April 27, 2023
We were challenged again from the book of Joshua this morning. Pastor Ed pointed out that Jericho was already ready for defeat before Joshua’s army even began to walk around it. Rahab told the spies that the hearts of all the people were melted at just hearing about what Israel’s God had done! Many of the people in the villages we are going into here have already heard some things about God. They have been taught through other groups that have come through with HFF and Hope Baptist Church there in the village. There were openings in the “protections” Satan has built around them to try to keep them from Christ. We went in God’s power and took advantage of those cracks to tell them again about Christ. We went in looking for those cracks and ready to speak truth into them wherever we saw them!
Second day of camp today was in the village of Likangala. We had about 200 children come to hear Bible stories taught, play games, eat lunch and hear the gospel presented. When we first arrived all the children gathered inside the church to sing. Then they were separated into two smaller groups. Leah and I taught one group with Samuel interpreting. We took them through creation, the fall, and finally Jesus death and resurrection. The children paid such close attention! Mark taught the other group with Stanley interpreting. Janine got her wish when she noticed a group of women and took Misozi over and sat with them. She taught them from Matthew 7, then shared her testimony with them. With some encouragement they asked her questions. They had some very good questions, too! They are so eager to learn more about the Bible, Christ and how to live for Him. We continue to pray for the opportunity to spend good quality time with the women of Malawi—to teach and disciple them. Please pray this with us! Then they rejoined inside the church and sang a few more songs before being divided into 3 teams. The kids and leaders competed in several different games, balancing a frisbee on their head to walk, dodgeball, a version of horseshoes played with frisbees, and a sack race. Ovi called Janine and I to where the women were cooking just before the games were over. We helped cut boiled eggs and then served rice onto the bowls while others added eggs, cabbage and the tomato sauce. Once all the bowls were set out (about 225) we began serving to the youngest first all the way up to the women who were helping. The little children got one heaping bowl to share with another. They were so cute walking up hand in hand and taking this bowl of food nearly as big as they were in some cases. After lunch was over we all gathered back inside the church and Mark shared about Light and dark and gave the plan of salvation. About 50 or so children stood to accept Christ as their savior! They were told repeatedly that this was not to get anything free from us and they should not stand because of the white people or anyone else thinks they should, but very few sat. They were taken out under a tree where Mark, Ed and Samuel spoke to them again to make sure they knew what they were doing. It was such a special thing to see these men standing and talking and ultimately praying with nearly 50 children! What a blessing!
We came home and showered. We all have some degree of sunburn (nothing serious) and are tired. It’s the best kind of tired I can imagine. Knowing that we spent our energy trying to connect with children and meeting a desperate physical need as well and an even more spiritual one…that’s good tired!
This morning I read in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not bos as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
It seems pretty easy to stay focused on what we are here to do while on a mission trip. Just about every moment is spent either in doing or preparing in some way to go out and serve and share the gospel. I was challenged this morning to keep this focus up on my return home. I know there are many responsibilities I must take care of being a wife, mom, etc. But I think all of those things should contribute to the furthering of God’s Kingdom. I want everything I do, no matter how mundane they seem, to be done for Christ and His purposes. I hope you will pray for me, hold me accountable to this, and possibly work toward this same goal.
Thank you so very much for praying for us! I haven’t had a migraine for 3 days now. Everyone seems to be healthy and going strong and there have been no issues that haven’t been either overcome or just viewed as God’s redirection of our plans! God is so very, very good.