Elly just finished reading the book, “Jungle Pilot”, the story of Nate Saint’s life. He dedicated his life to God and His mission. He was killed as he pursued bringing the Good News to the Waodani people. They killed him and his fellow missionaries as they tried to connect with them. Those five missionaries died a long time ago seeking to bring the Good News to these people in their jungle home in Ecuador, South America. A very worthwhile read and a very challenging read as it relates to our work in Malawi.
Since the start of DCI Malawi, as it is today, in 2012, we have always felt that it is only the Good News that is able to change the lives of the people our DCI team is trying to reach. John Singinie, the team leader set the direction early. He had witnessed how missionaries work in Malawi and, since he was already very much involved in Gospel work, also saw the lasting impact which their approach had on his fellow Malawians. He also saw that the “extras” these missionaries brought to the people of Malawi diverted the message and made it less effective. The material goods brought to these villages became the focus, not the Gospel.
So we began focussing on building a stronger church by training pastors and leaders and promoting unity amongst believers. We have seen amazing things happen. Pastors from different denominations discipling each other, Life Groups functioning and made up of believers from different churches effectively reaching their communities. The body of Christ is one! This does not mean compromising the doctrines of the Bible; Christ is the foundation we build on, the God-man who came to save us from our sins.
To get back to “Jungle Pilot” and Nate Saint’s story, he confirmed our approach to reaching the lost. It is always encouraging to read someone else sharing the same approach to missions. Here it is:
“The Waodani do need their own source of medicines and additional medical training. They need help to learn to protect their “inalienable rights.” They need to learn leadership skills and how to defends themselves politically. But what they need most is a functioning, vibrant, and independent church, committed to meeting the medical, economic, and social needs of their own people as a means of showing them God’s love and His desire to provide for their eternal need as well.” (emphasis added)
Our goal is helping the church in Malawi to become healthy and vibrant through discipleship and leadership training. Then they will become Biblically motivated to take care of each other as a way of expressing God’s love to those around them. We have noticed when people come to faith in Christ they begin to live differently. Their money is directed toward the well-being of the family and others. Love begins to live where love was not. Harmony comes to the village as more begin to trust Christ.
One-on-one discipling goes deep. It builds God-honouring lives that are a blessing to the family and their community.
One thing is needed from us, here in the West: Bibles. Without the Word of God, true life cannot develop. Together we can make a difference!
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