We have been so encouraged by the wonderful response to our fund-raiser for a new(er) 4×4 for the team in Malawi. We have 1/3 of our goal in!! $ 15,000.00. Thank you to everyone who has helped with this!!!
Our most recent zoom meeting with our team leader, John Singinie, has reminded us how necessary this vehicle is to the continuing ministry of DCI. Currently, the team is following up / training / renewing the vision, etc. in the areas where the 4th – 5th generations have been trained. This means that often they must travel into the far remote areas where the “roads” are not roads, but rather trails. Very rough terrain, up mountains and travelling 10 km per hour or less, and often having someone walk ahead in the river to confirm the depth of water, etc. The Nissan has met the challenge so far, but the DCI Team would definitely benefit from larger wheels and a dedicated 4 x 4.
We have now been blessed to have one donor come alongside offering to match donations received before March 31,2021 up to a maximum of $15,000. This means that whatever amount you choose to donate is now doubled!! How’s that for incentive? WOW! God is good. The first qualifying $500 has come in already – actually that’s $1000 – doubled!
Will you be part of this challenge? Once again, donations can be received various ways:
Undoubtedly, like us, the current situation with the lockdown and the COVID19 restrictions have you wondering about how to handle each day as it comes. I can’t help but think of the verses in Phil. 4:4-7 which have been such an encouragement to me during these times. We may not know exactly how all these things will play out, but we know who holds the future in his hands!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
During 2020 we have seen some significant changes to the way things are done. The training is left up to the leaders that our team has trained, and our team now focuses on follow up which is so necessary to keep the vision of the one-to-one discipleship going strong. COVID19 is threatening another (partial?) lockdown coming up in Malawi. We praise God for good reports and that He has raised up leaders in the communities. This work will continue because it has become a local practice. Multiplication is effective, as per 2 Tim. 2:2.
I’m going to include a portion of the report we recently got from John Singinie regarding the work in Baula (leaders pictured in the photo), which was one of the first villages where Life Groups were started in 2012 and leaders trained in discipleship. This follow up trip to Baula was the first trip of 2021. This will give you an insight into the culture of the Malawian people as well as the evil that is so prevalent.
“The first day we had a poor attendance due to a funeral that happened around Baula. A young man died mysteriously in South Africa. When the body was sent back to Malawi, people started to organise the ceremony, but after the grave had been dug, the message came from SA that the ceremony should be cancelled. They were saying they must first visit the witch doctor so that they can find out what killed this 22-year-old man. He was married and had a baby. This was the situation we found at Baula. And the day we arrived happened to be the day the assigned people came back from the witch doctor who authorised them to bury the dead. So according to the traditional practices of Baula, when there is a funeral, every program is cancelled and all the people are requested to attend the burial. If you do not attend, you invite punishment from the chief. For example, you may have to pay a goat or a number of chickens as punishment for not attending the funeral. This is what made most of the leaders in Baula Centre fail to attend the trainings.
However, we proceeded with the conference because one of the Chiefs is the leader of one of the LGs and he said if there will be any accusation, he will be the one to answer. He did this because of the other leaders and us who came from far places. The burial did not end well. People were saying the father of the dead man was responsible for the death of his son (for various reasons…) When we left, the people were planning to kill the father, but the chief said no, they should wait for the final word from the witchdoctor who said he will reveal what happened after the burial. This also showed us that the gospel still needs to be preached, there are still some people out there who do not know about Christ, they are ruled by the forces of darkness.
We were encouraged, however, to see how this other chief has been transformed by the gospel, through one-to-one discipleship. He risked his position as chief by refusing to go to the burial and attending the conference instead. He also was against the idea of going to the witchdoctor. He continues to share the Word with other chiefs. We hope the gospel will keep spreading through Baula to other places.” -John Singinie
WOW! Not quite like here, is it?? Can you imagine the change that takes place in a person’s heart when he accepts the free gift of forgiveness from God? Suddenly, this person understands that God is greater than the evil one. One of their favourite verses is “ …. the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4b). They know this by their own personal experience.
We thank God for another year of fruitful ministry in Malawi. The year 2020 has certainly seen its trials, but the Team perseveres under the power of the Holy Spirit! Please continue to pray for them, John, George, and Caleb. Your prayers are a vital part of this work.
