An Ecclesia Is Born In Lake Malawi
We reported some time ago the baptism of a Malawian Brother Esau in Norway whilst on an extended training course there, studying fishery stations on an island off the coast of northern Norway. He returned to Malawi vowing to take his new found faith to his friends and former church in Malawi, located on the shores of Lake Malawi in the very heart of central Africa. This he did. His former pastor, Leonard, bravely accepted the Truth and was baptized by the nearest CBM ecclesia. For this he was cast out of his church, lost all income, and eventually a gang of thugs forced him and his family from his home. This is how badly religion can go wrong, and how badly people respond when they are told that their existing religious convictions are wrong and when their consciences are touched.
Despite chronic lack of resources, Brothers Esau and Leonard have been gathering the remaining church members and other people for meetings under a large tree and also within the house where Leonard now lives. They have been well supplied with Bible Basics and they have been teaching the people twice / week, going through the lessons. Leonard flies his colours to everyone, with a large sign outside his home advertising his new faith
The Banner outside Leonards Home
They got to the point where really there was nothing further to teach them of the basic Gospel, and it was our honour to be invited by these zealous brethren to be present at the baptisms. They were a wide range of people, from peasant farmers to a doctor, but united together by the hope of the Gospel. The Bible teachings were of a high standard with great emphasis on the need to understand God as one and not three, a human Jesus who didn't pre-exist, no Satan but the need to fight sin within, and the Kingdom coming on earth, with no eternal hell to fear.
No fewer than 22 people fitted into one pickup truck to be taken to the shore of Lake Malawi for baptism, just a few kilometres from where David Livingstone was based and bought slaves from the slave traders on the lake, let them go free, and then told them to run for their lives so the slave traders didn't catch them again, which provided good material for the baptism address, based around Romans 6 and the freedom from sin's slavery which we are given and must preserve.
22 on the way to the Lake
With beautiful harmonic singing, the 16 people were lined up and baptized - Brothers DAVID, PAUL, CHARLES, ANDREW, ELIAS, JAMES, PETER, SWETHAN, DANIEL and INNOCENT; and Sisters TERESA, EMILY, ZIONE, FLORENCE, KATE and JOYCE. It was great to see their joy in anticipation of their baptisms, sharing Heaven's joy
Lining up for Baptism
Brother Leonard insisted on doing the baptisms wearing his best suit trousers, shirt and tie- because all the Angels in Heaven were watching as so many came to repentance:
Bro Leonard & Duncan
We marvel at God's ways; how internet contact with a Malawian man searching for truth about the trinity on an island in northern Norway led to his baptism and spreading the true Gospel in Malawi; the brave and faithful response of a pastor willing to lose his income, flock and standing in society, and now to the conversion of a wide range of people, a true cross-section of Malawian society, from doctors to peasants. We are pleased to say that this new ecclesia is integrating well with CBM Malawi.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Apart from donations, here are a few suggestions:-
- Post any useful books or Bibles you have to these ecclesias
- Obtain Sunday School materials and get them posted to them- there's an especial need for material suitable for under 11s, along with crayons, exercise books etc.
- Pray for them and thank God for them- you can all do that!