Thursday, September 10, 2009


When you speak of Central Africa and missionaries, the subject of malaria will inevitably come into the conversation at some point.  Speaking of malaria someone said, "It is another rite of passage" for the African missionary.  To punctuate this point, especially in Malawi, all one has to do is travel along the shores of Lake Malawi and view the gravemarkers of missionaries that came here 100 years ago.  Most of them perished from malaria.

Malaria is a word of Italian origin. It is derived from the words male aria which means bad air.  According to the World Health Organization:

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.
  • Malaria takes the life of 3,000 children each day in Africa.
  • One million people die from malaria each year.

Malaria symptoms typically appear 10 to 16 days after the infectious mosquito bite, when the infected red blood cells begin to burst. Victims experience flu-like symptoms, including chills, fever, sweating, along with nausea, headache, and vomiting.

The most virulent form of the disease – the P. falciparum malaria (found predominately in Africa) – can be fatal within a matter of hours if not treated.

Malaria can be cured with prompt diagnosis and correct drug treatment. But there is a double-burden of increased drug resistance and limited access to health care in many of the most malaria-prone areas. Prevention is the key to saving lives.

Malaria005This is the drug administered to me by the doctor.  There are only three tablets, taken in a 24-hour period.  I am both fortunate and blessed, because I can afford the medicine, live in a place where I can get the medicine, and I discovered early that I was infected.  Many are not as fortunate!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Missions Convention

Churches in the USA are not the only ones that hold missions conventions.  The Assembly of God churches in Malawi are very "missions" minded.  They believe, and take very literally, the Great Commandment.  You remember, don't you?

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen

Kapuchi Missions (35) Area 25, Victory Temple Assemblies of God, in the capitol city of Lilongwe, Malawi held their semi-annual missions convention last month.  The theme was Saved To Serve.  Senior Pastor, Rev. Bickiel Kapuchi, and the congregation of Victory Temple hold a missions convention every six months.  "Faith Promises" are received on the final Sunday of the convention.  Those pledging financial support have six months to make good on their faith-promise.

The Malawi Assemblies of God have sent missionaries to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Sudan, and other areas of Africa.  Presently several missionaries are poised to enter Namibia, Swaziland, and Lesotho.  These are the foreign mission fields being targeted.  The church also has a "Home Missions" department.  Church plants are going up constantly within this movement.  Individual churches are reaching out to needy parts of the country, planting churches, providing pastors and financial support for crusades.  The Assemblies of God School of Theology, AGST, has a missions department that plants several churches each semester.

Now before you ask the question, "If they are doing all of that, why do they need missionaries?", you must understand the dynamics of church planting within this country.  Many of these plants are conducting services in a rented government school room or under a mango tree.  A huge percent of the pastors make less than MK1,000.00 per month - that is $7.00 USD!  For all they don't have, there is one thing that this church does not lack, and that is zeal!

Kapuchi Missions (8)I was honored to be the guest speaker for the Victory Temple missions convention.  There were about 1,500 people in attendance each evening and many more on the final Sunday morning.

The church was full of Holy Ghost energy each service!  Of course I challenged them to support the work of missions in their church.  I discovered a long time ago that if you can show people the true need for something, and how they can be part of something larger than themselves, they will participate in no small way!

Kapuchi Missions (18) Just a few weeks before this convention, Victory Temple mothered a church in the southern part of Malawi.  A female pastor, along with her husband and two children, enthusiastically accepted the challenge of pioneering this new work.  On the second evening of the service, Pastor Kapuchi brought this lady forward to discover how the work was progressing.  The pastor told how that they had only been meeting for seven weeks, but already they were ministering to over 60 people.  Pastor asked her what her greatest need was at that particular time.  She told how that the Catholic church had a building, the CCAP church had a building, but they did not.  They were only meeting under a mango tree.  They had identified a piece of property that was for sale so they were believing God for this land BEFORE the rainy season (about November).  The pastor thanked her for what she was doing, then told the congregation that these were the kind of efforts that their missions money was going for.

Kapuchi Missions (12)I was introduced, and the service was turned over to me.  I immediately called for this lady to return to the front of the auditorium.  Believing that I had heard from God concerning her needs, I began to probe a bit more.  It turned out that the church she was pioneering was a 3-hour bicycle ride from the nearest trading village... when she could borrow a bicycle to make the trip!  I called for a chatenji (piece of cloth) to lay on the floor to receive an offering.  I began by taking pledges, not for the convention, but for this particular church and pastor.  Then we received an open offering.Kapuchi Missions (14)

When we finished, the offering totaled MK139,000.00 and one brand new bicycle!  It was just incredible what God did that night!  Was it enough to buy the land?  Oh yes, it was more than enough -

Exodus 36:5  And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.

All the Pastor could do was cry!

Each night the people accepted the challenge that was presented to them, and they filled the altar giving themselves to God for the work of the ministry - the redemption of lost souls! 

Kapuchi Missions (9) Kapuchi Missions (10)

Sunday morning was the final service and the day that "faith promises" were received.  We had all been challenged by God to do our very best and trust Him for the need.  When the pledges were totaled, the rejoicing began!

Kapuchi Missions (27) Kapuchi Missions (7)

Kapuchi Missions (21) Kapuchi Missions (11)

The total faith promise pledge was the largest this church has received to date.  We rejoice together at the faithfulness of God's people to respond to His work.  We expectantly wait to hear of the miracles that God will perform to supply each faith promise.