April 4th report:
Despite the disturbing events of the weekend, Monday started off our school week very nicely. Our week began, as it always does, with a wonderful chapel service with hearts and minds waking up through song and prayer to listen to the words of God.
Blessings Nkhamanga, a second year student in the English program, preached Monday morning on the humility of Moses. Blessings is 23 years old and comes from the small village of Dowa in the midsection of Malawi. He is the student whose father died nearly three weeks ago. Despite this tragedy, Blessings continues to be a wonderful student with a 4.04 GPA and a compassionate heart for gathering lost souls into God’s kingdom. Blessings desires to come back next year to begin the Masters program and be a teacher at the Chimala Bible Institute.
Our newest addition to the staff is Boaz Kasiba, whose wife Jane cooks for me and Rebecca. The students and staff were very excited to invite him back as a teacher and to work with our evangelism outreach program. Yesterday Boaz left to travel to Dar-es-Salaam to study with and baptize two gentlemen who have been studying through the World Bible School Correspondence Course program. We especially appreciate Boaz’s commitment to these prospects because not only is the trip to Dar twelve hours long over rough roads, but there were several robberies over the past weekend in addition to the Malawian robbery. Boaz baptized these men early this evening and God added these souls to the kingdom. Praise God!
We received word yesterday that the six Malawian victims reached their homes safely in Blantyre (at the southern tip of Malawi) yesterday morning. We are so grateful the Lord saw fit to return these young men and women safely to their families and friends. Rebecca, many of the Malawian students, and I plan to make a trip into Malawi to follow up on this door God has opened for evangelism. Brother Bill Stinson even has the shop mechanics working around the clock to work on and repair an old Land Rover that can seat up to twelve people.
Menard Swila (a CBI instructor and the man who keeps the mission running smoothly when Brother Stinson is stateside) and Boaz, along with Joseph and Peter, are making plans to create more evangelism opportunities for the Malawian students. Many of them do not know Swahili well enough to preach and teach in the villages, so are not doing as much evangelism as the native Tanzanians.
Our ladies have also been heavily involved in teaching children’s classes here on the Mission and out in the village congregations. Atupakisye Mwakyasima, a second year English student, has taught several times at the Chosi A congregation, about ten minutes across the road from the Mission. Noela Kapongo, a second year Swahili student, has been assisting another young lady teach the primary school students on Sunday morning at the Chimala Mission congregation for the past couple of months. This past Sunday, she did a wonderful job teaching the children Genesis chapter eight. The children really responded to her and actively participated in the class.
At the same time Noela taught the lower primary students, I taught the upper class primary students in the main auditorium. With the help of my wonderful translator, Ezekiel (also a CBI instructor), I taught on the account of Joshua and the ten spies. As we acted out the account, the children giggled excitedly. It was especially endearing to hear the students collectively answer ‘Nzuri!’ when I first stood up and greeted the children with ‘Habari za asubuhi!’.
A big part of our program is the hands-on training of our preaching and teaching students. We are proud to say they are doing a wonderful job both in proclaiming the gospel and building up the members and children of the church.
The students do not only work diligently in their studies. They also labor in the huge Mission garden planting crops and gathering fruits and vegetables. Every day after school they also clean the grounds around the school building to keep up the appearance of their campus.
As the weeks count down to April 25th, excitement on campus increases for the Masters program. There are 19 prospective students, both Malawian and local, who are looking forward to learning more about God’s word. We cannot wait to start this exciting new phase of the Chimala Bible Institute.
April 11th report:
Lyton Mhanga, a second year English student, preached Tuesday morning in Chapel. He exhorted the students and staff to be on the lookout for false teachers. The Director of the English Program, Peter Kamatula, commentated on Lyton’s wonderful improvement during announcements. Last year, Lyton struggled immensely with his studies, especially with English grammar. I gave him some grammar books when school broke for the summer. He studied them diligently the entire break and worked hard to improve his grades the following semester. Lyton’s improvement is a prime example of what the Chimala Bible Institute is all about: taking young men and improving their God-given talents a hundred-fold to be used for the glory of His kingdom.
One of the Malawian victims, John Kaamba, attended chapel Tuesday morning. He had come with a mechanic to repair the wrecked car and drive it back to Malawi. John reported that his fellow travelers were safely at home. Only one man was still laid up in the hospital with a broken arm. John expressed his entire village’s gratitude to the Chimala Bible Institute for their safe return.
A great provision we have working on this historic mission is the opportunity our teachers have to follow up on World Bible School correspondence courses. Boaz Kasiba has returned from Dar-es-Salaam where he baptized the two men. One of the men’s wives came to watch and she is now studying with the preacher of one of the Dar congregations.
Another great work of the Bible Institute is the opportunity to print and send out Bible Correspondence Courses. Our primary instructor working with this outreach program is Frank. He recently reported there are 30 men in the local prison clamoring to study the Bible further.
This past weekend five of our students directed services at the Ilemi Mbeya congregation. There were 23 in attendance. The students did a fantastic job and the congregation welcomed them back. Even as I write, there are four students and an instructor traveling to Mbozi to spend the weekend preaching, teaching, and building up the congregation there. One of the things we are proud of here at the Chimala Bible Institute is the hands-on work our students get in addition to their rigorous academic studies.
It is always interesting to hear what the other classes are studying. I have heard this week one instructor is teaching his students how the Koran is inferior to the Scriptures. In another class I heard the teacher speak how the 5,700 manuscripts of the New Testament make it the most reliable book in the ancient world. In yet another class, one of the students is writing his paper on Martin Luther and why Lutheranism is incorrect.
Our students are diligently working both academically and practically to be better servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Garry L. Hill
Administrator, Chimala Bible Institute