It is now Friday, before we leave, and I am racking my brains to remember what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday! Fortunately I have Colin to remind me sitting at the table here! I also have the luxury of Hannah’s laptop to write my post, which may be a bad thing as I write more. Let’s hope not….
I have organised this post for two days, as Thursday I will cover in a separate post, on safari – a non-mission day really! Tuesday morning I led the devotion, focusing on Luke 7 and the woman who broke the alabaster jar. I was interested to discover (perhaps I should have known this already) that this incident of a woman pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet occurs in all four Gospels. I encouraged everyone to spend some time in silence, thanking God, confessing, praising Him and then allowing him to speak through the passage. We then had thirty minutes off on our own, during which the idea is we have our own quiet time, and return at 8:30am for worship and intercession. Several times, Colin and I during the thirty minutes have gone to the bench by the gate of the Base, and prayed together, which I have really appreciated.
During the intercession, which was for YWAM (on Mon the focus is prophetic, on Wed Malawi, on Thurs there is extended worship and on Friday the focus is international) Colin and I were rushed off with Hannah as the plan was to get us to Thyolo House, while she dropped the children off at a friend’s and took another friend to see his baby in hospital – Hannah has spent a lot of time supporting her friend with the pregnancy, and had been kept in due to high blood pressure. Judging by the look on the husband’s (and now father’s) face as we picked him up from their house, this was very much a story with a happy ending, especially as this is their first child.
So Colin and I spent a very pleasant morning at Thyolo House, chewing the fat, sampling orange cake and sipping coffee. This gave us an impression of what it might be like as a tourist in Blantyre – however, at 110 dollars a night, it is not the cheapest option. The Italian owner allowed us to have a tour of the house, which was stunningly decorated in ornate colonial style. On a clear day (and this is becoming the thing to say in the heat haze of summer) you can see the Mulanje range.
We then returned to Base ready for some mission in the afternoon – this transpired to be a trip to the local market, and we went in threes into the village and engaged people in conversation about Jesus. Just like going round the different YWAM bases, this is an excellent opportunity to see what is going on. The market itself is really vibrant mid-afternoon, with lots of people milling around, and lively music playing. Sometimes the Base brings out their red truck and do some outreach, but this afternoon this was being used elsewhere.
On Wednesday morning we had a quieter devotion time than usual (Daniel and Chris were away on a one-on-one prayer time in Zomba), and we interceded for the needy in Malawi in particular. The students on Discipleship Training School get experience in this context in leading meetings – so they were steering how we prayed. With forty people together, it’s a case of using the time well, and also helping everyone to engage. I have really enjoyed the times of prayer we have and feel perhaps that it’s time for a shake-up with our church prayer meeting back home. (Having some Chichewan praise would also be quite good!)
We got to sit in on Lindane’s teaching for the DTS this morning, which was a real treat. He spent the first session before coffee prophesying over each of the students, and it was brilliant to see someone with a real established prophetic gift, bringing careful, biblical, helpful words to the students. It’s also always a good opportunity, when ministering to people you don’t know very well, to be exercising that sort of gift. He is the Base leader for a base in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and they are currently looking to purchase a farm, as their neighbours don’t want them where they are. He travels quite a lot to different Bases, giving teaching. He was teaching on the Holy Spirit this morning, and gave many helpful and wise comments both about prayer and also the power of the Holy Spirit. One story involved a girl who always seemed to say the wrong thing, and Lindane ended up going with her on a door-to-door evangelism session. To Lin’s surprise, she gave an amazing prophetic word to one woman out in her garden, which meant she returned to church and was healed from hurt in the past, where she had been told to marry a certain person, and she had obeyed – and then he had been unfaithful and left her. This word meant that her faith was restored and she returned to church! One of the sensible things Lin said was that we should never feel coerced in our faith – we always have a choice.
I had been for a run early that morning, and this meant that I was quite tired – Colin also wasn’t feeling great, so we had a quiet afternoon, and managed for the evening to get to the Community Evening, where Lin shared on the power of the Holy Spirit and then everyone got prayed for. Good times!