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! Will you help?
We left for Nkhotakota Sunday after the church service. We left Mzuzu around 2 pm and got to Nkhotakota 7 pm. The lake shore road is very bad now, the road is getting too narrow with lots of potholes. Of course there’s good news that in the near future the government will rebuild the road, the funds are already available. They are planning to cover a distance of about 160 kilometres, this will ease up our travelling to and from Nkhotakota.
This time we started with S…., the first day we had a full day training with the first generation of leaders. We taught the Explosive Growth. We heard lots of testimonies of how God is changing lives through the one to one approach, especially in areas where there are radical Muslims. We even had a chance to meet people like Morris Kamanga, who was a radical Muslim but now he is a committed Christian. Morris was discipled after accepting Christ and trained through the leadership course (Using the Leaders Manual). Morris professed his faith in Christ openly without fear. His wife came to faith also and then his in-laws followed suit and people surrounding him. This group started a Life Group which grew into a church in the midst of radical Muslims. God is using Morris and his wife to bring more Muslims to Christ.
We had good time chatting with the leaders, hearing them talk about the different challenges they are facing in this area. One of the challenges was distance, for example, we discovered that some Life Groups are 50+ kilometres away from S….. We had the opportunity to see these Life Groups first hand. We saw for ourselves that the distance is just too much. Some of the Life Groups we visited were:
1). ……. To get to M…… we went through some mountains, and on our way, we saw a fox. This was the first time we ever saw one. The fox is a very beautiful animal with a large tail. We tried to take some photos, but we failed. From when we saw the fox the discussion as we travelled changed. We started talking about the Bible stories where the fox was mentioned. We were able to connect the dots after seeing it life in God’s beautiful creation.
We were welcomed by cheerful believers at M……. who were very happy to meet with us for the first time. We sang together and then introductions followed. When we mentioned that we came all the way from Mzuzu to see and meet with them, they were moved and touched with the love of God. Some said they had never been to Mzuzu but had heard that there is a city called Mzuzu. As part of our teaching, we asked them to demonstrate how they conduct their Life Groups. They did well except for a few areas, we took the time re-teach those areas and then George did the Explosive Growth teaching. After that we also had a group discussion on how one receives Christ, which was an awesome experience. We heard how some understand this topic: a few would say one is born again when they get immersed in water during baptism, some would say it happens when you stop bad things and start going to church. We explained how one is saved to them and one guy, whose name is B……, said right away, “I need to accept Christ in my life” when he understood what it really means to be born again. We used the story of Jesus and Nicodemus on John 3:16, also Romans 10:9-10 and other scriptures.
The area where these people live is very mountainous and they live far apart, away from interaction with the larger world. The Life Groups bring them together. Before Life Groups were introduced people did not study the Word of God or meet as a group to do Bible study. Now people are spending much of their time doing one to one discipling and meeting in Life Groups.
2). C….. VILLAGE We also went to visit the Life Group leaders at C….. village where we found 6 Life Groups. We were amazed to find Life Groups in this area. We meet with 11 Life Group leaders and we had a great time hearing how they conduct their meetings and what God is doing among them. They practice all the five W’s: Welcome, Worship, Word, Win and Work. We heard lots of testimonies of people who have been transformed by the Gospel through the one to one discipling. This area has both Muslim and Christian communities. We saw a CCAP (Presbyterian) church, a Roman Catholic Church, as well as traditional churches. People didn’t know about Christ until John Mwafulirwa, the coach for S…., introduced the DCI Teachings in this area. We were told that hundreds of people have come to Christ and many Life Groups have been established. People can share their faith with others.
LINGA After we were done in Sani, we met with Leaders (Pastors) at L…. where Daniel Banda is the head Coach. At Linga we did the Explosive Growth teaching and also heard how the work is going. We were so encouraged to learn that the people we heard about last time we were there and had turned to Christ from the Muslim religion are still going strong and growing in their new faith. More Muslims are still turning to Christ. We heard of a few new families that have become believers and are worshiping at night (Since their lives are in danger from the Muslim community at present). They are meeting at night learning the Word of God. Some have received a New Testament Bible, but don’t dare take it to their homes in fear of their husbands or relatives. One woman, who has just accepted Christ through pastor Daniel Banda, loves her Bible but can’t take it home because her husband is a radical Muslim. She says if he discovers she has become a Christian, he may kill her. She comes from a village where everyone is a Muslim and they hate Christians. We were told that when the villagers discover that she has become a believer in Christ, they may slaughter you like an animal. But if she is lucky they may just throw her out of the village and make her an outcast. That means she will lose everything, her children, her marriage and her relatives.
