August 30, 2014
Since our last trip to Malawi in November/December 2013, when we spent our time training our team we have observed great progress in discipleship/Life Group multiplication. The Team is now making a number of visits to a village and staying for an extended time in the village. They use this time to follow a teaching schedule aimed at training the leaders and helping them catch the vision of multiplication and one-on-one disciple making. These extended visits also allow for individual visits with village people and that is a real blessing to these villagers and the Team members as well. Apparently this kind of visiting is not done in Malawi, but now that our Team is doing it everyone enjoys it and the Team hears stories of God’s faithfulness they would otherwise miss.
Travel is a major problem. Public transport is very dangerous at times.
As you can see from these photos, travelling is not a picnic and takes much valuable time for the Team since public transit is very infrequent and not very dependable. God has kept the Team safe, so far. And we praise God for this.
A few months ago funds were donated to buy one motorbike. This makes travel much more efficient and safe. Also transport between villages is easier so more can get done while the Team is teaching in the villages. Often the place where the teaching takes place and the lodging for the night are far apart (a 45 minute walk or so). Also visiting people in their homes is easier with the motorbike for the same reasons. But one 125 cc motorbike is not big enough to carry two men and their luggage…. We are praying for another motorbike. See more information under the heading “Travel in Northern Malawi”.
Let me tell you some stories the Team told us about Baula (they have been to many others, but we will talk about this one today:
The Team has been to Baula a number of times. Elly and I have been to Baula 4 and 3 times respectively. It is one of the first villages Elly started Life Groups in. She started 5 Life Groups in 2011. In 2012 we went back and taught some more as well as last year, 2013. The Team has begun training the leaders using the newly developed curriculum and have been back twice to do this targeted training. The new training is meeting with much appreciation and success. Andrew writes about two Life Groups that had leaders who are part of a polygamous family. As they were being taught and also read the New Testaments they felt strongly that they should not be leaders. So others became leaders and the groups are doing well.
Andrew writes this in his report about this situation: “We asked God to give us wisdom in approaching this situation. Instantly the Lord provided me with an insight that I should teach the whole Life Group on how to choose an apprentice from the manual. And I also quoted 1 Timothy 3:1-7. After I shared that to the Life Group, I had no idea about the impact which has been taking place in their lives. It was our concern and have been praying about it.”
“Now James Ngulube (the local DCI Trainer, ed.) said: ‘During our first visit Isobel Chirwa (….) asked for help from James. On what she can do upon knowing the truth (being part of polygamous family, ed.) she confessed that she is not worthy to be the leader of that Life Group.’ This was after we left the place. James made the arrangement to attend one of their Life Group meetings and address the issue. James addressed the issue amicably and anew leader is now chosen by the name of Raphael Hara.” (Isabel is continuing to attend theLife Group meetings).”
“Eunice, who was the leader of another Life Group in the Baula area had the same problem as Isobel and resigned from her position as well. Andrew reports that Eunice is now discipling Jano, a 17 year old girl from the Dynamic Basics. We praise God for these humble followers of Christ who read the Word and want to obey it, because they love the Lord.” She is still a strong member of the Life Group.
“The Team reports the testimony of Joana, “She testifies that her spiritual life has improved, because in a Life Group there is opportunity to study the Bible personally and also through the Bible studies one knows how to interpret the Bible. I have benefited a lot from these Life Studies and now am able to reach out with the Gospel. She said she first had no Bible to read, but now I’m able to read my own Bible. I thank the Gideons of Canada for assisting me/us here with these Bibles. I received my Bible during the first visit July 15-18, when the first trainings took place. At first I was unable to read and get the real meaning of the word, but now through theBible Studies in the Life Group I am able to grasp the real meaning of the Scripture. I am now praying for my children and husband to know Christ.”
James, the Baula trainer, tells us that they arrange for baptisms every four months at Kasito. This place is about 6-7 Km away and they walk there to baptize people because there is more water there in the river during the rainy season.
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