first of all let me say thankyou to those that prayed for us and our trip, we certainly had many instances of seeing 'godcidences' along the way, which kept our faith strong and ecxpectant as to what more God was going to do.
Getting too Malawi itself was such a mission that I could write a while about all the things that happened, getting lost a couple of times, driving on roads that had craters in and scrapping through border posts by the skin of our teeth ,etc. I realised that once you cross the S.A border and head North its wild man. But we got there and that is what counts.
We hooked up in Blantyre, Malawi with about 140 foreigners from SA, Aus, New Zealand for a week of outreach. NCMI has a pretty large base in the city with a 9000 seater permenint tent which they were going to use for the outreach. We spent the first half of the week door knocking and handing out invites at the local markets and the second half of the week was the meetings itself. All i can say is the logistics involved in getting the people to the meetings was hectic. Liasing with private truckeres to cart people to the meetings in vehicles they would normally impounded back home was an experience in itself.
God was extremely gracious to us and there were +-2 000 responses to the salvation message. How many of those that were actually born again, or just recommitted or just went along for the ride is anyones guess, but we trust that a good majority of those were solid cases of repentance. I think it will stretch the churches in Blantyre that relate to NCMI as to how well they are able to follow up. In the grand scheme of things I think that it may just teach them how to care for fruit that God has given them. We had 'heavens gates and hells flames' in our church and we had +-7000 commitmants, but the church grew minimally and our good follow up system was shown to be not so good, so there is a lesson in this for the churches I feel.
Staying in Blantyre at the base made our lives so easy. We stayed in tents for the week, but had running water that we could drink and all our meals cooked, which was really five star cuisine. The beginning part of the second week we went to a village 40 kms south of Blantyre. We were slap bang in the middle of tea growing country, it was really beautiful scenary. We had many meetings ministering into the life of the church and also did training with the elders of the local churches, some having travelled 80kms(50 miles) on a bicycle to come and hear what we had to say. Truelly very humbleing. The team guy in the area was amazing fellow. He oversees some 1000 odd churches, runs a food scheme and also has an orphanage that looks after 136 children. So he is a big capacity man, but very unasuming about it all, so it was quite something coming to tell him about church and the bible. He has accomplished so much more than I could ever have dreamed of, but nonetheless it was a blessing to be with him and his church. They really blessed us by their hospitality and concern for our well being. It was truelly a blessed time.
We left Malawi on Thursday of last week and got back on the Saturday. There was so many other things that I could write about and experiences that we shared, but your eyes are probably sore and this is a brief sesion of feedback not a preach. Happily I came back a different person, and God has made the main thing the main thing again and for that I am grateful.
Once again thanks again for those who prayed and get a passport and get out of your country, there are nations waiting for what you have got. If you can't go help those that can. Anyway thats my plug for Greg and Yolanda.