Happy New Year from Malawi! It has been four months since I left the USA to oversee the work here in Malawi. God is doing wonderful things and I am excited to share with you all that is happening.
The first month was filled with me being trained by the previous coordinators. It was a little overwhelming seeing the vastness of the ministry and all the different things that go on. But God has been so faithful in helping me adjust to living in Malawi. I wanted to share some of the different things about living in Malawi.
Africa would not be the same without a whole lot of different kinds of animals. Not only do the Base and Rescue Units have many animals, but all of Malawi seems like one big farm. Driving down the road, there are always goats, cows, chickens, and sheep to dodge! While some people play car video games, I have no need—I live in one every time I get behind the wheel! There are also some exotic animals that share my new home. We had some guests for Christmas—a 10 foot-long crocodile came for a visit and a family of hippos! I am told the pythons will soon be coming around but I am not sure I want to meet one!
As I have already written, driving can be a challenge! As you go down the road, the goal is not to hit any animals on the way. Only about 10% of Malawians have a car, the rest have bicycles. Between all the bikes and animals, driving is very different. Oh, and did I mention that in Malawi they drive on the left side of the road?
We are in the rainy season right now and there is mud all over. This can only mean one thing—stuck vehicles! Thankfully, ours has only gotten stuck once!
Malawi is one of the five poorest countries in Africa. It is very underdeveloped. In fact, there are only three cities in the whole county, the rest are all small towns. Most of the country consists of farmers who live in small mud huts with grass roofs. However, as the years go on, some families are starting to have small brick homes with iron sheet roofs. I would say only 20% of people in the country have power in their homes. Electricity is a big problem here. In fact, as I write this to you the power is out again! I have had many candle-lit dinners since coming to Malawi. But I am grateful for the power, when it is on.
The ministry here is big and has many different aspects. Most of my job is overseeing the staff and making sure things run smoothly, handling the finances to keep good accountability, and making sure there is good communication with the head office in Florida. One of the big parts of the ministry here is our 10 AIDS Orphan’s Rescue Units. Each unit is taking care of about 200 kids. Every couple of weeks the staff comes to the base for a refresher. It is time for the staff to share what God is doing out in the village. One of the units shared with me what they did with the kids this past month:
Our Unit in Mangochi is called Heart of Faith. This unit is located in the center of Islam in Malawi. There is only one church in the whole village and a lot of people are scared to go to it. However, there are more mosques in the area than I can count. The kids had their two-week camp. In the States it would be like having our Bible camps for kids. Every afternoon the kids would go out and do evangelism. This is a great ministry. The kids here in Malawi are not afraid to go up and start telling people about the love of God. Hannah, one of our staff, told me the kids prayed with 75 people to receive Christ and 24 rededications. It is common in other parts of Malawi to see a lot of people come to Christ. But this part of Malawi is different—the whole area is locked in the chains of Islam. I was excited to hear this but at the same time worried. Because there are so many Muslims in this area, being a Christian is very hard. Many people will not share that they have come to know Christ. The village has been known to do bad things to Christians and even cause problems with our staff. Pray for these new believers, that they will come to the Unit and the base we have in Mangochi. We have a Bible School in Mangochi, and they have discipleship programs that the people in the village can go to. Pray that they would come and that this area of Malawi would be free from the darkness of Islam.
My Personal Life
God has been doing many things in my personal life. I can tell people are praying for me because, since coming to Malawi, I have not gotten sick! One of the things that I have been struggling with is being away from all my friends and family. It is not easy living in Malawi on my own. But God is faithful and is getting me through it each day by His strength. Thank you to everyone that has been praying for me! I have been healthy, safe and given the strength I need to get things done. This is all because of your prayers! I also want to thank everyone that has been faithful in giving. I know things are tight in the USA right now and I feel honored that you choose to stand with me in ministry.
As we start this New Year of 2013. Let us remember to give all glory and honor to God for what He did in 2012 and what He will do in 2013. Who knows, this could be the year of His return! May the Lord bless you all as your serve the Lord in the USA. You are never far from my thoughts. I truly feel blessed to have so many of you standing with me as we serve the King of Kings.
Serving Christ Together,
2 Cor 4:16-18
For my health and safety
For the work in Malawi going smooth
For all the people praying and supporting me
For life changes that may come this year.
For wisdom as I coordinate the work in Malawi.
For many lives to be reached with the Gospel
For my USA Team that I will be leading this summer