After a quick stop at the local Madisi market for bananas, we took about a 45 minute mini-bus ride to a rural area called Katondo. We were warmly welcomed into the church. It consisted of a hard mud floor, brick walls and a thatch roof. Malawians make their own bricks, making enough bricks for any project to even begin construction. You see many brick makers and kilns on the sides of the roads.
The people of Katondo greeted us in song and dance. Devotion was first in the program with a message from our own team member, Douglas (as the Malawians call him). The message included reciting the Apostle’s Creed by the Katondo people, which sounds even more beautiful in Chichewa.
After words and instruction from Pastor Patrick, we split into our five groups as they relate to Membership. Each group discussed their particular subject and prepared a short drama centered around a bible verse. I led the group on Worship and our skit surrounded the story of Paul and Silas causing an earthquake by the power of their prayers and worship to God. The Malawians are very biblical people and relate well and grasp onto these stories.
After brief “refreshments” of pb&j sandwiches and coke/fanta we rejoined the larger group to perform our dramas. Each group was an inspiring and visual symbol of what we are here to mission and to teach. Another breakout session began soon after with members from the original groups now combining to make new groups and share what they had learned. Once again we reunited in a larger group for a math lesson. Yes, a math lesson. German missionary, positioned with the United Methodist Conference in Malawi, Rev. Olav Schmidt showed by example the power of multiplication versus addition. The exercise first required one person to stand up and point to one other person. That person then pointed to another person, who in turn pointed to another person and so on. With multiplication, instead of pointing to one person at a time, an individual was tasked in pointing to three people at a time, then those three to three more. Quickly, almost everyone was then standing, showing in a very physical way, the power of multiplication. Rev. Olav couldn’t actually be with our group today so team member, Julie stepped up and handled it perfectly!
After wrapping up membership conversations and a bit of worship, it was time for lunch. We brought bananas for the children, they tend to get very curious as to what you are up to when pots and pots and pots of food are set up in the church. There will have to be a separate post about Malawian food!
All of our groups today were genuinely interested in our message and could relate in one way or another. The people are grateful for our presence and the sacrifices we made to come here. They love the Lord and are eager to learn! I firmly believe that God and His love brought us here not only to mission to the beautiful Malawian people, but so that they could mission to us. I have learned so much and I am eager to share with my American friends what has been shared with me. For all of you Downtowners, the proper response to Pastor Patrick’s, “Allelujah!” is “AMEN!”
We returned to the Linde with singing and fellowship with not only those who acted as our Abusas, Multipliers, and translators but also our dear friends who will be greatly missed. They will always be in our hearts and prayers.
Zi komo kwambiri (thank you very much) and in Him, “Allelujah!” “AMEN!”