Repair a bike. Share the gospel.
We need your help to repair our bikes for the upcoming season of ministry. We have 45 bikes and repairs cost $55/bike or $2,500 total.
Easter 2021 was a landmark day at Gospel Life Baptist Church. While we celebrated the resurrection of Christ, we were also able to celebrate our 2 year anniversary as a church. Two years ago, a group of about 50 born again believers met together in our school building to covenant together as an assembly under the leadership of two pastors, my Malawian team member Wilkes and myself.
Over the past two years, we’ve continually been teaching and re-teaching God’s design for the church. We’ve seen some people leave, but we’ve seen others changed, even publicly confessing sin. At the same time, we’ve been through the constantly shifting restrictions caused by the pandemic that have shaken churches around the world to their core.
Through it all, God has continued to bless this simple church built on God’s word. From the beginning, I felt that my role as a pastor of the church was only temporary, but I didn’t know clearly when the church would be strong enough for me to transition out of that position.
Before the pandemic, we called our team member Isaac to co-pastor with us with a focus on praise and worship, and throughout the pandemic, Wilkes and Isaac learned to work in harmony with each appreciating one another’s strengths. The church began to look toward them as their leaders.
You could feel this on Easter Sunday as Isaac preached and Wilkes baptized new believers. While I will continue to preach at Gospel Life once a month and serve as a “shepherd to the shepherds,” I told the church on Easter Sunday that I no longer considered myself as one of the pastors of the church and that I was extremely proud of the Malawian leadership that the Holy Spirit has raised up for them.
When we began Gospel Life Baptist, one of our goals was to raise up a model church for the students of Shepherds Academy, and the leadership transition itself is a model for every aspect of our ministry here.
Whether through medical missions or pastor training or church planting, we do not want to do for Malawians and Mozambicans what they can do for themselves. We want to train and empower indigenous leaders to lead in the wisdom of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God!
Kiki runs mobile medical clinics
We were blessed to have Kiki return for the first time since October 2019 to kick off our first round of mobile medical clinics for the year. The clinic team visited 12 remote locations across southern Malawi and treated 1,851 people. They treated many people suffering from hypertension, skin diseases such as scabies, and malaria. As they felt the love of Jesus through the clinic team, the crowds also heard the gospel clearly proclaimed.
One day, the team saw the hand of God in bringing them to a remote village on the same day that a woman was suffering a life-threatening asthma attack. The team was able to stabilize her and save her life.
While Kiki was here, she was also able to teach two of her old women’s Bible studies in Zomba and near Lake Chirwa. We can’t wait to have her back in July for the second round of clinics!
Praise God for water!
After Christmas we faced a water crisis that lasted over 6 weeks. With the water board failing us, we had to resort to collecting rainwater in barrels and buckets for our daily necessities. While the problem at that time was eventually corrected, we saw the situation as a sign of worse things to come in the future.
We were incredibly blessed by a generous gift that allowed us to dig a well on our Zomba campus, and with your prayers, we were able to find water! While we still have to connect a pump and plumb it into our current system, we cannot stop praising God for this gift.
More pastor training in May
In May, we will be focusing once again on pastor training. Next week, we will be taking applications for the new class of Shepherds Academy that will begin in October. Over 3 days we expect to see 30-50 applicants, and we will be accepting 15. Pray for the Lord’s leadership to discern who he is calling to study at Shepherds Academy.
During the last two weeks of May, we will be gathering the pastors for another modular class. Josh will be teaching Theology 2 while Isaac will be reviewing church planting. We hope that the decrease in Covid-19 cases will allow us to gather in larger groups for the first time since February 2020.
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Equipping the saints for the work
God has given us as a gift to the churches here for “equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness” (Eph 4:12–13), and we pray that as we humble ourselves he will use us to build up the body of Christ here!