In the Muslim religion people are taught right from the time they are young that once you decide to leave the Muslim religion and join a different one you’re automatically considered an outcast and a cursed person. For these reasons we have begun to understand why, when one accepts Christ and becomes a Christian in N……., you do not come right away out publicly to let others know this. They still fear that they will be cursed by their leaders and become outcasts. So they go undercover as Christians, still dress as Muslims, still pray as Muslims in public and continue attending the mosque. But after they have been trained and matured a little in their new faith, they are no longer afraid of being an outcast. That is why we need to keep praying for our brothers and sisters in N…….. who have just become believers in Christ, that God should preserve them. It’s not easy to be a Christian amid a Muslim community. We are learning a lot through chatting with these believers each time we visit there. The good news is that the number of converts and disciples of Christ is increasing rapidly. Pastors testify that the New Testament Bibles we give them are a game changer in these Muslim strongholds. They told us that we are winning the battle, for many people are secret disciples. They told us, “One day the Imams and Muslims will wake up and discover that all the people they thought were Muslims are in reality Christians”.
We were exceedingly blessed during this trip and it is too bad that not all the things we heard and saw there can be expressed in words.
This is the 2014 Toyota Hilux Raider. It finally arrived in Mzuzu and is now fully certified and ready for ministry! It has only 104,000 KM on the odometer and has a standard transmission with a Diesel engine to move it. Thanks for your help in making this truck a reality. The cost was just over $45,000.00 and it came from South Africa.
George Chipeta reports:
I am delighted to report that we had a successful mission to Chitimba and other places in that area that we visited. We spent the first three days with pastors at Chitimba discussing and learning about OFFERING TO GOD. This was another exciting time where pastors participated and discovered the truth about this teaching on giving. After the teaching pastors said that this teaching was an eye opener to them and has helped them to change their mind about what the Bible teaches about giving. This in turn will also help them teach the truth about Offering to God. They will teach the leaders they have trained as well as people in the churches.
After having such a good time and interaction with pastors at Chitimba, we spend two days visiting some Life Groups which have been established by these pastors, nearby and farther from Chitimba. We discovered that many Life Groups have been established by these pastors, we didn’t have time to visit all of them. Pastor Lameck Mchunkha Kondowe and Shupa Msiska did not come, Lamech is still sick and he needs our prayers, while pastor Shupa just lost his sister.
We visited the Chilawila Life Group and the Chombe Life Group.
At Chilawila Life Group we learnt that many people are being saved and do participate in the Life Group meetings. We were also delighted to hear them mentioning all the 5 (W)s of the Life Group. This was an indication to us that they know what to do when they meet as a Life Group. They were also thankful for the DCI teachings and materials which helped them to know the truth and grow in their spiritual lives. It was also encouraging to hear testimonies of how God has changed their lives from being used by the Devil and living troublesome lives to becoming God’s children and being used by God for his own glory.
On our way to Chombe Life Group I met an old lady reading the word of God from her old and worn out Bible. Her name is Asi Msiska.
At the Chombe Life Group, we encouraged the people from Ezra 7:10, particularly on three things; studying the word of God, doing what we have learnt and teaching others what we have learnt, as Ezra also did. We also reminded people to continue using DCI principles and to continue reaching the lost.
It was at this Life Group, where people thanked God for the great work he is doing using DCI and they asked us to sit in the middle as they prayed for us and the DCI Ministry at large.
All in all we had a successful mission and were really encouraged with what God is doing in different Life Groups. Many people’s lives are changed, discipled and Life Groups are established and are reproducing. Churches are also growing and being planted as these Life Groups grow.
We are discovering that buying a used vehicle in Malawi is not as simple as going to a used car dealer, as we do here. First, not many good vehicles are available in Malawi, so they have to come from South Africa or elsewhere. Second, they are very expensive. The taxes are not helping this effort. As you can see from the diagram, by the time you import a car the price has effectively doubled. But we don’t dispair. God is greater than all this. He will bring the right truck to the Team in His time. So far John is looking for a 2014 Toyota Hilux Raider that will fit the available funds.
