Malawi Trip 2019

Report 1

I was thankful to arrive safely with all my bags to Johannesburg, South Africa. The following morning, I flew on to Blantyre, Malawi.

Leaving home.

One of the purposes of this trip was to buy a vehicle for the gospel work. There has been a need for a vehicle for many years, but I did not feel the time was right. I have felt impressed of late that the Lord would be pleased to go ahead and get a vehicle. Two of the brethren here travel all over the country visiting different congregations. A vehicle will be a great help.

Unfortunately, they do not have used vehicle lots like we do at home. Most of the sales are through individuals or individuals that import them. After talking to different people and checking a few places, I made contact with a man who helped me. We found a 2010 Nissan X-trail that was recently imported from Japan. That means it has not been on the rough roads of Malawi. I paid a mechanic to drive the vehicle and look it over. At this point, it appears that I got a pretty good price. Many comparable vehicles were $2,500 more. While a car would be much less expensive, we need something that is built higher and sturdier for the rough roads.

I made a payment for them to hold the SUV for me till next week when I can come back from the village and buy it. They parked the vehicle and gave me the keys. I am thankful the Lord helped me find a vehicle. I trust that I can still say that in six months. 🙂

Unfortunately, I’m still having to use a rental vehicle for the next few days until I can register the vehicle we bought. The duty has already been paid on it, but I hesitated to drive it across the country without it being registered and insured by us.

There are a number of children as well as adults who live on the streets in the city of Blantyre. One night after it got dark and after being approached by different beggars, I stopped and bought 15 boxes that contained a bun and a quarter chicken. I drove around downtown giving out food from my vehicle.

Sunday morning, I traveled to the village and had service with the local congregation. I would assume that there were over a hundred and fifty people there. (More people came in after the photo was taken.) Ministers are beginning to come in for the ministers meeting that starts Monday morning. We have done much teaching over the years, but it is a slow process and there are always new congregations and new ministers. I’ve been asking the Lord to give me a different approach that would be not only different but possibly more effective for this meeting.

I feel inspired for the Minister’s meeting, that runs three days, to discuss the “Power of Parables.” I plan to break the ministers into groups, assigning a parable to each subgroup for them to discuss and share what it means with the whole group. We expect about a hundred and fifty ministers. I have over 20 parables and after they are shared by the groups, I will follow each one up to round it out with further teaching. There are many doctrines and subjects that are covered in The Parables–to mention a few: repentance, salvation, change of heart, choice, mercy, forgiveness, prayer, the kingdom of God, heaven and hell, the judgment, humility, and the list goes on.

I am praying that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of these ministers that they would see the true power of the parable and that the truths contained within them will get in their hearts and minds to make an eternal difference.

Thank you for all your prayers and for your sacrifice that is enabling the gospel to be spread in this part of the world.

—Michael Smith

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