As you probably know from previous newsletters, we are in the process of raising funds for a newer, more reliable, vehicle for the Team to travel with. So far, we have raised approx. $15,000. One third of the way!! It is expensive to import a vehicle to Malawi. The duty and taxes double the cost of the vehicle. Thank you to all who have helped with this. We look forward to what God is going to do.
Caleb is hoping to move into his home very soon. This is what he writes: “…but now we need to move to our house because everyday I visit the place, I find children playing with the doors and even on the sand. So if we can move in, it will be part of securing our place and property…” He hopes to be able to start building a latrine and outdoor kitchen soon after moving in.
On a personal level, we are settling into our home in Sarnia. With COVID19, things are not as we would have hoped; but then, it’s the same everywhere in Ontario. We are trying to make the best of it and still be a light in our community. Sovereign Grace Community Church has become our home church, although services are reduced to a maximum of 10 people in person at the moment and the rest is live streamed online We are so thankful for each of you. Your prayers and regular donations are such a vital part of this work.
May God bless you for your commitment to Him. Shalom, Hans and Elly Timmermans
As the Christmas Season approaches we want to wish you GOD’s blessings for a joyous Noel. We are so glad GOD also knows about Covid. He takes away our cares as we trust in Him. He has us in His loving hand. No better place to be! We pray many will get to know salvation in Jesus during this season. He came to die, but also to introduce us to the true life only He can give us.
The one on one discipling is bearing amazing fruit in the Muslim areas of Malawi. Only God can change hearts.
This post has stories and video links. God is saving souls in Malawi. We also have a video explaining the needs for replacement transportation. The car is now 13 years old and has seen extremely hard life on the Malawian roads. Also included is a video link to Caleb’s devotional on John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (ESV, John 15:16).
The Good News reaching the hard to reach in Malawi
Here is a link to a verbal report by the DCI Team on the success of the Gospel among the M-slims in Malawi: https://vimeo.com/480806902/95936d2374
The DCI Car
The Nissan X-Trail is now 13 years old and has travelled the very bad roads of Malawi for the last 5 years. The under carriage needs to be repaired
every half year due to the age of the car and the poor spare parts available in Malawi. We have begun raising funds to replace this car with a heavier duty 4×4. Around $ 45,000 is needed for this. Can you help? Please click here to contribute.
The LORD has changed her two children Racheal and Yosefe from witchcraft. Praise the LORD.
For many years these two children have been practicing witchcraft but the family never knew. One day pastor Daniel Banda started going through the DB one to one with this woman and she became saved. So she invited her husband and children to do the one to one with pastor Daniel at his house. Her husband and children also became saved.
As the family continued with the life group studies, one of their children ( Racheal ) revealed to pastor Daniel that she had been practicing witchcraft together with her brother Yosefe. She said their grandmother has been teaching them witchcraft, and she asked pastor Daniel to go home with them and burn the charms. So they went and these two children went into the house and brought out their charms. The pastor prayed and told the children to burn them. After they had burnt the charms there was joy in the family.
Elfrida thanks GOD for the ShareWord Bibles and Dynamic Basics booklet which have brought joy and happiness and saved her family.
We were so blessed hearing how the Dynamic Basics and the BIBLES are changing lives in Nkhotakota.
This woman gives her testimony to thank the Lord and thank DCI for opening life groups in the villages. She is a member of Kajombo life group. She says the Basics booklet and the SharewWord New Testament she received from the life group helped her a lot. She can now read and meditate on the word of GOD at the life group meetings as well as by herself.
She says this has changed her life so much because she used to get angry quickly and used to fight even men, but now the Lord has changed her life and she is now set free from fights and a quick temper and she now shares GOD’S word in her community.
Elly and I are always amazed as we hear the testimonies or read these stories of God’s grace.
Time seems to get away on us, especially as we have moved to Sarnia and are renovating the home we have purchased. We have not been to Malawi for almost 2 years now and miss the face-to-face interaction with our Team.
Caleb and Mary (our newest member) recently had a baby boy, born Sunday, Sept. 27. They named him Providence. What a joy he has brought to that family! Mother and child are doing well. He was dedicated this past Sunday by Pastor Steven Chisale, of Holy Cross Church, where all 3 of our team members attend along with their families.
