It is everyone’s desire to live their dream. When one gets the chance a moment of truth arrives. It tests what you are made of. Will you allow fear to force you to take a step back or will you jump into the unknown? Since I was ten, being a missionary was my wildest dream. It seemed impossible, yet my heart told me that is what I was made to do. 11 years later the opportunity arrived to go to FTLT. What did I do? I jumped.
After an entire year of training we were finally ready for the big outreach. Excited and prepared we headed for Malawi. We found a land of freedom, safety, rich soil and Islam. My heart broke.
Ministry started on a lovely Sunday. David and I traveled to a remote area, where a church had recently begun. In the midst of their challenges, they persevered and gathered to hear the Word. Inspired by an earlier teaching we did this year called Chronological Approach, I started teaching the Bible from the Genesis. The message led to the mighty sacrifice our Lord made for us. It expressed how it was vital that the Son of God was the one to sacrifice his own life for us. One of the biggest question Moslems have is: How could God be man? How can God have a Son? They Holy Spirit just took over and I pray that the newly converted Moslems faith in God’s Son was reaffirmed and strengthened.
Farming God’s Way… An ordinary glance at these words, doesn’t show how it makes a girls’ dreams come true. But there is no turning back. It’s time to wear my heart on my sleeve. I had a dream that I would be a farmer’s wife on the mission field. Hard work, living with the seasons and depending upon the Lord for rain is part of my dream. Learning how to farm has been a great gift that I truly want to use. Damien and Erika taught a group of pastors how to farm in Molange. They were so excited they prepared the field beforehand and did experiments based on examples they got from a book. They have such a thirst for knowledge. They have a desire to learn and apply! God has native people working in the field who are capable, hardworking and willing. Praise the Lord!
We travelled up the lake, visiting rural churches that needed encouragement and help. We never expected how much they would appreciate our visit. We arrived by boat at Nalungu and were greeted by a choir of kids. They were singing about Paul and Silas praising God in prison. Something clicked into place at that moment. Although those great giants are in heaven right now – their work has not stopped. Not only do we still have their letters in the Bible, but we are following in their footsteps, encouraging each other in Christ’s love. We are youngsters just getting started in ministry. We are unimportant, inexperienced… Why would God use us? I feel like Moses, saying: “Oh Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Ex 4:10. Yet God put me in this team and sent me, knowing the mistakes I would make. He entrusted his precious people into our team’s hands, knowing that we are all ultimately in the PALMS OF HIS nail pierced hands! Will we fall? Will we fail? No, for love fills the holes of his hands. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from his GREAT love!
While we were there, we shared our testimonies and preached. Adults and children gave their lives to the Lord and they were saved! A lady had rheumatism and couldn’t make it to a crusade we had. She however listened to what was being said over the loud speakers. The next day she came and said that she believes in Jesus and she has been healed! She walked all the way to share her testimony. She could walk when only a few hours earlier she was bedridden. Wow! During children’s ministry I showed them pictures about the war that is taking place within their hearts. I showed them how God wants them to be his children, but how the Devil is fighting for that not to happen! Part of the illustration shows how the Devil uses witchcraft to ensnare us. They gave their hearts to the Lord, denouncing those evil snares and welcoming the Holy Spirit into their hearts! Shortly thereafter the kids joined the main service. The pastor said: “Any children who have been to a witchcraft school come forward.” All the children went forward. He prayed for them again – reaffirming how Jesus is the Lord of their lives now! One of the kids described how a witch came to him just before he was prayed for. The witch took back muti she had placed within him, afraid that it would be destroyed by prayer. Soon after that, that child was set free. That witch has no more power over him. He is free in Jesus’ Name!
My team became my family. Pastor Peter and his wife became our spiritual parents. I cried when I said goodbye. They mean so much to me. I love them. This chapter of my life is called “Chitenge”. A woman’s most valuable possession in Malawi is a chitenge. She brings her children into the world with one. She serves her family with a chitenge wrapped around her waist daily. It was my greatest desire to have one! A woman came forward, a chitenge folded neatly in her hands. “This is for you Amayi (my mother).” My heart pounded with thankfulness.
God created each of us with a unique purpose. Before creation he knew us by name and placed gifts within us. These gifts were designed to be shared with the world for his glory! I could see how he used our team individually and how their purpose in Christ was a glorious reality. I have finally understood why I am who I am today. It is not a surprise that I love music, drama and dancing. Dancing and singing with the Malawians to the Creator of the world under a magnificent starry sky, is what I was made for.
Teaching the youth a drama, expressing how Jesus freed us from sin was so much fun! Preaching and illustrating how David chopped off Goliath’s head, being mimicked by my translator was super! Who we are is not a mistake – it’s part of God’s glorious plan. He wants to use us to his glory and reveal a part of himself through us, to the world!
All my hopes and dreams will be captured in one look at Jesus’ face. I can hardly wait for that sweet day when I’ll be swept away to be with my King forever. In the meantime, I’ll make sure my lamp keeps on burning. My heart’s deepest prayer is that Malawi will put their trust in Christ and join me – living in anticipation for the sweet moment, when we will see him face to face!