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.

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

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.

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”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Thirteen


Zimbabwe

July 1995 – August 1995

 Kathy’s parents had asked us to please return to Zimbabwe for the birth of our 5th child. They had kindly offered to pay for all the costs and also knew of a Christian doctor who would oversee the birth. I asked Titus if he would like to accompany us because he had never been out of Malawi before. He was very excited.

19.07.95

It’s wonderful how the Lord has brought us to this lovely place at Lake Kariba, in the Northern part of Zimbabwe. The ‘Cabanas’ belong to Zimbabwe Sun and the unit we are staying in is part of Kathy’s parents time share. The contrast of life is amazing. How good the Lord is to allow us to experience different types of living. We need to learn to trust Him more and really KNOW that He will never forsake us. Kariba

 Kathy is starting to feel uncomfortable now and we expect that something should happen soon, by Gods grace. We are about 500km from the hospital that she has been booked into, but the Lord knows!!

05.08.95

Praise the Lord! After two weeks overdue date, Kathy and I are blessed with another little boy. We have decided to call him Daniel Stephen. The birth was another wonderful testimony to the Lord. Although Daniel was the heaviest of all the children, his birth has been the easiest. The doctor, a precious brother in the Lord, said Kathy would be his ‘tithe’ patient and so we did not have to pay for his services. We were blessed by Kathy’s parents who kindly met the hospital bill for us. We are truly so grateful for all these faithful people who are so willing to open their hearts to us in obedience to the Lord.

 10.08.95

We have been blessed with more gifts of money to be able to buy some groceries to take back to Malawi with us. There is also enough to have a new tent made for the little caravan/trailer that the Lord blessed us with in South Africa.

 One day while I was standing in the queue at the Mozambique embassy, a man came up to me and began to ask me some questions about Malawi. A Zimbabwean, he owned an art museum in America and was trying to find certain types of wood carvings to take back to America with him. After chatting for some ten minutes, he disappeared to the front of the line where he collected his passport from a man who had been in the line on his behalf.

 About 15 minutes later he came back as though he was looking for someone in particular. As our eyes met, he said, “Ah, I’ve been looking for you”. A bit taken a back, I wondered why he was looking for me. He then asked me what line of business I was in. The Lord opened a door for me to share briefly with him. Right there, in the queue, he took out his wallet and blessed me with two hundred Zimbabwe dollars. It was the exact amount we needed to finish the last of our shopping. The man in front of me couldn’t believe his eyes. He said to me afterwards, “But that guy didn’t even know you!!”

 How great is the Lord. If I had complained and had not stood in that line for as long as I did, I would have certainly missed the blessing the Lord had planned for us….”

With our new addition safely in the arms of Mom and Kathy’s family, we planned our return trip to ‘Area 49’ in Lilongwe.

Area 49
Area 49 Lilongwe Malawi

Kathy and the children would stay with her parents until strong enough to come back to Malawi. Her parents had once again kindly offered to pay for them to fly back when she was ready.

17. 08.95

After much planning, praying and packing, Titus and I are ready to leave for Malawi. We plan to leave at 4:00am. All being well, we can expect to get to Lilongwe at about 4:00pm. A long 12 hour journey. This journey is difficult for me as there are always ‘niggly’ challenges at the border posts. I believe from time gone by, in the days of white supremacy in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, there has been left a certain amount of unforgiveness and anger towards white people by some of the custom and immigration officials of these countries.

 Whilst I can appreciate the very difficult job these people have, their attitudes always appear to show their desire to have their authority respected. I am blessed that the Lord uses them to humble me.

 Arriving back in Lilongwe, the Lord has really granted us favour with men, apart from the Malawi customs gentleman who was very angry at Titus because he spoke in English! We have found Arthur Jacob, Patrick and Joseph all well and mightily blessed.

 The Lord has had His hand on the little businesses and they have all grown. Thank you Lord.

 18. 08. 95

After going to bed filled with the joys of returning to faithful brethren, we are awakened with a terrible shock. The Combi is up on pieces of log and stone – all four tyres and rims stolen!

I can’t find words to describe our disappointment. Somebody in our locality knew that we had arrived and had informed the thieves. All four new tyres given to us in South Africa a few months before, especially for Malawian conditions, had been stolen!Stolen Tyres

My first thought is: “Why Lord?”. As I ponder deeper on those words, the Lord shows me that actually, I have no right to even ask such a question. What right does a selfish sinner have to question the Almighty and powerful, everlasting God who knows all things?

 God, in His infinite wisdom had allowed this thing to happen and all I desired to find out was what lesson was in it for me. At this time the anger within me is too great to see very much.

Mission Malawi is published by “…time with the Master…” on a bi-monthly basis.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is also 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).

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Eleven


Why not start at the beginning of this amazing series……..

South Africa
26th January 1995 – 29th May 1995

We had planned a break to S.A. and Zimbabwe for six weeks, during January 1995, so we were quite amazed when it turned out to be so long. In our last newsletter we shared about the challenges with the Combi and how wonderful it was to see the various parts arriving from South Africa to try and get us on the road.
“….We finally left for Zimbabwe on 26th Jan. On nearing the border of Mozambique (after finally getting visas, which is another whole story!), the power in the Combi began to fade. There was a terrible feeling in my stomach. As the situation worsened, I was freewheeling the down hills to try and make it to the Zimbabwe border where Kathy’s parents had offered to meet us.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Eleven”

Memoires of Young Missionaries – Chapter One


It was about 4:30am when we left the small farming community in Zimbabwe. This had been our three week stop over point where we had been making final preparations for our long awaited stay in the unknown ‘Warm Heart of Africa’, Malawi.

The rain was pouring down in sheets, lashing the windscreen of the overloaded Combi and small trailer. The road, or excuse for one, was just mud and it was nearly impossible to see any pot holes. It was unusual to encounter a storm Leaving for Malawiof that strength so early in the African morning. We could see the evil one was already busy trying to hamper our first missionary journey.

It was now four months since we had left our ‘home’ of the past 18 months, a small, little known mission station in the Natal Midlands town of Nottingham Rd in South Africa. We had lived there with others who had laid down their lives to serve the Lord, after leaving our Johannesburg house and shares in a successful young plastics company. The Lord had touched our hearts so powerfully over a period of about two years, that we felt we needed to sell all that we owned and follow the Lord full time – quite a decision to make for a young family, consisting of three young children, (and two to be born in the future!).

Continue reading “Memoires of Young Missionaries – Chapter One”