(sent Feb. 25, 2023)
The man in the picture is Zaccheus Nyirenda a village headman. He trusted Jesus for salvation during one of our Life Group follow-up meetings at Mulewera in the Euthini region.
After he trusted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he was filled with joy and happiness for the peace of the Lord that filled his heart.
Zaccheus once attended a Holy Cross Pentecostal Church and was devout about the things of God. As time passed, he stopped going to church and got busy with village duties, customs, and the traditions of the community. For this reason, he has not attended church for over three years and his pastor stopped following up on him long ago.
Fortunately, a woman who was discipled by one of the people we trained started a Life Group in his area and Zaccheus started attending. Later he was given someone to disciple him and he received a Bible and a DB.
Now that he has trusted Jesus, he will be discipled by a member of the Life Group as they read the Bible and go through the Dynamic Basic booklet.
EUTHINI FIFTH VISIT
This past week (February 2023) God gave us the privilege to conduct the fifth training with pastors from the Euthini area under the leadership of pastor Misted Manda of Pentecostal Christ Church International who also is the coach in this area. We started the trainings with the leaders from Euthini last year, but the work has advanced beyond the boundaries of Euthini. A lot of people have been saved in Euthini through the training these leaders have received from the DCI team.
So far there are over 37 active Life Groups and over 41 leaders have been trained. This is really an explosive growth experience we are witnessing in this region. The DCI team started to work in Euthini in 2012, but for some reason the work didn’t survive. We decided to stop going there, instead we used our time and resources to go to other places where the teaching is well received and implemented. But we never gave up on Euthini and we continued praying and kept searching for the man of peace in this region. We found pastor Manda who came from Ekwendeni (where DCI also trained and equipped leaders and pastors, ed.).
Euthini has a small number of born-again Christians. Most people who call themselves Christians do not really understand what that means. Most of these people belongs to Traditional Churches that do not preach the gospel. And we found that most these folks are double worshipers, they worship God, and they also worship the spirits of their ancestors. Many people still practice rituals such as drinking fresh blood of goats and chickens. Many others are into drinking much beer (both men and women).
We heard a story of a certain butcher who on the 24th of December last year (2022) killed a cow which spoke back to the men who were slaughtering it in the slaughterhouse. It is said that the cow said, “Why are you killing me? Please release me and let me go back and raise my kids”. They said the voice sounded like a lady. They thought it was the voice of a certain lady who went missing a few weeks earlier before this cow was taken to the slaughterhouse from the area where the butcher lives. As the result the butcher has lost his business. These are some of the true stories that when you hear them are hard to believe but witchcraft and magic are very real here in Malawi.
We also found that there are some people in this area (so called Men of God, self-proclaimed prophets) who are selling anointed water. They charge people Mk2500 (about $ 3.00) for a very small bottle of water and the price goes higher depending on the size of the bottle.
We were told that some of these men also sell stickers and make people believe that these stickers have divine powers to protect them from accidents and the attacks of evil spirits. Many people buy these items because people are hungry for the spiritual.
One of these prophets is so popular that he attracts people from far places like Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and even from Zambia. Learning about these things helps us to pray for Euthini in a better way and to also have a better way of presenting the gospel. That’s why we combine training sessions with follow-up visits right from the second visit. During these follow-ups we make sure we encourage the Life Group leaders and members from the Word of God. We are very encouraged to see God working in the lives of the people in Euthini, lives are being changed as traditional practices are abandoned by those that have come to faith through one-to-one discipleship. And seeing all these 37 Life Groups that started within a year’s time is a great encouragement to us and the body of Christ. This is a testimony that God is working in this area. During this trip we only visited three Life Groups and the testimonies we heard from the people we met encouraged us very much.
Please keep Euthini in your prayers for God to continue the great work He has begun in Euthini and that more people will come to salvation through the one-to-one discipleship and the Life Groups. Pray also that the Traditional Church will be reached so those churches also begin to preach the true gospel of salvation. And this can happen when the pastors of these Traditional Churches are saved. We already have seen two of these pastors saved and they are among the first generation of believing leaders in these churches.
As you can read from these reports the work in Malawi is seeing much amazing fruit. God is blessing the work in souls saved and we rejoice. But we need help. Right now we are short about 20% for the every month expenses. Would you help? Perhaps a one-time gift or a monthly commitment?
Thanks for your prayers and financial help,
Hans and Elly Timmermans for the DCI Team