In Malawi On Mission

God Is

I am beginning a personal study on “What God is Like”. ( Thank you Annie Herman!) I thought you might all be encouraged by the introduction to the study. Malawi Update below!

God Is

God always has been,

He always will be!

His eternal existence is powerfully

Expressed by two words:

God is.  

 

I miss you all!  Thank you for your love, prayers and support!  Cindy and I have had a very full 10 days. I thank her with my whole heart for her encouragement, prayers and support. She is heading home now! Here are the highlights of what God is up to in Malawi.

Malawi Montessori Christian School

The children are learning with velocity and joy! Tisu Mwanza  has been hard at work leading the staff. We will be hiring another teacher in the next couple of weeks. Please pray for our discernment. With the additional materials, we are looking like a true Montessori Teacher Training Center. Rock on! The school and training center which was gifted to Acts III in June has been gifted back to us.  

Teacher Internship Program

In two weeks we will start up this program again. This practical week of teaching experience and supervision we will offer as a scholarship to the teachers from the local community based orphan care centers and to private paying clients as well as one of our IGAs.

Africa ABC Project

James Machila has done a brilliant job of leading this project. He has gifts in leadership and administration. He makes me to-do lists!  I love it! Now that the MMC School and Africa ABC Project are working under the same leadership both programs are energized! The blending of spiritual gifts and capacities is making for a great team. What is happening in the orphan care centers can only be explained by the power of the Holy Spirit.  James and I agree, it is unbelievable the transformations that are taking place! 

Property Acquisition – Christian Leadership Center

We will rent space here at Acts III until the property transfer is secured, then we will purchase the property. Randy McEwen, the director of Acts III Global Ministries, arrives February 3rd. We are praying that as a team we can assist him with removing the obstacles to a purchase.  We are praying for his wisdom and that he can use the authority God has given him to address the not yet resolved issues. We know God is going to do it. He told us He would so we are preparing for a transition.

Ministry Development- Malawi On Mission

God is bringing our Malawian partners forward and we are moving forward with ministry development with our key leader, Abusa Aubrey Kalima, who is a brilliant and humble man. And most importantly he and his wife, Madalo, don’t mind me knocking on their door a zillion times a day to discuss problems and solutions.  We can see the instrumental role both the current church and the local churches of Ndirande will play in the function of the ministry and the development of the Christian Leadership Center. We will be running multiple ministries from this site and requesting the support and partnership of the local churches and other Christian organizations.

Playroom Development at Queens Hospital

Mary O’Neill (who is a business woman, Montessori Credentialed teacher, Nurse, as well as an inspiring Irish Malawian) was asked to create a playroom for children who have life-threatening illnesses at Queens Hospital, the government hospital in Blantrye. She has asked for my partnership. Bring it on Jesus! We are busy designing this room which will encourage and bring hope to these precious children. We are working with the doctor of palliative care, Zoe Palmer.  She asked us to develop the room, but Mary and I are going to create a plan for the development a program to reach the children in all the pediatric wards and train the pediatric nurses in the role of the nurse in the pediatric ward. The amazing part is that are church has been going to Queens twice a month to minister to the sick.  Spiritually speaking, Queens feels like home territory.

Future Trainings

February 22nd-25th  Leadership and Montessori Teacher Training (4 day)

March 8th-11th      Pediatric Nurse Training (4 day)

March  22nd-26th and 29th-31st Lakeside March Impact Team Trainings for Parents & Specialists working with Children with Physical Challenges (Team composed of educators, Occupational and Physical Therapists as well as media specialists). We will video tape and create DVDs for the training sessions.  Malawian organizations assisting us in the trainings: Cure International Hospital, Queens Hospital,  Feed the Children Orthopedic Recovery Center and Chikondi Orphan Care and Disability Center in Ndirande.

Other Highlights!

