“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