Ministry News: Reformation Bible Church (Lilongwe, Malawi) (September 2020)

Dear friend,

Greetings in the matchless name of King Jesus!

Please find attached our update for your encouragement and consideration.

What if? I wonder how things would have been if I had stayed in South Africa. After growing up there, I felt a strong urge to move to my country of birth. Though Malawi was unknown territory to me and my wife, even though we were both born here, we can say that, in hindsight, our move here six years ago was orchestrated by him.

Below are some of the highlights we have been a part of the past few months. All this to say that we are thankful that God enabled us to move here. And we are thankful for your partnership. We would not have been able to do this without you. I hope this update encourages you. Six years later, there is a church that is growing, a training centre that has just started, and much more.

Life at Reformation Bible Church (RBC)

We have been enjoying a great number of months. After returning from a “mild” lockdown, we have had a surge in church attendance. The expectation was that we would see a decline in attendance but the opposite has been true. Of course, we are not complaining. The surge in attendance has provided us with a good problem. We are in need of expanding our property to prepare for a church structure.

The tent has served us well and we are grateful. But the need for a more permanent structure has never been greater. I have always believed that the building is not the church and I still do. However, I am also now more convinced that having a building will ease efforts of making disciples in greater ways than not having one. A building will afford us opportunities to have multiple teaching opportunities simultaneously. At the moment all activities are done in the tent and we can only have one activity at a time. With differing needs and the church growing and spiritual needs varying, we will be better off if we can have different classrooms and spaces to meet different needs.

Spiritual Diet

We are going through the book of Mark. What a refreshing book it has already been. The objective of choosing this book was for us to see Jesus. Could there be anyone more precious for us to see? We are also going through the series on the attributes of God. These never grow stale. We are always in need of a constant reminder of the grandeur of God.

The Men’s Ministry

Our men continue to gather every week in different discipleship groups and come together once a month. Last gathering, we studied depression. This is a conversation that is rarely dealt with from a biblical perspective. We had a great conversation and we sharpened each other to “do the next right thing.” With the majority members being men in their mid-twenties, single, and mostly inadequately employed, depression is rampant. And, to combat passivity the phrase “do the next right thing” is becoming a popular phrase at RBC.

Lilongwe Bible Training Centre

We have started a training centre. That’s right. Reformation Bible Church has started Lilongwe Bible Training Centre (LBTC). With the biblical illiteracy pandemic ravishing our country, we are burdened to fill the gap. We believe there is a need for us to provide an opportunity to equip members of our church and other churches. We want to help students love God more by helping them listen to God as he speaks through his word. LBTC seeks to help students understand how the Bible works and what the Bible is about so that they will be equipped to benefit from it in their personal study and so that they will be able to live it and explain it better to others.

Family

We are doing well as a family. With COVID-19, we have had to homeschool Chisomo and our niece who has been staying with us since January. It’s been a humbling experience. I didn’t know I would be clueless on some material Grade 3 students do. It was and still is a privilege to be “that” involved in the education of our child.

We are excited about moving to our home. It has been a long journey, but we are thankful to God for the progress. If you have household items that are usable, let us know. We have an almost empty house. But the biggest need is a solar system. The house has no electricity but we would like to move in anyway. So, the solar system will be a huge blessing. We need about R60,000 to get a good one to power the whole house.

Now, probably the most exciting news is that we are pregnant again. Yes, we are about five months. You may have heard that we had a miscarriage earlier this year. The good Lord has surprised us again and we are very delighted.

Praise Items

  1. We are grateful to God in the way he is enabling us as a church to experience spiritual and numerical growth.
  2. As a family, we are so excited about our move to our house.
  3. We are thankful for a strong start to the training centre.

Prayer Items

  1. Pray for strength to remain faithful and fruitful.
  2. We are in need of a solar system to power our house that has no electricity. We need R60k.

If you are able to help us reach this target, please do direct support to:

Account name: Living Hope Church/ Mission Malawi.
Bank: Absa
Account number: 9283856437
Branch code: 632005

Every blessing,

Newton, Vanessa, Chisomo, and Karabo

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