The Team has spent their time travelling to do follow up work; visiting various remote areas where the training has been done to ensure that the original vision and mission statement is being maintained. Together we have been working on some teaching material on the topic of Giving. This came about because 2020 is the last year that the Gideons are able to provide us with New Testaments to give to individuals who want to be discipled.
We are so thankful for the partnership that we have enjoyed with them! We estimate that approximately 50,000 people have been discipled with these New Testaments. That’s the amazing way that multiplication works. Now, we are encouraging each person who has been discipled to consider how they can provide a New Testament so that the discipleship can keep multiplying. Of course, this is a lot to expect, especially from Malawians who have not had any experience in saving, much less understand the principle of giving that God lays out for us in the Scriptures. But it has been challenging, to us and to our indigenous team members. It has been well received so far in the places where the Team has been to teach it. We look forward to how God is going to use this; or perhaps He has other ideas of how we can purchase New Testaments. The one thing that gives us peace, is the knowledge that this is God’s work, and He will provide all our needs.
Life Group Multiplication
The reports we get continue to tell us of the multiplication of Life Groups, of people being saved, and the work spreading into other villages and towns. The growth is exponential! The map that we kept for a while has quickly shown us that we can’t keep up with the growth. But we have a Father who can! He knows where every Life Group is, He knows every Life Group Leader and every Coach all over Malawi and beyond. He knows every individual who has surrendered his/her heart to Him; they are, after all, His children!
Covid 19 in Malawi
COVID19 continues to cause some struggles in Malawi, just as it does here. However, the Team is travelling again; the car has been repaired and is on the road again. We are so thankful that the Team can travel in their own vehicle – enabling them to carry supplies with them and travel with some sort of comfort and good use of time. All things that we take for granted in the western world.
Caleb and Mary are very excited to be building their own little home. This little building will eventually be the “boys’ quarters” when their real home is built. But for now, this will suffice. Costs have gone up considerably even in Malawi. The picture that you see of their home has cost approximately $1000 this far. We estimate $4000 will help them get to the move-in state. Of course, construction is very different in Malawi. It’s a hot country, so no insulation, no heating, and usually no electricity. If anyone would like to help Caleb reach his goal, you can donate to that specific project through the DCI webpage, and indicate it is for Caleb’s construction. Both George and John now have good homes that they can live in worry-free. It would be wonderful if Caleb and Mary also can have a home of trustworthy construction. Caleb has been a great asset to the Team; we thank God for him and his family!
We want to take the time to thank all our donors for your prayers and your financial gifts. Thank you for being faithful to God in helping to supply the needs of the Discipleship work in Malawi! It is amazing what can be done with 3 men as they focus on reproducing themselves and seeing this multiplication take place. We don’t have a large budget, but without each one of you, we could not do what we do. The three men each receive their support from the donations that come in and their travel expenses are covered with this as well. May God bless you for your interest in the people of Malawi.
Some prayer items for you to pray for:
Every trained leader/coach to maintain the vision of 1 to 1 discipleship
The need for New Testaments
The teaching on Giving to be well received
For COVID19 to not hinder the continued growth of the discipleship
Safety in travel for the Team
Health of the Team and their families
Praise God for the new baby, Providence
Praise for the thousands that have been discipled
Praise for new Life Groups and even sister/daughter churches that have started up
Praise for the dedicated Team – John, George and Caleb
John, George and Caleb went to a village high in the mountains about 200 Km from Mzuzu along Lake Malawi, inaccessible by car or motorbike. They were invited to go there with two older pastors, Rammed Chunkha and Shupa Msiska of the Church of God. The story we heard during our Zoom meeting with the team was amazing. The testimonies of changed life through the Gospel, high officials saved and now going door to door … Go to our website for the whole story.
We appreciate your continued interest in the work God is doing in this poor country.
We also rejoiced to hear the results of the elections in Malawi. The country has elected a man who is a professing Christian and who was the pastor of a Malawi Assemblies of God church for many years. Here is a link to his inauguration message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooq_4gOjYdg
Please read the full report below: Finding God at Work high in the Malawian Mountains. Also it is now possible to e-transfer money for Malawi to the DCI office: email@example.com or visit our Donate page. You can also mail a check to the DCI address. We thank you for your help in making this work possible. God will reward you!
