June Update: And the Government Will be on His Shoulders
Late into the night, we heard shouts, drums, fireworks, honking horns, and even a processional choir walking by praising God. The results of Malawi’s unprecedented presidential rerun were announced hours before, and at least this region of central Malawi couldn’t be happier. The opposition leader and now president-elect, Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, passed up the incumbent of the last six years, and now holds the nation’s hope for progress and change upon his shoulders. Things were not quiet until well after 1 am, and so life seemed a bit surreal walking into church just six hours later.
Even more surreal, Greg was the guest preacher this morning. He had been on the schedule for months, but this was the first Sunday after the election, and the first English service since the new CCAP pastor had arrived. COVID19 and perhaps revelries the night before had reduced the usual congregation of 400 down to 140. It was also the Sunday where farmers brought the first portion of their harvest into church. 50 kg bags of maize stood outside the doors, and grocery bags laid before the altar began to stir halfway through the service, revealing live chickens inside. Asked to keep to the schedule, Greg started promptly on time, before the choir had arrived or the sound system was hooked up.
He spoke first of Peter’s confession of Christ as the Messiah, and then how the apostle was so focused on military and political leadership that he missed the Kingdom and the mission that Jesus was brining. Greg drew a parallel to the impending political changes, a new leader who was surely considered a Messiah by some in attendance, and encouraged those in attendance to focus on the difference between the hope that we have as Christians and the hope of those in the world. Greg was able to acknowledge the hope of the congregation while pointing hearts back to the Kingdom.
Greg has been balancing a lot these past weeks. He has started teaching his Systematic Theology class weekly in our yard since the Josophat Mwale Theological Institute (JMTI) is not yet open for classes. He is looking into an opportunity to represent the Nazarene Theological college through an online journal, and is starting to brush up on computer coding so that he can bring more IT support to the hospital and missionary community. He’s starting to get serious about learning the local language Chichewa, and starting to renovate some side buildings on our property to extend housing options to others.
At the hospital, things are a constant flux between priorities for COVID-19 prevention and physician training. For stories from the hospital or to hear Greg’s latest sermon, go to malawimillers.com. For updates on the COVID-19 situation, go to facebook.com/mateyu11.5/
This month, please pray for:
- A smooth and peaceful transition in the government of Malawi
- Wisdom with how we spend our time and resources
- Safety and protection against COVID19
Stories we hear from home seem unbelievable, and we very much appreciate your communication and hearing about your prayer requests during this time. Thank you to everyone who is continuing to lift us up in prayer and partnership in spite of the chaos that has so marked this year.
– Greg and Christina Miller