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