HAPPY NEW YEAR! January 2020
Dear Friends of Malawi,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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