“Seeing is believing.” The 17th century pastor Thomas Fuller was the first to use that phrase. Most people don’t know that what he really said was, “Seeing is believing, but feeling is truth.”
I have just returned from three weeks Malawi. From first-hand experience I can tell you that what God is doing there left me not only believing God is on the move in this world, but feeling His truth is more powerful than ever.
Incredible things are happening in Malawi. What God is accomplishing goes way beyond the prayers and dreams we had when this all began just a few short years ago. It would take pages to share everything God is doing. Let me share just three areas of praise.
- Love is winning. There is new hope in the air. People are beginning to believe that they can accomplish more. They are learning that they were created for more than poverty, dependence, and despair. Women are attending Bible Studies and Change Me programs in large numbers. They are learning to read and write. They are engaging in Village Savings and Loans groups learning about handling money. They are establishing Mother Groups counseling and loving young girls out of early marriages and away from abuses. Youth groups are studying the Bible too, but their activities don’t stop there. They are working together raising fish and growing acres of rice. Their goal is not just to earn money for their clubs, but to provide for those who are hungry. To help girls stay in school by paying their school fees. To buy tools for others to start businesses, and to provide books for younger students who need tutoring after school. They are demonstrating love to their community.
- Economic empowerment is exploding. New programs to provide training and capital to start new businesses may have started as a smoldering ember, but it is now burning flame! Veronica, a single mother planted an entire rice field on her own. Today she is selling rice to Y-Malawi to feed the hungry in her community at a fair price. Chimwemwe, too old to work the fields anymore, now has a small store providing goods for her neighbors and friends. Others have planted fields of watermelon, pineapple and tomatoes that are producing profits and feeding the hungry. Just this month 29 more graduated from vocational training and starting businesses in tailoring, carpentry and jewelry. People are literally starting new businesses every day! Like the smell of a fragrant rose, the air is filled with the scent new success.
- God is reaching out to those who do not know Him. Chiefs are making decisions to follow Jesus. They are building Bible Study Centers. They are asking for Bibles for their people. Areas that were previously closed to the gospel are now open. People who had no knowledge of Jesus before are now pleading to hear the good news. Churches are reaching out to their communities in unique and bold ways, and people are responding. In one area previously self-designated as a “no go zone” and known for witchcraft and wickedness, nearly 1,000 have now made decisions to follow Jesus.
One Senior Chief who recently became a Christian said, “I was born here, I know what this place was like. It is hard to believe this is really happening. The entire feeling of this place is changing from the inside out.”
Surely Fuller had it right. Seeing really is believing, and you really can feel truth. God is clearly on the move in Malawi. You can see it and you can feel it.
2020 is almost at an end. It has been a year like none of us can remember. Yet, it has been a year of great accomplishment too. Words cannot express how grateful we are for your prayers, encouragement, and giving. Please know that God is using you in a mighty way to literally change the world. We pray God may bless you in return and are wishing you a prosperous and faith filled 2021.
Larry Hall, Executive Director
Can you imagine trying to learn English or study the Bible by nailing paper to trees? That is what some of the Bible Study/Literacy Groups in Nkhotakota were forced to do because they lacked resources.
Now that is all a thing of the past. Y-Malawi supplied the funds and commissioned students at the Vocational Training Center to build some new chalkboards. It was a win for everyone involved. Students got the chance to practice carpentry skills and complete a project. The Vocational Training Center earned some revenue to help sustain the center. The Bible Study/Literacy Groups gained a new tool to help them with learning. Its development from within.
Teacher Ireen Sitolo said, “Teaching and learning by using flip charts was challenging. It was hard to properly hang the flip chart on a tree. We were constantly requesting new flip charts and in need of pens. This new chalk board will simplify teaching and learning.”
It is another great example of the power of synergy. It demonstrates how working together we can benefit each other and accomplish more. That is why the Y-Malawi model has seen such success. In a world where independence is often sought after, working together in community can change everything.
Kondwani was a poor farmer, not able to feed his family from his meager crop of corn. A micro-finance loan, plus financial and vocational training changed all that.
Through Y-Malawi partners, Kondwani learned how to farm utilizing new methods, the small loan he received allowed him to fertilize his crops. Then Y-Malawi partners provided finance training and education on how to save and invest for the future.
The result? Kondwani was able to harvest twice as many crops. He paid off his loan and has now started a tomato business. His business is profitable and with new loans he has big dreams. He is expanding and growing new crops.
All this has given Kondwani opportunities, but most importantly hope. He has been able to build a new home made of bricks, his children are in school, and his family has a future.
Through Y-Malawi, God is not only opening hearts, He is changing lives.
Most of us have thought to ourselves at one time or another, “All I need is a chance!” Through Y-Malawi Opportunity International provides loans that make a life changing difference. History demonstrates that sustainable development must include economic development. These loans mean a chance to start a business, plant crops or retool and they are working. More than 95% of them have been paid back on-time! Even better because the loans are helping people succeed, every dollar invested becomes $6 over five years! Yet lasting economic development must include even more.
Eight women entrepreneurs who make up the Mtenbere Trust Group of Malawi call themselves, a “group with purpose.” The group is led by Zakaria Ntukula, shown on the left in the picture below.
Each Saturday members come together to experience partnership, friendship and entrepreneurship. They laugh together, cry together, pray, succeed and fail together. Zakuria says “When one member struggles, we unite around her. We listen, encourage and become part of the solution. When one of us achieves a milestone, we rejoice together.”
It’s the same with Y-Malawi. When our Malawian partners succeed so do we! Yes, we provide needed funding, but we also provide other resources. Most importantly we provide encouragement and prayers.
Together we can give a brother or sister that one chance they need to achieve their dreams and in turn they can then help others.
It’s a little thought about fact that every day in this world more than 800 women die in childbirth. More than 500 of those women die each day in Africa. As recently as 2008 more than 31 mothers died during childbirth in the Nkhoma area alone. But there is hope.
Thanks to the hard work of Nkhoma Hospital Medical Director Reynier Ter Haar and his dedicated staff this trend is changing. The Hospital is using enhanced protocols, increased feedback to referring health center staff and improved transportation. In addition, new service level agreements with the government have removed financial barriers.
Is it making a difference? In a big way. In 2015 there were only 3 mothers who died during childbirth!
It gets better. Through a relationship with Managed Care Executives for Africa, Y-Malawi is funding the education of four local doctors so that they can care for the needs of their own community. It is our local African partners who are at the heart of creating positive and sustainable change. They are making a difference in the lives and future of Malawian’s.
Y-Malawi is honored to play a role in this effort. If you want to help just click above to donate. You too can make a difference in someone’s future!
In Malawi there is a culture of hereditary chiefs ruling in a tribal system. These important leaders can make an important difference in the lives of those they lead. As community gate keepers most decisions are made with the influence of the chief or village heads. Their leadership skills and beliefs have a daily impact on the lives of others.
Amos Chibasa is the gifted and passionate leader of the Chief’s Ministry. The focus of this ministry is to share with chiefs about Jesus Christ and to train them to be godly and wise leaders in their communities. This work is accomplished through conferences, workshops, door to door, prayer mobilization and one-on-one training such as “Farming Gods Way.”
At a recent event Amos shared with chiefs the importance of sports and games in replacing traditional heathen and harmful practices. Then on February 7th a big netball and soccer tournament was held. It began with prayer and Bible study followed by games, fun and fellowship. What a great way to share the gospel, help develop communities, and make a difference in the lives of others!
Bible study started the day
A day of fun and fellowship
Want to get involved? Visit www.y-malawi.org to learn more. Or contribute financially by using the link below.