Side of Freys
Dear Family, Friends and Former Team Members,
Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been three years! That’s right; Bethany and I marked three years of being married. The Lord has taken us on a very different journey than most couples. At times we love that fact, and at other times it can be a difficult fact to face for us. Last year we traveled to Europe, the Arabian Gulf and, of course, Africa. Not many couples can say that. Every day we look out our back window and see the sun rising over Lake Malawi. We often call it our million dollar sunrise. We just want to say thank you to those who have joined us on this journey. People in Malawi are coming to know the Lord and being trained in His Word because of you and the power of our mighty Savior.
In our last newsletter, we were in South Africa. We traveled back to Malawi May 1st, where we then welcomed a new Intern to Malawi. Once we returned to the Teen Missions base, we hit the ground running. We had to travel to get ready/set up the projects for the US Teams that would be arriving in July. We then traveled to Mangochi, to our new and remote Bike Circuit in Katema, where we were also able to do some team set up and fellowship with our staff there.
Our summer was very busy and full of many adventures! On July 6th the first US Team arrived in Malawi. Bethany and I traveled with both teams throughout the summer. Bethany and I helped the lady leaders in the local market, helped the male leaders with their project while also being there to answer many questions about Malawi. It is always a blessing to see the teams excited to be in Malawi. The look on their faces is priceless when they see a truck piled high with people, goats, pigs and maybe even a cow; when they look and see the small mud huts on the side of the roads or when we have to stop to let a herd of cattle cross the road. The summer teams are always such an encouragement to us and also to our Malawi staff.
The new Bike Sunday School circuit in Katema started off with the enemy fighting hard. The circuit riders started to talk with the local village leaders asking them if they could have Sunday school in their villages. All the villages were excited about this, until their kids started to hear stories about Jesus Christ. After a couple of weeks the riders were being threatened in three villages. They did not like the idea that their children were learning about Christ. The Mosque leaders began telling rumors that the riders were vampires coming to suck their blood. Those three villages chased them out with rocks and knives. However, we knew this was where God wanted the new Circuit to be since there were hardly any Christians in the area.
The Summer Team then came to drill a well, so we took the team to the villages just to play with the kids and do sports. The team played with the village kids while our staff had long talks with the village elders and leaders. By the time the US Team left the village elders agreed to allow the riders to come back to teach about Christ. Please keep our riders in prayer as they reach out to these remote villages to bring the message of forgiveness and grace found in Jesus Christ.
Malawi Boot Camps:
We were also blessed this summer by running the three Malawi Boot Camps with over 470 leaders and team members! Summer school break can often be a very bad time for youth in Malawi. The boys get involved with witchcraft, drinking and Gule Wamkulu (traditional witchcraft dancing). Girls tend to be married off during the summer because the families can’t feed them. The Boot Camps offer a place where the youth of Malawi can come and learn more about the Lord and have a fruitful summer. The teams built new buildings at our bases, witnessed to thousands of fellow Malawians and got to pray for hundreds of people for rededication and encouragement. One of the villages said a team needs to come every year because people in that village had never heard the Gospel message proclaimed in that way before! We praise the Lord for what HE did this summer.
We had over 100 people apply for our Bible Schools after the summer, however we were only able to accept 81 students this year due to space. We were able to have all four schools meet together at our base in Chipoka for a week of orientation after the summer as well, for fellowship and maturity classes. It was amazing to have all the staff/teachers from Mangochi (our base in the South) and Rumphi (our base in the North) here at the same time. It gives Bethany and me great joy to see so many young Malawians willing to follow the call that God has put on their hearts. They are learning and growing in their walk with the Lord, and are the future of this country. We pray that while they are under our care, they will draw closer to the Lord and be a light in this dark world.
Truck Update and Vehicle Problems:
We want to thank everyone who has sent in support for the truck for Rumphi! We praise the Lord that we have reached the halfway point! Over $5,000 has been raised! Please continue to pray with us that we will reach our $10,000 goal by the end of this year!
Unfortunately the vehicle we purchased last year (after the Ford’s accident) has been giving us problems. The Malawi roads are very hard on vehicles and the Nissan was already older when we got it. We are hoping to get a new double cab 4-wheel drive truck for Chipoka. The problem is that here vehicles cost a huge amount of money due to tax and duty. A truck that would cost $8,000-$10,000 in the US will cost about $20,000 here! Please pray with us that God will open up a door for not only Rumphi to get a truck, but for us to be able to get one for here in Chipoka as well. We are thankful for God’s protection, because when we took the Nissan for servicing, the Nissan garage did not do a good job previously with the vehicle and, unbeknownst to us, the wheel almost came off as we were driving. We were able to get it safely into a reliable garage, however, and they are working on it now. Needless to say, the power of prayer is seen every day in our lives.
Due to the drought, the Malawi power plant (ESCOM) can’t produce enough electricity for the whole country. Every day we experience what we call “Load shedding”—it means ESCOM turns off our power for 8-12 hours a day. It has become a part of life here in Malawi. We are looking at a way to get solar backup, but that will take some time. So, in the meantime, Bethany and I have a lot of candlelight dinners.
Rain, Rain, Rain we NEED rain:
Malawi has become one big dust bowl. The drought is still going on and the rainy season is not scheduled until late November. Please pray that God will show favor on Malawi with a good rainy season. Pray that the rains will start early and end late, because too much rain at once here can easily lead to flooding. It is affecting the whole country. Wells are drying up, rivers are drying up and even Lake Malawi is dropping every day. Due to the drought the price of food has also doubled in the country. Many Malawi families are struggling and it is taking a toll on the rural villages. We are thankful, however, that our well has kept giving us clean water for drinking and bathing. Pray that the rain will start earlier and that we will get enough for the whole year.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (NIV)
Bethany and I are holding to the promise of this verse. While we might have a lot of difficulties in Malawi we know that our work is not in vain and your prayers and support are not in vain. Together as a team we are reaching people in Malawi with God’s Word! Thank you, again, for joining us on this journey! Thank you for standing in the gap and going before the Father for our health and safety. Thank you for your words of support and love. We know this world is not our home and that we ALL look forward to our real home in heaven.
Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)
14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Serving Christ together,
Josiah and Bethany Frey
1. Rain for Malawi
2. Solar back up for Chipoka
3. For a truck for Chipoka and for Rumphi
4. For our gardens to be fruitful
5. For Bethany and me to stay strong in the Lord
6. That we would grow in our marriage and grow closer to the Lord
7. For our staff and students to grow in their walk with the Lord