Our journey began on January 8th with a 17-hour flight to South Africa. After spending the night in South Africa, we continued the next day to Malawi. We had all of our bags and cleared customs without any problems. Then it was off to Lilongwe, the capital city, to get our shopping done. Shopping in a third world country is not easy, especially when you are starting to experience jet-lag. We were welcomed back to the base by all the staff and students. Our first two nights we woke up, or should I say I woke up, at 12:00 a.m. and could not fall back asleep. Bethany came up with a little saying, “my husband’s awake, so I am awake.” After a couple days we began to sleep fully through the night!
This is Bethany’s first time to Malawi and I told her that there were no huge spiders here. Well, I was in the office during work when she came in, a little shook up, and asked if I could kill this spider in the kitchen for her. I went into the kitchen to find a huge tarantula that had fallen on her foot! She calmly said, “please get it out of my kitchen”. We took the spider outside where a rock was put to good use.
The ministry in Malawi continued well while we were gone. Seth and Emily Phippen, did a wonderful job keeping things going. They have now left to return to the US and we will miss them very much. It is so nice to have other missionaries to work alongside.
As the days progress, Bethany and I are feeling more and more at home here in Malawi. However, we do need your prayers! The enemy does not like what God is doing and whenever the Lord is working Satan seems to try to undo the work. At times it seems you work and work and things just get harder and harder. But God also shows His grace and mercy every day. God’s amazing love shines in the darkness and you can see the light of Jesus shining through.
I want to share one of these moments with you. Last February I was getting ready to start my day on a Monday morning when I got a call from the north base that two of our students had broken policy. They chose to act in an immoral manner. In Malawi it is not very common to come forward and confess that you have sinned. They tend to not be “sorry” until they are caught. However, the young man in this case was different. The day after the incident, he came crying to the coordinator in the north and confessed what he had done. I was heartbroken by what had happened. We told the students that they would have to leave the school. Later that day I got a call from our International Director’s office to talk about what had taken place. After much prayer it was decided that the young man and the young woman could come back to school after a term of probation. We also decided it would be better if they weren’t at the same location. The young man came to our school here in Chipoka while the young woman stayed in the north.
I share this story not to dwell on their sin, but to tell of the change in their lives. Since coming back to school both of them have been amazing students and have showed that they have truly been changed and are renewed in Christ! What Satan meant to destroy, God has now used for His glory. These students’ testimonies are also a reminder to us of why we are here, to do the will of our Father and to show the love that He gave us through His Son, Jesus Christ, in all that we say and do.
Bethany and I are so thankful for your prayers. We, at times, feel very overwhelmed by the job that lays ahead, but we know we are not in it alone. We have you standing with us and keeping us going. We serve a mighty God who has placed many people in our lives to help us serve on the front lines. Thank you for your support. We know that many of you are sacrificing to be able to give to the Lord on our behalf and we are so thankful for that.
May the Lord bless you in this new year and may you seek after Him in all you do.
Serving Christ Together,
Josiah and Bethany Frey