We returned to Kamphata. The children ran after the car shouting “mzungu, mzungu.” I always ask them (in chichewa) where the ‘mzungu’ is. That always shocks them. Out here anything different is exciting – a lighter skin tone and a car constitutes a ‘white person’. Their shock at my Chichewa is always funny and they laugh. I take a few pictures of them. The digital camera is a blessing in the village as children get to see what they look like. I often wonder about that. It is not like they have full length mirrors at home.
It has been a tough and busy week but we were excited to get back to ministering. I was not sure what I was sharing on even though I had typed notes on the topic of faith. When we got there I just felt like it was not the right thing to do. I have no difficulty expressing that… I don’t know what to do. Sometimes we try to appear so competent but the truth will always set us free - and it did me. We worshipped until the Lord gave direction. Our subject ended up being on salvation. I love to teach on it and the group was excited to learn to understand and better articulate the work of salvation. In the village in most cases, salvation is worked for and so questions like, “if you sinned and died a few seconds later without repenting, would you go to heaven?” are met with an emphatic, “No!”. We talked about being dead in our trespasses and sins and the gravity of knowing that without Christ Jesus means without life! It is the most exciting, rewarding thing, to look into the eyes of people and see their response to GRACE!
There was a group of ladies present who had come for their own meeting and it had failed. They joined us and were blessed. They spoke about the design of God who works all things according to His purpose.
There is no drug that can match the ministering of the word. None. I don’t mean that with disrespect to ministering, I just mean, it is like fire through the bones and the thought that the WORD carries with it changing power, is astounding. We can speak words that can transform lives! We need only get HIS word into our mouths. That is a humbling thought and a little scary because it challenges us to think about how best we are using the tools God has so lavishly blessed us with. If our mouths have the capacity to transform lives, what percentage of it is used to do just that? Just a thought.
Kamphata has become like home. We never really know the capacity we have in our hearts to hold people until they come along. There are so many people in my heart since I began to minister in the villages. It appears that every time I feel like I have reached the peak of my capacity, God makes room.
We met a man last week whose ministry is with orphans and assisting them. His focus is orphaned children being placed with families and so has asked for names of pastors taking care of orphans. In Malawi, that is about 90% of the pastors we know. He takes care of the family, putting ALL the children through school up until university level all the while paying for school fees, uniforms, medical, clothing and food. This is not only for the orphaned children in the home but ALL the children. When I heard the news, I began to weep like I haven’t in a very long time. The words I am writing cannot express the emotion in my heart right now. I thought of Milanzi and his eleven children (three of which are orphans nieces and nephews). I thought about how he would feel when he realised that he will never AGAIN have to worry about schooling, feeding and clothing his children. For him, ‘the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want’ is manifesting right before his eyes. I cried and yet, they were not tears of joy. It was weeping a burden out. It was realising that God cares! God is AWESOME! He cares more than we can comprehend. He cares for every person I meet in the village. He knows them by name. I am in shock at the realisation of what this will mean for the hundreds of pastors we come across. Doing it for one family is amazing. Doing it for a hundred is unfathomable.
I am in awe of WHO HE IS. Having said that, I am no closer to understanding our Father. With every trip into the village I am brought closer to the heart of God. These are the ‘least of these’. These are the ones forgotten by man and yet each of their names is inscribed in the palm of His hand. There are people here who will live their entire lives in the village, perhaps never get any wealthier (financially) but God has them in the palm of His hand. That is why it imperative to get the bible into their hands. In the face of suffering, poverty, sickness and disease there must be a stand of the hope in Christ. They need the word. They NEED the WORD!!! It is the only hope. It had the power to transform the mind of a young girl and let her know that SHE MATTERS! The word has riches that can propel someone out of despair into hope. A book with words and yet… within the pages and paragraphs is the life force of God. The bottom line… THEY NEED BIBLES!
Alas, I have been preachier that informative but my heart… there is a song. “I left my heart in San Francisco. I think I leave my heart in the Mngwangwa, Mgona, Kamphata… and every time I go back I am reconnected with it and remember the reason why God put me on this planet.
Sunday we are in Mngwangwa.