These past few months have been intense ones. As you know from our previous letter, we have been busy buying and importing a car from Japan for the DCI team in Malawi. We had estimated the cost of such a venture, using our North American business knowledge. From the Malawi Government website the cost should have been approx.$ 14,000.00. (Canadian). But…first we discovered the year of a car is not computed the same way we do in North America, by using the VIN number. The Malawian government looks at the seat belt and takes the year on the seat belt. So they figured it was a 2007 instead of a 2008, which increased the taxes and duties significantly. The taxes are configured as follows (the cost of the car, plus shipping by sea) + 25% + 45% + 16.5 %. All these taxes are on top of each other. Then there are some administrative charges and the importers’ charges, and the pick up from Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania port). It was an adventure!! However, we are very thankful to have the vehicle. It now still needs new tires. In the photo you will see the 2008 Nissan X-Trail we bought.
We want to thank all who have contributed to this car and made it possible for the Team to have safe transportation as well as being able to take all they need for the training with them on their trips. Of course, having this vehicle will bring with it more monthly expenses in terms of fuel, maintenance and other costs, such as insurance, etc.
As I think back over the past months and the reports our DCI Team has been sending I am so thankful for the many souls saved and discipled. We have lost track of the explosive growth of the Life Groups as neighbouring villages ask Life Group leaders to come and train a leader to start a Life Group in their village. The testimony of changed lives causes this explosive growth to take place. This should be a challenge to us! Does our (individual and collective) light shine bright enough for the lost to ask themselves what is missing in their life? We thank God that this is what is happening in Malawi! As people begin to study God’s Word they discover how God wants them to live their lives. They change their ways immediately and this affects their family and their village in a major way. Living God’s way is not dysfunctional!
Andrew told us about the impact the Maize Mill is having on the surrounding people. In Malawi when a death happens in the area all business stops for the day – or sometimes for the week! The family of the deceased is visited by relatives and neighbours. The mourning family also has to feed all these people. Our Team has instructed the miller and his assistant to grind the maize for a neighbouring mourning family for free. This is much appreciated since it helps defray the cost of the funeral. It also is a testimony to the community. Recently the chief made a point of thanking the miller for this service.
In January 2014 we received the DCI discipling materials that were printed in Egypt. 10,000 Dynamic Basics and 10,000 Dynamic Discipling booklets. The 10,000 Basics are almost gone and we have had another 5,000 printed right in Malawi. These booklets are making an enormous difference in the lives of the new disciples/followers of Christ. In all likelihood, more than 10,00 have been discipled, since some leaders have been photocopying the Basics for their own outreach. But having these 10,000 copies in the hands of new disciples means that 1 in 140 Tumbuka speaking Malawians in the North have a Basics booklet and a New Testament in their own language. We have seen these New Testaments on our return visits and they are being well used. They are dog-eared, underlined and treasured beyond what we would have expected to see.
So how can you be involved in this exciting work of God? You can pray for the safety of the Team and the success of the Gospel and teaching ministry. You can also help us financially. As the work grows the expenses are also increasing. People are being saved and discipled. They are passing on the Good News to others, multiplying the number being reached. Lives are being changed and God is being praised and worshipped through all this.
Thank you for reading this and thanks too for your prayers and financial help!
You can contact us by return email, or connect with DCI for donations through the http://www.dynamicchurches.org donate page.
In His Service,
Hans and Elly Timmermans
Dynamic Churches International