|A MACEDONIAN CALL FROM MALAWI|
“…Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Acts 16:9
By God’s grace, Timothy, William and I have safely returned from our mission to Zambia and Malawi. We conducted Biblical Worldview Seminars in Zambia and Malawi and presented a total of 80 lectures, Bible studies and sermons, including at Bible colleges, ministers fraternals and churches. Over a tonne of Bibles and Christian books were delivered and distributed to churches, schools and missions. The team also purchased a pick-up truckload of food, soap, salt, rice and other supplies for prisoners of Lusaka Central Prison (where I had been imprisoned in 1987).
The Biblical Worldview Seminar in Lusaka was opened by the Member of Parliament for the area and over 230 pastors, deacons and evangelists registered as participants in this BWS.
We also visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha, MP (previously the Minister of Home Affairs and Chief of the Air Force). General Shikapwasha has a dynamic Christian testimony and we enjoyed a good time of fellowship with him as he shared how the Lord had healed him from a crippling car accident. His back was broken in several places and the doctors told him that he had no prospect of ever walking again. But by God’s grace he experienced complete healing and a dramatic conversion to Christ.
Our team delivered school textbooks, library books and supplies for Christian schools and Bible colleges. We had the opportunity to conduct staff devotions for teachers and assemblies for students and staff. At one school we also took history, geography, Bible education and English classes with the students.
One film outreach, with the new Luther film, created much excitement and provoked lots of discussion.
As we were about to begin our 17-hour drive to Malawi, the news came through of a political crisis in the country. President Bingu Wa Mutharika of Malawi had resigned from the Muslim dominated UDF party. President Bingu is known to be a dedicated Christian, and we had already received positive feedback from him on our Biblical Principles for Africa book. In fact, on the President’s request, Timothy had delivered 300 copies of Biblical Principles for Africa to the President’s office for distribution to members of the Malawi government.
For the previous ten years, Malawi had been under a Muslim President. However, because of the two-term limitation, President Muluzi had to step down at the beginning of last year, yet he remained Chairman of the party. President Bingu soon realised that he was been manipulated and controlled by Middle-Eastern elements controlling their party. After an attempt by two Muslim members of Parliament to assassinate President Bingu was thwarted, he determined to break from the UDF.
Our mission team met with the Special Assistant to the President, and other Christian leaders of the country, delivering boxes of valuable books and tapes to them. These leaders informed us of the crisis in Malawi and the danger of the country coming under complete Islamic control, with the implementation of Sharia Law. Saudi Arabia had invested a vast amount of money, manpower and materials into building mosques, madrasses and financing the take over of Malawi for Islam. Malawi is the Southern base for the Africa Muslim Agency. The Quran has been translated into Chichewa – which along with English is one of the two official languages.
“This is Livingstone’s land,” one of them said. “Our people used to be taken off as slaves to Dar Es Salaam. We cannot allow Malawi to be overwhelmed by Islam and lost for Christianity.” Malawi even has a town named after the great Scottish missionary: Livingstonia.
Malawi is a landlocked Central African state extending along Lake Malawi and its outflow river, the Shire. Malawi is 900km long and at its widest about 160km wide. The over 10 million population is officially 80% Christian and 14% Muslim. Life expectancy has been cut to 43 years through AIDS. Malawi is a well watered and fertile land which is agriculturally self sufficient, yet the country suffers from poverty, in part caused by the long lasting and devastating civil war that raged in Mozambique which surrounds much of Malawi.
Malawi has remained relatively peaceful in a region of devastating wars and political turmoil, largely because of the strong Christian influence of the over 25 000 Christian congregations in the country. Yet nominalism and formalism have sapped the strength and vitality of many of these churches and there is an urgent need for spiritual Revival. Malawi remains one of the most spiritual receptive countries in Central Africa.
Our team received impassioned requests for more books, more missionaries and more leadership training courses to help Malawi stand firm for Christ at this critical time. They particularly asked for more Discipleship Handbooks and Biblical Principles for Africa books. We were requested to conduct chaplaincy training programmes, Great Commission Courses, God and Government Seminars and Reformation and Revival Seminars. It was a Macedonian Call from Malawi.
Are you able to help? Any donations of quality Christian books will be carefully, prayerfully and strategically distributed to leaders who will eagerly study and apply these books. Any lecture tapes or CD’s, textbooks or manuals that can be useful in strengthening the churches and discipling the nation will be gratefully received and put to work. Please mobilise your congregation to earnestly intercede for the Christians in Malawi at this critical time.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,’Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8
Dr. Peter Hammond
Frontline Fellowship, P O Box 74, Newlands, 7725, Cape Town, South Africa
Tel.: 021-689-4480 Fax: 021-685-5884 E-Mail: www.frontline.org.za