We are so excited to be serving in Malawi. We invite you to take this journey with us. Keep the beautiful people of Malawi in your prayers, and us too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Gospel with Fruit and Veggies

First of all we wanted to thank you for your fervent prayers. Things have calmed down a bit here in Malawi politically. But the future is still uncertain but we will continue to pray that some of these huge issues get worked out without anyone else losing their life. Thank you. God is at work.

Currently we are at the annual Spiritual Life Conference in Kasungu (northern Malawi) until Friday. So far it has been a wonderful time of fellowship and fun with the missionary community serving all over Malawi. God is so faithful and He has given us a family here that we have all been praying for. Amazing people from all over the world serving the Lord in different areas, all going after His glory.

But I (Luke) just wanted to share one of a few ways that God has been answering your prayers in the last week of trouble for this country. As many of you know, we were told not to go outside for pretty much two straight days because of the unrest. So...as you were seeking the Lord to work in amazing ways, He did. He brought people to us. We couldn't go to them on these days so He brought people who needed Jesus to our doorstep. Alice is one of the two people that He brought to us and this is her story..........

She is a Malawian woman whom we heard about from a few other missionaries. She brings fruit and vegetables twice a week to your house for no extra charge. So, in order to help her out and also get some fresh fruit and veggies in the process, we asked her to stop by our house twice a week too.

Alice lives in a township (slum) in Blantyre and has five children. Not long ago, her husband was killed in an accident on his way home from business in South Africa when the bus he was in was struck by a semi-truck. So..this left Alice a widow with 5 young kids to raise. Unbelievable hardship and you can see it when you look in her eyes.

To make matters even more difficult, her precious children are not well. Three of them have Malaria and one has a terrible skin disease and Alice has no way of helping them. My friend Rose was interpreting for me when I was talking with Alice. And, as we listened to Alice share her grief, Rose had tears in her eyes and said to me, "This woman is in very desperate circumstances. She has no means of helping her sick children and can barely feed them enough to live but when they live they just suffer." Those words struck me. When they live they just suffer. She then went on to plead with me if I could give her a loan of about $19 so that she can take her child with the skin disease to the hospital to get a treatment to minimize the pain. Praise be to God! Thanks to you and your generosity to God's work in Malawi her child will have relief for at least a little while from her skin disease. Alice then went on to explain, in detail, how grateful she is and I was able to share with her that it is Christ alone who is helping her. He owns everything. Nothing we have is ours but it's all a gift from God that He wants us to use for His fame among the nations. She then said, "Thank you Jesus!" in broken English and then told me that she will give us free fruit and veggies for a long time.

We are overwhelmed at the goodness of God that He has us here for such a time as this. People are suffering greatly, please pray for Alice and her precious children who have such a difficult life. Pray that they might know the goodness of the Lord in the midst of their sorrow and that we'd be able to show it to Alice every time she comes to our door.

I love you all.


Here's a quick quote I read today and liked a lot, "The starting point of your radical life is your radical death---death to yourself and death to your every attempt to do enough before God." -from David Platt's book Radical Together

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Urgent: Prayer Needed

As some of you may know, Malawi is going through some seriously rough times and today the people decided that enough is enough. So....riots broke out in the capital city of Lilongwe. From there, the chaos spread throughout the entire country. We will learn specifics soon but several are dead and thousands continue to mob, loot, and flip the cities upside down. Malawi needs prayer. The scene is not quite as bad or dangerous in Blantyre (where we live) but there were thousands of demonstrators filling the streets today and violence broke out later in the day. To learn more about the situation go to BBC and type in "Malawi" or go to Google and search it.

We never imagined that we'd be so close to something like this so soon after getting here. God is in control....we have no doubts about that but just pray that people won't lose their lives as things escalate. We have no clue as to how this situation will resolve....both sides need to have humility and the Lord can easily accomplish that.

As I type this, I heard machine-gun fire. This is probably the clearest reminder that we’ve ever had that this world is not our home. We have a citizenship in heaven with the King of the universe and we can take deep comfort and joy in that! As Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” So, as our hearts grieve those who have died today and as we seek His face on behalf of this country let us be reminded that our peace is not in our governments, money, cars, or comfort zones. I can say this because I have spoken with Malawian believers today who greeted me with a smile and said, “The Lord Jesus sees it all and will accomplish good through it all.” Eternity is real and so let our comfort be in Christ alone because this world is a uncertain place.

