Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mtchayi Revival Center

Last Sunday I had the privilege of ministering for one of my students at the Assemblies of God School of Theology, (AGST), Rev. Benson Mwalungila.  Benson pastors Mtchayi Revival Center in Mtchayi village, and is a first-year degree program student at AGST.  He was in my class, Work of The Pastor this past semester.  I love teaching this particular class – I suppose after pastoring for almost 18 years it is just part of who I am.
Mtchayi Revival Center
Village churches are really excited when a missionary comes to their church.  They even feel privileged when this happens.  What they do not understand is that we, the missionaries, are the ones that are privileged!
When the pastor introduced me as the preacher, he explained that I was his teacher at AGST.  I told the congregation that what the pastor did not know was that I was there to administer his final exam for the course.  Pastor Benson had a very worried look on his face at this point in time.  I explained that since the class was all about pastoring, I would let them (the congregation) tell me how he was doing.  By this time the pastor was beginning to melt under the building pressure.  I simply asked them to vote by hand-clapping, and cheering if he was a good pastor, or by their silence if he was a bad pastor.  You would have thought the Dallas Cowboys had just made a touchdown when I said, “vote”.  The Pastor’s look turned from that of worry and concern, to that of utter joy!  Truly, he is a very good student!
Pastor Benson with his two children      Youth meeting 1
Sunday School      Youth leader on the left
Not sure what to do about me      After Church (4)
After Church (2)      Tithers
After Church (8)      After Church (9)
Matthew 16:18 (ESV)  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Area 44 Healing Temple Assembly of God

Last week we were able to build another tabernacle, Area 44 Healing Temple Assembly of God.  Rev. Anderson Mataka, and his wife Elsie serve as the pastors of this church which is in a very poor area of Lilongwe.  The old church structure consists of a grass roof, 1/4” thick plywood walls, and six brick support columns.  A strong wind could demolish the building easily.  This does not deter people from coming together to worship God.  Each Sunday the building fills to capacity with worshippers.  The new tabernacle will be finished out with brick walls that the people of the church will mold themselves.  Eventually, the old structure will come down and a beautiful building will take it’s place.

Doctor Donna Ivey, and her team, came to the church to conduct a medical clinic on the day after the tab was finished.  People here rarely receive basic medical needs.  It either is simply not available, the distance is too great, or the cost is too much.  Many doctors and nurses conduct these clinics in areas where little or no care is available.  The people began to queue well in advance of the opening in hopes that they would be able to see the doctors.  They stood outside the church for long periods of time, waiting to enter.  After entrance, they faced another queue that almost filled the church.  Kristen McGaffee, daughter of A/G missionaries, Dan & Noreen McGaffee, helped with the clinic.  Fredna and Lydia, another McGaffee daughter, took photos and played with the kids.

Just close to the church is a water well where women come and draw water for their daily needs.  It is only about 12 feet deep, but services the entire area of people.

After all the work was finished, we enjoyed a wonderful Pizza party!

I am always amazed how people survive on so little.  Most of the things we take for granted, are only luxuries in a place of poverty. 

2 Cor. 8:9 (ESV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

Rev. 2:9 (ESV)  I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chambwe A/G Church Plant

A new church was planted about 30 kilometers from Lilongwe, Chambwe A/G.  Fredna and I were invited to speak at this important event.  It began with preliminary door to door evangelism during the week.  There was children’s ministry on Saturday, and the JESUS film was shown on the soccer pitch Saturday night.  Sitting outside at night in Africa watching the JESUS film, along with hundreds of people is quite an experience.  Every eight seconds, somewhere in the world, another person indicates a decision to follow Christ after watching the "JESUS" film.  It is an incredible tool of evangelism used around the world.  We are so very fortunate to have the equipment and the means to be able to travel into the villages and use this tool.

On Sunday morning, we met in the local school for the very first service of Chambwe Assembly of God.  Rev. Lucy Chikoko has been named as pastor, and she is very excited to embark upon this new chapter in her life.  There were about 60 people present for first service including 13 local Chiefs.  Each village has a chief, and each group of villages have a Group Headman.  These Chiefs were happy to have a new church plant in their area because “a church will help the people”.

After the service we gathered in a nearby house for the traditional Malawi meal of chicken, greens, nsima, and tomato sauce.  After the meal, two ladies came wanting prayer for physical problems.

It was a great week for a church plant – Chambwe Assemblies of God!