I intend to pass through Macedonia, (Malawi?)…
for a wide door for effective work has opened to me.
1 Corinthians 16:5,9
In 2019, the Orality Institute was invited to introduce oral training to pastors from Grace Bible Churches and to prison chaplains from Prison Fellowship of Malawi. Both groups that were trained during that week were thrilled with this new method they could use to train their people in God’s Word. Since that time, Bread of Life Churches based out of Balaka, in central Malawi, and Iris Africa Bible School in Bangula, southern Malawi, asked for this training for their people.
The desire for oral training has grown in Malawi but the challenge of leading that training from the U.S. is significant. Since the emphasis of this ministry is discipleship, it made sense to prepare our experienced Ugandan leaders to oversee the work in Malawi. The work in Uganda has matured to the point where there are 9 zones each with teachers, classes, and an oversight committee. Now those who have set up the training structure in Uganda can replicate into these four new ministries in Malawi. The idea of Ugandans training leaders in Malawi makes sense culturally, financially, and biblically.
It is exciting to watch the multiplication of people transformed by God’s Word expand to this international level. The first book of the oral curriculum was translated into Chichewa for use in Malawi during 2020 and the second book is in progress. Last October, we held a Hike and Bike fundraiser for this trip to Malawi, which raised $12,333. As we began putting together a detailed budget, we realized that the cost will be $17,000 because of the higher costs in Malawi, the 4 different ministries, and the expense of bringing teachers from Uganda.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ. Colossians 4:2-3
An essential component to success in missions is flexibility. There are always unexpected events that cause plans to change. In 2020, all of our plans had to change because of the virus. Training in Malawi was scheduled for September 2021, but with the Malawi border closed that training was re-scheduled for February. When the U.S. canceled travel to eight southern Africa countries, plans were changed again to do the training over Zoom and testing was done to make sure that it was possible. When the travel restrictions relaxed, the training was again scheduled for in person.
Tickets were purchased, visas applied for, and then Cyclone Ana hit on January 26th. Ana dumped so much water on Malawi that roads were cut off, bridges were wrecked, and homes were destroyed. In the days following, electricity, food, clean water, and essential supplies all became scarce. Instead of preparing to host visitors, everyone’s attention turned to helping those in crises from southern Malawi. Please join us in prayer for these brothers and sisters and their needs.
The training is still needed and still being requested by the four ministries in Malawi. The dates have now been changed to April 18th – May 5th, but it is very clear that we need to remain flexible even as we go forward. The Lord knows when we come and when we go. It is His work that we are doing, and it is His Word that we are proclaiming. Join us in prayer as we watch and wait for God’s timing.