Miqlat: Visited the Fair Oaks Presbyterian effort at Chiradzulu village and had a tour of a completed village orphan outreach program at Kagoya.  Miqlat Malawi is working with F.O. Pres on the establishment of a Hope Center at Chiradzulu. Excellent village program! They are doing good work. When we drove home, I held Cindy’s hand and cried. There is so much work yet to be done for the children. Miqlat, which American headquarters is housed in San Diego, is sending two teachers out from SD in Feb.  Hope to meet them and see what God is up to with this new connection.

Ndirande Church: Children’s Church Program and Outreach Ministry is expanding under the leadership of Simon Kambala. Our kids at our school are developing a play about a story in the Bible to present each Saturday to their friends. Our kids take invitations home with them on Friday to invite a friend for Saturday. Wish you all could have seen Jonah and the whale!

Chikondi Center:

Friday we took pictures and recorded a profile on 43 children with disabilities at this center in preparation for the March Team. This center staff and parents are ready for an infusion of leadership and training. This center would be ideal for a vocational center for the 16-23 year olds with disabilities.  The space is available. They do not have trades people or teachers or a plan yet. God told us to help them find business people who would rent out their spaces, apprentice their young people and pay the young people a stipend. What do you think about that!

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS! THE GROUND WAS PREPARED FOR US! OPEN DOORS EVERYWHERE WE TURNED!

Love, Maribeth

Landed Johannesburg! Fired up & Ready To Go!

Dear Friends and Family, 

Cindy Dickson and I arrived safely in Johannesburg, South Africa last night and will travel onto Blantyre, Malawi this morning.  Our 8 bags of school materials were checked all the way to Blantrye and we are so grateful for all of your prayers and all the people who helped us along the way. As special thank you to Singh and Gaye at United Airlines for your care and commitment for our mission and our bags! May God bless you abundantly!

Cindy and I were too excited to sleep last night so we proceeded to talk the entire night about our lives, God and Malawi.  We are calling it our slumber party!  And we have promised to stop talking and get a good night sleep tonight.  We spent the night planning the next 10 days, reviewing the next five months plans for the ministry, and planning my summer. So it was an inspiring and productive night in Joburg!

We have great plans for the next 10 days, but despite the many tasks to be accomplished, our focus will be on being with the people we love. Relationships are the priority. The Malawi Montessori Christian School staff and the Africa ABC project staff as well as the Abusas and James and Claudia have been working very hard to continue to make a difference in Ndirande. We cannot wait to see them and thank them and encourage them.

Thank you all  for your love and encouragement!

Love, Maribeth

P.S. We heard from Dan Gillespie with Miqlat- the Fair Oaks Presbyterian partner working with the village at Chiradzulu. We have Malawian staff contact number and are hoping to visit their project about 30-40 minutes from Blantyre next week. Right on!

Promise Made Promise Kept

For unto us a Child is born, For unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6  

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ~John 3: 16-17

He keeps His promises.  Merry Christmas & Zikomo. Thank you for making a difference for the children of Malawi! Love, Maribeth

New Developments & Potential Partnerships

To My Beautiful Friends & Family, Thank you for your prayers and support!  I am in awe of what God is up to for Malawi.  He is bringing together people who have the same commitment to making a difference for The Warm Heart of Africa.

Today I spoke with Sharyn Curtis from LitNet in Montana who has been working with her husband on teacher training and an early literacy curriculum for Uganda. Sound familiar? As Sharyn shared at her church about LitNet and her recent connection to me, a woman told her that she has been praying for Malawi for 20 years and now she knows why. Twenty years ago God put Malawi (a country that many people don’t even know exists) on her heart and she has been praying ever since. Sharyn and David Curtis are sending me their curriculum to take to Malawi. It is my hope that they both can visit Malawi soon. Please check out their website link. www.litnet.info You will be amazed how similar the work they have been doing inUganda is to the Malawi Montessori Project.

