Several weeks ago, Ben and I had the privilege of attending and conducting a camp meeting in a remote village in Southern Malawi. Through several coinciding incidents, the Namikango staff scheduled to attend the meeting were unable to accompany us, which left Ben and I to lead the full three-day meeting with the help of Moses, our only interpreter. Ben and I both have attended and taught at numerous camp meetings over the years, but always as a member of a well-staffed team of teachers; this experience was bound to be quite different!
As we reached the village Friday and settled into our “home” for the next few days, we were greeted warmly with good food and conversations. After we were fed, the teachings began, with Ben and I alternating sessions and Moses tirelessly interpreting for both of us! The theme for the camp meetings this year has been “Living and Walking by the Spirit,” taken from Galatians 5. For many in the village churches here, the idea of the Holy Spirit is a nearly foreign concept and is often misunderstood. For this reason, the camp meetings have sought to provide good teachings on the Holy Spirit and the role it plays in the life of the Christian and the church. Beginning in Genesis 1 and working through the life of Jesus and the teachings of Paul, the weekend was spent teaching and discussing these concepts at every opportunity.
It is always refreshing to spend time in the village. It helps center those of us who spend most of our days behind a computer in the office working on spreadsheets and reports. It helps remind us of the work being done by our faithful and competent staff, and it puts us back “on the front line” of the many ministries that Namikango takes part in. Ben and I both came home Sunday afternoon feeling very excited about the way the Spirit of God is moving in the churches and villages in Malawi, and how we get to be a small part of the Kingdom of God being established here.