“In our churches we believe for someone to be saved, he or she needs to jump on a burning fire without getting burned. Then that person is said to have received Jesus.” This is a piece of a Malawian woman’s Christian testimony.
The woman continued, “Thank you very much for the lesson of salvation and repentance. Today I know that I am saved if I accept Him from my heart and believe He came to earth to redeem me from my sins.”
This declaration came after the woman read The Story of Jesus, an illustrated evangelistic booklet created to reach children and their families. This woman is among more than 125,000 Malawians receiving a copy of the booklet. It is published in three of the country’s languages: Tumbuka, Chichewa, and English.
Malawi is one of the least developed nations in the world, with low life expectancy, high infant mortality, and a high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS. The people of Malawi are poor and primarily live in rural areas. Extreme weather conditions brutalize this southern central African country, which relies heavily on agriculture.
Needless to say, there is no shortage of suffering in Malawi, and that can bring about hopelessness. The remedy for despair is Jesus. A relationship with Him provides desperately needed hope, joy, and peace in the midst of sorrow, and a surety of eternal life where all strife will cease.
Our ministry friends in Malawi use The Story of Jesus to bring the Gospel to large numbers of school children. “Many read the entire booklet as I watch them turn each page,” says Anna Ebert, founder of Good Hope Ministry. “God only knows how many actually accept Christ as their Savior. All we can see is a show of hands and the majority of them respond.”
Anna speaks of the children’s openness and hunger for Jesus. The booklet offers teachers a compelling platform to speak of biblical truths and the men and women in the Bible who overcame seemingly impossible obstacles to do great work for God.
One group of children focused on the “living water” spoken about in the booklet. A young girl asked, “Does Jesus really have living water?” Children asked if the story of the prodigal son is true or made up, while others focused in on creation, and Jesus’ willingness to forgive the men who hurt Him.
A Malawian teacher said,
I was going through The Story of Jesus and I saw a young boy who was crying. I asked him what was the matter, and he said he felt very sorry to see Jesus nailed upon the cross. This is the first time he had seen this story depicted in a picture. His friends laughed at him, and I intervened. I told the boys that Jesus did not commit any crime, yet he was still crucified.
All of the boys were quiet and I asked who wanted to receive Jesus as their personal Savior. All of them raised their hands. Boys in particular are struck with the picture of Jesus hung on the cross. It illustrates the suffering He endured on our behalf.
The Church in Malawi is offering living water to those who are thirsty, and we are honored to play a small role in helping equip them to do this work. Please pray for open hearts as the Holy Spirit moves across this nation.