A Lesson from Esther

A Lesson from Esther

Her name is Esther.  Like Esther of the Bible, her story is amazing.

Our Esther was married at an early age.  It was an arranged marriage, she was not even in high school yet.  Then quickly came two children.  15 years passed.  She worked in the fields for day wages, washed clothes, cooked meals, and did everything she could to care for and provide for the children.

Life was far from easy, but she managed to provide school fees so that her children could get an education.  As she worked hard each day, she often had thoughts of what life could have been like had she not married at such an early age.  Then one day Esther thought to herself, “I am older, but my life is not yet finished.  I can still make something of myself. God has not abandoned me.”  Right then and there she decided to do something bold.  She decided to return to school.

Before long this mother of two found herself back in a classroom, sitting next to her daughters among girls half her age. It was a humbling experience, but Esther was determined.  Many days she felt overwhelmed, but she continued on.  She refused to give up on her future.

Along the journey, just like Esther of the Bible, something incredible has happened.  Esther has become a role model to others around her.  She has become an encouragement to teachers.  She sets an example for other students.  Her life has become a living lesson to everyone she comes in contact with. There’s more.  Esther and her oldest daughter have just completed primary school together.  Now they are awaiting the opportunity to go on to high school.

God provided someone to redeem the Esther of the Bible.  Our Esther is not yet sponsored by Y-Malawi.  We are praying that God will provide her a sponsor, someone to redeem her soon.  Esther had hope because she saw what others around her were accomplishing.  Sponsorship is making a difference in lives.

Perhaps you could be Esther’s sponsor?  If not this Esther, there are many others with similar stories, waiting for someone to come along side them.  Waiting for someone to give them a hand up, to give them a new future, to give them the hope God gave Esther.

Click here to sponsor Esther or someone like her

Seeing is believing!

Seeing is believing!

“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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

 

Teaching Simplified!

Teaching Simplified!

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.