Love you all,

Luke, Becca, and Lyzee

Saturday, July 16, 2011

We finally got internet connection!

Sorry this update has taken so long. We finally have internet at our house so we can hopefully keep everyone updated weekly. Thanks for being apart of this....

Tikuphunzira Chichewa (We’re currently learning Chichewa)

Our first two weeks of language study we are meeting with our teacher (Fannie) two hours every day. Becca is quickly picking up the sentence structures and grammatical rules of Chichewa while Luke is retaining vocabulary well and greeting people we meet on the street. So, the Lord has given us strengths and weaknesses that compliment each other. After our first two weeks of intense study we’ll be meeting 2-3 times a week. We’re having a lot of fun learning the language and we have a great teacher and we praise God for that!

Tinabwera ku Malawi kufalitsa mawu aMulungu. (We have come to Malawi to spread the Word of God)

As for the soccer ministry, God has been opening up huge doors of opportunity. Last week Luke had several key meetings with national church leaders and sports outreach leaders. One of them was Fostance (national youth coordinator for Africa Evangelical Church) whose ministry touches over 150 Church bodies in this country. He is an incredible man of God and was excited to team up with Luke to reach Malawian youth for Jesus through sport. Over the next month, Luke will have 8 more meetings with Church leaders to get the soccer ministry started. We have to take it slow because we want to be as strategic as possible to initiate lasting change that the local church takes hold of and runs with. There is no boundaries for what the Lord can do with this ministry!

Dzina lanu ndani? (What is your name?)

Here is a little snapshot of our everyday life so far! Every day we spent time with our friend Wyson. He has a 7 year old son Pilirani who adores Lyzee. They play together all the time! Every morning Lyzee wakes up and says “Pili!” and then runs to the front door to find Pili waiting for her. The neighborhood kids come over to our house every day to play soccer and get a piece of candy from Luke. We are quickly making friends and having people over for tea. Today, we are having our Muslim friend Rafik over for tea and a soccer game. Pray that we can sew thread of the Gospel in His life. There are Gospel opportunities all the time!

We are able to practice our Chichewa with our new friends but they mostly laugh and correct us. Every morning we leave our house and take the 1 ½ mile walk to the SIM office for language study. Luke has a backpack full of study notes, toys and snacks for Lyzee. Becca is carrying a very heavy Lyzee on her back like the local women. Lyzee is waving and saying “Hi! Hi! Hi!” to everyone she sees. She is such a link and conversation started for us. God is using her already. We pass the same women with their beautiful babies sitting on the side of the road selling their goods: bananas, fish, sugar cane and airtime cards (minutes for cells phones). We say hello in very broken Chichewa and they laugh and say hello back. Daily, we try to add new words to our greetings whenever we pass by. By the time we reach the office we are tired but happy. This 45 minute morning walk has quickly become one of our favorite parts of the day.

Awa ndi banja langa ku Malawi. (This is my family in Malawi.)

The SIM team here us just like a big family. Everyone has been extremely helpful and kind. The ladies on the team have helped Becca with grocery shopping and cooking. Every other Thursday the team gets together for prayer and worship. This a great time of fellowship and encouragement.

Our health has been pretty good so far. We know getting used to new bugs and germs is just part of moving to a new place. Lyzee finally got her first of many bugs. It was only 24 hours and very mild.

Ndikukupembedzerani inu. (I am praying for you)

-Please pray for the church in Malawi as they continue to grow in the Lord.

-Pray for spiritual renewal for the believers here, that they would not be lukewarm but on fire.

-Please pray for Luke has he starts the soccer ministry in a culturally sensitive way.

-Pray for the many people we have over or see everyday. Pray that the power of Christ would be shown through our lives and grasped in theirs.

-Praise that the local church leaders are excited about sports ministry as an outreach.

Also, all Malawi SIM missionaries will soon be heading off to a Spiritual Life Conference. This will be a time of refreshment, encouragement and fun. Please pray for all the missionaries to arrive safely from all over the country and that we’d have a rich time together.

We love you all and we can't do this without you. Psalm 113