In 1840 an Arabic trader named Jumbe Salim Bin Abdalla, established a post in Nkhotakota for the purpose of trading slaves. During the height of his power, Jumbe transported between 5,000 and 20,000 slaves through Nkhotakota annually. From Nkhotakota, the slaves were transported in caravans of no less than 500 slaves to the small island of Kilwa Kisiwani off the coast of modern-day Tanzania. Nkhotakota, Malawi has been an area of strong Muslim influence for a very long time. There is a national monument in Nkhotakota today - the tree under which David Livingston met with Chief Jumbe in an effort to get him to stop trading slaves.
According to the national leadership of the Malawi Assemblies of God there have been evangelistic efforts conducted in Nkhotakota, but there have never been more than 15 people won to the Lord at any one time. Until now!
The Nkhotakota crusade was held from Wednesday night through Sunday morning, with a multinational crusade team. The Malawi Assemblies of God, along with the missionary team in Malawi, Strategic Missionary Resources headed by Mike Powell, and a ministry team from Northplace Assembly of God Church from Sachse, Texas led by Pastor Bryan Jarrett joined forces with the theme "Nkhotakota for Jesus". The crowds at night ranged from 1,500 to 3,000 people. Sunday morning over 500 attended the final service. In the four days of ministry well over 300 people accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour.
Just after lunch on the third day of the crusade, nine expectant mothers arrived at the crusade site. They said that they had heard there was a crusade, and they came for prayer. It seems that all of them had been admitted to the local hospital awaiting the arrival of the babies. The pastors of one of the local churches told me that when she spoke to them, she realized that they were not saved. She then told them that they were lost without Jesus and that they needed to ask him to forgive their sins. They did! All nine accepted the Lord that day.
The team from Northplace held a medical clinic during the day and ministered to people's physical needs.
A Sunday morning service, including Sunday School, was held with over 500 people in attendance. The village chief was in attendance for this special service, lending great credibility and favor to the church. Just like the night services, the altar filled when the invitation was given. Since the crusade two weeks ago, the local church has seen an increase in attendance of over 50 people. A construction team from Cornerstone A/G, Nashville, Tennessee will arrive next week to begin construction on two new churches for the Nkhotakota area. We thank God for the outpouring of His Spirit upon the people of Nkhotakota, Malawi.
The tree still stands, but now the Gospel is going forth!