Thank you for your fervent seeking the Lord on our behalf over the past 5 months that we’ve been in the USA. Our time here has been wonderful. We have been able to see so many of you and we thank God for that because you’ve been deeply missed by our family. If we have not seen you, we are so sorry that we didn’t get the chance to connect and fellowship with you.
September & October 2013
We are sorry that we have not updated you on what’s been going on over the last 2 months. It has been a whirlwind! The beginning of September meant us saying goodbye to all our dear friends and family in Peoria, IL and boarding on a plane to head west. But before we left IL, I (Luke) had a wonderful opportunity to share about missionary life at Peoria Christian High School. This time was so good with many youth asking great questions about what God might have them do for His glory in the future. Good stuff! The next day, we packed the car and tearfully said farewell to all of Becca’s family and drove to the airport. Typically, we’d fly to California but this time we had the unique opportunity to have a 4-day layover with our dear friends Eric and Becca Borgh in Seattle. It was a great time of fellowship and exploring the city with friends we’ve missed for so long.
|Luke and Eric|
|Our little world traveller in Seattle|
After a refreshing few days in Seattle, we hopped on a Southwest flight to Sacramento, CA and we have been here in California for the last 6 weeks. September was a crazy busy month of meetings, good times with friends and family, and then a wedding for one of my best friends on Sept 28. We praise God for this time in September where God was clearly giving us a time of much needed fellowship with people we’ve missed so much. Also, our little Zeke is growing fast! Just look at how cute he is!
September in Malawi
While we were going all over in the USA, Fostance and many other sports ministers in Malawi were busying themselves with the work of the Lord in their towns and villages. They had many discipleship meetings, Bible studies, and sporting events that lifted the name of Jesus high and saw many people come to faith in Christ. Praise God! To us, this was such an encouragement to see the ministry continuing on well in our absence.
|Ministry in the South is thriving|
|Newly elected sports ministers in the central region|
October 1st came in a hurry and we knew it was time to start getting ready to go back home to Malawi. But, we hadn’t seen so many people in southern California so we said, “Ah…what the heck! Let’s go!” And our 10-day trip to So-Cal was an immense blessing with many opportunities to connect with dear friends, pray, and share with many groups about the ministry in Malawi.
Not only did we have a chance to share at youth groups, small group Bible studies, and children’s church services but I was invited to speak to the youth of Jim Elliot Christian High School (where I went to high school). I had such a wonderful time sharing with the youth and connecting with teachers and friends I have not seen in a decade.
|Speaking @ Jim Elliot Christian High School Chapel|
In Ezekiel 11:19-20, the Lord says, “I will give them an undivided hear and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
|The Word of God is now in their hands and the Lord is at work|
This passage has been a prayer of ours for the people of Malawi over the past few months and we’ve seen God do some incredible things. Many of our trained sports ministry leaders now have the Bible and are effectively sharing Jesus and the story of redemption with many lost souls in their villages and towns. It has been elating to be able to talk with Fostance every week and hear updates from what is happening in Malawi. The Holy Spirit continues to move and now the vision of sports ministry has been cast to the central region with many church leaders there. Now, they’ve elected sports ministry leaders to take the Gospel to people like the Nyau (picture below). We pray that sports will be a way to reach these men and boys who are in trapped in African traditional religion with their hearts gripped by fear of the spirit world. We bring a Gospel of good news and hope that melts our fears because Jesus has conquered all the forces of darkness!
|Nyau warrior doing traditional dance|
Reason for Praise…People coming to Christ!
Lastly, we wanted to inform you of a mighty act of the Lord in the southern region of Malawi. Over the summer, Fostance casted the vision of Sports Friends ministry in some VERY rural villages on the other side of the river. Not many people usually go there because it is so remote, but Fostance had a passion to reach them so he went. In August, he met with the church leadership and then, last week, Fostance went to meet the newly elected sports ministry leaders. What he found upon his arrival at the village was quite an encouragement. He found hundreds of villagers gathered and the sports ministers had planned an outreach event where the Gospel would be preached. At the end of a wonderful time, one of our trained sports ministry leaders preached the Gospel and OVER 40 PEOPLE repented of their sins and surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Praise God! The church leaders were all in awe and they said, “Wow! This is a powerful evangelistic and church outreach tool!” That is the goal and now the churches are all excited in that region to use sport as a platform for proclamation of the greatness of Jesus.
|Coach Clement preaching the Gospel and many came to faith|
Packing up and heading back to Malawi on October 28
Well…we are almost fully packed with all 13 of our bags and we are leaving on Monday morning to fly from SFO-NYC-South Africa-Malawi. It will be a long journey of over 42 hours of travel (26 in the air). We are so excited to get back home to Malawi and continue in the ministry that God has clearly called us to. It won’t be easy saying goodbye to family and friends this weekend but we are gonna spend eternity with you all who love Christ. So…with this short lifetime, we are committed to making disciples of all nations and that brings us back to Malawi.
Please pray that…
-All of our baggage would miraculously arrive with us in Malawi on Oct 30.
-God would protect our sweet 2 month old baby Ezekiel from Malaria as we enter Malawi in the high time for Malaria.
-For the kids to get some sleep on the LONG journey back to Malawi.
-We’d all continue to lean hard into Christ for our strength and joy in the midst of some pretty faith-testing times.
-The Holy Spirit would continue moving in power through this ministry in Malawi.
-Praise Jesus for the wonderful time He gave us in the USA over the summer up to now. It couldn’t have gone much better.
-Praise the Lord for a fruitful time of support raising as we are now at 100% for our living expenses and funding for the ministry is growing (thanks to many of you!).
-Praise God for a wonderful 10-day trip to southern Cali. We were so encouraged by many believers and churches.
-Praise Jesus that many young men and women are learning what it means to walk with Christ in the southern region of Malawi because their church is reaching out to them through sports ministry.