Brother Rapp Crook
Rapp Crook
Evangelizing The Next Generation In Malawi

The Message has been spreading in Malawi, known as “the warm heart of Africa,” for over 25 years. By God’s grace and the active evangelism of the brethren, churches are growing in the Lord and new ones are frequently being established. In 1997, BCF began supporting 2 brothers, and since then, the Malawi outreach has grown to support 16, through the faithful giving of the saints.

According to The Economist’s rankings of living standards around the world, only the people of war-torn Somalia and Sierra Leone have lower purchasing power than Malawians. (By contrast, standards of living in Mexico are roughly 15 times higher than in Malawi.) The country’s 13.6 million people live in an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania. 14 percent of Malawi’s adults are infected with HIV; other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, typhoid, and malaria, also keep life expectancy under 43 years.

In 2002, the Malawi Government reported there were 850,000 orphans in the country, with 70,000 children becoming orphans each year. A problem of this scope must obviously affect many families, and many churches reach out to needy ones in their areas. In 2000, Bro. Paddington Ngwira, a pastor in central Malawi, began homeschooling his children, after the local government schools made problems when his daughters refused to cut their hair, as required by school authorities. The school that began with a small group of children sitting with one hired teacher in the shade of a tree has grown into Maranatha Academy, having an enrollment of over 400 students, with 22 teachers. Bro. Paddington and others have taken orphans into their home, and helped provide them with a good education, in a country where only about three in five are literate.

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Entrance to Maranatha Private School  

Most of the students in the school come from believing families, but the school’s excellent academic reputation has drawn unbelievers also. Last summer, Bro. Paddington hosted a youth camp at the school in July, and since that time many have given their hearts to the Lord, being baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. At the camp, 12 were baptized, and since then the revival spark has grown into a bright flame. In September, Bro. Paddington wrote,

Brother Paddington
Brother Paddington Ngwira  

"I have been having meetings with the students as is our custom before they sit for their exams. The first meeting I was talking to them on how He came to His own, but they did not receive Him. I said when you say you are studying at school, do you know that you only are spending time studying of the creation of God? In Geography, you study about big mountains, longest rivers, types of clouds, which all is just God's creation. In Biology, you study about human body and its parts, foods, and its blood groups, diseases, etc., just creation. In Agriculture you learn about types of soils etc ...creation. In all of your subjects you learn about Gods creation. But how much time do learn about the Creator of the creation? He came to reveal Himself to His own but He was not received. I took it so simple to be understood by even the grade three chaps. The Bible is unpopular. Its believers are unpopular. The Bible is taken away from our schools and colleges because man is only interested in God's creation and not in His Creator. Man does not want to know the will of his Maker. He does not want to why he was put on earth, where he came from and where he is going. All this is revealed in God's holy Word, the Bible. It reveals to us how we fail and God's plan of redemption, but man is not interested. At the end of the meeting we baptized ten. The next meeting we baptized five. Yesterday we baptized one."

A month later, Bro. Paddington reported,

"The revival is ever growing at Maranatha Institute. As per last week the number of the converts baptized in Jesus Name was 54. Yesterday 8 souls were added, six students and two, a husband and his wife. This makes 60 students. The students just love God so much until every time after evening studies they were going to church and calling me to speak to them. When I saw it was too much, I took a sermon from the book of Ecclesiastes 3, where God says there is an appointed time for everything on earth. So at the end I told them that we should appoint time for our meeting. Every Friday night we are having meetings with the school."

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Students at the Maranatha Private School.  

The revival has not abated. In his most recent testimony concerning Maranatha, Bro. Paddington shared that nearly 100 students had come to the Lord. At Maranatha Academy, the Lord is raising up the next generation of Malawi believers. Some children who have lost father and mother on earth are being born into the family of their heavenly Father. This fertile mission field has continued to grow, until it seems impossible to expand further. The work of the Lord is truly an eternal investment opportunity.

"Our fear last school session was that we would never have students this school year because so much evangelism was done, until we had baptized 97 students. The worry was not for the believing parents, but unbelieving parents, who were more than the believing parents. Our prayer was that God should help us to have good results [in the national examinations] so that His Name be not blasphemed, that [the unbelieving parents would think] we are only interested in turning their children into our faith instead of teaching. God answered our prayer. The results of the examinations were generally very poor country wide. Also exams were opened and sold. Until a question paper was put in The Daily Times newspaper as a witness and students were writing the paper after they already saw it in the national paper. Consequently, the government asked for a reseating which was done for the Form 4s. However the primary results were very good at our school.… The Form 2 results were also good…. This has caused the scoffers to stop scoffing because the results have been better than some institutions. Instead, God has also sent us students more than last year. We are adding beds and desks. And the number is ever rising. That’s the result of your prayers and financial support. God bless you."

For the first time, Maranatha has started rejecting students because we do not have a place for them. We made 28 beds, which means 56 singles, since they were doubled, two beds making one. The students sleep two at the bottom and two on top. We bought planks, nails, and glue, for 80 beds which make forty double beds, but before we could finish we had to stop the carpenters because we had run short of funds to pay them. We will continue next term should the Lord help us. We are also extending classes and constructing additional hostels for boys and girls. God is challenging us for the human fears we had because of the many students who got converted last school session. Continue praying for this school as you always do. It exists by God's grace. [Update: the Lord did provide for the additional beds and desks to be built.]

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