John, George and Caleb went to a village high in the mountains about 200 Km from Mzuzu along Lake Malawi, inaccessible by car or motorbike. They were invited to go there with two older pastors, Rammed Chunkha and Shupa Msiska of the Church of God. The story we heard during our Zoom meeting with the team was amazing. The testimonies of changed life through the Gospel, high officials saved and now going door to door … Go to our website for the whole story.
We appreciate your continued interest in the work God is doing in this poor country.
We also rejoiced to hear the results of the elections in Malawi. The country has elected a man who is a professing Christian and who was the pastor of a Malawi Assemblies of God church for many years. Here is a link to his inauguration message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooq_4gOjYdg
Please read the full report below: Finding God at Work high in the Malawian Mountains. Also it is now possible to e-transfer money for Malawi to the DCI office: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Donate page. You can also mail a check to the DCI address. We thank you for your help in making this work possible. God will reward you!
Hans and Elly
Dynamic Churches International
164 Stonegate Close,
Airdrie, Alberta T4B 2V2 Canada
In this report I am re-telling a discussion and oral report our DCI Team gave during a Zoom call after they visited Kilala, a village high in the mountains along the Lake Malawi shore and Chikola, in the same area.
The Team met two elderly pastors in Chitimba and were invited to come along to visit the villages high in the mountains where they had been training leaders and where they had taught the one-on-one discipling. As they started up the mountain John, George and Caleb began running out of energy. The mountains in that area reach 3000 M, on average 1800 M above sea level. The climb was steep, and the path was strewn with rocks and narrow. The two pastors (I don’t know their names) kept on encouraging them to keep going when they begged to have a break. “Just a little further.” Was the word from them.
Pastor Rammed Mchunkha and pastor Shupa Msiska of Church Of God.
John tells us, “I was really blessed, when I met 3 old men, pastors, but especially the 2, that went to this mountain village to introduce the discipling work. These are old men…and how they managed to climb that steep mountain…it’s God’s miracle. They were climbing in front of us and I was trying to impress them because I am still young, but when we reached a certain place, and I said, “no, no, no, let’s rest”. To see a short video of the hard climb, click on the link: https://vimeo.com/436902842
John again, “I could not keep up. They said, “No, no, this is the smallest hill. Come it’s not far”. Every time we were “very close” until we finally reached the top. But I now understand why these men are climbing the mountain. The joy is at the top. They are doing it for the love of God. Because lives have been changed. I could hear on the mountains, “…. when I was not born again…. now I’m happy. I’m born again!” I’ve given my life to Christ. I’ve been changed.
When they finally reached the village of Kilala they discovered that the Gospel had never reached this place. It was too remote, and preachers and evangelists just hadn’t gone there. The churches in that area were traditional African churches, no Bible and no salvation, just the demonic, no Creator God and no Lord Jesus Christ.
John reports, “Where we went, I was blessed to find that all the churches were just traditional African churches (that don’t have the Bible). But when people speak to us, we are amazed to hear how people have come to know the Word of God. How they can quote scriptures.”
“One to one discipling is completely changing lives. They are enjoying this perhaps more than I do. It’s a new thing for them and their eyes are opened. They are so thirsty and so hungry to know more about the God of the Bible. They are planning to go to another mountain to share that Word. You see now, the mountain people are now trying to reach their fellow mountain people with the Good News. The preachers in the valleys don’t want to climb the mountains. “
“This was a genuine testimony. We could see and feel it. And I was like, WOW, God bless these old men. So that was the feeling I had. I am energetic, I’m still young, but I was struggling to get up those kind of mountains…. that is amazing! That blows my mind. And I know that these trainings we do may look like nothing is happening, but God is involved, and I’m telling you, we know only a LITTLE of how the word makes inroads and how far it travels through the one-on-one.
We only see a very little, but big things are happening. So, I was so encouraged because by the way they said it, I think more mountains will be conquered in those areas with the gospel. It’s a blessing. Just be encouraged – this work of God is going on!”
George gives his perspective, “We are really encouraged. The place, Kilala, on top of the mountains, has no road going to that place. No car can get there. But that place is so fertile. People can grow maize without applying fertilizer. But the problem is that when you grow maize and want to sell it, you have to take your bag on top of your head from the top of the mountain down to the road. It is a long distance. You cannot take much maize. You can only take a small packet because you take it on your head. So, even preachers don’t want to go there. They are not that devoted because it is too tiresome to climb the mountain. I really thank God, that by the grace of God, we went there. Of course, we were really tired. Our muscles are very sore. Our legs were shaking and shaking.”
