What a privilege it is to get to do what I do. You all help make that possible. I can’t thank you enough for being such an important part of our ministry team. Thanks so much for your prayers and financial support.
What a privilege it is to get to do what I do. You all help make that possible. I can’t thank you enough for being such an important part of our ministry team. Thanks so much for your prayers and financial support.
FROM: WDA MALAWI-AFRICA
I greet you all in the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ, hoping you are all doing well. My family and I, we are all doing fine.
I have been in Lilongwe central region of Malawi specifically in Mchinji – Mkanda area. I had leadership training with pastors and church leaders who came from different churches and locations in the area surrounding where the training took place.
This conference was for five days. We started on July 5 and went to July 9, 2022. On the final day these men and women of God were sent to the field to witness to people in various location as another way of practicing what they were trained. This training had 100 people and I praise God because these 100 people managed to share the word of God with many people and out of that a huge number – 1,576 people – came to the Lord after receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior. We used life coaching materials because it’s part of door-to-door Evangelism. During the entire time I spent with my students there, WDA Malawi provided us with WDA material for free of charge, 100 New Testament Chichewa Bibles, food, student’s accommodation, etc.
I thank God for the great things He is doing to us and our WDA ministry here in Malawi, our ministry is growing and we have reached many districts here in Malawi. In June I was in Zomba District where I had the same training. Zomba district is found in the Eastern part of Malawi while Mchinji –Mkanda District is very close to Chipata Zambia. Mchinji-Mkanda has boundaries with Malawi and some of these pastors who attended this training came from Zambia because we were very close to the place where this conference took place
I would also like to thank WDA headquarters there in the USA for the support and all your prayers for us here in Malawi, our ministry is growing so fast because you are providing us with all necessities we need in time. The student’s notes you are giving us are helping a lot and they are transforming many lives. We are so happy because we are able to see great Malawi transforming through the training we are offering under the WDA ministry.
Finally, I want to ask you our brothers and sister in the Kingdom of God to stand with us in prayers on these specific needs we have in our ministry here in Malawi. As you are praying don’t forget to pray for our requests as well:
The following are our prayer items;
(1) Continue praying for our own stationary office Brock construction and this project needs $6, 700
(2) The WDA Malawi regional coordinators need 4 motor bicycles which cost $800 each including insurance and government documents. The total costs will be $3,200. We need only 4 motor bikes because in Malawi we have 4 regions e.g. Southern region, Eastern Region, Central region and Northern region.
In the Southern region we have 9 districts, In the Eastern region we have 5 districts, In the Central region we have 8 districts, and in Northern region we have 6 districts. So because of that our coordinators have a big job to reach WDA members in their area, to follow up and conduct Bible studies in those areas, please help us in any way you can because this is a big challenge to our WDA ministry here in Malawi.
(3) Please pray for WDA new material fee we need to pay for our translators who are translating the notes from English to our local language (Chichewa) These are the notes that need to be translated;
(a) Life Coaching (Translation costs is $400)
(b) Equipping for Ministry (Translation costs is $400)
(c) Disciple Building Biblical Framework (Translation costs is $400)
(d) Spiritual Tension/Focusing on Eternal Things/Living in the Tensions/Tensions within Christianity/The Role of suffering and also Understanding Emotions/Restoring your heart (Translation costs is $650.
After translation we are going to type, editing and printing on our own using printing equipment you bought us, but after printing we will need to have $2,400 for only binding the entire books that have been listed to be translated. Remember we don’t have binding machine and laminating right now and these are very important machines as well.
The Total books we need to bind in all subjects that have been indicated are 650, but the money we will need to pay for THOSE BOOKS are;
God bless WDA HEADQUARTERS in USA and WDA Malawi; please keep on praying for our ministry here in Malawi.
“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” (PSALM 16:7)
INSTRUCTIONS: Please take some time to read through these 30 questions. Come back prepared to share about two questions that most stood out to you and why. You do not have to answer the questions, just share why they are causing you to wrestle. Though some of these questions might feel like there is only one right answer, they are meant to be provocative, not prescriptive. Please use these questions to explore how God may be working in your heart.
