It was a warm sunny morning in Malawi on March 25th when our Kenya Airways flight headed for Nairobi to take Bethany and me back to the USA. We were filled with excitement to be heading home to see many of you and be with our families. We arrived very tired in New York City on March 27th at 1:30 a.m. at our hotel room. We then got on a train the next morning for Pennsylvania. When Bethany and I got home, we hit the ground running! The first Sunday we spoke at one of our sending churches, then that afternoon we also got to see Hadassah (my youngest sister) be baptized. Jet lag soon began to die down and we enjoyed all the wonderful things the US had to offer. Let’s just say, that after 15 months overseas, Walmart becomes an adventure!
Three months before we left, our house was full of many visitors from North America. My sister Lydia came for a visit from South Africa while Noah and Bethany’s mom were in Malawi with us as well. We also had a small adult team come with two members. The months of January, February and March went by so fast! It was such a blessing to have family in Malawi with us. We got to take Noah to Liwonde National Park on a safari and this time there was no elephant drama! Since it was in the middle of the rainy season the animal viewing was not as great, but we got to see some amazing birds. Bethany’s mom had an amazing time in Malawi and we are hoping she can return some day. We also would like to invite others to come and visit. We love sharing the ministry here in Malawi with other people; one so you can catch the vision and two so you can see firsthand what our lives and ministry are like. So much has happened in Malawi since our last newsletter, and sometimes it is hard to put into words the things we experience. The ministry seems to be growing faster than we can keep up with.
The weekend before Bethany and I left Malawi, something happened that will always remind Bethany and me of why we were called to Malawi. One of our staff kids named Precious, got sick in February. After several days in a small village clinic, his parents took him to one of the bigger hospitals in Malawi. I received a call from the doctor that said Precious was not going to make it. Precious went home to be with the Lord on March 13th. It was a very hard and emotional time for the family and for Bethany and me. Please pray for Precious’s family as they grieve.
We wrote in our last newsletter about the flooding. This has had a huge impact on all of Malawi. The rain came all at once and then stopped. We did not get enough rain this year and the rain we did get destroyed the crops. I am afraid to say it looks like Malawi will be having a famine this coming fall. Malawians’ staple food, maize (corn), that they eat everyday did not do well. Normally each family needs about 20 bags for the year. Our Bible Schools need about 120 bags each for the year. Last year the cost of a bag of maize in U.S. dollars was $6, this year it looks like it will be $20. This is going to be a huge mess not only for our Bible schools, but also for the country of Malawi. Please pray for us as we deal with this problem. When we return, we are hoping to do some irrigating from the lake so that we can have a second crop growing during the dry season to help with the shortage.
By the time you get this letter, Bethany and I will be in Florida getting ready for our summer team. We will be leading a team back to Malawi and staying after the team goes back to the US. We really need prayer as it will be a well drilling team. Last year we only helped a little with the drilling—we were not the ones running the drill. However, this year we will be the ones running it. Drilling a well is no small matter and it takes a lot of work. Please pray for things to go smoothly and that the drill will have no problems. This will also be our first team as a married couple. We are looking forward to our summer ministry!
After the teams leave, Bethany and I will stay in Malawi. We feel the Lord wants us to stay in Malawi for at least another year. Many people have asked us how long we will stay in Malawi and the true answer is we don’t know. We know the Lord has called us to stay with Teen Missions. We also know that we want to be where the need is. Right now it seems like the need is in Malawi. So until the needs change or the Lord makes it clear for us to move elsewhere, we will be staying in Malawi.
We are so thankful for your prayers and support. We could not be in Malawi without it! Thank you for sacrificing so we can stay on the field!
Serving Christ Together,
Josiah and Bethany
1. We are still hoping to get a four-wheel drive vehicle. Please pray for God to make it happen.
2. Even though I got malaria twice and Bethany got sick back in December, we have been pretty healthy. Please continue to pray for our health and safety.
3. Malawi is going into a possible famine. Please pray that our bases will be able to grow food for our ministry. Pray we can get the irrigation to work from the lake. Pray for the new set of crops we have planted. Pray that God would bless the fields and we will have a big harvest.
4. Pray for our summer team. Pray for team unity, for healthy team members and for safety while running the drill. Please pray for the drilling to go smoothly and for the well to get done.
5. Pray for all the traveling we will be doing in the base’s big truck, on airplanes, buses and other transport.