Greetings from the Phippen family in Malawi!
We would first like to thank you for your prayers, financial support and many other gifts that you have given us. In just a few months we will have been in Malawi for 1 year and the things that God has been doing in us and through us is amazing. We love being here and working with our Malawian brothers and sisters in the work that Christ has called us to, and we are so thankful for your willingness to partner with us.
The past few months we (Emily and I) have made it our goal to help the staff of the three ministries that we oversee to live a faithful Christian life in everything that we do. We have hosted many workshops and Bible studies for our staff to walk through together so that we can help each other to grow in our relationship with Christ and to be obedient to Him every day in every situation. During these times we have also grown closer to our staff and have gotten to know them and their families better.
Each week in Malawi our staff teach 69 Sunday schools, although they are not always on Sunday, in different villages throughout Malawi. These Sunday schools have an average of 25 kids and a handful of adults who come week after week. Through these Sunday schools we have seen many people repent of their sin and turn to Christ and many Christians have been strengthened through the weekly lessons and training that our staff give. These Sunday schools are an amazing way for us to be able to teach about Christ in predominantly Muslim villages. When the parents and chiefs of the villages hear that we are coming and not asking anything from the villagers, they are perplexed. In fact, just the opposite is true. We come to teach lessons from the Bible, plus we also teach classes on reading and writing and they treat basic medical issues. Because of this we have been welcomed into these villages warmly.
Although the majority of the villagers are excited about the Bible classes and other things that we are teaching there are still people who oppose the Word of God and what we are doing. Sometimes people come and try to disrupt the teaching. Sometimes villagers try to chase away our staff or even threaten harm to them. We would like to ask you to pray for the Sunday school ministry and that all our teaching staff would be safe and that God would continue to work through the teaching of His Word to turn people to himself.
In the beginning of July we are expecting a group of teenagers from Teen Missions in Florida. They will be here for about a month and they will be drilling a water well in one of the villages where we have just begun teaching Sunday school classes! There is a lot of work to be done as we prepare for this team, but we are very excited for them to come! It is always a blessing having teams here from the US, and we look forward to the work that they will get done, both physically and spiritually.
Thank you for your personal prayers for our family. We know that there are many dangers and different struggles, temptations, weaknesses and health issues that we face while living here in Malawi; but we know that many of you are praying for us and we believe that God is answering your prayers for us.The kids continue to love living here in Malawi. This is really their home now; they have friends here and they have grown to love the food! James is a great big brother and is very helpful. He loves to follow me around the property and do what I do. He even brings his toy laptop in my office and likes to sit at a desk and say he is working “Like daddy”! Lauren is fully out of the baby stage. She loves to chat, especially with the Bible school students and her friends. She loves watching the monkeys, and she is slowing down a little and likes to snuggle more.
Emily and I are excited to announce another way that God has blessed us. In November we are expecting the birth of baby number three! Emily has been feeling pretty good most days, which is a major blessing and answer to prayer. When she was pregnant with James and Lauren she was always really sick and nauseous. Please pray that she will continue to feel good and that the nausea will stay away! We are planning on coming back to Florida for the birth. Although we don’t know our exact schedule yet we are planning to have the birth in Florida and then travel to New York for Christmas before coming back to Malawi in early 2019. It looks like it may work best for Emily to travel back early and then I will follow a few weeks later so that I can get things organized and ready here before we are away for a few months.
We would love to get together with as many of you as we can while we are back in the States to hear more about what you have been doing and to share personally about Malawi. We will let you know what our schedule will be once we know, but some of it will also depend on when baby Phippen decides to come! Please pray that we would be able to purchase cheap tickets back to Florida.
Seth, Emily, James, & Lauren Phippen
If you would like to get in touch with us you can always email us at:
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Seth & Emily Phippen
Private Bag 3