I started 2017 wanting to go to the Isle of Man on an “international outreach”. I wanted to go for the entire year actually, and about halfway through 2016, I started planning my trip. I didn’t really have a reason why I wanted to go, I ‘just wanted’ to. However at the beginning of 2017, I started getting a lot of prophetic words from various people, many of them speaking of me going into Africa… and for those who may not know, the Isle of Man isn’t exactly a part of Africa. This posed a problem for my ‘just want to’ idea.
Around February 2017, God started placing people in my path that started challenging my reasoning as to why I wanted to go to the Isle. God challenged me, my parents challenged me and people in my local congregation at Joshua Generation Church challenged me. I couldn’t give anyone a good reason why I wanted to go, and so I opened myself up to the possibility of God having something else for me to do in 2017.
My parents gave me the idea of going on the outreach to Malawi with Lance Mcintosh. At first I wasn’t keen on the idea, but I prayed about it and before long I knew that’s where God was calling me to.
On the 11th of July 2017, our outreach team arrived in Lilongwe and spent two days connecting and getting to know each other. We also spent some time preparing for the next two weeks and then we split into three teams that would be sent out to different parts of Malawi.
The team I was a part of set out for a small village about 30km outside of Lilongwe. Here we spent three days with the church, building with them and teaching them what we knew about the Bible. The girls in the team ran ladies meetings, while Lance taught on leadership with the men of the church.
During our stay we spent some time teaching the kids in the village. We acted out the story of Zacchaeus, prayed for them and saw some of them healed and give their lives to Jesus for the first time.
On the last day in the village we had baptisms in a nearby quarry, sixteen people were baptized, one after the other. It was incredible to be able to witness!
After our time in this village, we moved on to another one, about 60km outside of Lilongwe. Here myself and another team member, Charl got the opportunity to spend time with the guys in the youth. The next day the whole team did a teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It was really wonderful to see the saints start to understand that any one of them could pray for healing and prophesy over one another.
The most stretching moment for me during the outreach was when I was given a gap to preach at one of the churches. I was asked to share on a subject I didn’t really know much about, and I’d only have ten minutes to prepare. I knew I needed God’s help…and of course He showed up to help, He never leaves us hanging!
We saw God do some amazing healings, but what impacted me the most, was seeing the Malawian people’s hunger for God. The believers in Malawi often climb mountains to get alone with God, to pray and fast there for days if need be. They spend hours in worship and prayer, with prayer meetings sometimes only finishing at four in the morning.
It was incredible to get the opportunity to be out in Africa, amongst the mountains, clear skies and a ton of stars. One of the ways I like to be with God is to see Him in creation, so I spent most of the nights with just my head sticking out of the tent, enjoying my Father’s presence and beauty.
God did a lot in my heart throughout this outreach. He showed me that what I’m called to do in His Kingdom isn’t just for ten years time but He’s got plans for me a lot sooner than I thought! Being a teenager doesn’t mean I’m ineffective or ‘less than’ in God’s household. Incredible, isnt it? … isnt He?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matthew is a part of Joshua Generation Church in Cape Town. Known as ‘Matt’ to his friends, he is an avid surfer, coffee connoisseur, musician, follower of Jesus and big brother. A heart for adventure, he loves the outdoors and exploring the beauty of God’s creation.
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