Monday, 19 November 2018

Latest update from Malawi!


Hello to you all, we really hope you are well!

As always we really appreciate you taking the time to read our updates. We’re focusing this update primarily on our Encounter Evenings as this month marks their one year anniversary.
 
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God spoke to us clearly about creating a space to gather those who are hungry to encounter Him in a personal and real way. The only space we have is our home, so in November of last year we chose a Saturday evening and invited everyone we knew who we thought would embrace this time and waited to see what God would do!  
 
We didn’t really have any set expectations, we weren’t sure who would actually turn up and we felt God say to have very little programme or agenda, but to allow Him the space and time to move. We are very thankful that every month has by far exceeded our expectation of what we thought they would turn into! 
 
Encounter Evenings are the highlight of our month, we absolutely love hosting them and seeing where the Spirit leads. We have a real diversity of people coming from a number of different churches from across the city, and we always have new people coming every month who we don’t know, as our ‘regulars’ are always inviting other people to visit or join us. We mainly have young Malawians (in their 20’s) but we also have some other missionaries regularly join us and America, Canada, Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa are regularly represented. We also have a wide variety of ages, from the young Malawians up to people in their 70’s. But, somehow this diversity of nationality, background and age totally works and there is always a tangible sense of unity every month and it brings us such pleasure to see strangers ministering to one another and quickly becoming friends. 
 
We start our time with an hour of worship and we always see a freedom as people sing, dance, kneel, lie down, and worship however they feel led. The tangible presence of God is always very evident right from the beginning. We then use the other hour (although it usually goes on much longer!) to see what Holy Spirit wants to do. Whilst each month is always different there is always flowing of the spiritual gifts, physical healings, and deliverance. We’ve had times where people have experienced significant inner healing, powerful times of the Holy Spirit coming in power and everyone ending up on the floor (in a good way) unable to stand or sit in the Presence.   
 
Whilst we follow the leading of the Spirit and initially led and modelled ministering and moving in the gifts, we have always encouraged everyone to join in and know that Father wants to use them to minister through. We always want to empower and raise up others, and so gradually over the last 6 months or so, we have taken a step back in leading the ministry time, and we don’t even need to encourage others now, they just dive straight into prayer, prophesying, etc to one another which we absolutely love!  
 
Another great fruit of the Encounter Evenings is we have had the opportunity to share about Sozos and as a result most people who newly come to the Encounter Evenings then go on to have Sozo sessions with us. We have had some absolutely beautiful times over the last month or so in Sozos with these young Malawian men and women growing in revelation and intimacy with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit through the Sozo ministry.
 
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This is our last update of 2018 so we’d love to take this opportunity to wish you an early but very Happy Christmas and New Year and we sincerely thank all of you who have prayed for us, visited us or financially invested in our ministry in 2018!  
Financial Support: https://www.give.net/20189271 
 
 


Monday, 8 October 2018

A belated update from Malawi!

Hi from the both of us!

We've been very busy since our last update and we'll share some of what we've been up to here. One of the most exciting things is that we had some visitors from Milton Keynes. We initially met Phil and Annette through the amazing Gilgal House ministry. We kept them busy and we also enjoyed receiving a Sozo from them. This is what they had to say about their time with us:

We spent 10 days with Mark and Laura in September; they opened up their home to us and arranged an itinerary that was both thoughtful and challenging.

They are a couple with high expectations of God - and so are happy to throw you in at the deep end! Just as they have been learning to walk in the Spirit, we could see that they are also inviting and encouraging others into that journey.  

We loved having already-arranged 'fixed points' of ministry during our stay - but especially enjoyed the extra connections and encounters that God had planned - and how people, many of whom were weary and in need of encouragement, were blessed. 

Whether it was facilitating workshops with pastors from rural villages or Miqlat staff; whether it was speaking in Living Stones Church or 'joining in' at a house group or Encounter Evening; or meeting individuals who needed God's touch, we were aware that all this was building on what Mark and Laura had already been doing for 2 plus years, laying strong foundations for the future.


