A big thank you to RUC leadership and church family for affording me the privilege and opportunity to go on a short term missions trip to Malawi from 2 to 9 April 2011. Thank you, Jenny Kurten for all the practical help, arrangements and encouragement to get me on the plane and back. I had the opportunity to preach in various churches, train 18 new and old pastors in pastoral care and counselling, participate in the Jesus film outreach, spend quality time with Alick and Joyce Banda (our missionaries) and counsel individual young pastors working in remote rural areas, busy planting churches.
I have learnt many valuable lessons in my journey with the Lord Jesus while in Malawi – I want to share a few of them with you.
Worship the Lord in spirit and truth. Early Sunday morning I was fetched to attend a worship service. I must be honest – as we tackled the “hill” country on a road that is overcome by erosion, an experience of something like “being on open seas, tossed to and fro”, I wondered “will I make it?” The “House of the Lord” was a half completed, “borrowed” venue with a few plastic chairs and a cement floor. But when I entered I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord! God’s people were worshipping the Lord. It melted my heart – for the next ten minutes or so I just could not contain my tears. God met with me. Children, young people, men, women with limited music instruments were worshipping our Lord Jesus in spirit and in truth. I experienced a fresh tuck from God’s Word – “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” John 4:23
Nothing is too much when doing it for Him. I asked Alick – where do the students sleep, where do you prepare the meals etc.? He showed me a room with grass woven mats on the floor – they were so happy to be at this place – it was “catchy”. God has called them, they want to follow wherever He leads – and what more do they want. Content and blessed! I met a woman arriving at the Jesus film with a 9 year old boy on her back – out of breath. With the help of an interpreter she told me her story. “The boy heard that the Jesus film will be shown and the boy said he must come!” The woman carried him for quite a distance. He has a rare disease and his one leg is amputated above the knee. Malawi challenged me – Will I go whenever my Lord calls, wherever He sends and whatever He asks? Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Taking the Good News to the market place. What an experience! Shebeens, meat on open fires, paraffin stalls, dancing, real ‘beaty” African music, noises and more noises in a foreign language and lots and lots of people! My question – are we having the Jesus film in the midst of all this? A definite YES! People flocked to watch the Jesus film. The attentiveness with which children were listening struck me. A clear invitation was made to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. It made me think – how do we take the good news in our context into the market place? Matthew 28: 19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
“Thank you RUC for your partnership in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord far beyond our own borders. God bless you for your sacrificial giving” – this is what Alick, Joyce and the pastors asked me to convey not only once, but at various times. In Alick’s words – “this encourages us to keep on taking the good news to every corner of Malawi, because RUC prays for us and supports us!”