John: “Something that caused me to cry, is what the pastor said on top of the mountain. He said, ‘I have been a preacher, I have been around. But I have never seen people in Life Groups changed as he is witnessing now through 1-1. 1-1 is really changing lives. I myself was so devoted to see crowds of people come and have big rallies. That was my big desire. But now, I don’t need it. This is what I need to be doing.’”
He carries on, “When I heard him say it and saw the work they are doing, I became convinced that these men are indeed serving God. They are not after anything else, but to save souls. And I saw the results in the people who were on the mountain. These pastors have been changed. They told me, “I’ve been a pastor for many years, but when I was taught 1-1, that’s when I knew what God has called me to do. And that’s why I will do it until I die.” And I, John, was hearing this on top of the mountain. God is changing people – not only those who have never known him, but even those who have been ministering. They have come to see a truly life changing system of reaching the lost.”
Another amazing story John told is about a Principal Chief. This is the most powerful local person, who is over all the village chiefs. John reports, “I tell you; you can’t reach a chief during an open evangelism rally…how will the chief say he needs to receive Christ during a rally like that? Chiefs don’t like that. But 1-1 brings even chiefs to their knees. And they turn to Jesus. We did not meet this chief, but we have heard much about him from other people telling us how he has changed. But how did it happen? 1-1. He was reached on a personal level and understood that he needed Christ. Once he received Christ into his life, he began loving the Bible. He also goes from place to place to share the gospel – from one house to another.
Here in Malawi, when you see a Principle Chief, women have to bow down, people have to give way. You don’t walk on the road with the Chief coming toward you. You have to step aside. This chief is going to a people’s houses, knocks on the door, and says, ‘I want to talk to you about Jesus’. This is life transforming. I, myself, (John), was so changed, touched and energized for the gospel by this story.
George: “It was on this mountain that I also really saw the impact of the work of DCI. We don’t know much, we know only a little, because the work was going on there; people are being saved; people are being discipled; people are being changed. But we did not know much about that mountain until we went there. The impact of the work – we may not know it all, but God knows it”.
Caleb: “Adding to what John has said, the leader of the group said, “Some time back there came an evangelist who preached in that village, but there were no results. Because, as evangelists do, he preached and then he went away. But with 1-1, we are empowering the local villagers. We go away, but we leave the message with them so they can continue doing the work and it is working”.
Elly: “How do you get Bibles and materials to these people? Discipleship is dependent on having discipleship material and New Testaments”.
George: “In that place there is a great need of Bibles because people do not have Bibles. It is difficult to go from this village to the main road. Bibles are sold in Mzuzu through the local Christian Book Store. This is difficult, they cannot make that trip, Mzuzu is about 250 KM away after they have climbed down the mountain. So there is a great need of Bibles and they really appreciated the New Testaments we make available. (through ShareWord Global). These 2 old men – the pastors who introduced the work there – carried Bibles on their head to that village. I don’t know if you saw the photos of these old men, these pastors, they are really old. It was so encouraging to see them at their age, doing the work that they do – going up the mountain, carrying Bibles on their heads so that these villagers can also benefit from these Bibles and help them with 1-1 discipling and learning more about the plan of salvation”.
John: “We send the Bibles to the coach of that area, and the coach shares these Bibles with the pastors and these pastors take the Bibles up the mountain. And, oh boy, it was just mind blowing! This encounter, this trip, for me was life changing”.
Kilala has birthed another group that is …3 hours climbing (that is a 6 hours total going and coming back). That’s 3 hours climbing from Kilala. These are very remote areas where the gospel has not gone before.
In the mean time we went from Kilala to Chikola, to visit another Life Group.
This trip has been a blessing… meeting new believers face to face. This village had always had some troublesome people. Now that they have become believers, they tried to testify, but their fellow believers would not give them a chance…they spoke for them. I remember one boy who stood up and, “This man – he fights! Everywhere this man went, there was a fight. He was known in the whole village for being a fighter. He was so violent. If anyone said something he didn’t like – he would fight. He was that kind of person.” And then we heard that this person is going house to house now preaching the gospel.
More lives have been changed. I tell you, if people hear him speak, if this guy can be changed through believing in Jesus, who will be exempted? So, his story has become one of the greatest testimonies in that area. The gospel of Jesus changes lives.
