From the Superintendent's DESK
Camp meeting for the southern region of Malawi was held August 10-14 at the headquarters compound in Lunzu, Blantyre. Delegates began arriving from eleven branch locations early Wednesday and a reception was held to welcome them. Chris Nkhata, the Malawi District Superintendent said there was joy and laughter as well as warm embraces as the saints came together. Many had not seen each other in years and others were meeting for the first time. There was also much anticipation.
The first service, which began with a chorus of “Praise Him,” was attended by many local visitors, including Chief Mtema. Also present was Chief Kembo and his wife from Kembo Village where our Marka branch is located. The congregational singing was led by Hopeson Shuga, the Lunzu youth pastor. Among the selections was “More About Jesus.”
Before the message, Tinenenji Shuga sang “He Took My Sins Away.” Then Samuel Nkhoma, the Kanyama pastor, preached from Jonah 3:1-5. He highlighted the camp meeting theme of “Ensure Your Holiness is in Order, for Jesus Christ is Coming” as he spoke about the citizens of Nineveh. He said they heard God’s message, searched their hearts, and responded by repenting. He encouraged everyone present to seek for the spirit of prayer that fell on Nineveh to fall during the Malawi camp meeting. The service closed with the song “Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior” and the alter quickly filled.
The Thursday morning service was attended by over eighty. During the announcements, letters of encouragement were read from leaders around the world. The congregation responded with a big, “Amen!” The Bible teaching was given by Last Mateyu, the Chirimba pastor, on the subject of “Sanctification.” He took his text from John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” and Leviticus 19:2, “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” He noted the many reasons sanctification is needed and that Jesus prayed for every generation to receive it.
In the afternoon, Brother Hopson led a youth service, and in the evening, everyone gathered again for an evangelistic service. The evening message was given by Osman Madi who pastors the Marka branch. For his opening text, he read John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” He said God promises eternal life to any who will believe and repent. The day finished with a beautiful alter service in which God answered many prayers.
Friday’s teaching began with the song “The Holy Spirit” and this was the theme of the message also. Brother Chris took his text from Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses . . .” He said the spirit that is within a person will be manifested by their actions. Those who have received the Holy Ghost will have a desire to tell others about Jesus and will be enabled to do so. He also said that camp meeting is an opportunity for God’s people to be refueled and energized by His Spirit. A powerful altar service followed with God showering down many blessings.
The afternoon youth service was led by Brother Samuel. He took his text from Mark 8:34, “. . . Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” He gave a powerful call for those present to consecrate their lives. Afterward, the altar was full of seekers with hungry hearts, and God answered many prayers.
The last evangelistic service of the camp meeting was held Friday evening. For the sermon, S. B. Moyo, who oversees the four Dedza churches, took his text from Acts 3:19. It says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” He said a time of refreshing will come to those who repent and who are ready for Jesus’ soon return. Indeed, there was a time of refreshing around the altar afterward as God visited and wonderfully blessed.
There were three events on Saturday. The first was a general meeting to give a report from the different locations and appoint regional committees. It was also agreed that water baptismal services would be held locally to accommodate those who could not travel due to economic conditions. The second event of the day was a workers’ meeting focused on the Gospel Worker’s Handbook. The meeting included an exhortation taken from 1 Corinthians 3:6-9: “For we are labourers together with God.” In the evening, everyone enjoyed a concert featuring wonderful uplifting music. This was followed by God’s blessing around the altars.
On Sunday morning, just over one hundred gathered for the final day of the camp meeting. It began with Sunday school for all ages. The adults studied the Search lesson while the children were taught from Primary Pals, and there was enthusiastic participation on all parts.
The morning message was titled “God is with Us” and used text from Judges 6:12-14, the call of Gideon. The focus was verse 14, “And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might.” Everyone was encouraged to return home in the might of the Holy Spirit to win souls for Jesus. It was emphasized that God would go with them. At the close, everyone fell to their knees in prayer, and God answered with showers of blessings.
The camp meeting was a great time of refreshing. Throughout the week, testimonies and praise reports revealed that three received salvation and nine were healed. In addition, God sanctified two, baptized two with the Holy Spirit, and revived eleven. Brother Christ reported that as God’s people dispersed to return to their various locations, many faces were beaming with the joy of the Lord.