If we were asked 'what do they do?" I think we'd say "Mark and Laura's ministry is to support those in ministry"... they are an independent, trusted, loving team who both comfort and stretch people who are in high-intensity work. They are clearly well-loved.   
It's important to say that this is itself, demanding work and Mark and Laura also need your support. It's a hot, often humid and chaotic place to live.

They live in what is called the 'warm heart of Africa' because of the beautiful, friendly nature of the people. Mark and Laura also typify that, because they have wisely chosen to be regularly re-charged and refreshed in the arms of Father God.’


PHIL PREACHING AT OUR CHURCH



PHIL AND ANNETTE DANCING WITH THE KOGOYA HOPE CENTRE PASTORS DURING A DAY OF TRAINING



Since our last update we’ve also been carrying on with Sozo sessions, busy leading / preaching in our church, Laura recently preached on living free from the tactics of the enemy and we believe chains were broken that morning. We’ve continued our pastors training….at Thucila Hope Centre we are in the middle of a series about Christian marriage and recently had a lively discussion on the topic of divorce and polygamy! At the Kogoya Hope Centre we recently awarded Attendance Certificates which are enthusiastically received!

We also had another powerful Encounter Evening. We again had the pleasure of welcoming new people (who we don’t know!) from others churches in town as the news spreads about the evenings. We love the diversity of people coming to these evenings, from different ages, teens up to 70’s, so many different nationalities and churches are represented but there is such unity in the shared aim of being there solely to encounter God personally.


A recent testimony from a beautiful young Malawian lady who had her first ever Sozo:


‘My Sozo experience allowed me to discover the different relationships I have with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I discovered my need for healing through the distorted image I had of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit from past experiences. In the end I was overwhelmed about how I saw myself wrapped in mud, however the Father’s arms were wide open for me. I don’t think I’ve ever embraced God’s intimacy the way I did in my Sozo session. It felt so real, it was real and even though I had so much hurt and pain, going into the Father’s arms and feeling His embrace took me to a place of comfort like never before. Since then, it’s completely changed my perception of who God is, He is such a Good God who wants us to enjoy Him and heal us.’
 

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1.    We are about to start a series on Cultural Practices / Witchcraft with our Kogoya Hope Centre pastors. As we will be challenging a lot of the cultural norms we’d love you to pray that the pastors receive revelation of the truth.
 
2.    On a personal note, during October fuel prices jumped by 8p per litre, electricity prices by 35% & due to a change in water meters we are anticipating our water bill may double which has been other’s experiences. We’d love you to pray with us with asking Father & thanking Him in advance for releasing His provision to meet these unexpected increase in costs which were of no surprise to Him! 


Thank you for reading and lots of love from Malawi!
 
Financial Support - https://www.give.net/20189271  





Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Back in Malawi!

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We’ve now been back in Malawi for a week and it feels good to be home & also to have a bit of a respite from rather uncomfortable heat in England (we never thought we’d be saying that!)
We had a great 6 weeks in England, and we’d like to thank those of you who provided us with opportunities to preach, share what we’re up to, minster to you on a 1:1, fed us and let us stay in your houses and lent us a car….Father was so faithful in looking after us for that time.

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A lot of our time was spent feeding back to supporters as well as visiting family, we even squeezed in a much needed few days away, but a highlight of the trip for the both us was attending a 4 day Father Heart School at the amazing Kings Arms Church in Bedford.

We are both very passionate about this subject which is what drew us to attending this conference over others. During our time there, as well as receiving amazing teaching & ministry in this crucial area, Father continued to fan into flame the passion we both have for this being the underpinning message in everything we do, and moving forward into this next season, we are going to look at how we can put on Father Heart weekends here in Malawi. Therefore, we aim to carve out time in the coming months to prepare material for this as well as listening to Father’s guidance.