Thanks for your prayers!
Hans and Elly
Help with the work of God through the DCI Team can be sent by e-transfer: firstname.lastname@example.org or through Canada Helps.
Of course, old fashioned cheques can be mailed to: Dynamic Churches International, (tag Malawi) 164 Stonegate Close, Airdrie, Alberta T4B 2V2.
Below are two messages from Caleb. They illustrate the impact the Gospel makes in people’s lives as they learn about God’s love and respond in faith to the Good News and are born again.
May 8, 2021 from Caleb.
Hi Hans and Elly,
This week has been another exciting week. I have followed up on a man I introduced to one to one discipling sometime back in the Sonda area, almost 10 kilometres from my house. His name is MATHEWS ZIMBA.This man has a wife, her name is MERCENT and they have four children, two of them are young twins. They are both part-time workers, they survive by day today by doing piece work. This makes MATHEWS carry a big work load all day every day to feed and care for his family.
It was exciting to see that this man still has the zeal to do door to door evangelism. He went and introduced one to one at Lusangazi and followed up on them until a church was established.
Also he has found five people at Kaviware whom he wants to start doing one to one with them. So him and I scheduled to meet these five people tomorrow afternoon to introduce them to the one to one discipleship lessons.
He also have plans to go to the villages at Chipapa beyond Malivenji, which is outside Mzuzu town, to reach them with the gospel of Christ.
May we include him in our prayers as we pray for the work of GOD here in Malawi.
Another thing i have been taking driving lessons every morning.
—May 16, 2021 from Caleb
Greetings in Jesus name,
I am glad to report that this week I started discipling NIFA YOTAMU. This is the one I introduced to you last week. I have started doing lesson one of the Dynamic Basics with him. I pray the Holy Spirit, who changes the lives of people, will continue talking to him and reveal more about the only one and true GOD, the maker of heaven and earth, and make him begin realizing that Mphambe (his idol god) is not god, as the scriptures reveal more truth to him.
I also went, by motor cycle, to KAVIWARE to follow up on mr Thomson Luwe. This is the one I started discipling some time back . He is a village Chief. He is working as a watchman at an agricultural premise. So sometimes he is not home when I come, because of his work. But he is working hard, studying the scriptures. Soon I will be introducing the Dynamic Discipling course to him, and GOD will continue transforming him and his family. He has three children.
On a Personal Note from Hans
Elly and I are glad to introduce our third great grandson Ishmael Christopher Timmermans to you. He was born to Andrew and Kaitlyn on May 7th, 2021. God is blessing us greatly! Mom and son and family are doing well.
CHIMBONGONDO, JOLOWALE AND KAMPHENDA FOLLOW-UP April 2021
During the Easter week we planned to visit Kampando, and when the program was confirmed, we started preparing for the training. At the very last minute, we received a call from pastor Mwangulu informing us that they will be having the Easter conference where several churches will be coming together for Easter. This made them busy receiving visitors and pastors from far places coming to Kampando to attend the conference. This caused some inconveniences to us since the trip to Kampando had been confirmed. Immediately after getting this information, George started to arrange for us to visit some other places so that our week can still be well used. He managed to communicate with leaders from Chimbongonda, Jolowale and, of course, we had been invited to join the conference at Kamphenda Easter which we already agreed to attend….
KAMPHENDA On Friday we travelled to Kamphenda where we were invited to attend and teach the “Offering to God” (Giving) lesson to all the pastors, Leaders and believers that came from different church branches. It was a time of refreshing even for us, since in Mzuzu we could not have the Easter conference due to the government restrictions on the large gatherings. We also had the opportunity to hear how the work of God is growing around Kamphenda. The work is growing beyond our imaginations. Lots of leaders are being developed.
t is our extreme pleasure to let you know that the goal for a 4×4 for the Malawi team has been reached! $45,000. Hallelujah, Praise God! We are so thankful to each of you who have contributed to this project! Without a doubt you are partners with us in this amazing work of discipleship and leadership training; seeing so many come to Christ.
Now the next prayer request in this regard is that God will direct us to the vehicle that he has in mind for us. It’s not easy, and not necessarily a task that we are good at, so we are trusting God. John, our team leader in Malawi, is reaching out to Pastor Steven, who has some experience in buying and selling cars. He will also help to sell the Nissan that we currently have.