This week, Pastor Jeff Kreiser and I met with Senior Pastor Kirk Bottomly and Mission’s Pastor Paulette Lambertson from Fair Oaks Presbyterian, a neighboring church 30 minutes from Lakeside. Fair Oaks Presbyterian is working with an organization called Miqlat to empower local villages in Malawi to better care for the children who have lost parents. Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church is now drilling a well and soon to build a Hope Center in Chiradzulu, Malawi, 30 minutes or so from our project in Ndirande, Malawi.  Thank you Paulette and Kirk! I am forever grateful for you both and your church! I look forward to seeing your project in Malawi and seeing how we can help!  You can check out what they are doing on the section for blogging to the right on this website.  Miqlat is listed as a link too. www.miqlat.com

God is still searching the earth and looking for anyone who is willing to stand in the gap for those He loves.  How long will it be acceptable for us as Americans to eat, when other people go hungry? To go to school, when others have no access to education? To sleep in comfort and peace, when others live in fear of their safety? And as Christians to know the love and grace of God, when others live without hope?  And how will people know about our God and His goodness and His power to make a difference in their lives, unless we go and tell them and show them that He does indeed care about them.

In the Bible there are letters written by people who worshipped God and His Son, Jesus Christ. One of these men, named John, wrote this, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” 1John 3:17

Thank you for your your prayers and love for me! Thank you for sending me to Malawi! We can make a difference – together.

Love, Maribeth

Malawi 2010 – Please Pray!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for your love and support! I leave for Malawi on January 4th. I will be gone 5 months. Please pray for me and for my Malawi Core Team Members as we seek God’s direction, wisdom and strength to deliver on the vision and the plans.

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

We believe God is calling us to fulfill the following plans for ministry in Malawi in 2010.

January 2010

  • Establish a non-profit ~Malawi On Mission
  • Malawi Montessori Christian School and Teacher Training Center-Continue & Improve
  • Teacher Intership Program-Continue & Improve
  • Malawi ABC Project-Continue and Improve
  • Formal Leadership and Teacher Trainings- Continue & Improve

February 2010

  • Purchase the building and land for Christian Leadership Training Center. (CLTC)
  • Begin Christian Discipleship and Leadership Training

March 2010

  • Lakeside Impact Team Arrives: providing special education training and support for parents, teachers, and school directors of children with special needs. The team will also be introduced to the community based orphan care centers and government education system.
  • Construction to begin on site to finish the living quarters of the Training Center.

April & May 2010

  • Continue the  physical construction and program development of the ministry and Christian Leadership Training Center.

Please pray for our Malawi Core Team and for our pastors and missionaries currently at the site in Ndirande, Malawi! Please pray for Acts III Global Ministry Director and board who we are in negotiations with to purchase the building and land.

Malawi Core Team: Pastor Jeff Kreiser, Scott Davis, Kelsey Zeigler, Cindy Dickson, Lynn Merritt, Jose Flores, and myself, Maribeth Leineke

Pastors, Teachers and Missionaries Currently On-Site: Pastor Aubrey Kalima, Pastor Brown, Claudia and James Maliscalco (missionaries), Tisu Mwanza, Madalo Kalima, Jane Kaonjezere, Jane Kabambe(teachers), Bambo Weta Weta and Inus (the guard and his wife) .

Acts III Director, Randy McEwen and wife, Julie. Board Members: Pastor Walt and Michael Dant.

Thank you! Love, Maribeth

Back on Line – Malawi Fundraiser 10.3.09

Thank you all for hanging tough with me this past months as I process through how to live in two different worlds. It is only the power of your prayers and encouragement that has me back on line. When life gets hard that’s when you know who truly you can count on. Who will accept you just as you are.

I was laughing about 1 Corinthians 13: 4 yesterday, because it is about love and we are studying this chapter at church. Verse 4 starts with “Love suffers long…” I think how patient you are with me and it makes me want to be more patient and kind with others.

This Saturday at 401 Morman- the intersection of Coloma and Natoma- infamously known as the Big Dip to some, we are having another garage sale to raise money for the Malawi Montessori Project. Amy and Jose Flores are also going on mission internationally and selling all their beautiful household furnishings for the cause. It will be 7am-4pm and we could use help in setting up early, helping us sell, or pack up which happens around 4 p.m.

