Bless a church by giving a roof.
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There are some days that you know that you will never forget. The day recorded in the photo below was one of those days for me. I had travelled to Mangochi district with Trevor, Tyler, and Peyton from the Hardin Baptist college ministry to pick up two of our Shepherds Academy students at the end of their final evangelism project. When we came to pick up Lisimba and Patrick, they told us that we needed to have a baptism before we left.
We walked through the village to the shores of Lake Malawi, and we witnessed Patrick baptize a woman who had been born into a Muslim family. Just two days earlier, her husband had been baptized.
In this picture, you can’t see the men along the shore working on their fishing nets or the women washing clothes and babies. These were her Muslim neighbors, and she took the courageous step to identify publicly with Christ.
Since that day, Patrick has visited the village again to continue teaching and encouraging the believers, and this past Sunday, another man was baptized.
Why is God moving in this Muslim village? It isn’t because we have a uniquely effective strategy. It’s because we have taught young Malawian men to do what the Apostle Paul did. We’ve taught them to make “an open display of the truth” (2 Cor 4:2).
Preaching the gospel. Planting churches.
At the beginning of June, we sent out the 17 seniors from Shepherds Academy in twos and threes to preach the gospel and plant churches in remote areas for 2 weeks. Along with Trevor, Tyler, and Peyton, I was able to visit each of the seven teams as they were in the field. These teams preached the gospel to hundreds of people and saw many people put their faith in Christ and young churches start to sprout.
Some teams also saw opposition. Those working in Muslim areas were chased out of some villages. Yet they also saw fruit. We are working now with pastors and graduates to follow up with what they have done and see churches firmly established.
Shepherds Academy's First Graduating Class!
On June 19, we held the first ever graduation of Shepherds Academy. All 17 graduates have become heroes to me, and I look forward to seeing what God does through them as they remain faithful to him. Six graduated with honors, and Patrick Matope received the top award in the class—recognition for humble leadership.
Our First Pastors' Wives Conferences
June 28 marked another first for us: our first ever Pastors’ Wives Conference! After coming to know some of the unique struggles of our pastors’ wives, and seeing how these women can either help or hinder their husbands’ ministries, we felt that we needed to make an investment in them in order to strengthen their churches.
Stacy Leigh worked with the women from our team to teach everything from basic discipleship to women’s health. In the Lower Shire, they taught seventy women, and in Zomba, they have fifty here now. They will finish up the conference in Zomba on July 2.
Update on Targeting by Witchcraft
On June 15, we shared on Facebook about a witch in the neighborhood that seemed to be targeting our team and Gospel Life Baptist Church and asked for prayer. We were blown away by the response and felt encouraged with the knowledge that so many people have been praying for us.
While the situation is ongoing, we can report that some of the unusual occurrences have subsided for the time being. But more important than this is that we believe God has used the encounter to strengthen the faith of the believers in Gospel Life Baptist Church. We continue to pray, not only for protection, but also for the salvation of this woman who is entrapped in the demonic arts. Her name is Eliya, and we encourage you to pray with us for her salvation.
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God gives light.
When we give an open display of the truth, people will respond in one of two ways. Some people will reject the gospel because “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers” (2 Cor 4:4). But others will believe because “God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).
As we continue to teach believers to make an open display of the truth, and especially as we use the clinic ministry in the month of July to display the truth, pray that God will give light to those who hear!