1. Am I viewing myself as a manager or trustee of what God’s given me, or seeing myself as owner and controller of my own stuff? Are there things that God would have me manage differently if I acknowledged them as really being His?
2. Am I striving to use my income, influence, and privileges as Cod directs? Or am I assuming I know what he’s asking me for (10% giving) and can use the rest as I choose?
3. As I continue to realize that Jesus gave everything by his death on the cross to purchase me, is there a new level of sacrifice want to give and surrender to Him?
4. At what points in my journey with God have I realized His generous mercy on my brokenness and sin? Do I hold others to a higher standard than God holds me? Can I give radically to others even though they have brokenness and sin in their life?
5. Does the thought of sacrificial generosity make me anxious because I feel I don’t have enough to make ends meet? Do I live trusting God to provide all that I need in the same way he provided his son for me to be redeemed? Or have compartmentalized my trust for my salvation, putting my daily needs in a different category?
6. Is Christ’s undying love my true treasure, or do I actually treasure other things more? Is my money an indicator of my true treasure? Is it my reputation, comfort for my family, recognition? Or do I live my life knowing that his love and grace is all I need?
7. Does the thought of sacrificial generosity make me anxious because I might have to carefully look at my spending and give some things up? Are there things I’ve decided are non-negotiable? The place I live? The car drive? Do I live believing that my ultimate treasure is in heaven and not in the comforts I desire on earth?
8. How much money do I need? Will my answer always be ‘ more? Or can I set a finish line for myself, and give away everything beyond that?
9. What does it mean to give responsibly and wisely? How can I honor getting out of debt while giving generously? How can i honor saving for the future or estate planning while giving generously? Since Jesus praised the poor widow for giving away everything, is it possible that He is asking me to worry less about saving for the future and to give more now?
10. Am I trustworthy to make financial decisions entirely on my own, or am I potentially biased by greed, comfort, or culture in such a way that it would benefit me to share my financial and giving goals with some other mature Christians in my community? Who might some of those people be?
11. If the Bible commands us to bear one another’s burdens in Christian community, are there opportunities within my community that God might be calling me to bear? Do assume that this isn’t my role because of my culture, or am I looking for such opportunities? Is Christ’s undying love my true treasure, or do I actually treasure other things more?
12. Has having more money caused me to feel more in control of my life and circumstances, and has that control become an idol for me? Is Christ inviting me into a new level of surrender where I trust him with control of my life and future instead of trusting my money for that control? How can step into this practically?
13. If an outsider were to look at how I use my time, my energy and my resources, what would they learn about my priorities? Would that outsider see my time, energy, and resources being put primarily toward a hope and vision of renewal for our city and world?
14. Do I live as if I’m focusing on heaven, where I plan to live forever, or on earth, where I’ll live one-billionth of my existence? In light of eternity, am I happy about where I’m placing my focus?
15. If it is the nearness of God that I ultimately seek, what if dared to pray, ‘Bring anything into my life. take anything away from my life as long as I get to be closer to you.? What scares me about that prayer? What excites me about that prayer?
16. Have You raised me up, with the financial assets and opportunities you’ve entrusted to me, for just such a time as this? (Esther 4:14) Have You called me to join a great team of your children in freeing up money and possessions to reach out to the needy and fulfill the great commission?
17. What am I holding onto that’s robbing me of present joy and future reward? What am I keeping that’s preventing me from having to depend on You? What am I clinging to that makes me feel like I don’t have to depend on You to provide, like I used to before I had so much? What do you want me to release that could restore me to a walk of faith?
18. In light of 2 Cor. 8:14 and 9:11, do You want me to assume that each financial blessing You entrust to me is not intended to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving?
19. Am I treating You as owner and CEO/CFO of “my” assets, or am I treating You merely as my financial consultant, whom pay a fee 10% or greater? Should I put the burden of proof on keeping rather than giving?
