This is what one woman in Gods hand can do. Sharon is a hard worker and that is why I worked with John, at least I could keep up with him J enjoy her newsletter and please pray for her and the work.
From the Desk of Sharon Goodman
Bible Baptist African Ministries
Malawi, C. Africa
November 27, 2012 for Sep-Oct 2012
Dear Family in Christ,
September was a fairly routine month. I am enjoying the opportunities to try to get closer to my ladies and teens. One lady from Chiwaya was overloaded when her husband was in the hospital for 2 weeks. The Thyolo District Government Hospital is quite a trip, and costs about 550 Malawi Kwacha to go to and from. That is a whole day’s wage for the average Malawian. You and I were able to help with some transport and food. I believe I have told you before the conditions : A relative must take care of the patient., Food is prepared by family and friends either on the hospital grounds or brought from home., Plates, cups and water jugs need to be brought, and there are no sheets or bedding unless someone brings them. I personally did not get to go to the hospital as I originally planned, but I did visit the family when the husband arrived home. I brought some dried fish, so the man had some protein to gain strength. It means so much to these people to just come and sit with them a few minutes.
Another lady also from my Bible Study in Chiwaya went to the hospital in September to stay until her twins were to be born. –Same hospital, same conditions, except there was no bed available for her. Mrs. Jeffery and her mother camped out on the hospital floor of the maternity ward for 3 weeks waiting for the arrival of the babies. This is very common because nobody has money or a way to get to the hospital when the time is right. Mini buses do not run at night. You and I helped with food, soap, a couple outfits for the babies, and a little money. I went with Pastor Kalilima and his wife. The only way for them to be able to go was for you and I to pay for their transport. Both Pastor Kalilima and I packed tracts and John and Romans in our bags without the other knowing it to make the visit a soul winning trip also. We had a great time. While Mrs. Kalilima and I visited with Mrs. Jeffery, Pastor took off visiting other wards. When he returned, he had his wife sing songs with the ladies in the maternity ward and give some encouraging words. Then, Pastor Kalilima gave the gospel. Many ladies raised their hands to accept Christ. I was so excited seeing Pastor and his wife work together as a team, I just stayed still and did the quiet praying. On our way to go back home, we passed out the rest of the tracts until all were gone. Mrs. Jeffery is now home with her twin girls, but I am wanting to go back to the hospital with Pastor Kalilima and his wife. This time I want to take my own interpreter, so I can let Pastor and his wife do their own witnessing while I do mine.
Pastor Dzimbiri had a conference at his church in Chirimba on October 5-7. His theme was to be rooted in Christ, Colossians 2:6-7. I taught the ladies on Saturday afternoon and the teens on Sunday morning. The church was packed out, and the group was very lively. He has a Christian school, so the classrooms were sleeping quarters for those coming from afar. You and I purchased a pot 2 feet in diameter to cook the nsima over the fire. From all that I heard, all went smoothly.
Other teaching engagements are shaping. I have been approached by Pastor Mwachande, who pastors in Makalanga, to teach a ladies conference in Zomba close to where his parents live. The dates have not been decided yet. Bro. Fullford has asked if I could go to Waruma on a regular schedule to teach the ladies there. The ladies of Njuli have requested that I come back there to teach them. I can’t give up what I am doing now, but possibly I could go the 1st and 3rd week to Chirimba and Chiwaya and then go the 2nd and 4th weeks to the other places. It would be nice to teach all these and more, but we live within time. I have in the past given my notes after being translated to Chichewa to pastors for their wives to teach. Please pray for wisdom and organization of teaching schedules.
Teaching these people to ‘think outside the box’, as my pastor phrases it, is always a challenge. I asked the 2 guys living on the property to dig a well in the garden area because I know that when I move in March the person taking over does not have the money to allow the guys to use the running water. -- No garden, no food. I received permission from the owner of the property and explained to the guys that this is planning for tomorrow. Today is usually the end of their thoughts, so it was hard to get them excited about the project. They dug about 10 meters and hit solid rock. Some water was coming in at about 8 meters, but not enough. They stopped and decided that it was impossible. They had no idea of what to do. I really didn’t know either, but suggested that we go horizontal in the area that some water was coming. It worked, and so I was able to use the situation to help encourage them to always keep looking for a solution. I have these men, who are in their 40’s, and their extended families constantly on my porch to help resolve the simplest problems. So… I need to think more ‘outside the box’ to help the people here think ‘outside the box’.
The ladies in Bible study also have a hard time apply the principles taught to other situations. My translator asked me how the marriage lessons were going to help the older ladies who were widows. It made me stop and realize that I need to constantly tell the ladies as I teach how the principle being taught is to be passed to younger ladies. Our own failures are valuable lessons to use to help others. Many of the principles like communication are valuable in any relationship. Loyalty, forgiveness, and confidentiality etc. should be a part of general interaction with anyone. If a person is not able to take principles and apply them to various situations, Christian growth is greatly hindered. I so want my ladies to understand what they read in the Bible and are taught to benefit every facet of their lives!
The month of October was Bible month here, so the Bible Society had a sale. Money was sent to me specifically to purchase Bibles for Pastor Kalilima to distribute in Chiwaya. I was able to get 40 Bibles with the money. Thirty were distributed in his church and ten Pastor Kalilima gave to other Pastors in the area. It was a great blessing. I also purchased Bibles and any lady or teen in my classes who will memorize the books of the Bibles receive a Bible. Most of my ladies did not have a Bible and have taken the challenge. Bibles cost 2700MK, about $9.50 U.S., which is beyond what an average village person is able. Everyone has been so excited to own their own Bible. Thank you.
For the glory of God,
Sharon Goodman, Malawi, Africa