Formed by the Word…
Engaging in Worship…
Pursuing the Mission…

Ramblings of a Tired Pastor

Malawi 2024

April 14:

The preparation is over, the travel here done, and I have, by the grace of God, arrived safely AND with all luggage at the Mission house of Hope for the Future.

It was a wild week leading up to departure, many last-minute things to pick up that were needed here. Sugar cannot be found, much sugar is made in Malawi, but due to the need for US dollars in the economy, most is shipped out of the country, leaving little to none for the residents.

Pillow cases cannot be found as well, but thanks to some a wonderful family at HP we were able to bring more than enough to fill the void for the family, the mission house, and the Bible Training Center.

The water purification system has been struggling due to the quality of the water coming in, even with an added water purification system under the sinks, some on the teams and the Corneas have had stomach issues.

Again, the LORD provided, and we were able to bring the necessary items to “Lord willing” rectify the issue and provide clean drinking water for the Corneas, and teams that follow.

Our teams us “Life Straws,” which are portable filters allowing us to drink water without any concern, well that is IF you bring it with you, I did not, but no worries, my wonderful wife is bringing mine when the rest of the team arrives.

The trip here was wonderful. I sat next to a young man that didn’t know Jesus, was willing to discuss Jesus but not so willing to make a decision to follow Him. Across the isle for me was an elderly Muslim woman, who, though very nice, did not want to talk about Jesus.

The last leg of my flight, from Addis to Blantyre was roughly 90% empty. Everyone had their own row and after about 25 hours I was able to get an hour or so of sleep, and be ready to roll when we arrived.

This is a unique visit for me this time. For the first time I am sharing the mission house with a team from another country, Romania!

Saturday, we went to a brand-new village that HFTF has never been to before and the turnout was 400-500 for the sports camp. I was amazing to watch the team from Romania as they jumped right in.

There was so much passion from each of them. Passion on how to throw the frisbee, how to jump in the sack race, how to balance a frisbee and walk [like Malawians need guidance on that, lol] and passion to share the love and life of Jesus during bible studies.

Some of these young ladies work in the HFTF camps in Romania and are well versed in working with children and sharing Jesus, and it shows.

The men were just as energetic, back flips, cheering and sharing Jesus, a meal and then I was blessed to give the message.

Many responded to receive Christ, with the adults and older children that came forward, there were also some way too young to understand, it happens all the time.

We go back and explain the gospel again, things like, but not limited to:

This confession and prayer doesn’t make things easier, in fact it will get harder, it doesn’t stop with this, now you need to attend church, read the bible, and serve in church, go home, and tell someone about Jesus and how He changed your life today, etc.

As the Lord was working in the group I was with, Ovi was led to review again with those that refused Christ. Though this, many of them made a decision to follow Jesus.

Many wonder or ask me, how do you know the confessions are real, my answer, I don’t. I do not get to stay and follow up, the local pastor and HFTF does that. Our job is to plant or to water, to keep the message of the gospel simple, the LORD does the harvest.

On the ride back to the mission house I noticed that my head was a tad hot leading to a realization that I also neglected to bring my hat, leading to a bright cherry red head. No biggie though as I am indoor all next week teaching.

Back at the mission house we had a wonderful meal waiting for us, lasagna, and homemade bread, simply delicious!

After dinner the team walked through their debrief for the day. It was a joy to see that God works in people from every nation in much the same manner. Everyone was impacted by the camp today.

It was said we have so much, yet we are not as joyful as the Malawi people we meet. Why have we let all the “things” of the world, take our focus and our dependence off the LORD.

The excessive “comforts” or luxuries we have accumulated in America and Romania has softened the realization for so many that we are utterly dependent on our Savior.

Some were broken, holding in tears from what God was showing them and doing in their lives.

Each trip people are broken, God will always break us, only to put us back together stronger, with a clearer vision His will for our lives, a deeper understanding of our purpose, and increasing knowledge of the need to share the gospel, and not just on this short term mission trip.

After that the evening was coming to a close, or so I thought. But God opened the door for me to talk with the four members of the Romanian team [3 young women, and one young man].

They had questions, how did I meet my wife, when did we get married, when did I become a pastor.

Then they wanted to talk about being single [the three young ladies]. They are all beautiful and have hearts that are pursuing the Lord. They know that God is in control, but they desire to be married and have children.

Such heartfelt questions. I am glad that God put Josh & Jessica into my life, that I could share their story how God brings together two people who told the LORD they were content to be single.

And I also shared about Joey and Lynsey, how the mission field, which is no place to start a relationship, can still be the instrument that can bring people together, after the mission is over, and get married before the next mission, and have a child before the next.

Their response was, so we still have hope. Such wonderful young ladies.

Sunday morning rolled around, and we were off to Mpyupyu for service. The new church building has been completed, and the old church has been converted into the feeding center for the orphans in Mpyupyu.

The roads are still bad, so we had to park and walk a ways, but not too far. I was blessed to give the message again, and again there were responses. Some seeking salvation, some repenting of sin, some seeking prayer.

Over an hour and a half of just worship before the sermon, followed by a song of response, and they did respond.

It is just so amazing to see a harvest that is so plentiful, yet so heart breaking to see that the workers are few.

How many more lives would be snatched from the gates of hell if more people committed to do short term missions?

How many lives would be transformed simply because they obeyed the command to Go?

After service, it was lunch time, fellowship on the left or the right [Kips or Steers], it was fellowship on the left, chicken, and chips, and then the Romanian team was off to get souvenirs for their loved ones as three head home tomorrow, and one Tuesday.

Soon it will be dinner, debrief and some getting ready to head home, me getting ready to teach the Pastors that are coming to the Bible School. This time it is the Pastors that have been in place prior to the Bible School starting.

They are going to go through the same training that the others have, I am so looking forward to the next week of pouring into these men, many of whom I know.

The team will arrive, Lord willing, next Saturday and my focus will change as we will host a pastors & wives conference, visit various churches, camps, evangelism and visit the schools and feeding centers.

I will most likely not blog again until the team arrives. Should anything happen outside of normal school, I will log it and post it with my next post after the team arrives.

To all of you who sent, supported, prayed, and are praying for this trip, Thank you so much. We could not do this without you. Your prayers are felt and appreciated very much.

To God be the Glory.

4 Comments

  1. Austin Dean Wynn

    Great to hear brother! Praise the Lord for gospel conversations and giving you wisdom to speak into people’s lives. Praying for you this week. I wonder how we can make these posts show up on the Mission 2 Malawi link on the HPFBC.com site as it appears these can only be accessed via the Facebook page? Not sure why it shows up as hpfbc.com/category even though there is no word “category” to select from on the website. I’ll tell folks to let me know if they can’t seem to access these posts and I’ll send a link to them if we can’t get easier access from the main website page. I also had to “unpin” the HP Facebook page’s old pinned Malawi page which went to last year’s posts and would only confuse folks trying to follow along. I pinned your recent post to the main page and will tell folks how to access. Anywho, hope you get some rest from the flight brother and we miss you!

  2. God be praised for the fruit already! Praying for this week as you spend time teaching brother.

  3. So good to listen to what is happening in the villages. I can hear the singing shuffling of the feet and the clapping of hands. It is my prayer that many will come to the Lord. I will continue to pray for you and your team.

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