Hans and Elly
Dynamic Churches International
164 Stonegate Close,
Airdrie, Alberta T4B 2V2 Canada
In this report I am re-telling a discussion and oral report our DCI Team gave during a Zoom call after they visited Kilala, a village high in the mountains along the Lake Malawi shore and Chikola, in the same area.
The Team met two elderly pastors in Chitimba and were invited to come along to visit the villages high in the mountains where they had been training leaders and where they had taught the one-on-one discipling. As they started up the mountain John, George and Caleb began running out of energy. The mountains in that area reach 3000 M, on average 1800 M above sea level. The climb was steep, and the path was strewn with rocks and narrow. The two pastors (I don’t know their names) kept on encouraging them to keep going when they begged to have a break. “Just a little further.” Was the word from them.
Pastor Rammed Mchunkha and pastor Shupa Msiska of Church Of God.
John tells us, “I was really blessed, when I met 3 old men, pastors, but especially the 2, that went to this mountain village to introduce the discipling work. These are old men…and how they managed to climb that steep mountain…it’s God’s miracle. They were climbing in front of us and I was trying to impress them because I am still young, but when we reached a certain place, and I said, “no, no, no, let’s rest”. To see a short video of the hard climb, click on the link: https://vimeo.com/436902842
John again, “I could not keep up. They said, “No, no, this is the smallest hill. Come it’s not far”. Every time we were “very close” until we finally reached the top. But I now understand why these men are climbing the mountain. The joy is at the top. They are doing it for the love of God. Because lives have been changed. I could hear on the mountains, “…. when I was not born again…. now I’m happy. I’m born again!” I’ve given my life to Christ. I’ve been changed.
When they finally reached the village of Kilala they discovered that the Gospel had never reached this place. It was too remote, and preachers and evangelists just hadn’t gone there. The churches in that area were traditional African churches, no Bible and no salvation, just the demonic, no Creator God and no Lord Jesus Christ.
John reports, “Where we went, I was blessed to find that all the churches were just traditional African churches (that don’t have the Bible). But when people speak to us, we are amazed to hear how people have come to know the Word of God. How they can quote scriptures.”
“One to one discipling is completely changing lives. They are enjoying this perhaps more than I do. It’s a new thing for them and their eyes are opened. They are so thirsty and so hungry to know more about the God of the Bible. They are planning to go to another mountain to share that Word. You see now, the mountain people are now trying to reach their fellow mountain people with the Good News. The preachers in the valleys don’t want to climb the mountains. “
“This was a genuine testimony. We could see and feel it. And I was like, WOW, God bless these old men. So that was the feeling I had. I am energetic, I’m still young, but I was struggling to get up those kind of mountains…. that is amazing! That blows my mind. And I know that these trainings we do may look like nothing is happening, but God is involved, and I’m telling you, we know only a LITTLE of how the word makes inroads and how far it travels through the one-on-one.
We only see a very little, but big things are happening. So, I was so encouraged because by the way they said it, I think more mountains will be conquered in those areas with the gospel. It’s a blessing. Just be encouraged – this work of God is going on!”
George gives his perspective, “We are really encouraged. The place, Kilala, on top of the mountains, has no road going to that place. No car can get there. But that place is so fertile. People can grow maize without applying fertilizer. But the problem is that when you grow maize and want to sell it, you have to take your bag on top of your head from the top of the mountain down to the road. It is a long distance. You cannot take much maize. You can only take a small packet because you take it on your head. So, even preachers don’t want to go there. They are not that devoted because it is too tiresome to climb the mountain. I really thank God, that by the grace of God, we went there. Of course, we were really tired. Our muscles are very sore. Our legs were shaking and shaking.”
John: “Something that caused me to cry, is what the pastor said on top of the mountain. He said, ‘I have been a preacher, I have been around. But I have never seen people in Life Groups changed as he is witnessing now through 1-1. 1-1 is really changing lives. I myself was so devoted to see crowds of people come and have big rallies. That was my big desire. But now, I don’t need it. This is what I need to be doing.’”
