In Malawi, women are coming together in Bible study groups asking God for just one thing. They aren’t asking God to change their circumstances. They aren’t asking God to change their husbands. They aren’t asking God to change children or others around them. Their prayer is simple. God change me, change my heart to be like yours.
Such a prayer is powerful. God is answering those prayers and there are incredible stories of how God is using these women to impact their husbands, families, and entire communities. But what about women in America, can God work in our hearts too? He already is!
One women’s Bible study group was recently studying the story of Jonah. In part, the story is about how God can use circumstances to change a person’s heart. In Jonah’s case to help people that he didn’t even know. At the end of the study the group was challenged to open their own hearts by doing something for someone else. They decided to raise money for sewing machines for our Vocational Training Center. They raised enough money for 5 desperately needed machines!
Another women’s Bible study raised more than $12,000 for a new well this past summer. Then this group heard that our new Coordinator for Empowering Women and Girls (a woman) is working to get a drivers license and will soon need a vehicle for transportation. They didn’t hesitate, they went right to work. In just a few weeks they had raised the money for a used vehicle.
In Matthew chapter 7 Jesus talks about examining your own condition first. That principle can be applied to many circumstances in life. Changing the world is a lofty goal, but it begins with change in our own hearts.
Economic Empowerment is working! What God is doing is so exciting!
Since the launch of our Economic Empowerment initiative people are starting new businesses and becoming independent. Others are seeing the success and raising their hands to say “Me too!”
The program is the first of it’s kind. It includes a blending of support to both individuals and local Village Savings and Loan Clubs. In this way, an entire community has a stake in, and can benefit from, the success of these new business.
Upon hearing about the program one group of women in the sponsorship program got together and formed their own Village Savings and Loan Club. They asked Y-Malawi to stop giving them their regular allotment of food and grocery support. Instead, they asked that Y-Malawi help them build equity in their new club so that they can make loans to begin new businesses on their own. Since they charge interest on these loans, they benefit financially too.
Now these women are making their own money. They are playing a key role in building businesses in their own community. Now others are asking if they can be a part too. People are realizing that they do not need to depend on others, they can make their own future. We are praising God because people are gaining hope again.
Dependency go away! We don’t need you here. The love of Jesus is no match for you.
The Village Savings and Loan Club making loans for new businesses!
Thanks to some very special gifts, we are continuing to move forward with solar powered water pumps. These pumps are having an incredible impact in the battle against hunger.
This is what the pumps look like. A solar panel drives a pump that floats on the water in a pond, stream, or even a dug well. The pumps push water out through a hose onto the field.
This is maize. The primary food source for most Malawians. It should not be growing now. It should have all been harvested by end of April. Instead, this is a second crop!
People are also branching out into new crops too. Watermelon, sweet potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes and such. During the dry season, these are impossible to grow without water.
These are ground nuts (peanuts), these will now be providing protein that so many need for healthy bodies.
We still have more to put into place, but these pumps have made incredible impact already. They are going to Bible study centers where people learn about the Bible and improved farming practices at the same time. We have so many wanting to start new Bible study centers that we are struggling to keep up!
We praise God for these special gifts and for how He is using the sun to bring people to know about His Son!
Have you been blessed in a special way? We are always working on special blessing too. There are needs that go beyond the day-to-day and special gifts help us get there. Below are some things we are working on right now.
- 10 new preschools still need chalkboards so that they can practice their skills, $350.
- The new goat farm and Farming God’s Way demonstration garden needs more fencing, $1,300.
- We need a well on the property above and for the community nearby, $10,000.
- The Vocational Training Center needs 5 more new sewing machines for student training, $600.
- We also want to expand training at the VTC to include Salon services (hair care), $1,300.
- The Chatanga Bible Study Center has outgrown its capacity and needs to be expanded, $700.
- A new Worship Center is being built at Abjua, a community that has not had a church in 50 years, $20,000.
- The Vocational Training Center wants to improve the quality of tailoring with an embroidery machine, $2,500.
- We never have enough Bibles, so many people need a Bible, they cost $10 apiece.
Use the button below if you want to help. Even a portion of the need is a huge. Just make a note in the comment section when you make your gift to let us know how to use the funds.
Click here to make a special one-time gift
By his own testimony he was a drunkard. A womanizer too. Chief Zacharia’s life was a mess.
Then one day he stumbled by a group of people sitting on the ground singing. When he asked what was going on they told him they were a Bible study group. He laughed and thought to himself, “These people are useless, what childishness, I’ll have nothing to do with them.”
A few weeks later he saw them again, but this time he looked a little closer. He found there were not just singing and studying the Bible, but they were learning how to make organic fertilizer too. He stuck around and listened. Then went home and tried what he had learned on his own garden. Each week he returned and learned more. He learned that God loved him. He learned that God has a plan for this world. He learned that he could be a part of that plan. And he learned more about farming a new way. The group called it Farming God’s Way.
All of this changed his life. He became a follower of Jesus. He started implementing what he was learning about farming. His crop yields began to increase. He said, “For the first time in my life, I was not worried about what we were going to eat. I grew watermelon, pineapples and many more things I never dreamed of.” His social life changed. His marriage improved. He put a tin roof on his house. He even bought a motorcycle. His family was now living a happy life.
Chief Zacharia’s life has indeed changed. “I used to be a poor and very unhappy man. I was useless myself. Now Jesus has brought joy to my life and that of my family. I am even using this motorcycle to travel to other areas to train them and tell them about what has happened to me. I am completely changed.”
That’s what Y-Malawi Chiefs Ministry is all about. Changing lives by sharing the love of Jesus.
Agogo. In Chichewa it means grandmother. It is a title of respect for someone held in high regard. The Agogo in the photo above is a member of a Mother Group. Not only is she an Agogo, but as a Mother Group member she counsels and helps younger girls to know more about life, their bodies, and sex. These are topics of discussion that are often taboo in the village. Yet, they are so important for young girls to know about.
During 2021 this Agogo decided that God was calling her to learn how to sew. Not so she could make shirts and dresses, but so that she could learn how to make reusable sanitary kits for girls. She reasoned that if she could learn, she could teach others in her Mother Group how to make them too. These kits make all the difference in the world for a girl trying to go to school. Without them it is virtually impossible for a girl to attend school during her monthly cycle. This means girls only get to attend school 3 weeks out of every month. If you carry that out over 4 years of high school, girls only get to attend 3 of those 4 years! This is a major reason that only 3% of girls graduate high school in Malawi.
People, even other Agogo’s told her she was crazy. They said she was wasting her time and that she was being foolish. She enrolled in Y-Malawi’s Vocational Training School anyway. She was by far the oldest student. It was not easy. At first the other students couldn’t understand why she was there. But then things began to change.
She came early every day. She was the last one to leave every day. She worked hard, and even through she had trouble seeing with those Agogo eyes, her work was exceptional. The instructors, and even the other students noticed. They started asking her for help and coaching. Encouraged by this, Agogo decided she could do even more, so she started bringing and preparing meals for students and staff. Now she wasn’t just coaching them on sewing, she began to coach them on life.
In the end, on graduation day, Agogo graduated at the top of her class. The other students had become more than classmates. They had become like family. They looked out for her. They gave her a special place to sit on graduation day to protect her from the hot sun. As a class, they even gave her a special award, just to say thank you for all that she had done for them.
Think there is nothing more you can do with your life? Think again. Agogo is proof that God can use us at any age. God can and wants to use you! Will you surrender your life to let Him?