April 26th, 2023
Greetings from Malawi in the wonderful name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Today was the first of three days of camps.
We started our day as we normally do with our morning devotional followed by prayer for the days events.
We went to Masau today for an evangelistic camp. The roads however are still in too bad of condition to take the Van, so we had to take two vehicles.
Stanley, Doreen and Liness went in the truck before us with all the sporting equipment, food and plateware.
Mark and I went with Ovi, while the ladies, Karey, Leah, and Janine took Stanleys car, Karey was more than happy to drive pointing out that she was the only one that had a license to drive on both sides of the road.
But of course, before we left, we had to gas up Stanleys car, what’s that? No biggie you say. Ha, you haven’t been to Malawi lately!
The one gas station that we were told had gas, did not have regular gas, only diesel. So, we had to drive through town to find one that had gas. Passed two, no gas, passed one, too many cars and bikes in line for gas.
As we crested the hill there was one on the right with only a few cars, glory to God, they had gas. We filled it up and headed to the village.
I have posted some pictures on our website “Mission to Malawi” that encompass the days events.
After about an hour’s drive, again the roads are bad, and in some places, I don’t really think we could call it a road, more like a worn path, we made it to the church.
Singing started in the church and the group was split in half. One group went outside where Karey taught, and one stayed in the Church and Mark taught.
Then the festivities began, camp games. Again, we split but this time into three teams. Stanley personally divides the children so there are the same number from each age group.
Watch the videos, they are extremely competitive! Such a joy, and so much into cheering their team mates on.
After many games and many laughs, we decided to break for a late lunch. Janine and Mark took up positions at the handwashing stations, Karey and Leah handed out the food.
With over three hundred children showing up, ink was used to mark the index finger of the children registered for the camp. If they had ink, they could eat, no ink, no food.
I know that it sounds harsh, but if they had no way to control it, they would have thousands of people showing up, and most likely it would turn riotous.
After everyone was fed, the adults and workers had lunch. Great lunch too. Rice, sauce, salad [Malawian style] and eggs. One of my favorites. There were three teams, Ovi led one with Janine, Mark and I led another, and Karey and Leah led the third.
We WILL NOT discuss who won, because it isn’t important, all the children had a great time. Some adult leaders had a better time than others, lets just leave it at that.
After lunch everyone headed into the church for a message. This was the most amazing thing.
When this was announced, everyone ran, I mean ran into the church, excitement on their faces. Did they come expecting? All the free stuff was over, no more food, no treats, nothing else for the rest of the day, yet they all ran into church.
I always reflect on the differences in churches. Do we “run” to church in America? Do we gather as God’s children expecting to hear God speak to us. Or do we just gather out of habit if we have nothing better to do?
The church at camp was so packed I couldn’t get in! You can’t make this stuff up, and then the singing started. After singing I asked them if they enjoyed the food, which they did, and asked if they wanted to thank the ladies for all their hard work, and they did!
On the count of three they were all going to yell out their thanks and then applause. It was so loud it actually hurt my ears!
I was blessed to be able to speak from John 3, Nikodemus encounter with Christ at night. I walked through the passage on a basic level, talked about sin, repentance and salvation that is found in Christ Jesus.
As is the process, we gave a call of salvation to those that wanted to accept Christ as Lord & Savior. First one person, then three, twenty and it continued to grow.
Something had to be lost in translation, so I tried to talk them out of it. Explained that we had nothing to give them, if they were doing this for us, it wouldn’t work and so much more, but they all still wanted to repent and seek Christ as Lord.
But then again, this was the same group that Mark shared the gospel with earlier in the day, they were told to think about it, and they would have a chance to respond later. This was also the same group that Karey shared the gospel with earlier.
Ovi said he was outside the back and watched them actually close their eyes and pray, he believes that there were many that actually accepted Christ, but also those that followed the crowd.
Instead of getting caught up in the did they or didn’t they conversation, the scripture below kept coming to mind.
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants, and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers.
God knows, and we are just to continue to plant and to water, for we are God’s fellow workers, we are called to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth, and that is enough for us.
It is now after nine pm here, I’m tired, it has been a long day and it starts all over again for me in about 8 hours.
Blessings in Christ,