My recent trip to Malawi was very fruitful. The Voice of Prophecy Bible School Director, Pastor Moffat Botolo, went out of his way to make my visit meaningful. His department of the Malawi Union Conference is very active in using Light Bearers’ literature. In fact, they have an impressive organized system in place for the distribution of the material.
First, they engage in mass distribution of message tracts and Bible School enrollment cards. Target areas include market places, schools, prisons, hospitals and public marches.
Secondly, church members go door-to-door enrolling people as students in the Bible School.
In order to facilitate the constant flow of new students, the church in Malawi operates 1,470 Bible Schools at local churches. This method of outreach involves a lot of hard work, but the church members are obviously happy to engage in the task because they see the fruit from their labors. Botolo points out that, “The Voice of Prophecy Bible School has been proven to be one of the most exciting and effective means of communication of the gospel in Malawi.”
…the church in Malawi operates 1,470 Bible Schools at local churches.
This creates a perfect partnership between the church in Malawi and Light Bearers. Because they are so intentional and organized in their soul-winning efforts, we are eager to send them as much literature as we can. Back in 2011 we sent them a container of Swahili Bible lessons. They transported 339 boxes of the lessons to South Malawi Field, 176 boxes were sent to North Malawi Field, and 176 boxes were sent to Central Malawi Conference. In due course, 13,250 were baptized into Christ as a result of church members effectively using the materials received from Light Bearers.
Another exciting discovery on my trip was that Adventist shop owners in Malawi give their customers Light Bearers literature and enroll them in the Bible School. I met one of these shop owners. He explained that shoppers not only come to his store to buy groceries, they also keep coming back to turn in their completed Bible lessons and receive news ones. The shop owner reviews and corrects each completed lesson in order to coach the students along intheir study of Scripture.
Close to this shop I met a Seventh-day Adventist who introduced the study guides to his house help. In my interview with him, he shared how much the Bible lessons meant to him. He has experienced a closer walk with God and his whole lifestyle changed. At first, his wife refused to study the lessons, but he did not give up on her. Eventually she began reading the lessons and now she has been baptized.
There was another successful method that got my attention in Malawi. Church members select an area and pitch a booth every week for three months. The whole point of the booth is to enroll people in the Bible study course. The community knows that the booth is operating every Sunday, which allows them to bring each completed lesson for examination and then receive the next one in the series. When a good number of people have finished all lessons, the church conducts a graduation ceremony for them.
…more than 70 students received their certificates along with a Bible.
The goal of the Malawi Union Conference is to establish weekly Bible studies with people in every community of their territory, and Light Bearers’ literature is vital to the accomplishment of this goal. With the hope and prayer that we will continue to supply their literature needs, they have set the following goals:
- To assist people in every community to gain a continual in-depth understanding of the Bible and acquaint them with the Adventist message through Light Bearers’ literature. To achieve this we will:
- Train and involve at least 80% of church members in Bible work
- Conduct personal witnessing seminars
- Zone the churches into small Bible study groups
- To enroll 200,000 people in the Bible School course by December 2019. To achieve this we will:
- Seek to have at least 75% of our churches send an enrollment card by December 2016 to every person on their interest list
- Advertise the Bible course on Adventist radio and television
- Visit all accessible prisons and mail or deliver enrollment cards by June 2016
- Establish a Malawi Union Conference on-line Bible School by March 2016
- Receive more containers of gospel literature from Light Bearers
The highlight of my visit was when I had the privilege to attend one of the Bible School graduations, during which more than 70 students received their certificates along with a Bible. It was a high Sabbath.
What a blessing it was to personally see that our brothers and sisters in Malawi are effectively using the literature in an organized manner with good results. I am passing on their appreciation to the supporters of Light Bearers for making all of this possible for them.