Malawi was one of the great success stories of the 19th Century missionary movement. Starting with David Livingstone (whose birthday was for many years honoured as a national holiday in Malawi), missionaries succeeded in evangelising and discipling this nation so effectively that what was once the killing fields of Muslim slave traders became one of the most Protestant nations of Africa.
However, by 1994 Malawian voters (80% of whom profess to be Christians), voted in a Muslim, Bakili Muluzi, as their President. Apparently the Christian voters had accepted the claim that the religious beliefs of the political candidates was not important. However, despite promises of prosperity, government policies since 1994 have resulted in devastating inflation which has destroyed the savings of the average family.
Muslim propagation agencies then flooded the country with the message of Islam. The Islamic Zakaat Fund (IZF), overseen by Gaddafi’s son, reportedly has an annual budget of US$40 million. The IZF is building 30 high schools throughout Malawi. Their goal is to Islamise the next generation. Gifted Malawian students are being offered scholarships to study in Islamic countries such as Pakistan.
In the government schools, the long established "Bible Knowledge" courses have been scraped and replaced with "Moral and Religious Studies" which emphasise Islam. The Bible Society is now denied access to public schools. Now many Malawians are realising with dismay that they have allowed a Muslim minority to sieze control of their country. Some observed that this was the hand of God in judgement against a lukewarm and complacent church.
"If you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments ... those who hate you shall reign over you..."Leviticus 26: 14,17
The Church in Malawi had fallen victim to the myth of neutrality. One Malawian commented that they had neglected to effectively "disciple the nations ... teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded" Matt 28:19 and failed to preserve Biblical principles in the public sphere. "... if the salt loses its flavour ... It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." Matthew 5:13
It was therefore most timely that Frontline Fellowship sent up a team to conduct Leadership Training Seminars in Malawi.
"Malawi is at a crossroads!" declared one delegate. The current crisis has aroused many Christians out of their complacency. Our team leader observed:
"For people living in an environment characterized by peace and security, the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 119:71 may seem a bit perplexing: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. The Law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver." As a result of his affliction the Psalmist was humbled and became teachable and responsive to God’s Law-Word. This condition of the heart was observed among the delegates at our courses in Malawi.
"During the Frontline Fellowship leadership training seminars, Malawian Christian leaders were particularly encouraged by the testimonies of the Protestant Reformers: John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, and William Tyndale. That these early Reformers took a bold stand for the truth of God’s Word, continues to be a great encouragement to Christians today.
"Pray that Malawian Christians would be faithful to Jesus Christ, and obedient to carry out the Great Commission in that land, to be salt and light and to apply God’s Word in all areas of life. Pray that they would withstand the pressures (both from within and outside of the Church) to compromise the truth of God’s Word. Pray that they would be bold even in the face of opposition and persecution."
"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life that you and your children may live." Deuteronomy. 30:19