Malawi and Canada: Perplexing Contrasts!

Friends of Malawi,

I am perplexed! I am perplexed about 2 things; well, actually 3 things.

We just returned 2 days ago from our trip to Malawi. Jet lag still has the upper hand, butwe know it will be defeated soon. Returning from this trip, I have been overcome by 3 things, and I have had enough sleepless nights to carefully consider these things.

First of all, I am perplexed by the fact that there can be 2 people groups that are so very different. I mean, weren’t we both created in God’s image? Aren’t we both descendants of Adam and Eve? Then why are the people in Malawi living in such darkness; in fear of the evil powers that surround them? Why are we in Canada not experiencing these fears? Are we favoured?

Secondly, how is it possible that this ministry of discipleship has grown from infancy to adulthood so powerfully? God chose to use us. I don’t have any special skills; why should God use me? I don’t know how to nurture such a relationship as this in Malawi.

And, thirdly, it perplexes me that this work can continue on year after year and the funds keep coming in. We don’t deserve this! But, none of this is about deserving, is it?
Let me try to give you the reassurances that God has given me through His Holy Spirit as I lay pondering on these things.

To begin with, I don’t know if the word “perplexed” is the right one to use. The dictionary says it means “filled with uncertainty”. I’m not filled with uncertainty. I’m very certain, actually. Certain that this is God’s work – not mine. It could not possibly be my work….and therein lies the answer to the 3 perplexities. God has the right to do as He pleases. The people in Malawi are in no thicker darkness than we are in Canada. We just don’t recognize it….our darkness is hidden behind the wealth and health that we experience in this country. But it’s there all the same. Just ask your neighbour what’s important to him and you will see that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor.11:13-15).

The people of Malawi know that they live in darkness; the evil powers are all around them and they live in fear of them. We have seen it with our eyes and heard the stories! But when they hear the good news of salvation, they are eager to respond to find relief from their fears, to find a purpose for living; to have an eternal relationship with the living God of the universe. Our Team disciples them and trains leaders who place them in Life Groups and the self-perpetuating motion of multiplication takes place. Churches are born – real churches made of people – not buildings made of stone. And we are reminded that this is God’s work! A pastor once preached a sermon on “God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply”. God’s work never lacks God’s supply. And since He is God, he can use whoever He wills to supply that need….you and me. We all do our part; even if we feel ill equipped. He is the One who takes our availability and turns it into ability unawares.
Thank you Lord! We praise you and marvel at your great works!

Elly & Hans Timmermans
( for donations)

“…We thank God that 3 pastors from local Traditional African Churches accepted Christ and they were happy to have found new life in Christ. Pastor Harfacs Gondwe of Chipangano Church said that the teachings were eye opening. He added that through these teachings he had come to understand what salvation is all about. This understanding caused him to receive Christ into his life….” Read more at our website

About dcimiddleton

Al and Mary Middleton lead a Christian ministry, Dynamic Churches International. They are based In Alberta, Canada.
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