Greetings In The Name Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord has been so good to us and it’s hard to even begin to start to tell all the blessings God has given us. He has provided all we need and beyond. We praise God that Heni’s health has greatly improved, her back problems are resolved and thanks to the extensive dental work, she no longer has constant pain in her mouth. Our fellow missionaries in Malawi have been keeping the ministry rolling while we have been away for the past five months, and we have been doing as much as we could remotely. We were able to catch up on a lot of paperwork and accounting as well as doing recruitment. Now we would like to update you on just a little of what the Lord is doing in Malawi.
TUMBUKA MINISTRY UPDATE: You may not realize this, but Heni and I have long dreamt of starting a ministry, which would reach out to the Tumbuka people and the other tribes of Northern Malawi. The Orphan Rescue Unit, built last summer, was actually only the beginning of an even bigger plan to achieve this. Lord willing, this summer we will have our first Tumbuka speaking Boot Camp. This year it will not be a very big Boot Camp with just four teams (about 60 people), but we believe that in years to come it will grow as more and more youth hear about it. Please pray that this Boot Camp would be successful and many lives would be changed by the power of God. It will be happening in July – August of this year.
After Boot Camp we will open the Bible, Missionary and Work Training Center in Rumphi. All the classes will be taught in the Tumbuka language, and in the beginning the students will live in tents until we can build the classroom and dorms. We have already built one building, which will be a house for the teachers as well as storage (food, tools, etc). Please pray that God would help the teachers be wise and that the students would be on fire for the Lord. We have had a huge number of people interested in applying to join the Bible school and if they all end up coming, the Tumbuka Bible school will be the biggest one we have!
We praise God for the amazing work Gift and Fazina have been doing among the orphans. Let me just share a couple of things about it although I could fill many pages if I shared everything. Recently Gift and Fazina planned a weekend camp for the orphans. The kids would come and stay in tents and have their meals at the Unit for the whole weekend. They invited 20 kids to come because that’s how many they could afford to feed. However, when the kids started arriving, there were more than 50. Politely they tried to send some home but the kids wouldn’t budge—they wanted so badly to be part of the camp and learn the Word of God. So by the grace of God and Fazina’s cleverness in the kitchen, they were able to keep and feed all of the kids and everyone had an amazing time and learned so much.
Another highlight was when Gift registered the property with the government. Now this is not a simple process and there are a lot of traditions to be followed as well. For example, when it is time for the Paramount Chief (a.k.a King of the Tumbuka tribe) to measure the land, he has to be brought in a cart—not just a normal cart drawn by donkeys or cattle, but a cart pulled by the lesser chiefs of the area. We praise the Lord that He helped us through the whole process. Recently a group of orphans went with Gift to the Paramount Chief and presented him a cow, after which he signed the paperwork finalizing everything. The Paramount Chief was very gracious to us and even fed lunch to all the children who went with Gift.
YAO MINISTRY UPDATE: We want to thank you for being a part of what God is doing among the Yao tribe in Malawi. God has been so gracious to us in His provisions and help. We know that this is an answer to the prayers of over 1000 people. So again, on behalf of the people who have been touched and changed through this ministry, we thank you for investing your prayers in furthering the Kingdom of God among the Yao.
So much has happened in such a short time and the ministry continues to grow and flourish, to God be the glory! Let me give you some highlights concerning the ministry since we started.
- After a long search in January, 2010, we were welcomed into Chikwatu village and established the Heart of Faith Orphan Rescue Unit. Two permanent missionaries were sent out and began to minister to the orphans, widows and street children. Through them, many children heard the gospel for the first time and by the mercy shown to the weak, gained a reputation of love.
- Several teams of short term missionaries (from Canada, Malawi and the United States) came and performed various work and evangelism projects. There were also two teams who did a compassion ministry of washing the feet of the orphans and giving them shoes and socks. Through their ministries, several hundred people came to Christ, including Chief Chikwatu.
- In April, 2010, we purchased a lakefront property in Chbende village which had a small house on it already. It is about a 15 minute walk from the property we were given to Chikwatu village. We renovated the house and in September, 2010, David and Janet Chale moved with their family to spearhead the Bible School ministry along with two other missionaries.
- We began the Bible school in the same month with four students, although the school was not yet built. The students slept in tents and took classes under the mango tree. The staff and students not only held classes, but began the foundation of the Bible school and witnessed in Chibende village. Many people have come to Christ through their ministry.
- In September, 2011, more students joined and enrollment continues to grow. This summer, the first group of students will finish their in-class studies and will begin their one-year internships where they will be involved in full-time ministry.
- The whole Bible School is designed to be built in four phases. Not long ago they finished putting the final touches on phase one. Praise the Lord, students and staff now live indoors and have classes in their brand new classroom. Currently, the students are living in what will become the office (guys) and kitchen (ladies) once the next phase is complete.
These are just the bare bones of what is happening but I hope it gives you a good picture of the progress.
RETURNING TO MALAWI: We feel refreshed in mind and body and now ready to go back and continue ministering with increased vigor and zeal. We will stop at the Teen Missions Headquarters and join with a team of teenagers who will be coming to do a short-term project in Malawi. This team is called the Malawi Guitar team and we anticipate it being greatly effective. The project will have two parts: we will be connecting with the orphans on a personal level as we teach them how to play guitar, and secondly, we will use the guitars in open-air presentations. Because guitars are such a novelty in Malawi, both of these ministries will open many doors to sharing the Gospel.
We appreciate all our prayers and ask that you would continue to pray for us pressing on with the Lord’s work in Malawi. Please pray that we would be led by the Holy Spirit as we seek a vision concerning future ministry, and that Heni’s health would continue to improve.
God bless you. In Christ,
Mathew and Henrietta Wylie Psalm 91:4