Another man testified, “I used to be a drunkard”. And everybody nodded their heads, agreeing with what he said. He said, “I could spend 15,000 – 20,000 MK just in one day. What I did was go catch fish and then drink. If the wife said, there is no food, she is in trouble.” But now he loves his family and provides for them.
Caleb: “I was reminded of what Paul said, ‘When I look at you (He was speaking of the people he was ministering to), you are my joy. That is why I am always going on with the gospel, because when I look at the results, I see you and you are my joy’. So, when we reached the mountain, and went to Chikola, I was reminded of the same thing, seeing how joyful the gospel was in that place. That’s what caused Paul to stay 3 ½ years at one place because of the gospel. I was very much encouraged, God is good in saving people everywhere, even in the mountains of Malawi.
While we are still restricted by the Covid 19 pandemic, the Malawians at large have decided to just ignore the restrictions and get on with life. Knowing the situation there, I understand the impossibility of social distancing, hand washing and all the other Covid related do’s and don’ts.
Also political campaigning is happened in light of new elections slated for June 23, 2020. These elections are held to right the wrongs of last year’s elections, when the results were rigged in favour of the then-ruling party. This was overturned a few months ago by a judge and new elections were ordered. Since the last elections, months of demonstrations, even deadly ones ensued. For a while it was dangerous to travel, as we reported in a previous letter. But now peace seems to have returned to the Warm Heart of Africa, as Malawi bills itself.
We have recently received this year’s supply of Bibles from the Gideons/ ShareWord International. The DCI Team is very thankful for this provision. Only heaven will tell how many lives will be saved and changed for God’s glory through these Bibles. We were also informed by the Gideons that this will be the last time they will make Bibles available for Malawi, for now. Apparently giving is down and the budget needs to be adjusted accordingly. As already mentioned, we are thankful for the partnership we have enjoyed these past number of years.
And talking about giving, we are so thankful for you, our partners in this discipling venture in Malawi. God is doing amazing things and saving a people for Himself in Malawi. Elly and I trust that together we will able to keep up the supply of Bibles for all the people who want to be discipled and are sharing their faith with others.
We are co-workers together with God. Be encouraged as you read Caleb’s report below.
Caleb’s Report of the first June trip to the Chitimba area
It was interesting going to the mountains for followup to the Kalora-2 Life Group in Chitimba area in Karonga District after the Covid 19 break. We were also challenged to see how far these three old men, Mr. Ngwira (the coach) and his two friends took the Gospel to these remote and hard to reach villages in the mountains.
33 people attended the follow-up meeting at Kalora. George shared an encouragement from Colossians 2:6-7, that as they have received Jesus Christ so they should walk in Christ Jesus.
TESTIMONY of Mark Mwowo
He is the leader of Kalora-2 Life Group. He testified how God’s word through the Life Group has changed his area. He said many ministers of the gospel neglect this area because it’s beyond the mountains and very hard to reach. The few crusades that came to this area, were not successful as no one-to-one discipleship or follow up took place. The area is now experiencing revival of God’s Word because of one-to-one discipling. Mark is also very thankful to DCI and partners for changing his village with the Gospel and giving them New Testament Bibles and a DB books so that each one is now able to read for himself the word of GOD. They did not have Bibles and so did not know the Word of God.
After this we visited Thekelo Life Group. 29 people attended the meeting. I encouraged the people with the word of God from Revelation 3:5 where Jesus says, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” And after receiving this encouragement, we listened to praise reports.
TESTIMONY of Wisdom Gondwe
He had been living a life of drinking too much beer and smoking, so that he couldn’t support his family. He used to spend MK15,000 to MK 20,000 for beer in a day. He always fought with his wife over the lack of food and family necessities. But God has changed his life through one-to-one discipleship and now he is one of the faithful participants at Thekero Life Group and a follower of Christ Jesus. He is no longer drinking or smoking. He now also shares the gospel with other people using the DCI materials he was given. He is also increasing in knowledge of God’s Word.
Since this was our first field experience since we the Covid 19 outbreak, we had lots of expectations. But interesting enough, people responded positively, and our programs have been successful with no Covid 19 challenge. And the issue of blood suckers is now history of the past. We experienced no threat as regarding to blood suckers.
The Covid 19 pandemic has also affected Malawi. For a few months all travel stopped. Especially after a group of people threatened to kill the DCI Team in Jenda. They were looking for strangers that were supposed to be satanists and since John and George and Caleb were not known in that area, they found themselves in grave danger all of a sudden and had to flee for their lives. We heard similar stories from Karonga, in the very north of Malawi.