He carries on, “When I heard him say it and saw the work they are doing, I became convinced that these men are indeed serving God. They are not after anything else, but to save souls. And I saw the results in the people who were on the mountain. These pastors have been changed. They told me, “I’ve been a pastor for many years, but when I was taught 1-1, that’s when I knew what God has called me to do. And that’s why I will do it until I die.” And I, John, was hearing this on top of the mountain. God is changing people – not only those who have never known him, but even those who have been ministering. They have come to see a truly life changing system of reaching the lost.”
Another amazing story John told is about a Principal Chief. This is the most powerful local person, who is over all the village chiefs. John reports, “I tell you; you can’t reach a chief during an open evangelism rally…how will the chief say he needs to receive Christ during a rally like that? Chiefs don’t like that. But 1-1 brings even chiefs to their knees. And they turn to Jesus. We did not meet this chief, but we have heard much about him from other people telling us how he has changed. But how did it happen? 1-1. He was reached on a personal level and understood that he needed Christ. Once he received Christ into his life, he began loving the Bible. He also goes from place to place to share the gospel – from one house to another.
Here in Malawi, when you see a Principle Chief, women have to bow down, people have to give way. You don’t walk on the road with the Chief coming toward you. You have to step aside. This chief is going to a people’s houses, knocks on the door, and says, ‘I want to talk to you about Jesus’. This is life transforming. I, myself, (John), was so changed, touched and energized for the gospel by this story.
George: “It was on this mountain that I also really saw the impact of the work of DCI. We don’t know much, we know only a little, because the work was going on there; people are being saved; people are being discipled; people are being changed. But we did not know much about that mountain until we went there. The impact of the work – we may not know it all, but God knows it”.
Caleb: “Adding to what John has said, the leader of the group said, “Some time back there came an evangelist who preached in that village, but there were no results. Because, as evangelists do, he preached and then he went away. But with 1-1, we are empowering the local villagers. We go away, but we leave the message with them so they can continue doing the work and it is working”.
Elly: “How do you get Bibles and materials to these people? Discipleship is dependent on having discipleship material and New Testaments”.
George: “In that place there is a great need of Bibles because people do not have Bibles. It is difficult to go from this village to the main road. Bibles are sold in Mzuzu through the local Christian Book Store. This is difficult, they cannot make that trip, Mzuzu is about 250 KM away after they have climbed down the mountain. So there is a great need of Bibles and they really appreciated the New Testaments we make available. (through ShareWord Global). These 2 old men – the pastors who introduced the work there – carried Bibles on their head to that village. I don’t know if you saw the photos of these old men, these pastors, they are really old. It was so encouraging to see them at their age, doing the work that they do – going up the mountain, carrying Bibles on their heads so that these villagers can also benefit from these Bibles and help them with 1-1 discipling and learning more about the plan of salvation”.
John: “We send the Bibles to the coach of that area, and the coach shares these Bibles with the pastors and these pastors take the Bibles up the mountain. And, oh boy, it was just mind blowing! This encounter, this trip, for me was life changing”.
Kilala has birthed another group that is …3 hours climbing (that is a 6 hours total going and coming back). That’s 3 hours climbing from Kilala. These are very remote areas where the gospel has not gone before.
In the mean time we went from Kilala to Chikola, to visit another Life Group.
This trip has been a blessing… meeting new believers face to face. This village had always had some troublesome people. Now that they have become believers, they tried to testify, but their fellow believers would not give them a chance…they spoke for them. I remember one boy who stood up and, “This man – he fights! Everywhere this man went, there was a fight. He was known in the whole village for being a fighter. He was so violent. If anyone said something he didn’t like – he would fight. He was that kind of person.” And then we heard that this person is going house to house now preaching the gospel.
More lives have been changed. I tell you, if people hear him speak, if this guy can be changed through believing in Jesus, who will be exempted? So, his story has become one of the greatest testimonies in that area. The gospel of Jesus changes lives.
Another man testified, “I used to be a drunkard”. And everybody nodded their heads, agreeing with what he said. He said, “I could spend 15,000 – 20,000 MK just in one day. What I did was go catch fish and then drink. If the wife said, there is no food, she is in trouble.” But now he loves his family and provides for them.
