For many years, God has laid a love for the nations on my heart and a desire to see the Gospel spread to all the corners of the earth. I’ve felt God say that the best way for me to train for what He’s called me to is to live with and learn from people living it out. Knowing Lance and Sue and their passion for the nations, I felt a burning desire to stay with and learn from them.
It was a long journey trying to get to Malawi; I visited home affairs six times to try and get my passport with it “getting lost” in the system, my flights were cancelled due to COVID-19, and I was diagnosed with COVID when I was supposed to fly out. Yet, through it all, God stayed faithful. I can now say that all of the waiting was completely worth it; I learnt so much in the process, and many opportunities came up for me to grow in the areas I would need for my time in Malawi. On the 7th of January 2021, I was finally able to fly out with Lance and Sue and stayed in Malawi for three months.
Lessons Learned Six Weeks In
The first month and a half had its ups and downs with some unexpected challenges and many unforgetful, awe-inspiring moments in between. When I first arrived, I found that during lockdown, with all of the uncertainty and disappointments and self-isolation for the four weeks before I came, I had fallen spiritually asleep in certain areas. It was a shock because I had finally arrived after so long and didn’t “feel” anything! I was expecting to suddenly be walking in this supernatural grace with this excitement and joy of finally being where God has called me. I basically had to re-dig areas in the wells of my life to get to the wellspring of Jesus. One day while the pastors were here for training, I wasn’t feeling so well, so I lay on my bed as they worshipped. Hearing what God had done in them, I was suddenly filled with His Presence, and it was like I had finally broken through into His flow of living water again!
“Just take in each of their faces: look at them, I died for each of them.”
Later we travelled South for two weeks going from village to village to train the leaders. I learnt so much, even how to cook. I also learnt from Lance’s teachings: sometimes it felt more like he was preaching to me, especially with the meaning of being devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and to prayer. I wasn’t sure what I could bring, but then I got opportunities to teach the kiddies Bible stories and to lead them in the prayer of salvation, doing puppet shows and teaching them to pray for the sick. Sometimes I was able to take them with when someone wanted prayer for healing. It was humbling and revitalising.
On one of the days in East Bank, it was extremely humid, and we were all tired. I just wanted to shower and sleep, but on seeing all those expectant little faces hoping for another puppet show or something similar, I started blowing bubbles, and it was like God stopped time for a minute and said to me; “Just take in each of their faces: look at them, I died for each of them.” Wow, I nearly burst into tears right there. It was like nothing of the flesh mattered anymore; all that was left was an earnest love for God and His people.
Never The Same Again
In the end, the past three months have been so incredibly impactful. I have been challenged in so many areas: in my walk with God, physically pushing past what I thought I could handle, being wrecked with such a love for His people, and so much more!
“I’ve learnt … God gives strength and capacity to those He calls as long as you step out in obedience; to be content in all circumstance and to be thankful for and in all things!”
I have learnt what it means to love like Jesus loves and how the Father’s love crosses cultural boundaries, physical borders and even towards those who believe they can never be loved. I’ve learnt (1 Corinthians 9:19) to be all things, to all people, to win some – from the way you dress, to what you eat, to even the way you use the toilet (Philippians 4:11-13). That God gives strength and capacity to those He calls as long as you step out in obedience; to be content in all circumstance and to be thankful for and in all things!
Though I came to serve the people of Malawi and share the Good News with them, I have been so deeply touched and learnt so much from them. I know I will never be the same again. God has knit my heart so tightly with the families we’ve stayed with, the base team members, and all the hundreds of kiddies that came stampeding as you stepped out of the car. Only God can connect hearts like that. I am so sad to leave; everyone I’ve met will be dearly missed, but I know God is in this, and hopefully, one day, I can come back to see how the seeds that have been planted have grown into trees bearing much fruit for the Kingdom. I am excited to put into practice everything I’ve learnt here, back home and in other places.
There is a fresh move of the Father in Malawi this year. Is God stirring your heart to to go over and serve, be it for a few weeks or even a few months? Find out more about how you can get involved by contacting Lance and Sue here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Passionate for the Lord and excited to see His Kingdom advance on the earth, 19-year-old Lili-Jean has been in Joshua Generation Church for 12 years. She is part of the youth leadership team in Edgemead and a member of the Edgemead PM congregation.