Mission Moments: Malawi
Drunkard to church planter
Story by Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ / Photos by Damson Samson
Landson Story, a porter who works on Mulanje Massif in southern Malawi, surprised Kingdom worker Damson Samson when he revealed that he is leading a group of 22 believers who meet every Friday in Likhubula village. He has planted a church!
The goal of our disciples-making-disciples training given to guides and porters in the Mulanje Massif Chapter (Malawi) and the Kilimanjaro Chapter (Tanzania) is to make disciples who make disciples and plant churches. The Mulanje class that graduated from the introductory course and is deep into an advanced DMD training met Feb. 16 to do a study called “Basic Questions on Church Planting” – or, as Damson called it, “Learning to know I am called.”
“The lesson was more practical as it had something in common with our daily work – farming,” Damson said, referring to the concept of planting, growing, and harvesting.
This was the seventh of 15 parts to this DMD training.
“From the past chapters we were instructed to go and start a new (Bible study) group in our villages and now we have the groups with us not knowing it was God’s calling to establish living churches,” Damson said. “We did not discover that until chapter seven. That’s why now we are learning that we are called to plant reproducing churches.
“Some are desiring to make their group grow to be churches in the area. That is what has come to be known as their call. We were doing it as a lesson, but now it’s a calling to make other disciples.”
Samson Khalani, a guide, repeated to the group something I guess he heard from me when we started DMD training: small beginnings will always end up big if you hold onto the Lord.
We rejoice in the ongoing results of a DMD training provided to us by The Timothy Initiative ministry. In Landson Story’s case, our regular teachings helped rescue him from being a “drunker to the man of God who many are coming to join,” Damson said. “As a leader to this group, he takes time to hear from above. Every Wednesday he goes to the mountain to fast and pray, asking God for direction.”
Guides and porters in Malawi receiving bags of maize to make their country’s staple meal of nsima.
In addition to the Spiritual food, we surprised chapter members with the delivery of physical food. Seventy-eight guides and porters were each provided with 25-kilogram (55-pound) bags of maize – a total cost of $1,560 USD as part of our COVID-19 relief.
Wells Mission, teaching our second class of guides and porters who will become disciples making disciples.
Wells Mission, a guide in our Mulanje Massif Chapter who we met on our inaugural trip to Malawi in 2010, lost his mother recently and we were able to provide the $300 USD he requested for her funeral. We cannot pay for every funeral or even for every need to keep more funerals from happening. But we do the best we can because we know we are blessed to be a blessing.
Which brings us to the story of Rescue Chapola.
Rescue, a 25-year-old porter in the Mulanje Massif Chapter, was orphaned in 2012. He moved with his younger brother and sister to live with an aunt and uncle, who mistreated them. After he was threatened at gunpoint, Rescue moved out and found a church under construction. He slept in the unfinished building at night and then started working on the church in the morning before others arrived as if he’d come to the job early. But when the church was finished the pastor sent him away. He went to another village where, even as he was learning to know he has been called (per our DMD training) and leading nine people to Jesus through a weekly Bible study, he had nowhere to rest his head. He needs our help.
It is our prayer to show the love of God.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17 (ESV)
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