Elly and I are glad to report on the activities of the DCI Team in Malawi over the last year (May 2017 till May 2018). The Team receives very detailed reports from their leaders in the field and so we are able to give you a very detailed, astounding report on what is happening in the Malawi.
The Team travels every other week to train leaders and pastors somewhere in Malawi or Zambia. During the week when they are home they write reports, contact pastors and leaders by phone to encourage them and fill orders of Bibles and Discipling materials to send to the villages for free.
As they train leaders, the goal is that this training is passed on. Ephesians 4:11-14 tells us the real job of the pastor and leader in the Church, aside from preaching:
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
The pastors welcome this message and are relieved to know that they can share the work in their churches by training others to be leaders. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” The DCI Team does an excellent job helping these pastors do their job of training them to train others.
When the Team begins to disciple a group of pastors they always start with the Gospel message. Some of the leaders and pastors have not been saved yet, but when they hear the Good News, most are saved. We find the people in Malawi very responsive to the Gospel. They always tell us, “We know we were not living right, but we did not know how to change. You have come and told us the Good News and now our lives are changed.” They teach the leaders how to disciple their people one on one and how to pass it on to others.
The content of the trainings, which are spaced over about a half year and five sessions of 4 days each, is:
- How to disciple others, using the DCI Dynamic Basics and the Dynamic Discipling.
- Explain the process of salvation using the Wheel and Line diagrams developed by Grace Fellowship International.
- Explain the Spiritual Gifts God has given to the Church using the lessons as explained in the book written by the Fortunes, entitled “Discover your God-Given Gifts”.
- Explain principles of leadership as found in Nehemiah.
- Explain how to establish Life Groups that multiply using the Dynamic Churches International training manual.
Our goal is to have these trainings go deep and have them survive into the future, in other words, become part of the fabric of the churches the DCI Team is training.
Here are the results of this effort over the last year:
- Number of pastors and leaders trained: 243
- Churches impacted: 257
- Churches planted: 28
- Follow up trainings (outside the 5 trainings mentioned above): 88
- People trained by the leaders mentioned above: 1167
- Decisions for Christ: 9357
The astonishing part is that all this was done by our DCI Team of three men, faithfully doing the work God has given them to do. The Gideon/ShareWord New Testaments and Bibles are seeing amazing results for God’s Kingdom as people hear the message and receive salvation through our Lord Jesus.
All the leaders of Life Groups and pastors of churches receive whole Bibles and all the others receive a New Testament, as available. (We do run out – we’ve handed out 8194 this past year).
Supporters in Canada have made some Study Bibles available in English, which are given to most of the pastors who can read English.
We praise God for these results and thank Him for the DCI Team who travel over very difficult roads to reach their trainees, often taking a whole day to get there.
The work is spreading to Zambia and Central Malawi, which adds another level of difficulty in terms of finances and time.
Please pray for safety for the Team and the continued success of the Gospel.
Elly and I think the openness to the Good News is due to the lack of electricity, and therefore, no computers, no TVs and only very rudimentary cell phones. People live outdoors, so changes in life style are noticed immediately and causes neighbours to ask why this happened, opening the door to a Good News conversation and one on one discipleship. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”. (John 13:34). We believe this is a major key to what we see happening in Malawi as the Holy Spirit goes ahead and prepares hearts.
Due to the explosive nature of the spread of the Good News and the number of people being saved through the one on one discipleship and multiplying Life Groups we will need more Bibles in the local languages, Tumbuka and Chichewa. We are printing our own discipleship materials locally and we need huge numbers of those as well (we have just this week ordered 6000 more in the Tumbuka language).
God bless you,
Hans and Elly Timmermans, for the DCI Team in Malawi.