This life we live in is not easy. I know most people know that and are dealing with a plethora of things that far outweigh any trial that we currently are going through. But this month of December has brought us many gifts of suffering. God’s Word reminds us to “Consider it joy whenever we face trials…” We’ve memorized it, taught it, but now I can say we are attempting to live it by the power of Christ in us. Broken vessels is what we are and we constantly need the filling of the Maker of heaven.
Over the past week, we know many of you have been praying more than ever for our little family of four here in Malawi. You’ve sacrificed valuable time, energy, and tears into praying for us. And God has comforted us. Last Wednesday night was the funeral for our friends who were killed in the auto accident and I (Luke) can honestly say that that it was the most amazing service of any sort that I’ve ever been to. It was something straight from heaven and the Holy Spirit so led that time that every person in the room was left in awe of our great Father and of the brevity of life and the reality that this life is just the beginning. We will never forget what happened as the service was coming to a close after 4 sweet hours. We were singing the song “10,000 Reasons” written by Matt Redmond. And we were watching the two widows of Lusayo and Wanangwa and we watched them break out into full fledged praise to God. There was probably over 1,500 people in the room and every one was in awe of the Lord as we sang, “Bless the Lord oh my soul, ooohhh my soul, worship His holy name! Sing like never before, oh my soul, I’ll worship His holy name.” Everyone, including the widows were praising God. Then we sang “Blessed Be Your Name” and we came to the part of the song which says, “You give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name!” Again the wives were praising their King for giving them their wonderful husbands for the few months that they’d been married. Honestly, I don’t know if I’d be able to do that if I lost Becca. But their praise just pointed everyone in the room to a greater reality and it was beautiful. Thank you for praying for them.
2nd ever Sports Friends Basic Training
|Pastor Fostance teaching|
Because of all that’s happened in the past few weeks, I have made the decision to stay back from the sports ministry training and commissioning of over 70 newly elected leaders that we’ve been working with and pouring into for the past 12+ months. Things have not been good at home as we’ve attempted to readjust back into life in Malawi and we are all having quite a rough go. It seems like every single thing we attempt to do goes wrong. Our electricity wires got stolen a few nights ago so that left us without power for a few days, we’ve got a stomach bug that’s floored both Becca and I, the kids are doing well, aside from Zeke not sleeping great, but I think our parenting has not been the best over the past few weeks. All that to say, I met with Fostance and our other 4 volunteer sports ministry trainers all day today to hash out the newly changed plan. This whole hugely disappointing time has led me to realize how capable my brothers and sisters in Christ are to do this training. Fostance is an incredible leader and man of God. His words to me today came as a huge blessing. He said, “My brother, you need to stay back. We can do this. The Holy Spirit will do great things. But you need to be with your wife and kids who are suffering.” I really believe that something great is about to happen for the Kingdom of God in Malawi and the enemy of our souls is doing everything is his power to stop it. Everything. But he is a chained and defeated foe because of this Baby in the manger who came for us. Although Satan would like nothing more than for us to cancel this Basic Training and disappoint all the church-based sports ministry leaders who have been eagerly awaiting this training, we are going through with it. Just without me. I will still drive down tomorrow with all the set up stuff and all of our ministry trainers but then I’ll drive back to Blantyre to be with Becca, Lyz, and Zeke for the week. Then, I hope to go down on the last day of the training to be there for the commissioning service of our new sports ministers. So…that’s the plan but we hold it with open hands to the Lord. We need Him to show up in a huge way and this is such a key time in the lives of so many for the proclamation of the Gospel in this land. Many of you have given towards this training and we hope that hundreds more youth will be experiencing the love of Christ for the first time because their newly trained coach has been sent out by a local church in their village to bring them the greatest news in the world: God has made a way through Christ and He cares for them.
Will you please pray for us? We need travelling mercies as we have a SUPER packed minibus and must drive down a treacherous winding mountain road to get to the location of the training. Secondly, pray for Fostance, Shaddy, Alice, Chisomo, and Honest as they lead and teach what sports ministry is all about. Lastly, pray that God would move in the hearts of the participants of the training. We want to send out strong coaches who love Christ above all things and want to be disciple-makers.
|newly elected sports ministers with their Bibles|
That’s all for now. I’m off to bed before a crazy day tomorrow. Love you guys and hope that you’ll consider praying for us.
|netball is the platform the girls will use to proclaim the greatness of Jesus|
For His Fame,