Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's Great to be out teaching again

This past Thursday I began teaching at Chimusanya Baptist Church. Leslie went with me for the afternoon. After driving 1 hour and 15 min. we reached the church and all the women came out singing to greet us. There were 22 women that came that day and 4 of them were from the New Apostolic church. I think they just came to see the white woman and hear what she had to say. I taught on giving tithes and offerings and used the story of the poor widow who gave all she had, found in Mark 12:41-44. Leslie read some verses for us in Chichewa from Malachi 3:8-12 and did a great job. Leslie and her husband Kenny are living in Chongwe for a year studying language before they move to their place of service in Luangwa in July. Anyway, I asked them some questions concerning what the difference is in tithing and offerings. They understood that pretty well. But when I asked them if we should give money in order to get money from God they were a bit confused. They said yes to that question. I wasn't that surprised by their answer because there is such a TBN mentality among some of our churches. While it is true that the bible says he will bless us it does not say we will get rich. Also, even though God said he would bless us, it doesn't mean that we give just so that we will get. I think that the verses in Malachi are saying that if we choose to be generous in our giving, God will keep giving to us so that we can continue to give to others. Giving our tithes is our way of worshiping God, its like we are saying that we trust in God to provide for our needs. I also asked them if they believed this scripture that we had just read. When they all answered yes, I challenged them on it because in our churches at offering time so little is given. There may be 75 people in church and the offering will be k9,000 which is about $2.00. The truth is that our people are not tithing. However, if there is a wedding or a kitchen party(like a bridal shower) people will spend about k50,000 on a gift(about $10.00). I challenged them to think about how much their church gives during the offering time. If they really believed these verses they would cheerfully give so much more. I asked them to do a skit on the verses we had read from Mark. They did a great job on that. It was cute how they used lots of leaves to represent their money in the offering plate. When I finished they sang some songs for us and then loaded us down with gifts of mango's, bananas, and a drink called Monkoyo. They were such a blessing. Please pray for me as I continue to teach there for the next few months.

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