December 2020 Crusade
Isaiah 26:20 (KJV) “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past.”
2020 has been a year of different feelings and experiences across the global. A year of a New world with daily bad news from the media. A year of restrictions and a year of lockdowns. A year of quarantines a year of cancellations meetings and conferences. A year of sadness and a year of fear. That’s one side of the story of the year 2020 but to the other side of 2020, a year of expansions and a year of reaching unreached places. All those to the glory of God.
2020 END OF THE YEAR CRUSADE
2020, 31st Dec crusade took place in Ntaja, Machinga District. Machinga is located in the Eastern Region of Malawi. It is boarded with Mozambique. Most of the people in the district are Yao who came from Mozambique and settled in Machinga and Mangochi. Most of Yao people are followers of Islamic religion. There are plenty of mosques in the area. Organizing a Christian gathering is not easier in the area. Churches are very few and far apart. The whole districts have an estimated population of 788, 256. It is reported that the 20% of the number represent the number of Christians in the Districts. During the service people came from all parts of Malawi and Mozambique but the large number came from within the Ntaja community. Most of the participants were Yao people who were our target of crusade and few came from other churches in the community. We had 6denominations present during the service (Evangelical Baptist church, Church of Christ, Abraham church, Christian Revival church, Baptist Church, and Methodist Church plus us (word of Grace church).
1st January 2021, church service in Ntaja
After having a 2019-2020 Crusqade in Thyolo a team was chosen to assist in organizing the crusade in Ntaja. The Lead Pastor in Ntaja was chosen as a chair of the organizing team plus five Pastors from Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mangochi, Balaka and Liwonde. A part from having a church organizing team, the church in Ntaja also chose their team in organizing the crusade. Knowing that this area is hard to organize a crusade due to their religion teachings of against christianity, we had a strategy of how to organize it. We invited chiefs, political leaders in the community, and also we made it open that there will a feast during the service. The food shortage in the community provide us an opportunity to have an easy access of mobilization of people to the crusade.
Pastor Laja of Ntaja church plus his team reached almost all villages around the church. They also extended the invitation to their fellow brethren in the community to come. Youth choirs of different churches were invited. We had a total of 9 Youth Choirs from other churches.
Above is the team in the organizing. In the right, to my left is Pastor Laja and near him a man in a yellow shirt was his assistant in the organizing team of the church.
ATTENDANCE DURING THE CRUSADE
Our crusade started on the afternoon of 31st Dec 2020 and ended in the noon day of 1st January, 2021. When the time was around 17hrs Malawian time many people started flocking to the church to attend the crusade. The number grew big before 19hrs on 31st Dec. by the mid night the total number of attendance was 812 including children and Youths.
Regarding that the area is Muslim dominant area, the number was a breakthrough to us. We didn’t thought to reach such number. This is a great awakening period of Christianity in the community.
The attendance of the people.
After sharing the message from the book of Psalms 137:1-3, studying the life of Israelites in Babylon and how their enemies tormented them and also how they cry because of the oppression of Babylonians their enemies, an opportunity was given to everyone to look into his life and make a decision follow Jesus. A total of 81 people come forward to receive Jesus Christ. We recorded their names in order to follow them in their villages. Looking that many people came to our crusade; this also was a challenging to some people to come forward as they may fear being questioned by their relatives or Sheikhs in their villages. It is encouraging to see that those they came forward they had bold about their decision to follow Jesus Christ.
FOLLOW UPS PLANS
After the morning service in Ntaja we sat down with the team in Ntaja on how to have effective follow up. We encourage them to visit everyone whose name was recorded and build a better relationship. Make small Bible study groups within their community where they are coming from and also making sure that the number should not be above 3 per each group. They should also making sure that they encourage to attend a Biblle believing church within their locality. We encouraged them the importance of building a relationship with a new convet as it is a paramount for better results of winning souls to come to their churches.
We have promised the leaders that we will to have a door to door especially these new convents in their homes and also to attend their home Bible studies groups. We have set aside to visit them mid March, 2021 and see how they are doing and hear testimonies and also hear what challenges they are encountering in this new journey.
John 13:4-5 (KJV) He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded
Before the time clock 23:30, washing feet of Leaders and members of the church and other fellow believers joined us to be washed their feet. This program teaches us to be humble among the people and every year we do this program during the crusade.
There are many stories to share from the crusade but one story that surpasses all great stories from the crusade is the huge turn up of people in a Muslim dominated community which is not easier. The turn up itself is a great testimony to share to the believers and also to people. This breaks the history in the community. We thank God for his love and care during and before the crusade. It is unusual to have a big turn up and also to have a positive number to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. It has been a long journey in preparing the crusade, prayers and fasting to have such huge turn up story.
Tea break after celebrating the New Year
Despite that we had rains all night which forced us to use the church and spent the whole night in the church which was hot and dust but still that’s not a big challenge that we encountered. Our biggest challenge was food to feed the people for two days. We were unable to feed the huge turn up especially on the 1st January, 2021.
The second challenge was bibles to give out to the new believers especially these Muslim brothers who accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior. We felt sorry for failing to provide Bibles and Christian’s literatures so that they can use in their homes.
Despite that all Bibles that we had for church has been distributed to our churches but we are organizing to have Christians literatures to sent to the Pastor so that he can share during the follow up program to commence this Saturday 9th 2021.
We are also looking for well wishers to purchase three bicycles for our church leaders in order to use during the follow up. Our plans are to make sure we win the souls to start churches of their choices. We cried to the Lord to have the harvest of the souls to be Christians hence having such people who gave their life to Jesus we need to make sure we follow them and disciple them.
Our next plans are to hold the next crusade in Mangochi another stronghold of Muslim followers. Mangochi has the highest number of Muslims in Malawi and there are many Islamic projects that are taking place in Mangochi. We are planning to have it at Mpira village, T/A Chimwala where our church is only church in the area. We are praying to have another breakthrough like in Ntaja, Machinga.
1) Pray for the availability of Bibles at least 81 for the New convents to be distributed to them during the follow up programs which will begins this Saturday.
2) Pray for the salvation of these new believers to be permanent and they stand to any challenge they face because of their choice to serve our Lord Jesus.
3) That the new believers will have a church of their choice while discipleship is continuing.
4) That they will be a way to purchase three bicycles to be distributed to our church leaders who will be doing follow up as well discipleship.
In His Service,
Prepared By: Abusa Moses Nkhata
(Word of Grace Church)