From the Superintendent's DESK
A dedication service for our new Malawi headquarters church and office building was held on Sunday, March 27, in the town of Lunzu. Visitors for the special event included John Musgrave on behalf of the world headquarters, Southern Africa District Superintendent Oniyas Gumbo, South Africa District Superintendent Confidence Nemahungani, as well as a team of ten from Zimbabwe. In addition to the Sunday dedication, evangelistic services and workers meetings were also held over the weekend, making a full and profitable weekend.
The Malawi headquarters church property is located in a rural part of southern Malawi, about nine miles north of Blantyre, which is the second largest city in the nation and has a population of about one million. The Malawi District Superintendent and pastor in Lunzu is Chris Nkhata, a native of Zimbabwe who lived in South Africa for about twenty years before moving to Malawi to help with the work there. He welcomed all of the overseas guests and introduced them to the local church members during the services.
About one hundred attended the evangelistic services on Friday and Saturday, which were held in an outdoor tent so the church could be prepared for the dedication. The music was led by the Lunzu youth leader, Hopeson Shuga, who also led the youth service and helped with translation. The music was mostly sung in the native language of Chichewa and Brother John commented that the saints harmonize beautifully. The services included messages from Brother John, Brother Confidence, and Kwaziso Bhosha of Zimbabwe, each followed by good prayer at the altars.
A workers meeting was also held on Saturday with about forty in attendance. The theme was “Our Call to Be Ambassadors for Christ,” and afterward, several went to the church to pray for nearly two hours. Later in the day a Sunday school conference meeting was also held.
Sunday morning began with Sunday school at 9:30, with classes for four age groups. The dedication service began at 10:45 a.m. with two ribbon cutting ceremonies, first at the Malawi headquarters office building and then at the church. Once everyone had entered, the sanctuary was full with over 120 present.
During a welcome message, Brother Chris acknowledged several dignitaries in attendance, including at least three local kings, one queen (who helped acquire the property), a local town official, and some neighbors who have been especially helpful with the recent passing of Brother Chris’ wife. The choir sang “Wonderful Story of Love” and “We Have Come into Your Presence to Worship You,” and then the Scripture reading from 2 Chronicles 6:12-19, 40-42 was read by Brother Confidence. For the last Special, Sister Rebecca of Zimbabwe sang “Come and Dine,” and then Brother John gave the dedicatory message from 2 Chronicles 7:12-16.
Brother Oniyas gave a beautiful dedication prayer that ended when the Holy Spirit came down in a special way. Sister Rebecca, who had been seeking for the baptism for a long time, received it right then, and the altar area filled up quickly. The service ended with a wonderful prayer meeting.
An afternoon youth service started at 3:30, an hour delayed due to the dedication service and prayer meeting. The meeting began with several choruses and a special from Osman Madi, a Malawi Board Member, and his family who sang “The Time Is Ended.” Choirs from the Nchalo and Nsanje branches also sang. During the testimonies, Sister Rebecca told about receiving her baptism at the dedication service, and Onias Chitanda, a Zimbabwe Board Member, gave the message from John 3:1-3, asking the critical question: “Are you born again?” At the evening service, Newton Jaravani, another Zimbabwe Board Member, preached from Romans 1:16 about the need to respond to the good news of the Gospel. Following the meeting, there was another great altar service and two young ladies were saved. A closing service for the special weekend was held on Monday morning, with an inspired teaching from Brother Oniyas on “The Complete Spiritual Life.”
Brother John reported that everyone would have liked this special weekend to continue a few more days or even a week. He said they now hope to acquire an adjacent property as a campground so they can hold a Malawi camp meeting here in the future. In addition, those who attended from Zimbabwe have decided to also attend the camp meeting in Zambia next week, which everyone is looking forward to. In the meantime, for the remainder of this week Brother John, Brother Oniyas, and Brother Confidence will be visiting a few of our Malawi church locations, starting with the church in Nsanje tomorrow.