Meet the new families joining the ministry

Here's a quick history of our team's presence in Malawi:
  • 2007 - Biedebachs 
  • 2009 - Biedebachs & Floreens
  • 2013 - Biedebachs, Floreens, & Ayres
GMI team 2013

Each of those milestones meant a lot of changes for the families moving and developments for the ministry. Now look at what we expect to happen this year:
  • Mar 2016 - The McCrackens moved to Malawi
  • Jun 2016 - Our friends the Biedebachs will move back to the USA
  • ??? 2016 - The Temples will move to Malawi
  • ??? 2016 - The Kopps will move to Malawi
  • ??? 2016 - The Simwakas will move to Malawi
Team Malawi is growing. Let me tell you a bit about everyone mentioned above:


After 19 years of ministry in Malawi and South Africa, our friends and co-laborers the Biedebachs are following the Lord's leading to the USA. Brian will be overseeing distance learning at The Master's Seminary. This will be a massive change for their family, as everyone but Brian has spent their life in Africa.


Jim brought his family to Malawi to help set up Central African Preaching Academy, and with his help CAPA has gone from the drawing board to reality. In fact, the training center, now in its second year, has become so popular that the main reason our team is growing is to better meet the demand of pastors seeking biblical training in Malawi.


The McCrackens join us from South Africa, where Santie grew up and Tony has served since 2002. As I write this, they are spending their first night in their new house (around the block from us). Though they're still unpacking, Tony's already begun teaching classes at Central African Preaching Academy.


Meanwhile, in Florida, the Temples will be loading their belongings in a container bound for Africa later this week. We're trusting the Lord for their remaining financial support needed for them to arrive in June. We're helping them secure a rental house about 7 minutes away from us.


And in Orange County, we've also seen the Lord continue to provide financial partners for the Kopps, and we'll get a better idea of when they hope to arrive as they continue to get closer to their target. In the meantime, Matt continues to serve as Associate Pastor at Faith Bible Church, and somehow found the time to lead a team to Malawi for our fifth annual church camp (more on that below).


Fifteen years ago, I (Matt) met Kwacha in Mozambique. He had heard many Mozambicans weren't Christians, so went to minister the gospel there. He has a great heart for his many fellow Malawians who don't truly follow Christ. He's eager to take what he's learned at The Master's Seminary and pass it on to pastors in Malawi. 

Shepherds' Conference 2016
ABOVE: Jim and I were privileged to spend some time with most of our new teammates at Shepherds' Conference last month. L to R: me, Kwacha Simwaka, Jim Ayres, Matt Kopp, Dave Temple. Not pictured is Tony McCracken, who was in the process of moving from South Africa to Malawi. Next time all of us are together should be in Malawi!

It's been fun to watch how the Lord is building this team! This will definitely be a year of big changes for everyone, and we really appreciate your prayers.


Short-term team from Faith Bible Church

Our family had the pleasure of hosting a team from Faith Bible Church of S. Orange County again.
FBC team
This is the 5th year their church has sent people to help us with our church camp, and most of the people who came this year have been more than once. It was encouraging to hear them say that they've noticed our church members grow in love for one another over the years! 

Our church had an opportunity to show love to the Biedebachs when 6-year-old Allison became extremely ill at camp. On Saturday, her parents drove her back to Lilongwe. She was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and on Monday she was airlifted to South Africa. Two days later, her 12-year-old sister Ami was also airlifted with similar symptoms. Thankfully, we had two wonderful doctors at camp, and one went back to Lilongwe in time to help Allison with the initial treatment. Our friends at camp were so kind to help them pack up, drive the other kids back to town, and remember them in prayer. Most of Allison's friends had to get a post-camp injection, but we're thankful that the Biedebachs have all recovered and that nobody else showed signs of meningitis!

Matt Kopp did the teaching at camp, which fit well with his future role as a co-pastor at our church. The rest of the team did an amazing job running the children's program, making it possible for all the usual Sunday School teachers to enjoy teaching and fellowship. Besides camp, the team also:
  • Shelved, cataloged, and covered hundreds of books for the new CAPA library
Organizing bookshelves
  • Visited the Nyenyezi outreach in Chinsapo village
  • Ministered at Maula Prison
  • Helped host (100?) guests in our house to say goodbye to a family leaving our church
  • Taught classes at CAPA
Teaching at CAPA

Thanks, FBC, for continuing to send great people to help us!


What church camp in Malawi looks like

No electricity: Getting the bonfire and the paraffin lanterns ready.

Cross-cultural exchange: Americans introducing Africans to the magic of s'mores.

Matt Kopp challenging our hearts and minds from the book of Colossians.

Friends and brothers: Mayamiko and Philip.

The heavens declare the glories of God!

Hammock girls
If you had a hammock and some gummy bears, you'd smile like this too.

Reading and singing about the resurrection as the sun comes up on Easter morning.

Got a good caption for this one? Send it our way...
Thanks for standing behind us as we serve the Lord in Malawi! 


Matt & Rachel, Abigail & Naomi