The Lord continues to bless us with boundless opportunities to share His word and encourage his flock in Malawi. Though our last letter was loaded with grieving concerns for the Church's direction in Malawi, we have softened as a result of your many prayers. Thank you.
Sam continues to have opportunities in rural areas every week to share the gospel. The five students he takes with him every week have also begun being asked to come and preach. Sam has visited churches in Dowa district twice this month. Dowa is a rural district about two hours from where we live. The district [and unfortunately the churches] are well-known for their involvement in witchcraft and dark practices. The response in these churches has been very encouraging. The people to whom we preach would say they are Christians, but it is a relationship driven almost exclusively by fear or social constraint. To preach grace and the Cross in the midst of that environment is a high privilege. So, thanks for praying that we press on. Of course, he is staying busy weekly in his classes and discipleship at the college.
LeAnne continues to be consumed and looked to as a resource for just about everything at the children's academy. It is always a delight to see her interacting with, and our daughters living with, children from all over the world. The academy truly has one of the most vibrant ministries in this region of Africa.
And the girls are doing well. Amber, Molly, and Sarah continue to thrive in this MK environment and we are delighting in watching them blossom in life and faith [if those can be separated???]
A few prayer requests, if you wouldn't mind:
1. This may sound strange, but we pray for things to get worse than they are. Right now Malawi has no fuel due to the nation's failure to have funds to pay for replenishment. We are stuck. Also, because the rainy season has begun, we have shaky electricity. Writing this email is a privilege - I'd better hurry. These things begin to weigh on you after a couple of days. But we believe the situation will not be improving any time soon. And so, we ask that you pray, it get WORSE!!!! Yes, I said it, worse. We have found that when we have to live like the Africans around us, our dependence on God heightens and our inner delight beams. So, pray for life to get tougher, please.
2. Pray for our many students who simply continue to struggle with school fees, the loss of loved ones [continuously], and courage to speak the truth in an environment where social belonging is the most important of all values. [That is, pray that the gospel will help them speak the truth in love and their fear of people's opinions would abate].
3. Last, pray for our dear supporters [YOU] who have marveled us with continued support. We have had only one church stop supporting us since the economic crisis. So thank you all for seeing the big picture and allowing us to serve you and Christ in this most needy place. Thank you for staying with us!!!! [By the way, Malawians do not know what a financial crisis is; they simply know it as life - past, present, and future].
His Face Upon You All,
Sam, LeAnne, Amber Elizabeth, Molly Grace, Sarah Rose