War, mass killing, fast spreading illnesses, kidnapping, corruption and overwhelming poverty—these are the words that come to mind when people think of Africa. “The Dark Continent” doomed to never change and forever to be in turmoil. However, in spite of all the wrong things going on in Africa, the Lord is at work. While our world is full of bad news, each day we are blessed to share some good news! Let us share with you about a little eight year-old girl named Agatha.
In May we went to visit the Boyle Family Orphan Rescue Unit. The facilitators told us about one of the orphans registered at the unit—a small girl who was very handicapped. We went to visit her and found she had an enlarged head that caused her to be mentally handicapped due to a painful disease she contracted when she was an infant. Her mom was taking care of her along with six other siblings and their father had left them with nothing. They live in a small grass-roofed hut. Agatha’s mom had been taking really good care of her; however, she had no way of transporting her except by carrying her over rough dirt roads, and the nearest hospital is two hours away. After getting in touch with our office in Florida, God provided a way for a wheelchair to come over with the summer teams. We just recently delivered the chair to Agatha and I believe her smile says it all!!!
During the summer we were able to host three North American teams. After being in Malawi for over six months it was so nice to see fellow staff and have other Americans to fellowship with. The first team had 27 people and we took them on a 10-hour truck ride to our base in the northern part of Malawi, called Rumphi. It was fun to see the team adjusting to living in tents in the African bush. Bethany and I spent a week with the first Malawi team and had a wonderful time. Their project was to drill a well for our Bible school; the past two years the students have been walking a mile to get water. The team worked very hard and also worked on our Bible school buildings. We are so thankful for all the hard work and blessing they were to the staff in the north of Malawi.
After spending a week in the north Bethany and I returned to Chipoka to get ready for the next two teams. The preteens came in full of energy and ready to work! The team worked on planting trees for our boundary line and went to do ministry at our Rescue Units. I find you can never under estimate preteens; they led several people to the Lord this summer, including kids from the unit!
The last team to arrive in Malawi was the second teen team. They were also a well drilling team and were going to the district of Mangochi in the southern part of Malawi. This team went out into the middle of an ALL Muslim village. When Bethany and I had gone to set up the team in the village we didn’t find one Christian in the whole village. The team worked very hard and, by God’s grace, a well was put in! We now have clean safe water for the village to drink and since we’ve brought a well to their village, the chief has given us permission to start a Sunday School there also! What a wonderful door the Lord has opened! A village with NO Christians is now going to have a Sunday School. Please pray for our circuit riders as they prepare to go into the front lines of battle.
All in all, it was a very busy summer with the three teams. Between all three of the teams, Bethany and I have traveled hundreds of miles. In addition, we were able to take each team to one of Malawi’s National Parks to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles and many different types of African deer. One by one the teams finished their projects and the base was soon down to three Americans. It was a bittersweet moment saying goodbye to the teams as we had gotten close to many of them. However, it was a relief to know that all the teams got back home safe and sound. We did find out that one of the team members got home and had malaria but other than that, most of the teams stayed healthy and strong.
After the teams left we got ready to send out our national Boot Camp teams who commissioned just three days after all the American teams left. Then the base got really quiet and Bethany and I started to catch up on all the work we had gotten behind on in the office.
Looking ahead to the fall we have lots going on. A new term will start for all four of our Bible schools. I am going to be teaching ethics this term in the English Bible School. We have decided Bethany will not teach this term due to the huge amount of office work that has to be done and we are getting ready to start 15 more Sunday Schools in Malawi. The work is growing and so the tasks become more and more.
At times it is hard to live in Malawi. Every day brings different challenges. Nobody said living in Africa would be easy. So we push forward knowing that God is in this work and knowing He is with us every step of the way. In our newsletters we want to share with you exciting “God moments” like bringing the wheelchair to Agatha. However, sometimes it is just the little blessings in life that remind us why we are here. It might be a discount on food for the Bible School or a testimony from one of the villages we are serving in. It might be the other missionary who gives you encouragement just at the right moment. Each day is a gift from God to serve Him with all of our hearts. We don’t know the hour or time when Jesus will come back. We don’t know how much longer we have to serve Him. Do you and I want to make each day count? Or are we just counting down to the next Friday or vacation day off of work?
Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support! We know that many of you are sacrificing to keep us on the field and, by doing so, are helping to build up the Kingdom that will last forever and ever.
Serving Christ Together,
Josiah and Bethany Frey