Dear Pastor, Church, and Supporters;
(Rom.14: 17) “ For the kingdom of GOD is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
I am behind in my reports, my only defence is for the past twelve weeks I have put in on a average of fourteen hours a day, Sunday being my only day of rest from the physical work, but even here the driving to and fro from point A to point B requires considerable more energy than in a developed country.
GOD gives the energy, strength, and ability to continue in HIS work as long as you surrender yourself to HIS Will and work. It does not mean it is easy, nor does it mean one does not become tired, for we do.
I firstly want to thank all of you for your prayers and concerns for my wife and her continuing health problems. We don’t understand all what is going on, nor do we question Jehovah. We know that in HIS providence and Sovereignty HE allows such trials to enter the lives of HIS people. Through out history – GOD’S people have suffered, been persecuted, and killed as sheep for the slaughter.
With the entire test, which has been carried out, the only real answer we have is that she has some type (strain) of bacteria in her blood but no one has identified what type of bacteria, nor what really will treat it. Most of the antibiotics that are available on the market today have been given her, within the first few days of her treatment with the antibiotics most of her symptoms clear up, i.e., inflammation in the body, uveitis, chronic headaches, with neck-stiffness. After a few days of treatment, the symptoms return. Their have has been blood work (including blood cultures) urine sample lab tests, stool tests, salvia tests, chest X-ray’s, ultrasound on the stomach etc. We do know before she departed the USA in 2010 she did not have any of these symptoms or ill effects. After a short while here in Malawi signs began to emerge that something was wrong, through the months it has progressively gotten worse. We have health Ins here in Malawi, but the problem is the medical field is not advanced enough to diagnose such nor do most of the doctors here care enough to go that distance with a patient. If you are not walking in the emergency room with one leg cut off and bleeding profusely or on the deathbed with Malaria then you are not serious enough to get excited about. Though I speak mostly about life in Africa, is not the medical field in America on an average that way too? Doctors in general have lost the “idea” of what it means to “doctor someone”. There are a few here and there who really care about their patients, however as far as I am concerned they are like mechanics, depends on which one you ask, will be the treatment you receive.
We have committed it unto the LORD at this point, but at the same time, her health restricts her in various ways. Her headaches continue most every day and throughout the day – she must consume painkiller daily (which is not healthy), along with chronic neck pains. Her vision seems to deteriorate when she is not taking any antibiotics, but then again she cannot continue on these either.
The construction of the Bible Academy has nearly finished. The building is completely under cover, and the finishing work is in progress. The floor has to be poured (which will take place this week) and the lovers with glass will be fitted in the windows. There will be a veranda with a secondary roof around the building – this is in order to assist the main building from rains, and weather beating. As I stated before the building was constructed out of locally made bricks, and the mortar was mud. I used cement for external pointing and cement plastering of the inside walls.
I feel comfortable in the budget used, and also believe that this effort could not have been achieved outside of the perimeter of materials chosen in construction.
I would simply like to add, that all construction has been by hand labour. The timbers I had in stock were rough sawn, many not straight, nor planned. I simply mention that in order to emphasize the labour involved in the simple making of a door, or window frame. The boards must be planned (hand-planned) then cut to fit, squared etc. All this takes time, the actual fitment and joinery is a trade, which our LORD learned and took part of.
I have thought about during many hours of planning, joining, and fitment how our LORD takes each of us, who are simply rough sawn from the forest of sin, and brought to HIS shed for drying and curing. After which time the LORD begins to square up, cut off the rough edges, and plane the high places away. After enough shavings have been removed from our lives, then the LORD sees you and I as a “squared, planned, and fit vessel to be fitly framed together. When I become weary with the rough sawn, and warped timber, I don’t simple throw it away and run to a local “Home Depot” to buy a new timber. Instead, I see how the LORD did not throw me away even with all the twisted knots, rough places, uneven etc. But worked with me, and still is working with me to will of His good pleasure.
I said all that to say this, much labour has been put into the building, but in the end it will serve its purpose and I will rest knowing it was put together properly.
The digging of the toilets has been another story, where the property is located, is at the foot of Mt. Mulanje – a massive rock mountain, therefore at the foothills also are peppered with rocks, and large stones. A few feet into the soil and these rocks are discovered. We have managed to dig the first one about twelve feet deep and are now constructing the building, which will sit atop the opening. With Twenty pound hammers, a lot of energy, muscle, through much sweat and labour we have managed to break through much rock. There is a system we use in these situations, since we do not have explosives we use fire, water and the hammer. Did not the LORD say, … “My Word is like a hammer”… The Word of the LORD is like unto a fire”, (Jeremiah 23:29) “ Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
After you have spent days swinging a sledge hammer, burning the rock with fire and quenching with water; you will begin to get a real good picture of how impossible it is for the “stony heart of man- full of sin, dead in sins” can “free-will” itself to be broken from the grip of sin. All the “free-will” believers, I would like to challenge to come and work with me awhile digging toilet holes in a land riddled with rocks and stones. Call upon them to come out from the pit where they are lodged, see if they will do so; so too man in his sinful and depraved condition will NOT come on his own, but only through the constant hammering of GOD’S WORD, breaking up that fallow ground, and cracking that old sinful stony heart. Only when enough hammering, and enough burning has taken place, then one will be prepared for the new birth.
We are now into the ending of November and the rains are upon us. It is always amazing to me, no matter how many times I have witnessed GOD who at HIS appointed time for the season of rain to come upon this land. For nine long months the land has not been watered, Jehovah sends the winds to blow in the rains, clouds move in and each day they carry a bit more water being driven from across the Indian Ocean. At the right timing GOD opens the water tap of heaven and sends the rains. They come with a force that soon drives the dust bowl away. The rubbish, unprofitable and dusty crust is washed away, revealing the profitable soil beneath, which is ready to receive the sweet water of life and in turn produce that is profitable.
This transformation comes once a year, when the first rains come; one could almost sit and observe life sprouting forth from the rains. The trees rapidly produce their new leaves, and fruit begins to grow, the frogs sing with gladness for the long awaited rains. The rivers and waterways are crowded with a chorus of Hippos grunting with joy in their hearts, the Crocs sing silently knowing the swelling of the rivers bring a fresh menu. The birds that are brightly dressed lift up their voices in praise to Jehovah for the season of rain. The animal kingdom, each one knowing the time for starting a new generation has come and without delay seeks out the best possible environment, food and water.
The Bible Conference I had planned in October had to be delayed until the month of December due to the fact I am not finished with the Building. I am busy constructing a pulpit and have some other furniture to construct such as a desk for the classroom, and chairs for the students, which will have a small desk attached for their classroom work.
I continue to preach at different areas, and have spent some time in past weeks within new areas. As I have stated before, I am weaning myself of the full time Evangelism here in Malawi, and encouraging the local pastors and Baptist people here to become engaged more and more. No group, or Nation of people likes to see change come in the ‘spiritual leadership’ position. However, GOD in HIS own Sovereign Providence sends His men to His people and removes them.
I want to close this report by saying I appreciate all the prayers and sacrificial support that each of you contribute to the LORD’S work of which, we are involved.
Though I do not call each of you by name, I do remember you before our LORD in my daily prayer life. May HE shine upon your life and bless the work of your hands as you labour for HIM in the field, which He has placed you.
In His Name,
Missionary Peter A Halliman