Friday, March 5, 2010

Destiny's Life Force, Destiny's Power Source

This Thursday was our second in the book of Romans. We got as far as verse 6 of chapter 1.

The trip out was difficult as I was feeling sick but at least the roads were not wet and muddy...well, not as much as they usually are. On arrival, we had a wonderful time of prayer. It is amazing to see the growth in prayer that has taken place with this group of leaders. We can sense the power of God as we pray and the singing is nothing less than amazing. Mr Nkhoma is sick but still comes and so his nephew Yowasi leads. His voice is just full of intimacy. You just know that He knows the One he is speaking about. I always count it a privilege that I can be a part of this type of worship...because sometimes in town, we are taken up with song words on brochures, or the wrong key that the keyboard just hit...or that could just be me. Things like that distract me. Things like spelling errors in the song words and microphones that suddenly stop working. Not always but sometimes, I get distracted. In the village, it just seems so simple...focus on God, worship Him because He is worthy to be praised. And that we did.

Our first order of business was to see whether everyone had done their homework of memorising their scriptures. Romans 8, verse 1 and 2. There was applause as one after another men and women, young and old recited the verses. 31 were flawless, 11 were able to say one and 11 others were unable. Each group received encouragement and admonition as was fitting. Of the 31 flawless was Nadiyango, who is a lady from Kasakula (in Kalimbira). She is illiterate but because of the availability of the talking bible, she is able to hear the word as well as recite it. when she recited her verses the room was filled with cheering! She now comes to the class with her chief who is a believer. What is beautiful about Group Village Headman Kasakula is that he sits amidst his fellow leaders (somewhere in the 5th row), never looking for special treatment. He is an eager student, raising his hand and attempting to answer questions. When I think about the people that he is over and how we find myself teaching is a little unsettling. I guess that is the beauty of the Kingdom...the cross is the great equalizer...we are all one in Christ.

16 of the 31 that flawlessly said their two scriptures did not have bibles and were given Full Life Study Bibles as it is the standard bible for the class. It affords the group a concordance and articles as well as commentaries. We now find people from the village able to tell you when a book was written, why and the main theme of that are just blown away. Though bibles have doubled in price in the last year most of the class has still been able to have one. It now costs 60% of what it costs to feed a family of.

The highlight of the day was an old granny who had not memorised her scriptures but told us how much she loves the class and how people are even asking her now where she learnt all that she knows, “I may not be able to memorise but I love this class, I love learning.” It was a warming testimony. She became my granny. I love having grannies....

In our teaching we covered being equipped for the calling of God. We talked about being in a foreign country, like Mozambique but having Malawian Kwacha. “You cannot use Kwacha in Mozambique. You will find yourself sleeping on the street, going hungry just because you have money but it is not for where you are. God has supernaturally equipped us, He has graced us to do the work that He has called us to but that grace of for what HE has called us to. There is not grace to the sense that there is no empowerment from Him, now favour, now supernatural ability to sin. There is grace to make it out of sin. Walking outside the will of God is like being in Mozambique with Kwacha. The wealth that God has deposited in you will only bless you and others when you are where He has placed you, when you are fulfilling your destiny.”

We also talked about how nothing is made without purpose. Everything has a purpose before it is even made, and that goes especially for us that are made in His image. Our very existence in this day speaks to the truth that we have purpose in this day.

We left with a sense of purpose, of humility in realisation that we need God to constantly keep us on the path that He has set for us because our hearts were filled with this awareness that we WILL stand before Him to give an account as to whether we lined up with the purpose for which we were created.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It all started with a bold declaration...It will not rain on Thursday! It did very very hard, although before that...there was an entire morning of sunshine. In order to get out to community during the rainy season, we must either have no rain, or consistent rain. Going out we had no rain and coming back we had consistent rain. This meant we could make it through and praise God for that! This was unlike two weeks earlier when we had the truck spin in almost 60 degrees while we sat in the back and prayed profusely that we might not get stuck in the mud. We made it out of 5 such muddy situations during that one journey and arrived an hour later than our usual class time...only to find everyone praising God and waiting to hear the word. Come rain or shine...they come to hear the word. It is humbling...bowing our backs down to the place where we are overwhelmed. Could I walk through the rain to hear the word? Do I love Him that much? Sometimes during rainy days I fail to rise and praise Him even in the comfort of my bed, so the question that always never fails to leave me is this: why would they come to hear me?