Pastor Oswell Kaira, the DCI coach in that area wrote:
On the issue of Covid-19 Malawi has registered eight confirmed cases of the virus with one death, so far God has spared the North though not over, but we have already started experiencing the negative impact of the virus. We have already started following the precaution measures to avoid catching the virus of which some measures are very difficult to be followed like shutting down because many people are living a life of hand to mouth. We really need to pray for God’s intervention other wise it will be a disaster if the disease will continue spreading. Economically we have already started facing some challenges which seems will make some of our plans not fulfilled.
“The just shall live by faith, His grace is sufficient” has become a song of the day for the believers here. We are standing on the promises of God.
Last month I was in Chitipa and Wiliro meeting with Life group leaders to encourage and supply them with materials, next week I was supposed to train leaders at Kayerekera and establish life groups but due to Covid 19 and blood sucking rumours will not be able until things get to normal.
We pray God to stop the spread of the virus and comfort those who have lost their relatives. We pray for his will to be done for God’s will is always good for us all.
Lastly, I once again thank you for writing and encouraging us God bless you! May the peace of God cover you and Elly as the world mourns.
Are there any of our DCI members affected or infected by the virus? I was praying God to keep you safe from the virus.
Take care of yourself, observe the precaution measures set to avoid catching the virus.
Greet every one
But during thistle of no travelling Caleb visited with some pastors he knew in Mzuzu and began to teach them the discipling process. Here are some of his stories:
Today I went to Light of Nations Church ( LNC ) at Chisala. I was invited by Alick. He is a member of New Apostolic Church ( NAC ). After I discipled him through the first lesson of the DB, he was so excited and shared with the leader of LNC. This leader is Mr. Chunda. When he heard about the DCI discipleship lessons, he organized some members of his church and invited me to teach them. So today I did lesson one with them.These church members are so interested to learn all the DB lessons, so we have agreed to continue with them someday. (20-05-20)
About a later visit Caleb writes:
Today I continued with lesson 2 of the DB with the Light of Nations church at Chisala and the man second from left is Alick Chirambo the only one from the New Apostolic Church. The people say that they are very gratefull for the lessons, because the DB lessons make them grow spiritually as they live their Christian life and make them assured of their salvation. They are very interested to learn more and we have agreed to meet next Tuesday again. Pray for these people for God to use them to disciple more people in their community. We enjoyed lunch which they contributed and I also contributed for the food MK 10,000 Thanks (20-06-03) (Caleb)
John, George and Caleb have been busy at the office as well, painting the metal roof and sealing the stones of the fence. The Team has also been busy designing a teaching paper on Giving to take to the villages. We have been wanting them for a long time that help from Canada can stop any time and to think of ways to continue the work should that happen. A few weeks a go we finally had a Zoom meeting with the Gideon/ShareWord people and they told us that, beginning next year they would not supply us with Bibles any longer. So the Malawians the DCI Team have discipled need to begin looking for a way to continue discipling others and buy the Bibles for their new disciples. This will be a new experience for them since giving is not generally part of the DNA of the Malawians. They are also very poor in the villages. But putting aside just a little money will make it possible to buy a Bible for a neighbour who needs one as he or she is discipled.
George has been meeting with a group headed by Pastor Daniel Mtambo, also in the Mzuzu area. You can see him on the left in the photo. Beside him is his wife and the people being trained. George is the second from the right.
In the middle of June the new and last supply of Bibles came from the Malawian Bible Society, paid for by the Canadian Gideons/ShareWord. We are so thankful for the Bibles given to the DCI Team over the years. Tens of thousands have been used to disciple God-hungry Malawians and bring them to faith in Christ. Heaven will let us see the impact of the work! that will be so exciting to meet the ones touched by the love of Christ.
Much has happened since our last newsletter. COVID19 is dictating much of what we do and where we go. The same is true in Malawi. However, John, George and Caleb continue to find creative ways to continue the work of discipling and training leaders.
This letter is primarily about the changes that have taken place to us, Hans and Elly, right here in Canada.
We have moved into our renovated home in Sarnia this Victoria long weekend.
Our new address is:
351 Elsfield Crescent
Sarnia, ON N7S 1C4
Our phones and email all stay the same. Due to COVID19 we have not sold our home in St. Marys but have been successful in finding tenants for the interim. We will try to sell it again once the real estate market settles down.
