By: Aubrey Bunguzu This is the story told by Group Villagehead (GVH) Yendayenda of Traditional Authority (TA) Makwangwala in Ntcheu District who confessed before hundreds of local people at a rally on Sunday August 24, this year. GVH Yendayenda is an influential young village leader who rules tens of Ngoni clans with authority in Ntcheu. In Ntcheu people believe in many religions with animist cult in dominance. Large groups of villagers do not attend any christian church services as they are preoccupied with African traditional ceremonies such as the girls initiations, local dances and others. But with the Christian messages that Lutheran Hour Ministry-Malawi communicated to masses of villagers at rallies that we conducted for three consecutive days and evenings, many listeners turned their hearts to Christ. On Sunday there were many responding speeches to our messages during the closing of mass rallies program. On this day there were activities ranging from music, drama and the sermon to the presentation of certificates of attendance to 24 lay people who got evangelism training (ETS). It was after the certificate presentation when GVH Yendayenda, given a room to speak to our audience, confessed that in Christian religion nobody can dare questioning the truth about God. “As local leaders we have our own beliefs and traditions that are somehow not clear concerning God’s truth, but my people may please hear me christianity is a religion where we cannot ask more about God because it offers a wider range of evidences in the Bible.” Says GVH Yendayenda. Yendayenda further requested his subjects to enforce Christian worshiping because it is good for people to be friendship with the saving God. “God saves. May I ask my fellow leaders to encourage our people to embrace Christian worship.” He added. According to the Group Villagehead, Lutheran church is one the many christian churches that his people must relate to in their spiritual journey. At the rally many people who participated were referred to the church through Reverend Grevison Ng’ombe who led the sermon. Lutheran Hour Ministry is planning to revisit the location to follow up those people who are currently being nurtured in the church’s teaching by the Pastor and also evangelist of Balaka Lutheran parish.
The society all over the world is rapidly changing. I mean what is changing is human life from old to contemporary standards. Our environment has played a bigger role to such change. People especially youth think it is the physical world that has changed, but in reality it is human thinking that has changed.
To be abreast with the fast changing world young people do not like participating in sharing the word of God with friends. Youth think that that service suits the elderly and the ordained.
But Ten young volunteers who were trained, commissioned by Lutheran Hour Ministry(LHM) in Lilongwe a year ago have a lot of work to do to serve God through personal witnessing and proclaiming.
Lester Weluzani, is one of the volunteers of the LHM who shared his experience with congregants at Lilongwe Cathedral on Sunday 3rd August 2014 while leading church service.
“We (volunteers) felt good to see a lady inviting us to her house and held prayers with her family after she attended and listened to our music and drama as well as Gospel presentations last Thursday at Kagwamtipenya in Mponera Parish, Dowa, this means God has given a lot of work to do ahead of us.” Reminded Lester.
At event conducted at Kagwamtipenya congregation center Lester Weluzani preached the word of God to about 250 people who came from the surrounding villages and many of them were touched and gave their hearts to God Almighty
With volunteers the work was made easy at Kagwamtipenya. Volunteers were involved in proclaiming by singing and dancing to Gospel music. The Music touched everyone at the rally including village head, adult men and women, youth and children of the village. When it came to drama, no body was spared from laughter!
As trained evangelism team members the volunteers participated also in distribution of Bible Correspondence Course booklets after briefing the listeners. Each one of the volunteers had a writing pad, pen and booklets while registering listeners who requested for the booklets.
God gave us many people to come to him. Mrs. Joana Lenard (Not her real name) invited the ministry evangelism team and she requested for prayers for her family that has suffered for long from alcoholism of the husband. Mrs. Joana was referred to the evangelist and the church elders who lead us to Kagwamtipenya congregation Joana thanked God for the grace she received through preaching, music and drama messages.
Volunteers also prepared food themselves for lunches in readiness of activities.
By: Aubrey Bunguzu
A group of 16 lay people have been commissioned into evangelism service of the church after undergone through a day training workshop facilitated by Lutheran Hour Ministry staff at Area 44 outreach area in Lilongwe city.
During handover ceremony of the new prayer group to Lilongwe parish, Reverend Amigo Ndalama on Sunday July 13th officially consecrated the trained lay people and sent them off do fetch for lost people and bring them possibly into Christian Church.
ETS was conducted in preparation for the dedication of the prayer group to the church and would also strengthen new members in faith and service of the church and God.
Some dedicated group members were baptized, others received Holy Communion at the function held at Msambeta School, Area 44 township.
Reverend Amigo Ndalama of the parish received the committed and educated group from Mr. Mphatso Thole, Lutheran Hour Ministry-Malawi Director.
Mphatso Thole advised the new group toserve people in the same way the business people do. He said a business starts small and grow bigger if the owner is practicing consistency. The same with the church growth should begin young just like mustard seed.
“Mustard seed grow from very tinny grain to a lager bunch of edible leaves, so the church is” said Thole.
The function was advertised through Gospel Music and Live Drama performances.
By: Aubrey Bunguzu
Lutheran Hour Ministry in Malawi has started working on evangelism projects in Ntcheu District along with other existing outreach geographical areas in Central Region.
