OMer MacDonald shares how the church in Chisopi, Malawi started and has started reaching out.
“It started with a vision,” said OM worker MacDonald. “I was talking with Jesus and He was telling me what to do. He showed me a big forest with big trees and told me I needed to uproot the trees because He wanted it to be clear.”
Praying over the vision with his mentor, MacDonald felt God was calling him to go minister to those who have never heard about Jesus before in his native Malawi.
MacDonald began doing research and visiting the villages, seeking the place where the Lord wanted him. When he reached Chisopi, a village 30 kilometres from the OM base in Ntaja, MacDonald felt peace that this was where he was meant to be. He met a man who invited MacDonald to stay in his home to get to know the culture of the Muslim village as well as the language.
“I didn’t say anything about Christ,” remembered MacDonald. “But he was very interested in the way I was behaving. When I left after a week he said that I needed to come back the next week, so I did and then I started asking him what he believed in and if he knew Christ.”
The man was a Muslim and the son of a sheikh (a community leader), but was very interested to hear what MacDonald had to say because of how he conducted himself.
Through MacDonald’s visits, the man and his wife came to know Christ and accept him as their saviour. They stopped going to the mosque and began to worship weekly in their house, calling for other people to join them as MacDonald preached. That was the beginning of the church in Chisopi.
The church began slowly gaining traction in the community.
The chief, who is Muslim, has recognised that a church isn’t a bad thing and neither are the Christians who worship God there.
“Sometimes the Lord organises people to stand with you even though they are not Christian,” said MacDonald. “Here, it is the chief. If the chief says that everyone has a right to go where they want to worship, then everyone will be quiet because the chief has the authority.”
From the birth of the church in Chisopi, MacDonald encouraged a “missional mindset.” The new believers began walking to a village 14 kilometres away in early 2015 to start a Discovery Bible Study (DBS).
One week the chief of the village attended the meeting and asked for prayer for his sick sister. When MacDonald started praying for her she fell to the ground and started manifesting what he believed to be an evil spirit. The whole team joined in prayer and when she woke up a few minutes later the woman said she didn’t feel any pain; she had been healed instantly.
The following week when MacDonald visited her, she was working outside, something she hadn’t been able to do in a long time.
Excited by his sister's recovery, the chief urged MacDonald to start a church in the village, saying God obviously had plans for the village.
On property given to the church for free from the chief, the congregation meets in a temporary structure. The original eight members have expanded to 12 and they plan on making bricks to build a permanent building.
Praise God for what He is doing in Chisopi and the surrounding villages. Pray for the new believers to grow in their faith and to remain strongly rooted in Him. Pray for MacDonald and other church leaders, that God will give them wisdom in every circumstance and be the bearer of His words.