It is a blessing to feel this though because it cuts you off at the knees and brings you down to size...the bible calls it humility...daily dwelling dependency on God because as debased as our hearts and minds are...we all need God to do anything. That is the heart in which we find ourselves in 2010...needing God desperately.

And so we find ourselves being a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are launching the Somebody Cares YAFORCE youth manual. YAFORCE was an acronym that the founder, Theresa, came up with, long before there was anything. No, office, no staff, no anything and she said...”YAFORCE, Youth Alliance For Change”. At the time I looked around and there was nothing. Today, we have a 300 hundred strong youth movement, a Gideonite army of sorts all focused on our vision “Transformation through the Word of God”.

So, Launching the youth manual seemed a perfect way of returning to this blog. Even though I have not written in a very long work has indeed continued. It seems to me that God knew what HE meant when He said, “there is a time for everything under the sun...a time to speak and a time to be quiet.” It is time to speak again.

We started this new year WITH A BIG BANG! Four months of focus and determination. It all came about as one young leader told us that his greatest difficulty was finding something for his group to do. In so doing he echoed the same for the others.

The launch, though, was somewhat bittersweet. Having never had children I cannot use the analogy of giving birth. I can, however, say that after carrying a vision...letting go is euphoric...a great high that sometimes ends in a great low. I think it is because you spend so much time preparing and the release is short and then things are suddenly out of your hand...and you must watch them take flight and soar as you always intended but never expected to deal with the loss.

33 youth attended the launch of the youth manual together with four zone leaders. It was a time of celebration...with the rain slamming down on the corrugated roof of the newly built Mngwangwa Centre. It made me think about the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I am by no means comparing anything but it felt like God came down on us...hard!

There was applause foreverything said; the excitement was tangible. It was exhilarating. We took the youth through the use of the manual, its different categories and its benefits. Loveness Khosa, the youth leader from Mtandile could not contain her joy. Her beaming smile said it all and more.

The manual is a week by week program on activities the youth would involve themselves in. The weeks are organised as follows; (1) reach for life week (here we inserted 10 bible study topics from the reach for life youth bible, teaching the youth to look into the word and allow the Holy Spirit to train them in breaking the bread of the word into edible pieces that would then bring transformation. How often we swallow the word whole and get indigestion). (2) Debate week, where we give debate topics that the youth can deliberate over, teaching them how to use the word of God to effectively discuss social topics affecting their communities (like, ‘is it wrong for a Christian to grow and sell tobacco?’). (3) Teaching week which develops the teaching skills of the leaders and enhances the knowledge and wisdom of the youth. Teachings are provided for the youth leaders, (4) ministry week which is broken into 4 categories (evangelism, sports, community service and quizes). Each ministry project develops different strengths in the group. Finally there is week 5 for those months that have 5 weeks and this is HIV/AIDS week where the group asks a member of the PLWA to talk to them about AIDS or discuss it as a group in the aim of getting everyone to understand the importance of testing as well as right living and ultimately getting as many youths as possible counselled and tested. The manual runs from the first week of March to the third week of December.

Each leader received two manuals (one for him/her and one for the deputy), a Chichewa bible and an English Reach 4 Life new testament.

By releasing the manual we also allows the youth coordinator, Edward, to concentrate on building new youth groups rather than constantly visiting the same groups. At present 11 youth groups exist and are working, beginning this week, with the manuals.

It was such a pleasure to deliver the manual. Watching their faces and seeing the awe and amazement at the design and order of the manual was a blessing that could almost not be contained. Here these youth were, getting leadership material in their own language, something that they can use and effectively impact their communities with. It was a blessing to give them something worthy of them and that was our reward!

In addition to launching the youth manual, we also had our weekly class (now dubbed the Berean Class) swell from 30 leaders to 60. Although we have tried to keep the class keeps growing. It comprises of leaders of influence who will in turn, through their training, impact others. At present we are going through the book of Romans, which happens to be my favourite book of the bible. Last week the group chose their core leadership team for the class and I was pleasantly surprised to find that, of the four core leaders, two are women.

In essence, the 25th of February was one of the greatest days of SC history...yet how amazing it is to note that God’s plans supersede our imaginations...dare we to think that He could possibly have greater things in store?