What a privilege it has been preaching every week in the village churches at Njewa, Mwenela, Msiliza, and Chimbalame. I like Chimbalame because it literally means “Big Bird.” I can remember that one. So far, I have been laying out the basics of the gospel, impressing upon the people that the “gospel” is more than a decision response, it’s the whole of Christianity. When I preach, the challenge is finding culturally (and locally) relevant illustrations to convey points. For instance, when I talk about the reality of being created in God’s image, I use the illustration of goats (mbuzi) tied to the backs of bicycles that we see every day in Malawi. I ask the people, “Does the goat know where he is going?” They all respond, “No.” “But do you know where he is going?” They all say, “Yes.” “WHY?” “Because you think about tomorrow and yesterday, life and death, and eternity. The goat has no idea he is going to be butchered, but you do. It is because ‘God put eternity on your hearts.’ And therefore, you must consider the truth of what Jesus says because you were created by him.” As you can see, it can be fun! Please pray for these churches, that the Lord would raise up for them a pastor. Also pray they would be blessed with elders who truly believe. Sometimes, sadly, the only requirement for becoming an elder in the church is that you are an elder in chronology!
A couple of days ago, I was asked to be part of a panel at a conference hosted by the Nkhoma Synod Missions Department. This would be the equivalent of MTW. Currently, they have two missionaries to Mozambique and are struggling at best. The main concern of the conference was to discuss ways to interest and mobilize congregations to support and pray for missions. I was asked to share how our churches approach it. I shared with them how I grew up seeing and hearing from missionaries, ate with them, went to conferences with them, heard sermons about missions, etc. In other words, I impressed upon them that “the mission of the church was the mission of Christ.” It is who we are and what we do (Thanks Dr. Medeiros!). I also provided them with a document from MTW about getting your church involved in missions. What a great document and I encourage everyone to print a copy for your own church! I am looking for further opportunities to encourage them where possible. Please pray for this meeting. Ask that the Lord would really work in the hearts of the leadership of this denomination (and sadly, in some cases, convert the leadership), and that the Holy Spirit would inspire men, women, and children throughout this massive church to see their potential. Unfortunately, they think often as we do that money will solve everything. Poor people are not immune to that unfortunate misunderstanding. But that’s always easy for a Westerner to say who has a full stomach, nice house, car, and education. So pray also the Lord would provide for this mission financially. If you would like to help, contact me and I would be thrilled to connect you.