The Gospel Opposed
Our men and women continue to evangelize relentlessly. At a recent outing, we were very surprised at the level of resistance to our message and presence. We were shouted at, cursed, and had all kinds of insults hurled at us. This was drastically different from previous experiences. I never thought Malawi would degrade this quickly. Pray for our evangelistic teams as we go out again, and even intensify our outreach activities.
The Gospel Embraced
Despite new resistance, we are also encouraged by fruit. The Lord recently added 3 new members to our church. Two young men and a young lady were baptized two weeks ago and welcomed into membership. Pray for these new members as they assimilate themselves into the life of Antioch Baptist. Here is an excerpt from one of their testimonies:
‘My name is Promise. While I was dead in my trespasses and sins, Christ saved me. I grew up thinking that I was a very good person. I went to church from a young age, didn't cause much trouble, never went to extremes like most of my peers, and participated in church programs and youth Bible class. I never really understood what it meant to be a Christian and can't even recall hearing a clear gospel message. But as I grew up I had a void in my life and the goodness I thought I had just couldn't suffice. This continued for a while until, in secondary school, someone preached a clear gospel message and I saw my great need of a Savior. I believed in Christ unto salvation. Since that time I can't say that the walk has been easy but I'm assured that I am not what I used to be. Christ did His perfect work in me and I find rest in that and His continuous work of sanctification.’
The Gospel Applied
Every year our church holds two conferences – one on biblical manhood and another on biblical womanhood. These conferences are organized to disciple men and women concerning their specific roles in the home and in the church.
Our men's conference this year dealt with the subject of addiction and went very well. We were encouraged by the men that were willing to freely talk about their struggles with besetting sins. The conference has led to a weekly mentoring meeting that will be happening every Thursday evening at our church. Part of raising leaders in Africa means helping them walk in purity and holiness. One key aspect of this conference was the number of unbelievers that showed up. Please pray for these men who heard the gospel clearly. Pray for conversions!
One of the ways the enemy is degrading our culture and communities in Malawi is through the radio. Western NGO’s have managed to saturate local radio stations with their agendas of feminism and homosexuality, so foreign to Africa. Our communities are rapidly changing. We believe events like our annual Biblical Womanhood Conference are a very small way to respond, teaching the church and our communities the gospel and its’ transforming power in these practical areas.
During our women's conference, it was a joy to see small groups of women from different parts of the country, traveling long hours, some all night, to reach Blantyre for the conference. The speakers wonderfully exalted Christ, expounding a number of Scripture passages. One important topic was modesty. There is very little concept of what the Bible says about our dress and how men and women can honor God in this area too.
Not that we think this is of greatest importance, nor are we elevating it as a primary gospel issue, but there is a need to help our people think biblically on these matters. We also are aware that many have taught matters of dress to a point of bringing women into bondage. This is why we produced a little booklet in order to give women biblical principles on how to go about what they wear. We were able to hand these out free of charge.