Dear friends and family,
Greetings in the matchless name of the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ!
This is our very first update of the year. We hope you will be encouraged by knowing what has been happening in the life of the Chilingulos and their ministry.
Life at Reformation Bible Church (RBC) has been very interesting. For most part, interesting good. We have a discipline case that has been hard to navigate. On one hand the leadership desires to win over the sinning person yet without tolerating the sin. In God’s providence this happened after we had taught on the biblical understanding of church discipline from Mark Dever’s 9 Marks of a Healthy Church.
Having said that, there are many encouraging happenings in our church life. We are experiencing growth continuously. And, we take no credit for that. The ladies have continued to meet for a Bible study fortnightly and once a month for ladies’ breakfast. They have been looking into the biblical response to feminism. This agenda has swept into our culture and church in Malawi. Many women who are biblically illiterate are legitimatising this agenda. They believe it is about fighting for women’s rights and the equality of men and women. The ladies were reminded that the equality of men and women is a biblical idea. And, that the heart of feminism is to attack God’s design for marriage and the family.
We remain involved in outreaches at campuses. It hasn’t been easy to stamp our presence as these campuses are a bit far from us and resources are almost nonexistent. We are, however, encouraged that there is a good group that is open to sound teaching.
The students recently organised a conference they called “Reformation Conference.” The prosperity gospel is the face of Christianity at this campus. And, those that understand the gospel called us to help out and preach the five solas. One attendant from the prosperity circles had this to say after the conference: “After attending this conference I was enraged and want to confront my pastor whose teachings is clearly not consistent with what the Bible is teaching. I would appreciate more of these teachings.” Testimonies like these are common. But, sadly, many who even come to some level of discernment remain in these circles. Some have noble motivations of wanting to reform from within”. We need wisdom to stamp our presence on these needy college campuses.
Training Church Planters
One burden of ours is to see more churches planted in our city and country. But there is little practical training available. Even good seminaries seem not to be equipping men to be able to church plant. The training from seminaries seems geared for men who are going to existing churches. But the common reality is, many men after training realise that they cannot remain in their churches, or at least not for a long time. This necessitates training men to be able to understand the dynamics and raw materials of church planting. This is no easy feat. No man will ever be fully equipped to plant a church. But it helps to at least be prepared. For that reason, we at RBC are involved in a monthly church planting workshop where we get together with between 10–12 men from different churches and denominations. The conversations have been enriching. The common comments have been, “I wish I had this training before I planted our church.”
Lord willing, we will be moving to our new location next month. There remains a few things to be fixed. We have constructed bathrooms, but there remains much plumbing work, toilet pans and seats, painting, installing glass, windows, construction of a road to the church plot, and a gate on the building to mention a few that needs to be done. We are trusting the Lord that this new place will help us reach out to the new community. It will also make us easily accessible.
We are faring well as a family. We are growing together. The burdens and joys of ministry are spicing up our family altar. We, among other things, are often talking about what we are thankful for. It’s so easy to be consumed with what is not going well.
Last week, Chisomo received her award for swimming excellence. We are super proud for the girl she is becoming. She is taking notes in church, which show that she is able to not only endure but to enjoy her dad’s sermons. She has been complaining that my sermons are long. She turned seven three weeks ago.
Karabo is keeping us on our toes. He is fast. He doesn’t just walk but wants to sprint. He calls everyone “Daddy.” This is not very good news for Vanessa, but she adores him to bits still. It’s been amazing to see Vanessa care for our two children. Her health has been improving significantly. But the past few weeks she has been experiencing headaches. We hope and pray is nothing serious.
- Thank the Lord for the safe arrival of our tent.
- Growth in spiritual depth and numbers.
- Opportunities to witness on college campuses
- Please consider praying and partnering with us by contributing towards our bathroom/restrooms project. We need about R55,000 to make the facilities usable. Any amount counts.
- Wisdom to remain courageous and biblical as we navigate through discipline issues at the Church.
- Pray for our10% employed congregants to be diligent in their workplaces and 90% unemployed to remain faithful and diligent as they wait upon the Lord.
- We just concluded 9Marks of a healthy Church series. Please pray we will be a Church that is Biblically sound and healthy.
- If you able to contribute towards our restroom facilities project please direct your support to:
Account Name: Living Hope Church/ Mission Malawi. ABSA bank: Account number: 9283856437.
“Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (Apostle Paul).
Grace and peace,
Newton, Vanessa, Chisomo and Karabo