Our door at 351 Elsfield Cres is open to any who want to drop in for a visit. We are not much farther away. Sarnia is a lovely city, with lots of parks and walking trails (when they get re-opened) and, of course, we are close to the US border. Please feel free to stop in any time.
Much of our ‘new’ home has been renovated now. The main floor is almost completed. One patio door left to install and the fireplace mantel/bookshelves to be completed. That leaves the basement (which is partially finished) for next winter, and the outdoors to be tackled this summer. We certainly won’t have time to be bored.
We have regular zoom meetings with our team in Malawi, for which we are thankful. Even before COVID, zoom was one of the best things that happened to us. We share ideas together, encourage one another and hear how the work is progressing – all as if we were sitting across the table from them.
The political scene in Malawi has been tense for some time now; but we have heard good news and look forward to elections in July and, hopefully, a government that has more interest in the people than the current one. The good thing is that in the midst of all this – COVID and politics – God is still in control and we look to Him to supply all the needs – including strength to carry on, courage to face the difficulties, and wisdom to find creative ways to continue the work of following up all those who have been trained.
Thank you to all who responded so quickly to the urgent need we had to help our team in Malawi. The goal was met and our Team has been helped. Thank you for your love and concern for those fellow followers of Christ.
Today we are writing you to let you know about the great unrest dominating the people in Malawi. Elly spoke with John Singinie (the leader of the DCI team) at length this morning. The following are some of the stories he told her. The present unrest ultimately came about because of rigged national elections last summer. The courts have ruled against the president who illegitimately was sworn in and is trying to hang onto power by force. The High Court has ordered new elections within 150 days. The president is resisting and has appealed to the Supreme Court which said that the High Court ruling stands.
In the Nyaga News, a local paper in Malawi, the vice-president cautioned the army not to obey the president’s orders to shoot to kill demonstrators. But people are dying, mob rule has taken away power from the police. Police stations are being burnt by the angry mobs. The army is attempting to keep the order, but they are not trained to do this. However, they let the people know in no uncertain terms that when an order is given it needs to be obeyed. For example, John reported that one person who wanted to obstruct the progress of an army truck was run over. People are getting the point. When the army shows up the demonstrations stop, and the people disperse.
The DCI Team, John, George and Caleb, arrived in Jenda yesterday to meet with some Life Groups and supply the coaches with the needed New Testaments and Discipling materials, as well as encourage everyone in the work of God. They had settled in a lodge (here we would call it a motel) when word came that a crowd was looking for strangers. These strangers were supposed to be Satanists. Any strangers they could find were killed by stoning or pouring gasoline on them and burning them. The Team, being “strangers”, had to leave immediately and left their personal belongings behind; John left his extra clothes and Caleb his shoes; they ran. In the car they chose to take the back roads, because the M1, the main highway, was blocked by these angry mobs.
As they fled, they saw members of the Good Hope team and warned them to also flee Jenda, so they fled the area together. They arrived home safely late at night.
From an audio clip from George (on the DCI Team in Malawi): “So far they’ve burnt one lodge . . . spread gasoline in the homes of people so that when they collapse they can suck their blood . . . they are attacking people, so we are running away.”
From John & others on the team: (John): “going back home . . . (people are) attacking those who are driving . . . taking a back road . . . left his whole bag . . . Caleb has left his shoes, left a number of things in their rooms . . . (George): “Just pray for us as we are travelling back to Mzuzu. We believe God is with us and we need your prayers. . . . (?): “They’ve also destroyed a police station in Jenda.”
For the people of Malawi to have patience as the courts try to enforce the law and remove the illegitimate president.
For a peaceful solution to the problems caused by these rigged elections. New elections are postponed because of COVID19.
For the army, wisdom and restraint as they try to maintain peace.
For the DCI Team as they seek to serve God and spread the Good News by training and encouraging Christ-followers.
For safety on the road.
For wisdom where to go and when to leave.
For the many disciples of Christ, new believers, to live out their new-found faith in the face of this unrest.
For many to come to faith in Christ as they see all this unrest around them.
We were so blessed and encouraged with the testimonies and report we heard at Sangilo in Karonga District. We first trained pastors and leaders from different denominations at Tilora: African International Church, Baptist Church, Assemblies of God Church, Christian Love Church and Holy Word Church. These people came from different villages and when they went back to their various homes they introduced the one to one discipling there.
