Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday Reflections

A few thoughts about a great day at Jerusalem Temple Assembly of God in Mzuzu, Malawi…

  • Fredna taught School of the Bible (Sunday School), and did a fantastic job!  The pastor announced during the main service that she will come back for a Ladies Seminar.
  • Today I talked about not giving up, because God always has an answer to our problems.
  • I used examples of people in the Old & New Testaments of people that seemed to be down and out, BUT God had a different ending to their story.
  • If things are difficult in your life at this moment in time, don’t forget – God might just have another ending to your problem!
  • At least one hundred or more came to the altar – that never gets old!
  • Enjoyed the 4 hour drive to and from Mzuzu.
  • Especially enjoyed the fact that Fredna was with me this weekend.  For the past two weeks she has been in Nairobi, Kenya helping to develop ESOL curriculum with missionary Loretta Wideman.

Monday, October 18, 2010

On The Road Again

It was a very full weekend of ministry.  Friday, I drove to Zomba in the afternoon.  Early Saturday morning, Chiudza Banda and I drove to Thucila to visit a church in the trading center.  Abusa (Pastor) Banda is the Divisional Director of the Southeast Division of the Malawi Assemblies of God, and pastors the Zomba Assembly of God Church. 

Abusa Jeamy M’bwana pastors Dunamis Temple Assembly of God in Thucila, and has been asking for me to visit there for many months.  Thucila will be the site of one of the new extension centers that we are building in Malawi.  Pastor M’bwana was expecting us on Saturday morning – more so then we thought!  It was market day in Thucila, which means that everyone was either selling or buying.  But not the members of Dunamis Temple.  They were all gathered at the church waiting for our arrival.  The small church was packed, and the excitement was overwhelming.  The District Superintendent was there, the Deputy Divisional Director was there, the Divisional Director was there, and the missionary was there.  It truly was a humbling experience for me, since it seemed that we held some special celebrity status to the members.


Special presentation 

The District Superintendent opened the service with special introductions.  He was so excited to introduce all the “dignitaries”.  The Divisional Director spoke first, giving an encouraging word for the congregation.  Then the church had a special presentation from the ladies group called the OMC’s.  The pastor then gave a summary of the church’s outreaches, dreams, and vision for the next several years.  After this, I was introduced.  I too left them with a word of encouragement, and told them that we should be able to start construction within a short time.  We left a very happy group of people that morning!  They were shouting, dancing, praising God in every way imaginable. 

We drove back to Zomba in order to conduct a leadership seminar at the church.  I love investing in church leaders.  The rewards are great.  After the seminar, Abusa Banda and I visited two more churches in the area, then visited another of the local pastors.  It was a great day!

Sunday morning I preached at Pastor Banda’s church to a group of at least 500 – 600 people.  The service was wonderful, and the presence of the Lord was very real.  Hundreds came to the altar at the end of the service and that never gets old to me!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Happened?

A few months ago we erected a tabernacle for a church in a village named Matapira.  The church was meeting under a thatch roof, with only one wall, so they definitely needed a structure of some type.Matapira (1)  A few days ago I received some bad news concerning the tabernacle.  The pastor phoned me to tell me that it had fallen.  It seems that it fell during the night when no one was close by.  We are grateful for that since there were no injuries.

When I travelled to the village to inspect the fallen tab, I discovered that four cross-pieces had been removed from the structure.  These cross-pieces are used to strengthen the structure, being removed only when a brick wall has been constructed.

Matapira (26)No one is sure how this happened, but it did.  The cross-pieces were not stolen, and they were not damaged – indicating that they were removed before the tab fell. 

The damage was quite extensive as you might imagine.  All eight legs were destroyed, and all four trusses were damaged on each end where the legs attach.  The legs will have to be replaced and the trusses will have to be brought back into the shop where we can cut out the damaged areas, and rebuild them.  Fortunately, nothing else was damaged.

Tab Down (16)

Tab Down (17) 





Tab Down (44)

I have no idea as to why someone would remove the cross-pieces.  It could be that they wanted to steal them, or that they wanted to steal the bolts, or they wanted the tab to fall.  The church members are all a bit scared, because this area is known for powerful witchcraft.  I did what I could to explain what happened and encourage them to trust God.  The pastor told me that an elderly woman came to his house on Saturday before the tab fell on Monday.  She wanted him to prayer for her, but he refused to because she was not born-again, and had no desire to convert to Christianity.  He said that since her departure from his house, “nothing has worked” there.

The sad part of the story is that this church has no resources for rebuilding.  If you would like to help with the repairs and reconstruction, please contact me.