The team is in Kamphero; finding an open door to follow up and encourage the leaders that have been trained there. Please pray that the coaches and leaders all over northern Malawi will have the zeal, energy, and good health to keep up the good work to which they have been called.
Please pray also for Caleb who is taking driving lessons. We need a back-up driver for those times that John is not able to drive.
In our next letter we will be telling you more about the opportunity to sponsor 2 of George and Glory’s children, Pemphero and Orini, who will be entering high school this year. We have personally been sponsoring their 4 children through primary school, but now want to extend that privilege to others as 2 of them graduate to high school. Many children in Malawi do not have the privilege of education beyond primary school because of cost. We would like to see the children of our Team members get the education they deserve. Please be thinking about this. It is not part of our budget.
Mr. Kachara is a grand father, 76 years old. He is a dedicated member of Catholic Church. His house is next door to Devine Revival Church (pastor Daniel Banda at Nkhotakota Linga) where we usually meet for DCI trainings. His wife and children had left him because of divorce, so he lives alone.
This man is very hospitable, and he always welcomes us with joy at his house. Now this time he started telling George and I of his dedication to GOD and to Catholic Church. He said every year he buys a liturgical calendar. He said this is the key to the Bible and that it is this liturgical calendar that connects him with GOD because it has 52 ceremony scriptures covering 52 weeks in a year. It contains every protocol of the Catholic Church for every member to follow. Right at this time, we found him on 50 days prayer and fasting ready for Easter cerebration. He said the fasting ends at Good Friday.
I was interested to ask him to tell us his story of his salvation. He went around all the protocols of his Church and then he said he does not know if he is saved or not.
This gave us a wonderful opportunity and I started discipling him one-to-one, going through the DB (Dynamic Basics) lessons with him and he received JESUS CHRIST as his Saviour! The next day we met him again and he was so excited; he said to us, ” for the first time in 76 years, yesterday I received salvation and I felt peace with GOD in my heart “.
Hearing this from his mouth, we really saw the joy of the Holy Spirit in him. He said that he used to womanize and have sex outside his marriage and do many more evil things but now he repented all these things.
We were filled with joy to see how GOD used this time to save this man’s soul as John was training the pastors. I then later referred him to pastor Daniel Banda to continue the one-to-one discipleship with him.
I pray that he may keep on the faith and may the LORD secure him in his safe hands. Amen!
Elly and I are very encouraged by the reports we receive from Malawi. Below are the two most recent ones. Our DCI Team went to Nkhotakota, the area where the Muslim faith is very strong. Please read how God is saving a people from among these lost ones and how they have become strong in the faith and now openly confess their new birth in Christ.
No doubt you are wanting to know how the fundraiser for the 4×4 truck is going. The matching funds drive is going well, but there is more room! So far $6,975.51 has come in, which leaves $8,024.49. So if you are waiting to see how this is going, don’t hesitate any longer. We don’t want to miss out on this opportunity where your $1 becomes $2 through the matching fund drive and generosity of our anonymous supporter. Funds can be sent in three ways:
We are thankful to God for His provision for the work all these years. I always think of King David’s prayer: “….Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.”” (ESV 1 Chron. 29:12–14).
May God bless you as you partner with us to reach the people of Malawi!
Mr. Kachara, a 76 years old.grandfather is a dedicated member of the Roman Catholic Church. His house is next door to the Devine Revival Church of pastor Daniel Banda at Nkhotakota Linga, where we usually meet for the DCI trainings. His wife and children left him because of divorce, so he lives alone
He is very hospitable and always welcomes us with joy at his house. This time he started telling George and I about his dedication to GOD and to the Catholic Church. Every year he buys a liturgical calendar for MK1000. He said, “This is the key to the Bible. This liturgical calendar connects me with GOD because it has 52 ceremony scriptures covering 52 weeks in a year and has every protocol of the Catholic Church for every member to follow.” When we met him he was reading on “50 days prayer and fasting” getting ready for the Easter cerebration. He said the fasting ends at Good Friday.
I asked him to tell us his story of his salvation. He went around all the protocols of his Church and later on he said he does not know if he is saved or not.
