Malawi Ministers Meeting: 3

Wednesday was the third and last day of the ministers meeting. We ended at lunch time as many of the ministers will travel for many hours on bicycles over rough roads to reach their homes.

The group presentations were over, so I started the morning with a lesson on holiness. Holiness is a condition of heart that only comes from being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. When the vessel is clean, it then needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit which enables us to grow and bear the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace… It is the Holy Spirit that enables us to live a  life of holiness. We are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit. Whatever we do, we should ask ourselves, “Is this glorifying to God?”

After discussing our spirit and conduct, I shared about the contaminations and influences of the world through television, internet, etc. We read the verses concerning the outward adorning and modesty. The ministers were very engaged and interested.

“So what do we do when someone come to service and isn’t doing these things?” One asked. “You love them and be glad they are there. We aren’t church policeman. Teach the truth, set an example, and pray. If the Lord leads, there may be a time to talk to them, but be very careful. If a leader is not living a holy life, then there is a responsibility to see that they no longer exercise in that position.”

I was able to share with them again the changes I have observed taking place in Malawi over the last 20-plus years. I shared with him that the saints in the US had to take a stand against the direction the world was going and they were also going to have to maintain a stand against the immodesty and immorality of the world. Our job is not to set rules but to teach the principles and doctrines of the New Testament.

“What about dancing?”one if the sister’s asked. We addressed that yesterday but they wanted more…. Amid much laughter, I think I conveyed to them clearly that dancing was not true spiritual worship. They agreed.

I emphasized again that true holiness is a condition of heart. We could take a drunkard off the street, clean him up, and give him a nice suit of clothes; but he is still a drunkard. People so often do the same thing with Christianity; it becomes an outward observance without the inward work of God in the heart that brings forth the true fruit of holiness.

After a break, we concluded with a short challenge to be the husbands and wives that the Bible teaches. The devil is working very hard in people’s homes and it is a hindrance to God’s work. We need to work on our marriage like we work in the field. We can’t expect to just reap a harvest if we are not willing to plant, water, fertilize, weed, etc.

I gave everyone in attendance a bottle of lotion that I purchased in the main city before coming to the village. I told the brethren that it was a gift for them to give to their wives (meaning in this case for each man to give one to his one wife). 🙂

Gifts for the husbands to take their wives.

The ministers really enjoyed the meeting and it was time well spent. I am thankful for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and for His guidance in the meeting.

As is usually the case, I assisted two sick ministers with transport home. Throughout stays in impoverished countries, it is usual to get many requests for assistance that I am unable to meet. It is always a little bit disheartening, but it goes with the territory.

Some of the brethren and I traveled to a bank where I had to withdraw in cash a large sum of money that I had wired for the purchase of a vehicle. It doesn’t make me too nervous but now would not be a good time to be robbed.

I came back to the city late afternoon and will be making arrangements for the final purchase of the car and registration tomorrow. Some of the businesses in the city were closed today as there were planned demonstrations by a violent group that has a history of looting and causing problems to vehicles and businesses in the vicinity. The courts have ruled that they were not to demonstrate. I am thankful that there is peace today instead of violence.

Happy Children

I would appreciate prayer that if it is God’s will for us to purchase a large tract of land, that He would open the right door. If it is not His will at this time, we say “Amen.” It is very difficult to find a large amount of land as the land has been subdivided many, many times throughout the generations within families.

May God’s will be done. Thank you for your prayers and continued sacrifice that this work go forward.

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