Amina lost both of her parents when she was very young. When that happened, she and her younger sister were taken in by her Uncle. A devout Muslim, Amina was raised to follow Islam. The family was poor but somehow her Uncle managed to send Amina to school. It was in high school that she first learned about Jesus. She attended church with some friends, but it was just for companionship, Christianity was just another faith.
One of the lucky few, Amina graduated high school. Although she had a deep desire to go to college, financially that was not even a remote option. Now 20, and still living in the village with her Uncle, Amina heard about a Bible Study Group hosted by Fishers, Trainers and Senders through Y-Malawi. As she had done with church before, Amina decided to attend. At first it was about finding some new friends, but this time things were different. In this group she learned more about Jesus, she saw people, even other Muslims changing the way they lived because of the love of Jesus. She needed hope, she knew she needed Jesus. One day she could put it off no more. She made a decision to commit her life to Him.
It was not an easy decision. Her Uncle was not happy. Others in the family could not understand why Amina was doing this. At times she was criticized, yet the more she learned, the more committed to Jesus she became. She joined a local church and became even more active in the Bible Study Group. Through it all Amina wondered what God had in store for her in the future.
Then one day a team from America came to visit. During the visit Amina was introduced to a young woman named Emma. When Emma heard Amina’s story, she offered to sponsor her to attend a local University. Emma is a student herself, she is studying to become a nurse. Still, she determined that sacrificing a small amount each month so that Amina could go to college was something she could do. Talking about coming to Malawi and meeting Amina, Emma said, “I realized that experiences and privileges in my life have had a huge impact on where I am today. Sometimes I don’t thank God enough. If I can do this, why wouldn’t I?”
Amina has now been accepted to Malawi Assemblies of God University. When she is not in school she will be working part-time with Y-Malawi, helping other girls sharing her experiences. Her family who once ridiculed her for her decision, now boast with pride that she is attending college. Her Uncle has changed his mind too saying, “Y-Malawi is a God sent angel to this community, please let my other daughters be attending Youth programs done by Y-Malawi too.”
Just one more example of how God is using Y-Malawi to “Open Hearts for Change.”
We don’t often think of goats as life savers, but in Malawi they are. Goats are easy to care for, they eat just about anything. They reproduce frequently. They can be eaten, but more importantly, they can be sold. They can become an income producing business that allows families to buy food, clothes, and pay school fees.
Fishers, Trainers and Senders is a Y-Malawi Partner running a program called “Goat Pass On.” The concept is simple. If you receive a goat, you make a promise to share the first born of your goat with someone else. You pass the goat on. Last month 27 goats were given to Bible Study Leaders and participants, plus some sponsored women & girls. This is a gift many have only dreamed of. The goats are not just life savers, but for many they are life changers.
“Owning a goat is like a dream to me. After this goat has reproduced, the level of income at my home will change and it will easily help me to educate my three girls and two boys who are now at primary school.” – Tulaya Ali
“Initially when we joined the Bible Study Group in 2012, we were not receiving anything. But now our economic life is being transformed too. I am so thankful.” – Khumbizi Stambuli
This is just one more way to bring sustainable transformation. All the while sharing the love of Jesus and changing lives forever.
God’s plans are always in our best interest, even in disaster. On Thursday April 11, Y-Malawi teams in Nkhotakota were going about their various normal ministries with churches, women, Chiefs, children, and youth. On Friday April 12 it began to rain. It rained, and rained, and rained. Soon rivers were overflowing their banks. The rain that people depend on to bring life to crops, was now collapsing homes and destroying.
Y-Malawi teams responded. They rescued at least 243 people, bringing them to shelter at a preschool and our new vocational building. The people were fed, and provided dry blankets. They received counseling, prayer, and had a decent place to sleep.
The rain finally ended on 15 April and people were able to return to what was left of their homes. Many homes have a lot of damage. Food and other items that were stored in the homes has been lost. Water sources are unsafe because they have been contaminated by the overflowing rivers.
While local authorities are praising the quick action, Y-Malawi teams continue to demonstrate the love of Jesus. Plans are in place during the upcoming Easter weekend to provide more food, chlorine tablets, and other basic necessities. It’s a very tangible way to demonstrate to a community that largely follows Islam, what it means to be a Christian. It’s a real life example of loving God and loving others.
If you want to help the people of Nkhotakota it’s easy, and any gift will be appreciated. Just click this link any one of the pictures below.
May God bless you!
At less than 20 years of age, Harriet, Thandie and Mpoka have already experienced the weight of life we can all feel sometimes. For them, because of poverty, life got very difficult, very early. Each has 2 children, each had their first child before their 15th birthday.
Child marriages are against the law in Malawi, but they are not uncommon. Generally arranged by parents, they are driven by a lack of hope, ignorance, and a presence of fear. Early marriage not only ended their innocence, it opened the door to motherhood, domestic abuse, health challenges, and a life of few options. It closed the door to education, personal achievement, and opportunity.
Yet, God provides hope. Child marriages are on the decline in Malawi. Education is having an impact! No longer married, Harriet, Thandie and Mpoka are now engaged with a local Youth Club. Each will soon be enrolled in the new Vocational Training Program to be fully launched in the next few months. At a recent Youth Club meeting, the girls spoke to other youth about what they have been through and the hope they now have. Thandie shared, “God has revived our hope, we were abused but not destroyed, we can still do something in life.”
In the new Church Empowerment Zone, Biblical training is not the only thing church leaders are given. They are encouraged to reach out to their communities. Through local development projects, people are noticing that Christians care. It draws them to want to know more about why.
Several churches have decided to open preschools. These school help get students ready for school, they give students a huge advantage when they enter first grade. They help ensure their school career will be successful. The also learn about the Bible. It’s working! Comments from recent teacher training demonstrate the impact.
“My eyes are now wide open after this training. I have been a teacher for over 27 years for Malawi government schools, but none of this truth was revealed to me.” Medrine. (man on the left in the picture)
“Being a beginner preschool teacher, the training has helped to take away all my fears and has shown me where to start from.” William (new teacher)
“I am now a Pastor to my own students. I need to treasure this gift that God has given me these two weeks.” Wisdom (a Muslim teacher)