It’s once again time to write newsletter. It seems like just yesterday I was writing my last one. Well, since writing my last letter a lot of things have started to happen to get ready for the summer. Most of the staff have started to work outside on Wednesdays to get things ready for the summer. Some of the jobs we have been doing outside are fixing bikes, wheelbarrows and getting ready to set up the Big Top Tents. There are five of them to set up and we will be setting up these tents the week before Easter. It has been a lot of work getting ready for the summer, but we are looking forward to when the kids get here in June. When the kids come, everything we have been working on throughout the year to get ready for the summer is put in to practice. Currently, we have over 700 team members and leaders signed up to go on teams; that is a more than last year’s count. We are excited and praying that they will all raise enough money to come. Each day, Monday thru Friday,during the workday, we have someone in the Prayer Closet every hour praying for them and for other prayer requests. Starting the last day of April, we will be praying 24 hours everyday for 40 days because this ministry is based on prayer. When it gets closer to the summer, Satan comes and tries to bring it all down. But with prayer, nothing can happen without God’s hand on it. I’m not saying there won’t be trials, but with God everything is under control. For now I’m not going on a team but anything could happen if they need more leaders. If I don’t go on a team then I will be staying back to help run the base.
Update on Malawi-
It has been two years since I left Malawi and so much has happened there since I left. I would like to share an update with you from Robert and Elicy, whom I worked with while I was in Malawi. It shows how much God is working in the territory of the Yao people. Before Teen Missions came and established a base, there had only been five missionaries to this remote area. All five of them died and are buried there. During the time they were there they won only one convert to the Lord. God has opened doors for Teen Missions and Aids Orphans to minister to the Yao tribe, which is over 91 percent Muslim and less than one percent Christian. Teen Missions has one Rescue Unit there and we have just opened a Bible School to train believers in the Gospel. Here is a story from what the facilitators are doing at the Rescue Unit.
HEART OF FAITH: Reported by Robert and Elicy John. (Orphan Care Facilitator) Fifteen orphans have not gone back to school yet because the kids are still at the secret place where they receive initiation into the Yao culture. The initiation along with circumcision is a set of counseling sessions that teach the teens the tradition and mores of their culture. It takes about two months. The remaining 85% of kids are in school. 22 kids have started first grade this month. Our campaign: to teach guardians about the importance of sending kids to school seems to have started to bear fruit. The school uniforms we make have proved to be an encouraging factor for kids to be going to school. For example George Yusuyu and Bakali started going to school often when they received school uniforms. When they had no uniform they were being sent back home by the headteacher.
Ministry with/to the kids:
Sigasyeje Bwanali and Anfi Bwonali stopped coming to the Unit for weeks. Because they were told by someone that we are kidnapping kids. Muhammad, Duniya and Mbela refused to receive clothes because someone lied to them and told them that the things we give to kids have the power to make someone become a Christian once they use or touch them. The guardian of Silivia asked us to cancel her name from our registration because they did not want their child to be “lost” to Christianity. We kindly and lovingly explained to her why we help orphans. She went back home satisfied and smiling having known the truth about why we help orphans. Now when she hears someone telling lies about us she helps telling them the whole truth of our coming here. Despite all these lies, we still have kids coming for lessons. The average number of kids per day is 18. The number of kids knowing how to pray and read is increasing weekly. Many kids went to school without eating anything and so by the time they came to the unit in the afternoon they were tired and hungry. What a blessing to be able to cook them food. One boy from Chipereka village was beaten up by his mother because he wanted to come to the unit to learn the Word of God. The child still wants to come but is afraid of his angry mother. Those who are able to come enjoy learning; math, English, phonics, Bible verses, Bible stories, games, and football and netball.
We continued door to door and man to man evangelism. Most of the time people we minister to rush to ask questions about Christ’s sonship to God. Sometimes one out of 10 understands though they do not make a decision right away. This month we had four people understanding the sonship of Christ but none made a decision to receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. We are praying for the Holy Spirit to work in them for salvation. We were very pleased that two ladies rededicated their lives to Christ. In October we continued reaching out to people with the Gospel in the surrounding villages. The Sheiks (Islamic Faith leaders) continued to be angry with us when we share the salvation messages to people. One Sheik chased us away from his house. He did not want to hear the Good News about Christ. When we were chased from there we went to another place and continued evangelizing to other people. We had an open-air meeting and one man and three ladies came to the Lord. The following week after their salvation they came for vespers at the unit. The three ladies all joined our ladies Bible study. Their friends try to discourage them but they are not giving up. Two boys also made decisions for Christ during vespers. They were from Christian families but had never received Christ till then.
Lali James is a boy born in a Muslim family. In the beginning his guardian would not allow him to appear at the unit at any cost. Unexpectedly Lali’s guardian granted him permission to start coming to the unit for lessons. The boy was very happy. As we write Lali knows how to play and has started learning the Word of God. He is 13 years old. We continue to nurse spiritually Chief Chikwatu. Rick Mussa is a five year old boy who was also not coming to the unit before. This month he came to the unit with his older brothers. This boy does things amazingly good compared to his age. When we are teaching him with his friends, he listens very well and answers very well whatever question you ask. One day he amazed me, coming to the unit while he was sick. He had been vomiting but said “I didn’t want to stay at home and miss learning the Word of God at the unit even though I am sick.” We were so much encouraged with this small boy loving the Word of God most. Yamikani Khani was born in a Catholic family. This did not make him to know God neither to attend church. He lived a life of rejecting to hear or learn the Word of God even if the opportunity was made available. On several occasions we witnessed to him but could not he did not show any interest. We didn’t give up on him though and little by little he started to be willing to listen. Later he showed up at vespers on a Saturday and made a decision for Christ.
The ministry overseas is different because the work doesn’t stop. You have to be available at any time because there are people coming to you for help anytime day or night. When you are serving overseas you face many more challenges than we do here in the United States…The work we are doing here in Florida is what makes the ministry in Malawi or any of our 34 overseas bases possible. We share in the work that’s happening overseas by getting people to support Teen Missions or sending them to the bases on teams.
I would like to thank you all for your prayers and support.
My health; I have been having back problems
Wisdom on what God want’s me to do in the future
Finances to get a vehicle