”What a privilege it is to serve the church! In January, a team of three theologians traveled to Malawi, the “warm heart of Africa” for 2 weeks to train about 120 women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM). The team consisted of Pastors Cathi Braasch and Pam Thorson, and Mrs. Mari Dew. Because ELCM does not have enough pastors to preach and teach to fill each parish, lay people including women provide preaching and teaching. Thank you to Pastor Tom Curry & NALC Ministry Partner Awakening Lives to World Missions (ALWM) for arranging an amazing mission.
On Sundays, we attended local churches. Their many lively choirs add a dimension unlike most of ours. Our hosts explained that they use choirs as part of evangelism inviting young people to join a choir. This has proven to be a successful means of church growth. It is true that Africans love to sing and dance.
The first conference had 57 women, and the 2nd conference in the south had 52 women. These are all spiritually mature Christian women, including Bible study leaders, teachers, prominent women in their communities, and also young women. At each conference, we began by giving out Bibles in the tribal languages of the women with most receiving one in the nationally common language of Chichewa. These were met with great excitement since most did not have Bibles and the ones we did see were torn and worn. We are thankful to our donor for a special memorial gift!
Our task was to provide solid, Orthodox Lutheran, in-depth teaching on the basic doctrines of the faith and to encourage women in leadership. Topics included the Trinity, the Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, God’s AmazingGrace, Obstacles in our lives to receiving that Grace, Prayer, Christian marriage, Women in Scripture, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The women were thoroughly engaged each session taking notes and looking up every Bible reference.