20. Once they’ve finished college or are working on their own, would inheriting wealth (beyond items of special sentimental and heritage value) help my children’s eternal perspective and walk with God? Or would it have a corrupting influence on their character, lifestyle, work ethic, or marriage?
21. Would You ever say to me, when I stand before your judgment seat, ‘You blew it – you sold those shares and gave them to feed the hungry and evangelize the lost, and then two years later the market peaked? Or would you say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant?
22. Is it ever wrong to give to You now rather than wait until later? What’s the eternal downside to giving now? What’s the eternal downside of delaying giving until later? Am I really in danger of giving too much too soon? Or is the only real danger giving too little too late? “But if I give away most of my assets now, what will give from later?” Is the answer “From whatever you choose to provide?” If Christ commended the poor widow (Mark 12) for giving to God everything she had – considering her faithful, not irresponsible – how much would I have to give away before he would consider me irresponsible?
23. Why do I want to hold on to my wealth? Am I trying to prove something? What, and to whom? Is it pride? Power? Prestige? Selfishness? Insecurity? Fear? Amla control freak? Or is it just because it’s normal, and I’m going with the flow of my culture? Do you want me to go with that flow? Or to do something different, maybe radically different?
24. Am I living to hear others say of me “he/she’s a great success’ or to have you say to me, “Well done my good and faithful servant?
25. Instead of asking “Why should I give this away?” do You want me to ask “Why shouldn’t I give this away? Should put the burden of proof on keeping rather than on giving? When money comes in, should giving rather than keeping be my default – the rule not the exception? Unless there’s a compelling reason to keep, should I normally give?
26. Am I hanging onto excess money as a backup plan in case You fail me? Is my fear of health catastrophes and old age creating an inertia in my giving, because I imagine I must provide everything for myself in case something goes wrong? Considering that the vast majority of people in history and most in the world today have nothing stored up for retirement, am I too preoccupied with putting treasures in retirement funds? Are You calling me to work without a net – or with less of a net-trusting you’ll catch me in case of a fall?
27. How can I better communicate with and pray with my spouse so we can walk together down this exhilarating road of giving, leading each other but not leaving each other behind?
28. What am I doing to train my children to be generous givers – and not just donors but disciples?
29. How are you calling me to steward my influence to share this message with my friends? Who could benefit from experiencing a Journey of Generosity? Could I host a group from my church or a board I serve on?
30. Five minutes after I die, what will I wish I would have given away while I still had the chance? Help me spend the rest of my life closing the gap between what i’ll wish i’d given then and what I’m actually giving now. Empower me to help others do the same. Would you for your eternal glory?
These are a combination of questions written by Randy Alcom from The Treasure Principle and Tim Keller. All questions are used with permission.
Excerpt from Celebration of Discipline
“We have such a focal point in the words of Jesus: “Therefore I tell you do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, o men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Matt. 6:25-33).
The central point for the Discipline of Simplicity is to seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of his kingdom first and then everything necessary will come in its proper order. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Jesus’ insight at this point. Everything hinges upon maintaining the “first” thing as first. Nothing must come before the kingdom of God, including the desire for a simple life-style. Simplicity itself becomes idolatry when it takes precedence over seeking the kingdom. In a particularly penetrating comment on this passage of Scripture, Soren Kierkegaard considers what sort of effort could be made to pursue the kingdom of God. Should a person get a suitable job in order to exert a virtuous influence? His answer: no, we must first seek God’s Kingdom. Then should we give away all our money to feed the poor? Again the answer:no, we must first seek God’s kingdom.
