Thursday, November 25, 2010
The Bandas: Rutherford, Tsaihai and the family have been so welcoming and kind to Drew and I during our time here. They have made sure we are well fed (Tsaihai is a great cook!) and had everything we needed. I know that it couldn’t have been easy to have two foreigners live with you for 5 months, but that hasn’t stopped them from opening their house to us. I am grateful for them.
The students at the Bible college: Roderick, Shadrick, Leman and Emmanuel have been great students to teach during our two terms at Word of Life Bible College. It has been a privilege to be there teacher and they have been so willing to learn every day. I have learned a lot from these guys and will cherish their friendships.
The Jailosis: Maxwell, Pauline and their children Chimwemwe and Joanna have been great hosts to us during our time in Nsaru. They have made sure we have everything we need and helped us with the college and starting up the youth program. Like most Malawians we meet, I will remember them for their kindness and compassion.
Drew: I have been with Drew for about 5 months now, and it has been great to have him as a team member. We both may think differently at times, but that has helped us grow as individuals and as a team. Plus its nice to have another american around to process through our time in Malawi. He is a good Christian guy whose friendship I have enjoyed during my time here.
My family and friends: Your notes and emails have meant so much to me during my time in Malawi. Each has reminded me of how blessed I am to have such amazing family and friends. Thank you for your words of encouragement. They have inspired me.
I hope during this time you too will finds things to be thankful for. We can be always be thankful for the love God has shown us here on Earth.
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thess. 5:18
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”
Monday, November 8, 2010
This past week, Drew and I had the opportunity to attend and teach at a leadership conference that Bob and Peggy Kuest put on for church pastors and leaders in Malawi. Bob and Peggy travel all around the world holding leadership conferences that are based on the book Bob wrote called Uncommon Leadership (you should check it out along with his new book Uncommon Relationships at amazon.com). I had the opportunity to teach on David, the ruler of righteousness and on the topic of boldness. Both topics were learning experiences for me. I studied about how David ruled in righteousness to his people, even when he sinned with Bathsheba. David truly was a righteous man and a leadership example we should follow.
I also taught on boldness, which is something that I struggle with. But through studying to teach this lesson, I realized that we should have no fear in anything other than God (if you have time, you should do a word study on the “fear of God” in Psalms and Proverbs, it was eye opening for me). I told the story of my skydiving experience as something I did to conquer my fear of heights. I also taught that boldness is something the apostles got when they received the Holy Spirit. We should be bold in one thing, God, and not fear anything else, for He is with us always.
I also had a chance to preach one night at the conference. I preached on Romans 8:28 and how God works towards the good of those who love him. I gave a little of my testimony and talked about the lives of Joseph, Habakkuk, and Jesus. Each one had bad events happen in their lives but each trusted God to work his good through all things. God is working good in us, even in bad situations, and that was promised to us on the cross of Christ and his resurrection. There are some days when I still can’t see God’s good in the death of my dad, but I trust it is there because of the promise of the cross.
3 weeks to go
These next 3 weeks are going to be pretty busy for us as we get everything set up for the youth program before we leave as well as getting the translation of Youth Builder ready for the 2nd edit so it can be printed soon after that. Pray that our time left here can be fruitful, not only in the stuff we get done, but also in our time spent with the Bandas before we leave. I’ll end you with some verses from the sermon and lessons I gave at the conference.
Psalms 51:16-17 “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Written right after David is confronted with his sin)
Acts 4:29, 31 “Now, LORD, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God bodly.”
Habakkuk 3:17-19 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
His hands and feet,