Ntcheu is among the districts: Neno and Likoma Island where Lutheran Church is not available, according to Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) Statistics.
Meanwhile the ministry staff, on June 21 and 22, held personal outreach at Msipe Trading Centre, eastern part of Ntcheu District and six local families including the Pastor were engaged in mission work in the area.
Among the family members who have been engaged in this mission work, Humphrey Jobe, is a youthful and energetic volunteer and has dedicated willingly to facilitate in linking the six families to both the church and the ministry staff to help the ministry accomplish a complete connection.
Hamphrey has Lutheran background since he was once one of the former members of Lutheran congregation that has died long time ago at Ntcheu Boma. With his little education he says can manage to support the new group with the help of God.
Reverend Grevazio Ng’ombe, pastor for Balaka Lutheran Parish, also has since demonstrated the church’s receptive role by fully committing himself to work with the ministry center staff and the volunteer as well as the host six families in evangelism at Msipe Trading center.
In the moment the ministry staff is preparing with prayers for intensive follow up materials and visits to strengthen the relationship that has recently been established between the six families at Msipe and the Lutheran church.
It was in October 2004, when Lutheran Hour Ministry (LHM) organized a rally at Ngwenya Primary School in the city of Lilongwe by then not even dreaming that the place would be a center of attraction to non-Lutherans.
Unlike in the rural areas of Malawi, a city is a hard rock to crack for the establishment of the church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) is finding it a challenge to grow in cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba, Mzuzu and some towns like Ntheu, Salima, Karonga, Mulanje, etc.
Area 24 Preaching Point so far with membership of above 100 is a product of the rally, which LHM initiated in that month of October in the year 2004.
Aubrey William Bunguzu, the Audience Relations Coordinator of LHM is reminded of a few members who gathered for the first Sunday worship in that October.
“I remember it was my family, the Katalama family and a few children from people around Madalitso Private School in Area 24. Honest speaking it wasn’t easy at the beginning, as it was only a few of us who had the passion of continuing gathering,” says Bunguzu.
After Cathedral Congregation, Area 24 Preaching Point is the second largest preaching place of ELCM in the parish.
So far Area 24 has the strongest women’s group which is very keen in outreach activities.
The journey that started with less than ten people has reached to an extent such that more than 100 members have joined a race.
As it is the Muslim dominated location, Area 24 Preaching Point managed to acquire land where a big church building is under construction.
Very unbelievable, people who started gathering in a classroom have now started realizing the dream of constructing a semi like cathedral church of Lilongwe.
On May 11, 2014, Bishop Dr Joseph P Bvumbwe, the leader of the Lutheran Church in Malawi paid a visit to the area.
“I have been hearing about how ELCM started and how it is growing in Area 24. I did not want to believe in hearsay but to see by my own eyes. I am very glad to see such growth. When I visited here in August 2005, it was just a few families but now is a big gathering. Our Evangelism office, the Lutheran Hour has made us proud,” says Bvumbwe in his speech.
The visit of LHM to Area 24 on June 1, 2014 indicates that the Preaching Point has not only grown in numbers but financially.
Members are able to raise funds for the building project, evangelism gatherings, the choir activities, visiting the sick and participating in other church developments.
Area 24 is not only the preaching place initiated by LHM but just a good case study of the success stories of this ministry in the country. Places like Area 36 and Area 25 are the products of Kuunika. Soonest Area 44 will be another great success.
With the current gathering of about 15 members soonest LHM Malawi will celebrate the handover of Areaa 44.
However Area 24 is a special case as it is growing so fast and recognizing the support of LHM.
By: Aubrey Bunguzu
Creating and cultivating the relations between the listeners and the church is the major planned outreach outcome of Lutheran Hour Ministries in Malawi.
On Friday 13th June 2014 is the day when local residents at Area 44 township in Lilongwe city were attracted to an outreach event that the ministry center staff and volunteers conducted in order to bridge the gap that existed between the Lutheran Church and the residents.
In fact Area 44 locates at some eight kilometers from the Lutheran church at Lilongwe Cathedral, and there are other congregants who commute through such a long distances to and from the church.
Mr. Nyirongo a Lutheran member comes from Area 44, and used to complain of tiresome distance his family covers each Sunday in order to attend church service at Cathedral.
“for a family of six we find it difficult to attend the service. Sometimes we commute in turns to the church to spend reasonably on bus fares. Other times we stay away for a month or so without congregating with our colleagues. So it has been that turf.” Says Nyirongo.
Ministry outreach activities in Area 44 are facilitating the linkage of these residents to the church.
On Friday 13th, hundreds of people were attracted to listen to proclaim messages that came to them through live drama, music, speakers presentation and personal contacts.
Many local people including the elderly, women, men, youth, business people, travelers participated to the proclamation event.
Comments, testimonies, stories and general observation to these people indicate that the church is rarely known in the area.
The church in its receptive position was represented by the Pastor Ndalama, Volunteer Evangelist Chipwapfu, committee members and the members of the host preaching point at Area 44.
60 listeners have registered into the Bible Correspondence Course, more than 110 requested for personal prayers while about 80 were directly referred to the church through Reverend Amigo Ndalama of Lilongwe Parish to take care of them.