This gave us an opportunity and I started one-to-one through the Dynamic Basics lessons with him and he received JESUS CHRIST. Interesting enough, the next day we met him again and he was so excited. He told us, ” For the first time in 76 years, yesterday I received salvation and I feel the peace of GOD in my heart “.
Hearing this from his mouth, we really saw the joy of the Holy Spirit in him. He said that he used to womanize and have sex outside his marriage and do many more evil things, but now he has repented all of these things.
We were filled with joy to see how GOD used us this time to save this man’s soul even as John was training the pastors next door. I referred him to pastor Daniel Banda to continue the one-to-one discipleship with him.
I pray that he may keep growing in the faith and may the LORD keep him secure in His safe hands. Amen !
We had a safe trip to Nkhotakota, we left on Monday. It took us four hours of driving because of the bad road conditions. We were also challenged because the car horn died again. The last time the car horn died we were going to Nkhotakota also, maybe the enemy has seen the damage we are causing to Nkhotakota through the preaching of the Gospel. In Nkhotakota we saw very few people putting on their masks. When asked for the reason, we found out that they too were told by the police to always put on the masks in public, and also close the market places at 5pm. Three weeks ago the police were too brutal with the people and people grew angry and began to protest against them. The police was throwing teargas on people, and one time 3 people fainted. This led to riots and people destroyed police officer’s homes and offices. They then told the police that they should no longer come close to people or punish anyone who has not put on their mask.
SANI We started the training at Sani where we had 7 leaders attending the training, most of which belong to Anglican Church. We also had pastors from the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, the Interior Mission Church, the Last Church and the Kalibu kwa Yesu. We had both coaches attending, Pastor John Liwewe and John Mwafulirwa. We had good time teaching the Dynamic Discipling for the first time. Pastors and leaders were happy to finally get their hands on the book. They have been looking forward to it for a very long time. (The Dynamic Discipling book, with 9 lessons, has been printed recently in the Chichewa language.) Sani is witnessing a great transformation through the gospel that is be preached throughout the area. We were encouraged to learn that some of the people that have been converted from Islam are now been baptized in water openly bearing testimony that they are changed. Lots of Muslims that gave their lives to Christ in private are now openly joining churches and are no longer attending the mosque.
Since the last time we went to Nkhotakota four Life Group have become new Churches through the people like Chikondi, Iblamu, Monica Losani, Christopher Useni, Frank Mwenda and Mrs. Lolence. These are among those that have openly professed their new faith in Christ. God is really working mightily in these areas, we heard about a few that have accepted Christ and are still going to the mosque (pretending to still belong to Islam). Christians belonging to different Life Groups are becoming bold in reaching out to the Muslims communities/Villages teaching them one-on-one, like Cathleen Jamala who took advantage of the funeral of the sheik (the leader). She approached two ladies and agreed to meet with them. She taught them the Word and they accepted Christ. She said one-to-one has given them a good and effective way of reaching Muslim communities without facing much resistance. The Last Church pastor has also become a believer through the one to one discipleship. (Last Church isa church serving the devil). Let’s keep praying for them that the Lord will continue to give them boldness to be witness of the gospel.
From Sani we went to Linga where we had about 10 leaders. Five were the old leaders we trained during our first visit. Five new leaders have joined now but are already being trained by their fellow pastors. These five new pastors have replaced the old pastors that have been transferred to other places. Only one was trained by us at Ezondweni (about 400 KM North) and she was a leader at Jolowale and now she has been transferred to Nkhotakota. She reported this to us and we put her in touch with the coach for Linga so that she can be part of them too. Following her move to Nkhotakota she has begun training people in her church.
We also heard some good testimonies from these pastors resulting from the lesson they were taught during the last trip, like the Offering to God lesson. (A lesson on giving). These pastors are telling us that they have a different approach now when it comes to giving. Now they are in the forefront practicing giving. We hope this is a good indication that it is possible that in the future people will be able to give towards the purchasing the bibles (of course we never mention it to them) because if they understand these principles it will be natural for them to support those in need of the Bibles. At this time, they have started practicing the principles by meeting the needs of other believers by providing things like clothes and food. As already mentioned, we introduced the Dynamic Discipling booklet as well. We also taught on the need for the pastors to be committed to prayer as we see that the days are evil. At Linga more Muslims are coming out openly for the Christian faith but many are still underground followers of Christ.