Caleb: “I was reminded of what Paul said, ‘When I look at you (He was speaking of the people he was ministering to), you are my joy. That is why I am always going on with the gospel, because when I look at the results, I see you and you are my joy’. So, when we reached the mountain, and went to Chikola, I was reminded of the same thing, seeing how joyful the gospel was in that place. That’s what caused Paul to stay 3 ½ years at one place because of the gospel. I was very much encouraged, God is good in saving people everywhere, even in the mountains of Malawi.
While we are still restricted by the Covid 19 pandemic, the Malawians at large have decided to just ignore the restrictions and get on with life. Knowing the situation there, I understand the impossibility of social distancing, hand washing and all the other Covid related do’s and don’ts.
Also political campaigning is happened in light of new elections slated for June 23, 2020. These elections are held to right the wrongs of last year’s elections, when the results were rigged in favour of the then-ruling party. This was overturned a few months ago by a judge and new elections were ordered. Since the last elections, months of demonstrations, even deadly ones ensued. For a while it was dangerous to travel, as we reported in a previous letter. But now peace seems to have returned to the Warm Heart of Africa, as Malawi bills itself.
We have recently received this year’s supply of Bibles from the Gideons/ ShareWord International. The DCI Team is very thankful for this provision. Only heaven will tell how many lives will be saved and changed for God’s glory through these Bibles. We were also informed by the Gideons that this will be the last time they will make Bibles available for Malawi, for now. Apparently giving is down and the budget needs to be adjusted accordingly. As already mentioned, we are thankful for the partnership we have enjoyed these past number of years.
And talking about giving, we are so thankful for you, our partners in this discipling venture in Malawi. God is doing amazing things and saving a people for Himself in Malawi. Elly and I trust that together we will able to keep up the supply of Bibles for all the people who want to be discipled and are sharing their faith with others.
We are co-workers together with God. Be encouraged as you read Caleb’s report below.
Caleb’s Report of the first June trip to the Chitimba area
It was interesting going to the mountains for followup to the Kalora-2 Life Group in Chitimba area in Karonga District after the Covid 19 break. We were also challenged to see how far these three old men, Mr. Ngwira (the coach) and his two friends took the Gospel to these remote and hard to reach villages in the mountains.
33 people attended the follow-up meeting at Kalora. George shared an encouragement from Colossians 2:6-7, that as they have received Jesus Christ so they should walk in Christ Jesus.
TESTIMONY of Mark Mwowo
He is the leader of Kalora-2 Life Group. He testified how God’s word through the Life Group has changed his area. He said many ministers of the gospel neglect this area because it’s beyond the mountains and very hard to reach. The few crusades that came to this area, were not successful as no one-to-one discipleship or follow up took place. The area is now experiencing revival of God’s Word because of one-to-one discipling. Mark is also very thankful to DCI and partners for changing his village with the Gospel and giving them New Testament Bibles and a DB books so that each one is now able to read for himself the word of GOD. They did not have Bibles and so did not know the Word of God.
After this we visited Thekelo Life Group. 29 people attended the meeting. I encouraged the people with the word of God from Revelation 3:5 where Jesus says, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” And after receiving this encouragement, we listened to praise reports.
TESTIMONY of Wisdom Gondwe
He had been living a life of drinking too much beer and smoking, so that he couldn’t support his family. He used to spend MK15,000 to MK 20,000 for beer in a day. He always fought with his wife over the lack of food and family necessities. But God has changed his life through one-to-one discipleship and now he is one of the faithful participants at Thekero Life Group and a follower of Christ Jesus. He is no longer drinking or smoking. He now also shares the gospel with other people using the DCI materials he was given. He is also increasing in knowledge of God’s Word.
Since this was our first field experience since we the Covid 19 outbreak, we had lots of expectations. But interesting enough, people responded positively, and our programs have been successful with no Covid 19 challenge. And the issue of blood suckers is now history of the past. We experienced no threat as regarding to blood suckers.
The Covid 19 pandemic has also affected Malawi. For a few months all travel stopped. Especially after a group of people threatened to kill the DCI Team in Jenda. They were looking for strangers that were supposed to be satanists and since John and George and Caleb were not known in that area, they found themselves in grave danger all of a sudden and had to flee for their lives. We heard similar stories from Karonga, in the very north of Malawi.