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Through meeting with friends and supporters we received some really helpful feedback in terms of communication specifically in relation to sharing specific costs that people can prayerfully consider partnering with us in. Bearing this feedback in mind we thought we would highlight in this update our amazing vehicle which we’re convinced was straight from Father as it’s never let us down:

You might be thinking it’s quite a large vehicle for two people, and you’d be right! But to reach the remote rural villages that we serve on the fairly challenging dirt tracks to get to them and other places we serve in, we knew we needed a high clearance, robust vehicle and Father provided us with the perfect vehicle for Malawi & we are so thankful for it!
With having such a large vehicle, and with driving in dusty, challenging roads / tracks, we have to keep it well maintained as there is no RAC out here! Subsequently, we have to get it serviced twice a year, costing £500 for the 2 services.
Another car related cost is the diesel to get to these rural communities. We travel into them twice weekly, and this costs around £60 extra in fuel per month to reach these communities. Again, we believe investing in the fuel to reach these amazing pastors is so worth it as we see the change and fruit in their lives.
If you would like to partner and invest in the ministry here in Malawi by specifically supporting the costs of keeping this vehicle on the road, whether that be a monthly contribution towards to fuel or a one off gift towards the costs of services, please click on the link here to our Giving Page: https://www.give.net/20189271        Thank you!


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And finally……..we’re very excited to be welcoming in our first visitors from England who are coming to do some ministry with us!!
We first met Phil & Annette Wason through Gilgal House in Milton Keynes. They will be joining us in a month’s time, and we’ll be keeping them busy with the pastors, a leadership day with the Miqlat leadership, preaching at our church, sharing at our home group amongst other things! Please keep them in your prayers as they finalise their preparation for the trip.
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Monday, 11 June 2018

Ready for our UK Trip!

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Hello from a cold Malawi! It’s winter here, and whilst it’s difficult to imagine it being cold in Africa, believe us it is, even Mark is wearing jumpers!  
Pastor’s training
We deliver pastor’s training in two different rural locations. Since our last update at one Hope Centre we have been teaching on the crucial topic of salvation by grace and not by works. Unfortunately the ‘works’ mentality is quite prolific in rural Malawian churches, people ‘do’ a lot of things to try and guarantee their salvation, so it was a privilege to share the freeing truth that works are not necessary, Christ’s work on the Cross was complete and there is nothing anyone can do to earn their salvation. As always we encouraged the Pastors to share the teaching with their churches.  
At the other Hope Centre we have started a series on the Spiritual Gifts which has so far proved interesting! Unfortunately in Malawi there are a number of self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ who ask for money in return for a prophetic word or praying for a miracle / healing. So it was great to show the pastors that the bible shows us that all who are filled with the Holy Spirit can operate in these gifts and to use a Vineyard phrase ‘everyone gets to play’. So far we have taught on prophecy and tongues (& interpretation) and we look forward to continuing this series upon our return to Malawi.  
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Encounter Evenings
Our May Encounter Evening was, as always, very powerful! We absolutely love these evenings, we had a great time of prophetic worship followed by a time of ministry and saw Holy Spirit minister inner healing, generational holds were broken off people and everyone was touched by God in powerful ways!
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UK Trip
We are very excited to be flying to England on the 14th June, it’s been a year since our last visit and we are ready for a bit of the UK! We fly back to Malawi on the 29th July.
Milton Keynes will be our main base and we will be sharing in a few locations but we learnt the hard way last year not to cram too much in!
During our time we will be connecting and sharing with our supporters, visiting family and friends. We are also attending a 4 day Father Heart School at the Kings Arms Church in Bedford which we’re really looking forward to receiving some great teaching and ministry into this area that is one of our main passions. We hope to see some of you during our trip and we will be at the following places: 
Sunday 17th June – Grand Union Vineyard Church (Monkston Campus) – sharing & preaching  
Sunday 24th June – Vineyard Community Church Daventry – sharing with the Youth 
Sunday 1st July – Grand Union Vineyard Church (Netherfield Campus) – sharing & preaching
 
We look forward to seeing you very soon! All of our love Laura and Mark