Malawi brothers any longer they would begin to find their security in us, rather than the Lord. They needed to take all they had been taught, and start making disciples.

Still beset by further vehicle problems, we eventually got back to Malawi, using one of Kathy’s Dads pickups. To us, this was a further indication that the Malawi season of time was drawing to a close. We had not lost our peace during these latest vehicle challenges but we could feel that overcoming them appeared to be getting more and more difficult – was our Father’s hand of blessing starting to lift off our circumstance? Was He telling us to move on to a new season?

By Gods grace, Andy and Sue and the young men had done a marvelous job during the time we had been away. Teaching was still going strong and the little shop managed to survive, so the work stood the test of five ‘Malawi’ months.spaza

Meantime, Zimbabwe customs went on strike and we were unable to get a permit for the Combi to stay on the farm for an extended time. This meant we would only be able to afford a very quick trip back to the mission in Lilongwe before getting back to Zimbabwe to prevent the Combi being confiscated. Hence a swift journey out of Malawi to save the ailing Combi. At that point we felt the Lord was definitely showing us it was time to close off our part of the Malawi work.

“…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.

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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.

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine


 

Field Trip

14th – 21st November 1994

The following is a report of a field trip completed by two disciples of the Lord. The purpose of the trip was mostly a teaching experience to see how the Lord can bless those who are willing to give of themselves completely to His will.

It should be carefully noted here that we would be foolish to try and test God.

A trip of this nature should never be undertaken without careful and prayerful consideration. Everything which we do must be born out of the seed of prayer. God will speak to those who are willing to listen and will teach those who are willing to be manageable in His hands. Often, our hearts desires and strong wills, prevent us from hearing the gentle voice of the Spirit.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Six


Publisher’s Note:
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.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Six”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Five


Publisher’s Note:

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.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Five”