Pastor Oswell Kaira, the DCI coach in that area wrote:
On the issue of Covid-19 Malawi has registered eight confirmed cases of the virus with one death, so far God has spared the North though not over, but we have already started experiencing the negative impact of the virus. We have already started following the precaution measures to avoid catching the virus of which some measures are very difficult to be followed like shutting down because many people are living a life of hand to mouth. We really need to pray for God’s intervention other wise it will be a disaster if the disease will continue spreading. Economically we have already started facing some challenges which seems will make some of our plans not fulfilled.
“The just shall live by faith, His grace is sufficient” has become a song of the day for the believers here. We are standing on the promises of God.
Last month I was in Chitipa and Wiliro meeting with Life group leaders to encourage and supply them with materials, next week I was supposed to train leaders at Kayerekera and establish life groups but due to Covid 19 and blood sucking rumours will not be able until things get to normal.
We pray God to stop the spread of the virus and comfort those who have lost their relatives. We pray for his will to be done for God’s will is always good for us all.
Lastly, I once again thank you for writing and encouraging us God bless you! May the peace of God cover you and Elly as the world mourns.
Are there any of our DCI members affected or infected by the virus? I was praying God to keep you safe from the virus.
Take care of yourself, observe the precaution measures set to avoid catching the virus.
Greet every one
But during thistle of no travelling Caleb visited with some pastors he knew in Mzuzu and began to teach them the discipling process. Here are some of his stories:
Today I went to Light of Nations Church ( LNC ) at Chisala. I was invited by Alick. He is a member of New Apostolic Church ( NAC ). After I discipled him through the first lesson of the DB, he was so excited and shared with the leader of LNC. This leader is Mr. Chunda. When he heard about the DCI discipleship lessons, he organized some members of his church and invited me to teach them. So today I did lesson one with them.These church members are so interested to learn all the DB lessons, so we have agreed to continue with them someday. (20-05-20)
About a later visit Caleb writes:
Today I continued with lesson 2 of the DB with the Light of Nations church at Chisala and the man second from left is Alick Chirambo the only one from the New Apostolic Church. The people say that they are very gratefull for the lessons, because the DB lessons make them grow spiritually as they live their Christian life and make them assured of their salvation. They are very interested to learn more and we have agreed to meet next Tuesday again. Pray for these people for God to use them to disciple more people in their community. We enjoyed lunch which they contributed and I also contributed for the food MK 10,000 Thanks (20-06-03) (Caleb)
John, George and Caleb have been busy at the office as well, painting the metal roof and sealing the stones of the fence. The Team has also been busy designing a teaching paper on Giving to take to the villages. We have been wanting them for a long time that help from Canada can stop any time and to think of ways to continue the work should that happen. A few weeks a go we finally had a Zoom meeting with the Gideon/ShareWord people and they told us that, beginning next year they would not supply us with Bibles any longer. So the Malawians the DCI Team have discipled need to begin looking for a way to continue discipling others and buy the Bibles for their new disciples. This will be a new experience for them since giving is not generally part of the DNA of the Malawians. They are also very poor in the villages. But putting aside just a little money will make it possible to buy a Bible for a neighbour who needs one as he or she is discipled.
George has been meeting with a group headed by Pastor Daniel Mtambo, also in the Mzuzu area. You can see him on the left in the photo. Beside him is his wife and the people being trained. George is the second from the right.
In the middle of June the new and last supply of Bibles came from the Malawian Bible Society, paid for by the Canadian Gideons/ShareWord. We are so thankful for the Bibles given to the DCI Team over the years. Tens of thousands have been used to disciple God-hungry Malawians and bring them to faith in Christ. Heaven will let us see the impact of the work! that will be so exciting to meet the ones touched by the love of Christ.
Much has happened since our last newsletter. COVID19 is dictating much of what we do and where we go. The same is true in Malawi. However, John, George and Caleb continue to find creative ways to continue the work of discipling and training leaders.
This letter is primarily about the changes that have taken place to us, Hans and Elly, right here in Canada.
We have moved into our renovated home in Sarnia this Victoria long weekend.
