People often say, “I hate change.” Thing is, they really don’t mean that. There are lots of changes we like. Maybe you are old enough to remember when you had to crank open the windows in your car. Before computers, if your family lived far away you could only write them a letter that took days to get to them. Most of us are glad we don’t have to cook outside over an open fire anymore. We actually like change. It’s the adjusting to change that is sometimes difficult for us. We get comfortable. Sometimes we struggle to understand how change can be good for us.
Change is a big part of our story as human beings. The Bible talks a lot about change too. God calls all of us to change. We are called to continually be learning, growing, moving forward, changing. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
We are excited about 2023 because we believe God is calling us to big changes. The easiest thing to do would be sit right where we are. Some of these changes are uncomfortable, they are going to cause us to adapt, think differently and to really stretch. The good news is that God knows this. Even better news He has promised to be with us as we follow Him.
What are some of the changes we are praying about? Glad you asked.
- We are praying for at least 100 more sponsors for women and girls. God has done incredible things with this program, so many women helped, so many girls rescued from child marriages now back in school. Every day there are more pleading for help.
- What God has done in Nkhotakota has become known. Many are asking us to come into their villages as well. We cannot respond to all, but feel God is calling us to expand into two specific communities we are targeting.
- The Vocational Training Center has also had a dramatic impact on lives. We were able to acquire more land in 2022 so that expansion can continue. We plan to add welding, hospitality, and salon care to the skills training we are providing.
- The Chiefs Community Center is also growing. We are expanding training gardens, goat raising, and plan to build a structure for community meetings and worship.
- Home Safe House for girls is already at capacity. To help more girls we will need to add more beds, gardens and other support resources.
We have much to do in 2023. From our view in January, it seems an impossible task. Then again, how could someone cross the Red Sea? How could the walls of Jericho fall? How could God have taken us this far?
Since God is calling us, we will respond. Change is coming. God is on the move. He is reaching out to those who need to know His love. The only question is will we answer His call and be the ones to go with Him. As for Y-Malawi, we feel like our answer is the same as what Joshua told Israel. “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
We are grateful for all those who are making this journey with us.
With raised voice and eyebrows, the man at the podium asked, “Just what are we teaching these kids?” The audience reacted with applause. There may have even been an “Amen” or two raised. The Board Members lowered their heads and covered their microphones. It was clear they felt the full weight and impact of the question.
The Bible makes it clear that we have a responsibility to teach our children good values. In Deuteronomy 6:6, God Himself tells us to teach His laws to our children. Those words were written thousands of years ago and teaching children the values found in the Bible can be a real challenge today. Yet, it can still happen.
Children’s Clubs in Malawi are designed to do just that. Y-Malawi partner, Fishers, Trainers and Senders has the responsibility of orchestrating Children’s Clubs in the areas where Y-Malawi is working. Literally thousands of children are attending these clubs weekly. During their club time they sing, play games, recite scripture, and perform Bible dramas. All of these are wonderful, but recently these clubs have begun doing even more.
As an example, last month one of the Children’s Clubs went to the home of an elderly man who has been sick for some time. Working together they cleaned up the man’s yard and did other chores for him. They brought him water and supplies that he needed to survive. The children learned something very important that day. They learned the value of life. They learned the value of serving someone else. They learned what it means to give of yourself expecting nothing in return. They learned that because God loves us, we can love others.
It was an important lesson. It was an important day, a day that they will remember their entire lives. So, what are we teaching these kids? We are teaching them about love. We are teaching them about the love of Jesus.
Malawi has 5 seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Hunger. In the west, it is hard for us to comprehend that there is a genuine season for hunger. In Malawi, the hunger season is given fact of life.
80% of the people in Malawi are unemployed. They live in small villages of 15 to 150 people. Most have a garden where they grow the maize, cassava, and other vegetables. Generally, the rains only come December to April. During these months the gardens must produce the food people depend on for the entire year. They work hard but there are factors beyond their control.
Not enough rain can come. Too much rain can come. Pests can attack the crops. Cyclones have destroyed entire districts in past few years. Elephants may trample the garden. As if all this were not bad enough, this year new challenges have made life even more difficult. The war in Ukraine and inflation have caused new problems. People cannot afford to buy the fertilizer needed to ensure good plant growth. This means what they harvested was much less than they need. As is always the case, it is the poorest of the poor, the most vulnerable, who bear the greatest impact. This hunger season is exceptionally bad. By the Fall of the year people were scavenging unripe mango fruit to keep themselves alive.
There is good news. The Y-Malawi community has responded. Thanks to your generous gifts, our teams have been able to provide emergency food to feed 1,000 people per week since the beginning of December. The work has stretched our teams to what seems like the limit, but in this effort the pain is truly worth the gain. Without help, many of those suffering would not just go hungry, they would die.
We praise God for those who have responded. You have not just saved lives, you have shared the love of Jesus. With His life Jesus demonstrated the importance of caring for those who are suffering. Our Y-Malawi community is living out what Jesus taught us.
This crisis will not end until the harvest this Spring. Until then, as long as we have resources, we will continue feeding those who are suffering. Can you help us? Your gift could make the difference for someone praying to live through just one more Spring.
Clink here to donate now!
Y-Malawi teams providing food to the hungry
How is it possible? How could a small village church grow more than 100% in membership in just a few months?
Some would say it is not possible, but it is. The 70 churches in the Church Empowerment Zone established by World Relief/Y-Malawi are growing! The Empowerment Zone works because churches of all denominations come together. They put their doctrinal differences aside focusing instead on how they can share the good news of Jesus in their communities. Of course, there is pastor training, nearly 6,000 Bibles have been distributed, and there are training programs for families, children and youth. But most importantly, each of these churches agrees to begin a seed project within their community.
These churches are reaching out to the lost with the love of Jesus. They are cleaning clinics, working fields for widows, building latrines, feeding the hungry, caring for the disabled. Truth is, they are doing the same thing Jesus did. He did not ignore those in need. Instead, he often went out of his way to help them. It’s one of the things that drew people to Jesus. When his people demonstrate his love in the same way, it’s still one of the things that draws them to him.
The Apostle James wrote, “But someone will say, “You have faith, I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by deeds.” (James 2:18) These churches are demonstrating what James was talking about. They are not trying to convince people to Jesus, they are leading them to him by example. Zig Ziglar used to say it this way, “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.”
Mdana was struggling. Her husband left her. She was unable to feed her children. School fees nearly impossible. Then she registered for Y-Malawi’s sponsorship program for women and her life began to change.
She became food secure. Her house was improved, her children able to attend school. Things were so much better that Mdana decided to apply for a new Economic Empowerment program Y-Malawi was offering. She was accepted and started learning about business and handling money. She was given a grant and combined with a loan was able to start a small business of selling bulk rice.
The business didn’t stay small for long. Mdana had big dreams. She would buy rice in bulk in the city, then transport it back to her village where she would sell it at a profit. Before long she was selling 50 bags of rice each month! In the photo she is sitting on some of those bags. Her business grew and soon became valued at $3,000. A lot of money for someone from the village.
Mdana hasn’t stopped there. With coaching from her Field Officer, she has invested in her own rice field. She has a field of about 5 acres (see the photo) where she will now grow her own rice to make even more profits in the future. She no longer worries about food, clothes, or school for her children. Her life has changed. She is independent, able to stand on her own. Recently she told her sponsor in America, “I am so grateful for what you have done to me. My life is not the same. My life is better now.”
Economic Empowerment is working. Mdana is proof.
You can help someone like Mdana. Learn more by clicking here. Learn More