This is one way you can continue to support us! Email me at maribeth@theocean.cc if you can help or just come by this Saturday.  We will have the music rocking as always! May God bless you abundantly! Thank you for being there for me and holding my hand through the rough spots. Love, Maribeth, Mar, Mary

Malawi Garage Sale 8.8.09 Results!

Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you for your ongoing support of this project and this missionary! Malawi matters to me. The country and the people wrapped around my heart and I am committed to making a difference for this nation that I have come to love and respect. We raised $533.77 dollars Saturday for the children of Malawi and this inspires me! It may seem like a small amount to some, but this amount can pay for a Malawian teacher’s salary for the year. Or given that most Malawians survive on $1.25 a day, a child could eat for a year and a half on what we raised in a day of selling second hand items. I believe Jesus always gives a simple answer, not an easy answer, a simple answer to the problems we face.

We are going back to Malawi in 2010 to build a Christian Leadership Center and continue to partner with the Malawians to establish environments of spiritual and educational excellence and resource and empower an educational community. It is all about the children. But to multiply the difference you can make for the children, we need to invest in those serving the children.

I learned in my year in Malawi that things built slowly with much prayer and discernment, community and sacrifice, will be firmly established. I am committed to building on solid ground for Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:24-27

Love, Maribeth

P.S. A special thank you to Karen Lindsay for partnering with me on the garage sale! I don’t think you stopped smiling or talking to people all day! To a humble and powerful up and coming missionary to Malawi, Kelsey Zigler for her servant leader attitude! To Terri and Dan Haverty (tons of stuff!), Patty Underwood and your mom, Cindy Dickson, Pam Loomis, and always Annie and Mark Holt- my rear guards in prayer and service- for donations and prayers! To everyone who donated too! To Lynn Merritt, who can see God move better than anyone I know! A special thank you to Janice my neighbor for the special donations!

Next Event: Art Sale! November!

Mission Accomplished! Thank You Everyone!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for your commitment to making a difference for the children of Ndirande, Malawi!  The results of this year on mission are listed below. It was an exception year!  The Malawian National Anthem, which is sung as a prayer to God, identifies the three enemies to Malawi as hunger, disease and envy.  

With 74% of the population being below the poverty line (living on less than $1.25 a day), 930,000 people with HIV/AIDS, and 550,000 orphans our accomplishments seem small. But by investing in and developing leaders in Malawi, it is our commitment to expand what is possible for the children. I have taken out the word “orphan” from the documents of the Malawi Montessori Project because it is a word now beginning to be used by some as a marketing tool to collect funds both in the US and Malawi. Our job is not to use the children, but to provide for them. I believe our job is to remove the label of “orphan” and give them a new name and a new future.

God adopted us and calls us His children. He has given us a new future, an inheritance, a new family, and a new name. I understand that the word “orphan” must be used by agencies as a measurement tool, but coming from a special education background, I am aware of the effects of labeling. I will be refering to the children we are committed to helping as kids impacted by poverty.

There are many children in Malawi with parents or guardians who are unable to provide for them despite their dedicated efforts.  I believe the family is the best structure that Jesus has given us to provide for all children and the church’s job is to support the family to do this job well.  I have included the specific results of the Malawi Montessori Project below. May you all be blessed abundantly by your love and contributions to this mission! Jesus rocks without exception.  These are His results.

Malawi Montessori Project (Established January 2008) Committed to educating the future leaders of Malawi

  • Established the first Montessori Primary School in Ndirande, Malawi. (July 08) Serving 43 children impacted by poverty.
  • Trained 118 teachers and directors at 12 local orphan care centers in teaching, business skills, and leadership.
  • Trained 16 teachers through Teacher Internship Program-intensive practical week of teacher training within a classroom.
  • Established Africa ABC Project: By 10/08 10 local community based orphan care centers will have received educational artwork/materials and on site teacher training.
  • Hosting four mission trips (21 participants total) in order to educate other about the AIDS pandemic and the issues surrounding children impacted by poverty.
These results were produced by my Malawian team.
 
There is no better investment than investing in the
 lives of others.
 
Love, Maribeth