Our new address is:
351 Elsfield Crescent
Sarnia, ON N7S 1C4
Our phones and email all stay the same. Due to COVID19 we have not sold our home in St. Marys but have been successful in finding tenants for the interim. We will try to sell it again once the real estate market settles down.
Our door at 351 Elsfield Cres is open to any who want to drop in for a visit. We are not much farther away. Sarnia is a lovely city, with lots of parks and walking trails (when they get re-opened) and, of course, we are close to the US border. Please feel free to stop in any time.
Much of our ‘new’ home has been renovated now. The main floor is almost completed. One patio door left to install and the fireplace mantel/bookshelves to be completed. That leaves the basement (which is partially finished) for next winter, and the outdoors to be tackled this summer. We certainly won’t have time to be bored.
We have regular zoom meetings with our team in Malawi, for which we are thankful. Even before COVID, zoom was one of the best things that happened to us. We share ideas together, encourage one another and hear how the work is progressing – all as if we were sitting across the table from them.
The political scene in Malawi has been tense for some time now; but we have heard good news and look forward to elections in July and, hopefully, a government that has more interest in the people than the current one. The good thing is that in the midst of all this – COVID and politics – God is still in control and we look to Him to supply all the needs – including strength to carry on, courage to face the difficulties, and wisdom to find creative ways to continue the work of following up all those who have been trained.
Thank you to all who responded so quickly to the urgent need we had to help our team in Malawi. The goal was met and our Team has been helped. Thank you for your love and concern for those fellow followers of Christ.
Today we are writing you to let you know about the great unrest dominating the people in Malawi. Elly spoke with John Singinie (the leader of the DCI team) at length this morning. The following are some of the stories he told her. The present unrest ultimately came about because of rigged national elections last summer. The courts have ruled against the president who illegitimately was sworn in and is trying to hang onto power by force. The High Court has ordered new elections within 150 days. The president is resisting and has appealed to the Supreme Court which said that the High Court ruling stands.
In the Nyaga News, a local paper in Malawi, the vice-president cautioned the army not to obey the president’s orders to shoot to kill demonstrators. But people are dying, mob rule has taken away power from the police. Police stations are being burnt by the angry mobs. The army is attempting to keep the order, but they are not trained to do this. However, they let the people know in no uncertain terms that when an order is given it needs to be obeyed. For example, John reported that one person who wanted to obstruct the progress of an army truck was run over. People are getting the point. When the army shows up the demonstrations stop, and the people disperse.
The DCI Team, John, George and Caleb, arrived in Jenda yesterday to meet with some Life Groups and supply the coaches with the needed New Testaments and Discipling materials, as well as encourage everyone in the work of God. They had settled in a lodge (here we would call it a motel) when word came that a crowd was looking for strangers. These strangers were supposed to be Satanists. Any strangers they could find were killed by stoning or pouring gasoline on them and burning them. The Team, being “strangers”, had to leave immediately and left their personal belongings behind; John left his extra clothes and Caleb his shoes; they ran. In the car they chose to take the back roads, because the M1, the main highway, was blocked by these angry mobs.
As they fled, they saw members of the Good Hope team and warned them to also flee Jenda, so they fled the area together. They arrived home safely late at night.
From an audio clip from George (on the DCI Team in Malawi): “So far they’ve burnt one lodge . . . spread gasoline in the homes of people so that when they collapse they can suck their blood . . . they are attacking people, so we are running away.”
From John & others on the team: (John): “going back home . . . (people are) attacking those who are driving . . . taking a back road . . . left his whole bag . . . Caleb has left his shoes, left a number of things in their rooms . . . (George): “Just pray for us as we are travelling back to Mzuzu. We believe God is with us and we need your prayers. . . . (?): “They’ve also destroyed a police station in Jenda.”
For the people of Malawi to have patience as the courts try to enforce the law and remove the illegitimate president.
For a peaceful solution to the problems caused by these rigged elections. New elections are postponed because of COVID19.
For the army, wisdom and restraint as they try to maintain peace.
For the DCI Team as they seek to serve God and spread the Good News by training and encouraging Christ-followers.
For safety on the road.
For wisdom where to go and when to leave.
For the many disciples of Christ, new believers, to live out their new-found faith in the face of this unrest.
For many to come to faith in Christ as they see all this unrest around them.