Lucia stepped around mud puddles as she did chores outside her home in Malawi. Her neighbours had also emerged from under the thatched roofs of their houses, taking advantage of this momentary lapse in the rainy season.
The air was muggy and humid as Lucia surveyed her village. Streams of rainwater trickled between the houses. A few were made of brick and corrugated iron, but the rest were made of clay. Her farming village was poor, and most people earned less than a few dollars each month. The community was able to get by, however, thanks to the leadership of their village chief. Shouldering the responsibility of caring for his people, he took his decision making seriously.
A glint of light caught Lucia’s eye and she looked toward the road that led through the countryside and into her village. A group of five people on bicycles had arrived and were stopped just outside the circle of homes. These strangers were dripping with rainwater and splashed with mud, and a couple carried heavy bundles on their backs. Suspicious of these outsiders, Lucia decided to keep her eye on them, but they merely stood by their bikes and chatted. As the minutes passed, it became clear to Lucia that the bicyclists were waiting for someone — and that the someone wasn’t coming.
“Escort the people where they are going,” a voice said. Startled, Lucia turned to find a man she hadn’t seen before standing beside her. The man smiled at Lucia reassuringly. “Escort them.”
Lucia woke to find herself still in bed. An early morning rain was falling outside, blocking out much of the sunrise. It had been a dream. The strangers on bicycles and the man who had spoken to her — she had only dreamt them.
Miles away, the Every Home for Christ Malawi team members were excited to begin their 2017 Easter Outreaches. Ninety volunteers from 11 local churches were trained for home-to-home evangelism. Equipped with Heart of Man Charts, EvangeCubes and gospel literature, they couldn’t wait to take the Good News of Jesus to unreached villages in their nation.
Despite their preparation, some challenges remained to be faced. But the believers who gathered for the outreach were unconcerned. They were excited to spend their Easter sharing Jesus, and they knew exactly what they wanted to tell the villagers they would meet: Jesus loves you. Jesus died to save you. Jesus wants you to know Him. Confident that the Lord would go before them, they gathered to pray for the outreach. Then they split into small groups, got on their bikes and headed toward their assigned villages. These villages were far away, and public transportation was costly. The evangelists had to rent bicycles to make the journey. It was also the rainy season, which meant they dodged potholes and washed-out roads as they went. And then, once they arrived, they still needed to ask permission from the village chief to conduct their outreach. If he refused, their arduous trip would be for nothing. The journey proved just as difficult as expected for a gospel worker named Spencer and his four companions.
Heavy rain fell on them as they pedalled and manoeuvered their way along the damaged roads. When they finally reached their destination, they were soaked, muddy and exhausted — but they were smiling and ready to begin.
Arrangements had been made for someone to meet the evangelists outside the village and introduce them to the chief. Once introduced, they could ask the chief’s permission to conduct the outreach. They had expected this person to meet them outside the village, but perhaps he was running late. Still catching their breath, they stepped off their bikes to wait.
As the minutes passed, however, they exchanged nervous glances. Was nobody coming? How could they ask for the chief’s permission to do their outreach if there was nobody to introduce them to the chief in the first place? Then they noticed a woman staring at them as she stood outside her hut. She walked slowly toward them, a look of disbelief on her face. When she reached them, she introduced herself as Mrs. Lucia — and she told them about her dream. “We saw that the dream applied to our coming, so we believed her,” Spencer recounts. “We saw God in it.” Lucia asked the workers to follow her, and they pushed their bicycles along behind her as she led them up the muddy village pathway and to the home of the chief. There, Lucia introduced the strangers to the chief. Our workers explained that they were believers working with Every Home for Christ and had come to share the Good News of Jesus with the villagers. Malawi “It was God who sent them to our village,” she told the chief. The chief regarded the evangelists with a furrowed brow and then slowly shook his head. “The chief denied us,” Spencer remembers. “He said he did not know us, as it was our first time in the village.” But before our workers had time to be disappointed, Lucia spoke up. “It was God who sent them to our village,” she told the chief. Then she shared her dream with the chief and told him about how the dream had come true.
The chief listened attentively, and when Lucia finished, he nodded. “He gave us the go-ahead to conduct the outreach,” Spencer says.
“We glorify God that He made a way for us!” With joy, the evangelists visited every home in the village. They shared the story of the cross and the empty tomb, and they invited everyone to begin a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. That Easter, throughout the villages, 410 people accepted the invitation and put their faith in Jesus. Easter is about light overcoming darkness. Through His resurrection, Jesus overcame sin and death to bring us forgiveness and new life. And through one woman’s dream, He overcame the reluctant heart of a village chief so the Gospel could reach hundreds who needed to know Him.
“Despite the challenges, we still managed to have a great harvest of souls,” Spencer tells us. “
We will continue to mobilise more volunteers and equip them with gospel tools to reach even more people.”
The Gospel is going forth in villages throughout Malawi. New believers are being baptised. Evangelists are reaching those without Christ. In dry fields and outside clay huts, God is preparing the way for lives to be changed. You partner with our pioneer missionaries as they reach more villages like Lucia’s when you pray and give.