Dec11SunDecember 11, 2016
James Chikopa has been a key leader in the establishment of 77 disciplemaking centres in Malawi, 34 of which have now formed as the Missionary Church of Malawi, one of the newest associate members of World Partners International (WPI).
When the national presidents of our sister denominations met in Thailand earlier this year for the bi-annual WPI conference, James invited EMCC leaders to come to Malawi to conduct training in the Way of Jesus. What could a movement that had already established 77 disciplemaking centres learn from Canadians about making disciples?
Having just completed a week of training for a group of Malawi leaders with Lou Geense, pastor Phil Delsaut writes: “The Way of Jesus addresses ‘being a disciple’ rather than the task of disciplemaking. The fact that the Way of Jesus is a way of life was caught very well by the participants.”
The first challenge for Phil and Lou, who were prepared to train in English, was discovering that most of the participants needed to have the teaching translated into their native language, Chichewa. The process of translation required additional explanation of the concepts of the Way of Jesus, which led to deeper understanding. Phil reports that “the results were as good as we have experienced.”
This was born out by the testimony of several of the participants. James Chikopa writes:
“The Way of Jesus training has been very eye opening and timely. How the same scriptures that we have been preaching in the past came alive as they were being taught! As a leader to know and emphasize that I am on a mission and I have to bless others… A once in a lifetime transformational seminar to me and the churches will benefit wherever I go.”
Having Lou Geense involved in the training in Malawi has proven to be divinely appointed. Malawi is among the least developed countries in the world. It is largely rural in population and dependent on agriculture and foreign aid. The leaders Phil and Lou were training demonstrated a readiness to learn, an appetite to make a difference and a desperate need to improve their crop yields in the face of erratic rainfall. Lou has already begun the process of bringing “Farming God’s Way’ conservation agriculture training to the area.
These Malawian brothers and sisters are very excited about the potential of “Jesus agriculture” as one participant called it, to help them turn the tables on the eco-challenges that face the many small hold farmers of Malawi. “We are praying,” says Pastor Phil, “that God will allow His people in Malawi to be the channel of bringing the blessing of conservation agriculture to Malawi. The Way of Jesus training provides the right framework to account for their desire to bless in the name of Jesus.”
Pastor Phil concludes his report with this: “We are grateful for the way God is at work in making His glory known, and for having a small part in it here in Malawi. The fingerprints of God have been all over this effort.”Phil and Lou travel on from Malawi to conduct the Way of Jesus Training in Zambia.