Land of Fire and Warm Hearts

by Ty Gibson  |  March 2, 2018

One of the best experiences I’ve ever had as an evangelist was in Malawi. I preached from a wooden platform constructed of an odd mixture of wood, sheet metal, bricks, and colorful cloth. Speakers were hung in trees. There were a few chairs, but most of the thousands of people in attendance stood or sat on the ground. Their faces—wide eyes, looking with intense interest—are forever imprinted on my memory.

After my first two nights of preaching, a group of brothers pulled me aside to share something with me. Their demeanor indicated that they were nervous and had something of a sensitive nature to say. I could never have guessed what they were going to tell me. “Pastor,” their chosen spokesperson said with humility and respect, “is it possible when you are preaching that you could sometimes jump, and also shout?” Caught off guard a little (or a lot), I fumbled in my response.

“Jump? You mean… like… jump… like… up off the platform?”

“Yes,” they instructed. “Just bend your knees and then push upward. The people will like it very much.”

“Oh,” I replied, lost for an answer. “Well, I don’t really jump when I’m preaching. I’m not coordinated enough to jump and preach at the same time.”

That was a lame answer. I knew it and they knew it. They kindly laughed and let me off the hook. I preached my heart out for the remainder of the series with my feet firmly planted.

“Malawi” is derived from an ancient Chichewa word that means “flames,” likely a reference to the blazing sun that heats this southeastern African country. The country is also nicknamed, “The Warm Heart of Africa,” which is so fitting. I felt nothing but a friendly warmth from the beautiful people of Malawi.

“Well, I don’t really jump when I’m preaching. I’m not coordinated enough to jump and preach at the same time.”

With a landmass of about 45,000 square miles, 20 percent of which is water, and a population of 18,000,0000, Malawi is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in Africa.

There are approximately 500,000 Seventh-day Adventists in Malawi, with an active and mobilized membership. The Malawi Union Conference is completely committed to the General Conference initiative, Total Member Involvement. Light Bearers figures prominently into their soul-winning mission. We have had the privilege of sending millions of gospel publications to Malawi. For this year, church leaders in Malawi have requested two containers of truth-filled literature, both in English and Chichewa.

They said the last literature we sent has done wonders for their Union, to the extent that many souls were won to Christ.

Reporting on the effect of the previous shipment we sent, Frackson Kuyama, president of the Malawi Union, said, “Indeed, the lessons have proven to be one of the powerful tools for soul winning.” When asked how the materials will be used, Elder Kuyama explains that church leaders and members are planning to target many rural and urban areas with mass literature distribution, followed up by multiple evangelistic meetings.

To supply the literature needs of our brothers and sisters in Malawi, Light Bearers needs to raise $160,000. That’s $80,000 per container, each of which holds about two million publications, working out to about five cents per piece. This is by far the most cost-effective communication method to disseminate the Three Angel’s Messages.

I can tell you firsthand that, although I did not jump while preaching, the precious people of Malawi are eager to know Jesus. We thank you, our partners in ministry, for your financial backing as we flood the land of fire and warm hearts with gospel literature.

Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
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