Dear faithful friends,
Well, prayer works! In our last letter, in an effort to create the impression of humble contentment (ha!), we asked you all to pray that the fuel crisis and electrical problems in Malawi would worsen. We encouraged this because we are surrounded by people who have nothing, and it is a good dose of reality for us. And the lesson remains for us all: We do not depend on God until we are forced to. And we need to depend on Him. What else is there. So we hoped in worsening, those illusions would strip away.
Okay, thanks for all your efforts! It has worked. The country's fuel crisis has worsened, electricity is worsening, and we continue to be stuck. Malawi has now gone a month without fuel. The leaders are playing games with the devaluing of the nation's currency and fuel is being held hostage. The nation is beginning to splinter and soon we will be lacking things like food and healthcare supplies (not necessarily for us but for the collective "we"). Our outreach ministries and rural preaching opportunities are being curtailed as well.
So, thanks for all your prayers, but you can stop now. :-)
Seriously, the Lord has thrived us even with these inconveniences and has shown Himself to be the Mighty God. We thank you for you labor of prayer and gracious hands of support. As you go to the throne of mercy, perhaps you can thank God for the encouragements we see:
1. Thank God with us that we continue to see students at ABC and the people in the many churches we visit drink up the gospel. No matter what negativity you ever hear from the "real stories" we share, please know this: Jesus Christ is at least respected and people will hear you out. The many in abject poverty have open ears because there is nothing else to lean on. Pray the Lord will stir that soil and enlighten them with the gospel truth.
2. Thank God with us that He never goes without a witness. Pray for the many who truly know the Lord and risk their cultural standing whenever they speak the truth. Like us, our students struggle with "letting the dead bury their own dead." Pray for their courage in being faithful and true to their calling with their own who desperately need light.
3. Thank God with us that African Bible College continues to be a faithful witness of the gospel to children at the ABC Christian Academy, the sick and dying through the ABC Clinic, the multitudes (we estimate 350,000 listeners a day) who hear the gospel through our radio stations, and, of course, the influence that our college students (if you could only see what we do) have all over the place.
4. Please offer also a prayer for zeal, vigor, and strength. We are tired. That is typical to every job, we know. But when these external circumstances meet internal fission, collapse is possible. LeAnne and I (LeAnne especially) have numerous jobs. We, of course, delight to have all the opportunities. But with such a scarce pool of resources and personnel to draw from, we find that jobs must be done and we (LeAnne especially) will get asked to undertake. Pray for strength. AND pray for the Lord to bring us more help, more teachers, more supporters, more assistance to share in these delightful burdens.
May God richly pour His grace on you, our dear friends. Your loving support is so important to us. Thank you for being a faithful witness to us, and through us, to the world, for our Lord.
Grace, mercy, and peace.
The McDonalds in Malawi
Sam, LeAnne, Amber Elizabeth, Molly Grace, Sarah Rose