March 2015 Southern Malawi Ministry Update

"My grace is sufficient for you.'" 2 Corinthians12:9

Christians in Malawi and in Canada and all over the world struggle to take hold of that promise. We are no different.  At times the pressure seems overwhelming.

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[Children drenched in yet another downpour during the 2015 Malawi rainy season that will be recorded as one of the worst in its history.]

Early one January morning, we witnessed an impressive display of overwhelming pressure. Heavy rainfall to the north combined with fast moving rivers to form raging currents in the plains below. The new bridge connecting us with the east bank was removed and deposited 12 km down river. Villages were swept away, or buried under the sand. The torrent came with little warning and with massive power. We began to receive phone calls from distraught pastors and friends stranded on small islands created by the river.  

In spite of the danger, David, together with David Walker (Australian missionary) and Hedson Nsitu (house parent of Boys' 3), headed out in our little flat bottomed boats. Isn't that what we do when we face pressure?  We launch out into the middle of it and see what we can do. Currents pushed and pulled at the boats, but God was with them. They were able to rescue many people stranded on ant hills or in trees. Government boats and helicopters also arrived to rescue more people.

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[David Walker (left), David Morrison (centre) and Hedson Nsitu (right) together with some flood victims that we rescued out from the treacherous waters.] 

Malawi is now facing great pressure as they figure out what to do with 200,000 people displaced by the floods.  6,500 are in a camp in Bangula where we visit and minister. They will be in the camp until the land dries out and they are able to rebuild. We hope to be able to help provide seed for planting a winter crop at that time.  

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[A mother and her children receiving food from Iris Africa at one of the Bangula area camps for displaced people.]

Planting seeds is one way we deal with the pressure.  The kingdom of God is like a man planting seeds.  He sleeps and rises and knows not how the seed sprouts and grows.  We are not responsible for the outcome, only for today.  We plant seeds of truth as we teach children that they are made in God's image and loved.  We plant seeds of righteousness through discipline and correction.  We plant seeds of honour, seeds of hope, seeds of love, and then we sleep and we rise, and we know not how they sprout and grow.  

One of our boys recently graduated from our base, and went to live with his grandmother where we continue to support him to finish school. We have planted many seeds in his life over these last 10 years. Last week, David visited him and found that he had gone to the prison to pray for the prisoners. What joy!  The seeds are sprouting, even though it looked pretty bleak.

Please pray that, in spite of overwhelming pressure, we would remain true to our calling, to plant seeds and to trust our Father to bring the harvest.

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[Joanna giving relief food and supplies to flood victims. ]