Mwayi Nyirenda is one of those leaders. After being trained Mwayi went to Sangilo and established the work there through one to one dicipling and started the Life Group, which has also reproduced. God has been saving people through one to one dicipling and changing many lives. When they are saved and discipled they discover who they are in Christ and their life changes. People who are dicipled receive a free ShareWord New Testament and the Dynamic Basics Booklet. Then they in turn diciple other people and give them a ShareWord New Testament and a Dynamic Basics Booklet in turn. They are so thankful for these materials because they allow them to read and study the Word of God for themselves, grow in their faith and disciple others.
Here are two testimonies:
DEVI MKANDAWIRE (Above photo):
Devi Mkandawire comes from Mtowera Nyifwa Village, Traditional Wansambo Authority in Karonga District. He is the leader of an African International Church. He told us that he has been the leader of this church for a number of years even though he was not saved and did not know the truth of the Word of God. He was a blind leader leading the blind.
He said that he discovered the truth about God through the one to one discipling. It changed his life. He also said that through the Life Group bible studies, the ShareWord bibles and the DCI teaching and discipleship materials, he has learnt how to teach the truth of the Word of God in his church .
PRISCILA MKWANDAWIRE (photo on the right): Priscila Mkandawire is about 14 years old and lives in Deleza Chiwembu Village. Despite her age, she is one of the devoted people in her Life Group. She told us that most people in her village were very troubled. They were drunkards, womanizers, wizards and witches. When Mwayi introduced the DCI work, almost the whole village was saved and a Life Group was started. Peoples lives have been changed through the studies in the Life Group. They now love one another and through the Life Group, people of different churches meet and discuss the Word of God together. They freely talk about their New Life in Christ.
DCI Malawi is doing well! Thanks for your prayers and support. January and much of February were taken up with taking care of the office in Mzuzu. A brick fence needed to be built around the property to make it more secure. Demonstrations made it often unsafe to be on the roads. The last elections were contested by the Malawian population and they expressed their displeasure by demonstrating, often accompanied by violence again properties and cars. Glory, George’s wife had to flee with her new baby boy Timothy a day after he was born a few months ago. The unrest lasted many weeks.
Then the teachers went on strike, because they had not been paid for a long time. The children of school age went on a rampage this time.
Now the rains have come and the roads are washed out in many places. I will include a few videos of the road by the office https://vimeo.com/394701006 and one of the M1 https://vimeo.com/394701012 , the main highway going North to South the length of Malawi and the main corridor for bringing goods into the country.
All this unrest has caused supply chains to be interrupted and made it hard to impossible for people in the villages to do business, resulting in a lack of food. This has also made it hard for the DCI Team to visit some villages, they just were not able to have them due to lack of food.
Below are the reports from Caleb and John of their trip to Tilola and other places in the North of Malawi. Enjoy the read and God bless you,
Hans and Elly for the DCI Team
Caleb’s Saturday Discipleship Report
Today, Saturday, I went to visit pastor Sunday of the Full Gospel Church at Geshah near Mzuzu . We had a wonderful time. The pastor invited his church members to attend and the programme was done at this church. I introduced the one to one Dynamic Basics to them. I divided them in groups of two so they could practice the one to one discipling. They were very interested to learn the lessons. We have agreed that we should meet again next of next Saturday morning. There were 11 people, including myself. Those are their pictures, their church and their new church project.
I write to report on the trip we had to Tilola from 17 to 22 Feb. 2020.
My first field experience was wonderful. I enjoyed fellowship with pastors and leaders of six different churches namely; African International Church, African Church, Baptist Church, Assemblies of God, and Christian Love and Holy Word. These pastors also lead different Life Groups in their villages.
It was so encouraging to see pastors and leaders coming from short and far distances to learn more about discipleship. They participated by asking questions and making comments on the teaching of the LEADERSHIP BASICS and A NEW ONENESS IN RELATIONSHIP. They showed much interest in the Word of GOD and reaching out to others in their villages.
Wisdom Ngwira, one of the pastors, reported that after he had been taught how to disciple using the one to one discipleship by the D.C.I Team, he went to his village and taught two other people, Version Kondowe and Symon Mhango. These two people are now also working hard in the kingdom of GOD. They went and taught others too. Version has 1 life group and Symon has 3 life groups. Now there are 52 people in 4 life groups.
Another story tells of Masida Msiska, from Sangilo Village. This man was a drunkard and caused trouble in this village. Now, after Mr. Nyirenda had discipled him one to one through the Dynamic Basics, he received JESUS CHRIST. His life changed, he stopped his drinking and also stopped being a trouble maker in the village. He says he will now start going to the Life Group in his village.