Well, then perhaps we are to go out and preach this truth to the world that people are to seek first God’s Kingdom? Once again the answer is a resounding: no, we are first to seek the kingdom of God. Kierkegaard concludes, “Then in a certain sense it is nothing I shall do. Yes, certainly, in a certain sense it is nothing, become nothing before God, learn to keep silent; in this silence is the beginning, which is, first to seek God’s Kingdom.” Focus upon the kingdom produces the inward reality, and without the inward reality we will degenerate into legalistic trivia. Nothing else can be central. The desire to get out of the rat race cannot be central, the redistribution of the world’s wealth cannot be central, the concern for ecology cannot be central. Seeking first God’s Kingdom and the righteousness, both personal and social, of that kingdom is the only thing that can be central in the Spiritual Discipline of simplicity The person who does not seek the kingdom first does not seek it at all. Worthy as all other concerns may be, the moment they become the focus of our efforts they become idolatry. To center on them will inevitably draw us into declaring that our particular activity is Christian simplicity And, in fact, when the kingdom of God is genuinely placed first, ecological concerns, the poor, the equitable distribution of wealth, and many other things will be given their proper attention.
As Jesus made clear in our central passage, freedom from anxiety is one of the inward evidences of seeking first the kingdom of God. The inward reality of simplicity involves a life of joyful unconcer for possessions. Neither the greedy nor the miserly know this liberty. It has nothing to do with abundance of possessions or their lack. It is an inward spirit of trust. The sheer fact that a person is living without things is no guarantee that he or she is living in simplicity, Paul taught us that the love of money is the root of all evil, and I have discovered that often those who have it the least love it the most. It is possible for a person to be developing an outward life-style of simplicity and to be filled with anxiety. Conversely, wealth does not bring freedom from anxiety. Kierkegaard writes,”… riches and abundance come hypocritically clad in sheep’s clothing pretending to be security against anxieties and they become then the object of anxiety… they secure a man against anxieties just about as well as the wolf which is put to tending the sheep secures them against the wolf.”
Freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes. If what we have we receive as a gift, and if what we have is to be cared for by God, and if what we have is available to others, then we will possess freedom from anxiety. This is the inward reality of simplicity. However, if what we have we believe we have gotten, and if what we have we believe we must hold onto, and if what we have is not available to others, then we will live in anxiety. Such persons will never know simplicity regardless of the outward contortions they may put themselves through in order to live “the simple life.”
To receive what we have as a gift from God is the first inner attitude of simplicity. We work but we know that it is not our work that gives us what we have. We live by grace even when it comes to “daily bread. We are dependent upon God for the simplest elements of life: air, water, sun. What we have is not the result of our labor, but of the gracious care of God. When we are tempted to think that what we own is the result of our personal efforts, it takes only a little drought or a small accident to show us once again how utterly dependent we are for everything
To know that it is God’s business, and not ours, to care for what we have is the second inner attitude of simplicity. God is able to protect what we possess. We can trust him. Does that mean that we should never take the keys out of the car or lock the door? Of course not. But we know that the lock on the door is not what protects the house. It is only common sense to take normal precautions, but if we believe that precaution itself protects us and our goods, we will be riddled with anxiety. There simply is no such thing as “burglar proof” precaution. Obviously, these matters are not restricted to possessions but include such things as our reputation and our employment. Simplicity means the freedom to trust God for these land all things.
To have our goods available to others marks the third inner attitude of simplicity. If our goods are not available to the community when it is clearly right and good, then they are stolen goods. The reason we find such an idea so difficult is our fear of the future. We cling to our possessions rather than sharing them because we are anxious about tomorrow. But if we truly believe that God is who Jesus says he is, then we do not need to be afraid. When we come to see God as the almighty Creator and our loving Father, we can share because we know that he will care for us. If someone is in need, we are free to help them. Again, ordinary common sense will define the parameters of our sharing and save us from foolishness.
When we are seeking first the kingdom of God, these three attitudes will characterize our lives. Taken together they define what Jesus means by “do not be anxious.” They comprise the inner reality of Christian simplicity. And we can be certain that when we live this way’all these things that are necessary to carry on human life adequately will be ours as well.
RICHARD FOSTER. “THE DISCIPLINE OF SIMPLICITY IN CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE. THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH, 86-89. HARPERCOLLINS, 1998.