Good News in March 2022
As the pictures and reports arrive from our directors in Malawi and Zambia, they often comment, "You would cry tears of joy if you could see the amazing changes in people's lives, and in their communities because of ELI's ministry. We wish you were here." Indeed! We wish all of you could join us to see for yourselves the new watermelon plants sprouting and the new banana trees growing, with the great expectation of a marketable crop! It is a joy to see a rural pastor receiving a brand new Bible in his native language, and a deaf child becoming a member of her community, and joyful children sitting around a table for the first time to complete a Lego puzzle. The Lord has used your prayers and financial support to accomplish these blessings, so we know there will be tears of joy when you read this month's Good News.
MALAWI MOBILE LIBRARY
"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring tidings of good things!" (Romans10:15)
Pastor Innocent's feet have taken him many milles in the last ten years, as he ministers to his rural congregation. He wants to share the gospel and make disciples, but that is no easy task when his well worn Bible contains only the books from Exodus to John. For Pastor Inncocent, it was a day of incredible joy when Jacob presented him with a brand new Bible. His very words were, "Now I can preach the whole Word of God." It is not unusual for the pastors serving in these very rural areas to only have partial sections of the Bible; what a blessing for Pastor Innocent and his congregation to now have this treasure.
The village children wait with great excitement and anticipation as the EL team arrives and unpacks the day's activities. The children can't wait to hear new stories, complete puzzles, create amazing structures with Lego bricks or practice writing the alphabet. Many of the children haven’t attended school, so these activities are vital to introduce them to education. It doesn't matter if they must sit on the ground or porch steps or on a blue tarp. These activites are unbelievable blessings to be enjoyed.
It is almost impossible for us (in the West) to believe that villages can be so poor that tables and chairs are unavailable. Imagine the incredulity when a folding table and chairs were unpacked from the car trunk and children took turns sitting on folding chairs at the table! It was the most amazing day. Jacob says the children begged them not to leave and there was great angst as the table was folded up, the children were afraid the table was broken! Smiles and relief were experienced when they realized the table was meant to fold up and would return the next library day.
Dorothy's story continues to unfold. For us at ELI, there are tears of joy at the potential of this little girl as her understanding is being opened, virtually being “unlocked” in her world of silence. We see the picture of her sitting at the new table and enjoying the activities with other children her age. This is a new experience for Dorothy, for she used to sit alone and just watch on the sidelines. Thanks to the special attention she has received from Bertha and Grace over the last three months, Dorothy can now hold a pencil and is learning to write the alphabet! She also enjoys turning the pages of a picture book. Dorothy doesn't know yet nor understand, but in a few weeks, she will begin attending a school for the deaf in the capital city of Lilongwe. Thanks to several residents of the small community of Keyport, WA, Dorothy will begin school with the first three months of school covered. Her mother jumped for joy upon learning this wonderful news!
We are sure many “tears of joy” will follow as Dorothy’s amazing adventure unfolds.
Village parents encourage their children to participate in all the activities the mobile library brings, and the grown-ups are often found watching from the sidelines wishing they too could be involved. The fun and excitement on the new table became irresistible, so soon many adults joined in. Many of these parents have never had the opportuntiy to attend school, so they see the possibilities of learning for themselves as well as for their children. Jacob has commented that many adults have inquired about joining the waiting list for the literacy program.
Mr. Kenneth reports that he enjoys walking through the new banana plantation and rejoices at the remarkable growth of the trees in just three months. Now that the Susu farmers have their own truck, there are plans underway to become a nursery and sell trees throughout the area. Thank you to all who contributed to this project.
A NEW HOME FOR THE KIDS
Another heartfelt thank you to all who supported this important project. The new goat barn is complete and twelve baby goats born this year walked down the country road with their mothers to their new home. And just in time, as more kids are expected soon. A fun video of moving day can be found on our FB page.
We have exciting news! Thanks to designated gifts received this month, only $2,500 remains to fully fund this high priority need of a tractor and plow for the Susu farmers. With this new farm equipment they hope to prepare the untouched but fertile land for larger crops of maize and sunflowers. This tractor and plow has now become so necessary for efficiently sowing the land and for the growth of the income generating projects that support the library and outreach programs.
What a blessing it has been to share these stories with you that move the heart, bringing tears of joy, because of how lives are being impacted. It is our hope and desire that you are encouraged and lifted up by the amazing ways God is working through ELI, and that you will continue to pray and partner with us. Please consider becoming a monthly donor to help us sustain and grow the libraries, literacy programs, and the Susu library farm. Your one time gifts can be designated and are always appreciated as well, thank you so much!