I was happy and greatly encouraged to see how the discipleship work is growing. We heard many more other testimonies at Tilola. I thank GOD for the trip we had. Thanks,
Caleb Chirambo, DCI Team member.
John’s Report on the trip to Tilola
Here is the field report for Tilola, we left Mzuzu for Tilola on a Monday morning. We had a safe trip despite road challenges, the M1 road to Karonga has been badly damaged by running waters. We have more rains this season than normally expected. Most mountains in the North are filled with water and hence releasing a lot of water in the rivers. It was very dangerous driving through the M1 road to Karonga. See the picture of one of the places that the road has been damaged (that is at Chitimba area).
More houses have been destroyed by rains at Tilola and other areas in Karonga people are left helpless just living in camps. This also had a negative impact on us for we could not visit some third generations leaders and Life Groups because a number of places were flooded with water.
We had good time during the trainings. This was our fifth visit to Tilola (and last training session) and we had 9 leaders attending. First we introduced Caleb to the group and they welcomed him very well. Caleb was asked to teach the lesson on LEADERSHIP BASICS and NEW ONENESS IN RELATIONSHIP and he did very well. He taught with confidence, which was so encouraging to the audience. People were able to participate and ask a number of questions, which Caleb was able to answered well. Caleb enjoyed the interaction with these leaders during the lunch breaks. This trip he also gave him a good impression of what life on the field is like.
The work at Tilola is growing well and fast, the leaders we have trained have trained a number of generational leaders. Many life groups have been started all over Tilola and surrounding area. When we first came to Tilola a lot of villagers said we were of the devil after one person received a New Testament bibles and the same night his house got on fire. People concluded that it was because of the bible he received. And it is in the same village that the gospel is spreading like wildfire and many people have benefited from the free ShareWord bibles the DCI team is giving them.
After completing at Tilola, we took to visit Sangilo where we met with the third generation. We were so encouraged with what we found people doing.Lots of people have been reached with the gospel and have been given ShareWord New Testament bibles which they are using for discipling others. The Sangilo area has 3 Life Groups and they are planning to start another Life Group.At Sangilo most of the young people are involved in discipleship. We met a young girl who is very involved in discipling and she shared an amazing story of how a whole village was transformed by the gospel. We also met Kondwani Nkhonjere who is a preacher at the African Church. Kondwani was appointed as the preacher while he didn’t have any biblical knowledge and was not saved. He didn’t even have a personal bible as a preacher. But after he was reached with the gospel he got saved and received a free bible. Kondwani’s life has completely been transformed and now he is a gospel preacher. He is going around his village preaching the good news, and is also the Life Group leader.
We struggled driving through Sangilo Village, the road was in a very bad shape. In some places we had to first fill some of the pot holes in order for the car to pass. On our way back the car got stuck and we had to push it out of the sinking ground.
We planned to visit another place called Jiti where we wanted to meet with the third generation disciples. We have heard a lot about this place and what God is doing. But unfortunately there were 3 funerals around the area and the meeting was cancelled.
As we mentioned, CalebChilambo has joined our DCI Team this month. Here are his first impressions and activities as a DCI Team member. Share in some of his excitement:
I write to report on how I experienced the first half of January 2020 as the new DCI Team member.
There are a number of things that have happened during this time. One of them is that Mary, my wife, and I have been introduced to the DCI family of John and Maureen and George and Glory on January 1 2020. We enjoyed fellowship, love and smiles together. Then we had orientation week at the office, in which George helped me repair the motorbike, open a bank account and buy time for my phone. John also helped me set up my email address and introduced me to some office work, like counting and packing books to get ready for a field trip on February 3, 2020.
I also enjoyed sharing Bible verses at the Zoom meeting with Hans and Elly. We worked on a schedule for our follow-up work from February 3 till July 20.
I also connected with pastor Sunday of Full Gospel Church. He lives in Mzuzu in the Geshah area and he is a long-time friend of mine. So I explained to him about the discipleship training that DCI is doing. He was so excited about it and now he wants to be trained in the Dynamic Basics. He even said he will invite other pastors to be trained together so that they can learn on how to disciple their church members and other people. I told John and George about it and we are making plans to train them some day in the near future. On Tuesday 14 of January he called me on the phone and I confirmed to him that we will train them some day after we have set the dates.
