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Archive for September 14th, 2018

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests by made known to God ; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Joey stopped by this morning to tell me that he and Ian had met some people staying here from Resurrection Fellowship, Loveland, Colorado. They were here on a mission, but leaving this morning. It was great to have a brush with people from home working here to glorify the Lord. I didn’t get to talk with them, but Joey and Ian ate breakfast with them. Joey met the local pastor, Pastor Rogers, and he said he would see us at the World Bible Church annual conference. The missionaries had come from Uganda and I don’t know if they were on their way home or not, but they had a definite mission here in Nsanje.

Pastors line up to register.

After David and I had breakfast we anxiously awaited Pastor Chilemba’s arrival. Registration was to begin at eight o’clock and the van didn’t arrive until after nine. Pastor Chilemba had opted not to set up last night even though I did all I could to try to convince him that we needed to get ready. But pastors were arriving from Mozambique and Malawi and he was very distracted. So we had not set up, registration would begin over an hour late, and what else could go wrong? We expect at least double the students we taught last year. I tried not to stress out.

Then John said he needed to ‘have a word’ with me. Turns out the Bibles we thought were already here in Nsanje are still in Blantyre and Pastor Chilemba went to get them. That’s at least a six hour drive. In addition, the copies for our classes haven’t been completed and the books we so carefully designed a month ago are incomplete —ok — non-existent. (Sigh.)

Pastor Chilemba told us (through John) that they had hired a car to take us to Bible school, then to lunch, then to hotel, then back to Bible school. The car turned out to be the car belonging to the copy shop owner with Philip (Pastor Chilemba’s oldest son) driving. Philip is thinking about getting his driver’s license. Yikes! But then he did mention that he had permission from the local constabulary to drive us.

When we got to the church all the pastors were singing praises to the Lord and dancing. The music was very loud and celebratory! Once inside, we found that because of the loud music, the only way to hear for registration and hand out glasses would be to set up outside the church. There was some delay, but once we got started registration went very well. Abraham (translator) helped Ian and I fill out name tags and certificates while another translator helped David and Joey fit people with glasses. Many of the new pastors are from Mozambique.

Everyone was registered and we were to begin by 11:45. We registered 136 attendees. We began by reading the King of Glory books and got another curve ball! Now we had one translator for Chichewa, and one following in Portuguese!~ This first day would take twice as long because of the added language!! We have over 50 new students from Mozambique. People in Mozambique speak Portuguese!

Joey came up with a brilliant idea to separate and have the two languages taught simultaneously, thus bringing us back to our original schedule. John (Pastor Chilemba’s son) said the problem was… that it would seem to the people from Mozambique that they were being separated from the crowd. And so . . .we continued with our original schedule — first English, then Chichewa, then Portuguese! Our translators are amazing!

Mussa and a friend fill out name tags while we fill out their certificates. My attempt at efficiency.

L-R, Ian, Vicki, Abraham, at registration table.

Joey helps fit proper glasses.

Almost ready to start. Notice the dirt floor. We still have some work to do in order to finish the new big church.

Students registered and waiting for first class to begin. Notice white boards are not on the wall yet. Yes, still setting up. Class is about to begin, a little late, but all is well. It’s Africa!

“In that day you will say:‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted’ ” (Isaiah 12:4).

At the end of this first day of school we had a team wrap up session. We all agreed that the classes are really fun, the students are a joy to teach, they are all eager to learn and just plain delightful to be with. Everyone in Malawi is friendly. It is culture shock to see God glorified on every corner. Everywhere God’s name is being proclaimed. People in Malawi boldly love Jesus. All of us feel sad that America has changed.

There are sixteen more students than expected, so we ran out of supplies, but the students are sharing and we will work all that out tomnorrow. Everyone is so gracious. The King of Glory class went well. Everyone enjoyed it along with the daily raffle for small prizes that we have at the end of the day.

Ian and Joey bring a welcome energy and excitement for the pastors. They are doing a terrific job of teaching and interacting with students using powerful examples and tools. In addition, they come up with fun games and activities to share during joint sessions. We all look forward to classes we will be teaching tomorrow.

Nsanje is growing and the hotel is nicer that last year. There are more stores and markets. However, the electrical company has not been able to keep up with the growth, so there are rolling blackouts of 2, 4, 6, 8 or more hours at a time. You never know when they will happen or how long they last. I don’t have hot water or any water pressure from the shower. But it’s okay. This is Africa, so we just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. Please thank God and pray for continued protection and blessings.

The King of Glory class went for three sessions. A powerful book!

Ian teaching children a different way to whistle.

Telling children good-bye. Time for class. The girl on the right is Philip’s daughter.

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