Southern Africa (Zimbabwe & Malawi) Report
I recently returned from a very fruitful and enjoyable trip visiting our schools in southern Africa, beginning with Zimbabwe, then finishing up the final week in Malawi. During my visit (September 29-October 23) I had the privilege of teaching in and meeting with our directors and staff at each of these schools. What a blessing it is to be a part of this great work and see firsthand all that God is doing through us to accomplish His purpose in saving souls and training men to preach.
Ishmael a teacher at BVBI-Zimbabwe along with a brother from one of the churches in Bulawayo (Hailey Mlangeni) met me at the airport to take me the 2 hour trip to Gweru where the school is located. I was carrying with me 3 months of financial support (October/November/December) given to me by the brethren at Woodland Oaks to be delivered to the school in Zimbabwe.
I enjoyed my time teaching the students and witnessing their progress as they continue to mature in their knowledge and experience as preachers! They have come a long way over the last year and a half. I taught the book of Romans and each of them did an outstanding job as they seemed to grasp this most challenging study in the short time I was with them. I look forward to attending their graduation in June of 2018.
These brethren are always planning and working to improve the school and find innovative ways to help fund the various projects as well as involve the local churches in helping to train these young men. They continue to do an outstanding job and I appreciate Matthew and the staff who in spite of the challenges keep moving forward!
While there I was blessed to stay with a wonderful family (Raradza family) that not only provided me with a comfortable place to sleep and do my work but prepared delicious meals every evening along with great conversation and fellowship! They are an amazing family and a blessing for the church and school in Gweru! I am thankful for their gracious hospitality.
My final stop was in Malawi where the director Marc Veary and Bear Valley coordinator Ephron Vincent Mbano was there to meet me. I arrived in Lilongwe about 6 pm Sunday evening. We drove north to Mzuzu where the school is located arriving some time around 11 pm that night. I had to begin teaching the book of Ephesians Monday morning. This was the final class that the 15 BV students would need to complete as they would graduate the following Saturday along with the other 25 Mzuzu students. Although I was tired from traveling, seeing the students and all the staff at Mzuzu Bible college always refreshes me. It is exciting to be around faithful Christians that are so enthusiastic as they work, study and evangelize!
Marc and Christine are such great hosts, it is always so good to see them and enjoy their company, fellowship and hospitality. They could not be any more accommodating and gracious than what they have shown me over the last few years. Marc along with his able staff do an outstanding job in running the day to day operations of the school and in their training these men to be effective Gospel preachers! They have (and will have) approximately 45-50 students including the Bear Valley students for the new school year beginning February 2018.
I have enjoyed teaching these students the last 2 years and I am confident in their ability and potential as they return to their homes, towns and villages. The church in Malawi will reap these benefits for years to come. I have seen firsthand the positive affect the school is having on the local churches and the communities as a whole. Please continue to pray for these brethren and the great work that God is doing through them! They are not just reaching the northern part of the country where the school is located but they are evangelizing even the southern and middle regions as well. They continue to do an outstanding and effective job.
The potential is great in Malawi and all of southern Africa including Zimbabwe in fulfilling God's mission, saving souls! There are many other things I could say and would be happy to share with you if you are interested. If you are wanting to learn more or have an interest in supporting this work, or for that matter any of the Bear Valley extension schools please feel free to contact me or Bear Valley at www.wetrainpreachers.com.
I am grateful to have a small part in this work and I am most thankful for all the wonderful supporters we have who pray daily and support these schools financially. I am especially thankful for Woodland Oaks and their commitment to world evangelism, also the congregation at Williamson Area that not only "puts up with me" but also so graciously allows me to travel twice a year to visit our brethren in Africa. "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
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