I also had an opportunity to talk to James. He just finished his secondary school last year and is preparing to go to university this year. We attend the same church. He received Jesus more than 5 years ago but had not been discipled. So since I teach a Bible Study at the church, he came to me one day and asked a question. His question was, “How can I know my sins are forgiven?” I took him to my house on the motorbike and explained to him, that based on Colossians 2:13-14, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”. (NKJV) This is also explained in the Basics. He seemed satisfied with the explanation and we prayed together. At the end I asked him if we can go through the Basics together. He agreed and so we met again at my house on 14 January when we studied the first lesson. We will be meeting again tomorrow, on January 18 to continue going through lesson two.
I have also enjoyed the discussions we have been having at the office with John and George. I also enjoyed the quiet moments of reading books. I have started reading a book about doing the will of God and also a book on Systematic Theology about the end time events.
It has been three months since we got married on October 5, 2019 and Mary and I are enjoying it.
I don’t know about you, but we are excited to read of his interest in getting started in training leaders and discipling young believers. Please pray with us that he will continue on this path and contribute to the work of the DCI Team.
Thanks for your partnership – in encouragement, prayer and in financial giving. God bless you.
Welcome to 2020! Where has the time gone? I remember very well the excitement we were all facing when we were about to enter the year 2000. And now here we are – 20 years later. Another decade faces us. What will God do this year? It’s not for us to be too concerned about that, apart from walking in obedience to God’s will – seeking His wisdom and direction for every step of our journey. Our prayer is always that His will be done – in our personal lives as well as the work in Malawi and each of the members of our Team there.
Speaking of Team – we are very happy to introduce to you our new team member, Caleb Chilambo. We have known Caleb for 8 years now and have admired his dedication to God, his godly lifestyle and his desire to humbly serve Him. Caleb married his wife, Mary, this past October 5. They live in Mzuzu (our home base, where John and George live also). He attends the same church as John and George. It’s also the same church that we attend when we are there. He is a gifted teacher and evangelist. We have heard him teach a few times. He is known to stand on the street corner in Mzuzu with his keyboard and bring music and the gospel to people there. Caleb is a gifted musician as well. We look forward to what he is going to bring to the Team and seeing how God will use him for the continuance of His work of discipling one-on-one and leadership training in Malawi. He has served as an interpreter for us in situations where we needed one. Since Andrew went on to do other things over a year ago now, John and George have been working hard and trying to keep everything going with the 2 of them – sometimes putting in many long days and working on their days off. Some of the reports that we used to get regularly have been put on the “back burner” due to lack of time. However, the work continues to grow. The number of coaches that have been trained keeps going up and each one is fervently reaching out to neighbours and friends with one-on-one discipleship. Churches are growing and multiplying.
We are not planning a trip to Malawi yet this year. We enjoy many regular team meetings via “zoom”. It’s almost like sitting across the table from each other. Hans always says, the only thing is that we can’t offer them is a cup of coffee. Together we discuss issues that come up, brainstorm ideas, as well pray and have Bible studies this way. Often the internet is a source of anguish for me, but “zoom” certainly is a blessing.
One of the things that we discussed and worked on together via zoom is the budget for 2020. As mentioned in a previous newsletter, we anticipated the budget to increase by 20%; however we have found that the increase is actually 37%. Not only have we added another member to the team, which is the bulk of the increase, but we have seen prices increase for just about everything. The budget does not include items such as printing more discipleship material or purchasing more New Testaments. We praise God for the partnership of the Gideons (ShareWord Global) who are again supporting us with 11,500 New Testaments this year as well as 500 Bibles. The other thing we have noticed is that the Nissan which is now 12 years old is experiencing some higher need for repair. We need to start thinking about how we can replace it with a newer vehicle, and keep up the payments for repairs in the meantime. These are just a few of the struggles we face. Without your partnership this work is impossible to do. I know that you already know, but you are a vital part of the discipleship and leadership training that happens in Malawi and we praise God for you – your prayers, your encouragements and your financial help.
This was just a little update. We will send more stories from the field in our next newsletter. In the meantime, can I invite you to click here to donate through Canada Helps? Or, if you prefer, and to make it easier, I can send you a form to initiate Pre-Authorized Debits for monthly donations, or to increase your monthly donation to help offset the increase in our budget. Unfortunately, the PAD is not done on-line, but a quick email to us will get that going. Email us at email@example.com.
We value each of you and hope that this year will bring you many blessings.
Thank you for your prayers for John, George and Caleb in Malawi and Hans and I as we serve from our computers in Canada.
Hans and Elly Timmermans