God assembled a great team for Malawi, which consisted of 10 people, including 4 doctors and a dentist.
I want to thank each one who traveled with us: Dr. Michael and Belinda McCarthy, Dr. Penn and Dr. Carlayne Jackson, their daughters Carenn and Caitlyn, a friend Lance Schultze, Dr. Kirk Milhoan and Dr. Ryan McAdams. Each one was greatly used in the lives of the 500 pastors and wives who attended, plus more than 200 orphans. Children were given physicals as well as lots of new games and great ideas to entertain. We had nearly 300 pairs of reading glasses to dispense among those needing them the most. We also had 1,000 tooth brushes to give out to everyone. Lectures on everything from the family to health issues such as HIV were covered. The pastors and wives were somewhat overwhelmed and extremely grateful for it all.
Here are some comments from a few who attended, partially edited for better English:
Pastor Aiten from Mulanje – Malawi. He said, “I thank you very much for your coming and I know your coming was the will of God. I have been ministering for several years alone without my wife and I was thinking that it was okay like that, but through this conference I see that I was not doing the right thing. I was lacking my wife for my ministry to go strong. From now I will honor and put my wife first in my ministry work and I will allow her to give me ideas so that my ministry work can grow.”
Pastor Domingo Azeti from Mozambique. He said, “I thank God for allowing our visitors to be among us. In this conference I have learned these two things, how I can use my Bible and the Christian Family. I have been preaching the words of God for a long time and I have been preaching through different passages and books of the Bible and I was finding very difficult when I tried to make my sermon and to preach expositional to me it was very difficult, but through your teaching in this conference you have opened my eyes and now I can see clearly. I have known also for me as a Pastor my wife is very important in this work of the Lord, as by working together we can change our community and the Church. Also I was so blessed when one of you (Dr. Ryan McAdams) said a wife is like an ordinary stone but inside that stone there is a Diamond.”
Pastor Madandaulo Kapachika. From Machinga – Malawi. He said, “I am so touched for the Christian marriages and this conference has changed my life indeed as I was not counting on my wife. I have learned that as pastors we must set a good example in our families and we must work hand in hand with our wives. I am going back a new man. I wish I could come with my wife but she failed to come and next year I will bring her, so that she may hear wonderful things I have heard. Thank you for your coming.”
Pastor Ladweck Goliath Masamba. From Blantyre – Malawi. He said, “This conference was so great to me and I have learned that God cannot put us into temptation, from the Book of James and I have learned God allows us to go through difficulties in our family, but marrying another woman will not solve our problems. As Christians we have to pass those tests, and also I have learned that strong marriages can change our community, Church and our ministries and they can be strong and Devil will be ashamed.”
Pastor Enock Dimba, who organized and oversaw the conference with great energy and efficiency, wrote, “Your teaching about marriage and the ministries this year has brought a big impact to our marriages and ministries and I know that our families and ministries will never be the same again.”
Now for a couple of comments from those who went with me:
Dr. Penn Jackson: “Serving is a very rewarding experience. Serving in a place where the people have so little and are so grateful for just you is even more satisfying. It really can give you an attitude adjustment from many perspectives. You truly see God’s hand in everything from the getting ready, to the being there and working as a team, to the people and their appreciation. I am so grateful my family could experience this together.”
Dr. Michael and Belinda McCarthy were impacted by “being part of the training of the pastors, teaching the Word and seeing changed lives as a result, given a vision for what God is doing around the world, seeing Bishop Dimba’s love for the Lord and passion to establish new churches for His glory (which now includes nearly 600 churches planted in Malawi and Mozambique), and “working with such a great team.”
I am still amazed to think that this Bishop Dimba (who has no formal training) and his son Enock, have been praying for 11 years for someone to come and equip and encourage their pastors and their wives. We are humbled to think that God is using all of us to answer that prayer.
We cannot thank you enough for making this possible. You also are His instruments providing for trips such as this one. Jesus said, “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:38 NLT We have experienced that as a group. We have been given back so much more than we can put into words. May you also experience His overflowing provision in your life. The only negative for me was that my helper and completer, my left hand (she’s left –handed), my wife Connie, was not able to go. She was tending to her mother’s needs. We request your continued prayers for her mom.
Your prayers for us were answered in every way. Our flights were all on time, our luggage arrived with us and no one experienced any sickness. They slaughtered a bull, 10 goats and many dozens of chickens on site, to feed the multitudes, which included our team.
Thanks for supporting us in every way, especially through your prayers.