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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work

Lam November 2021


And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him ” (Colossians 3:17).

I saw an advertisement for the movie “Star Wars” which read “May the force be with you! For two weeks only!” Jesus said, “ I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Indeed, we have had the Lord on our side throughout the year and this is an opportunity to share thanksgiving and praise for all the blessings we have received.

God brought me back to Malawi one year ago on October 21, 2020. Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic was complicated, but I made it in time to help the Village residents restart school which was locked down for seven months. Then again, the pandemic threw up opportunities for home-stays and bonding for the Rafiki youths with extended family. We were enabled to distribute needed food packages and household supplies, hard copies of school lessons, medical support, and the indispensable mouth masks hurriedly sewn together by our skilled Rafiki Mothers. In my Chinese language, the word crisis translates into opportunity and surely there were endless opportunities to do good, to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. He even enabled technology to be put to good use—I managed to run Rafiki Village Malawi from Singapore for seven months via Zoom meetings, email, face-time, SMS (text messaging), and WhatsApp. Benson, Emmanuel, Bertha, and Martha, the national front-liners, were fantastic in their oversight here. We helped Martha celebrate her 40-something-years-young birthday this October, surrounded by fellow Rafiki Mothers, service staff, and one youth representative Innocent C.

In November 2020, sixteen grade level twelve students sat for their national tests (General Certificate of Education Ordinary level) and were rudely interrupted by total cancellation of those tests when the government discovered the evil leakage of exam papers. Although disappointed, our students chose to thank God for the unexpected additional revision time. They re-sat for the tests in January 2021. The results were released in April 2021. Today, nine of them are at university pursuing degree programs and three are at technical college. The thirteenth graduate will commence technical college in January 2022. Two graduates are researching college options. We give thanks to God their heavenly Father who has appointed plans for each of them. I would like to feature two of these new graduates, Grace Kanyenda and Fiskani Gondwe. Pictures are included in the full version newsletter pdf.

In February 2021, we resumed the process for assessment towards registration of the Rafiki Institute of Classical Education (RICE) as the fifth campus of the University of Livingstonia (UNILIA) and the accreditation of the Early Childhood Development and Primary Education curriculum with the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). Dr. Carol Kranz, our educational powerhouse, and Cathy Brown, our RICE administrator, worked hard and long hours with me and the UNILIA top leaders for the process. On March 11, 2021, we were pre-assessed and scored 71% in 21 areas of assessment. We are still in process with this task and waiting for the NCHE to come inspect RICE before year end. Meanwhile, we are to “ be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord ” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Seven RICE teacher trainees are on campus working hard at different levels of courses. They know and value classical Christian education which is the best education to cultivate strong disciples of Jesus Christ.

On May 11, Rafiki was blessed to co-host the head of State, President Lazarus Chakwera and the First Lady, Mrs. Monica Chakwera, the Minister for Education, and countless government officials when UNILIA conducted her fourteenth congregation (convocation) of nearly 600 graduates. The President and his government were impressed by Rafiki—God’s Word at Work in Mzuzu, Malawi. We have since hired a few of the UNILIA graduates to train as classical Christian teachers for the Rafiki School.

Rafiki provides every Village with the Rafiki Bible Study. I am blessed and privileged to teach and to communicate the study this year from Genesis, the Psalms, and Matthew every work day to the national workers, the Rafiki Mothers, and for several months, the teachers (until the new headmaster arrived in late August). God opened the Scriptures to us. He opened our eyes. He opened our understanding. Studying to teach the Bible is the best part of my assignment here. I understand that when I teach the Bible, I am not just teaching a mere mortal. All the persons are going to live forever and so I have a responsibility to lead them into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. These are the permanent things I work for.

Late August, Rafiki Village Malawi received three new long-term missionaries to lead RICE, the school, and support operations. Maureen and Jay Richards, and Anna Liebing were enabled to enter Malawi and to receive residency permits after an arduous immigration process. “ He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

In July, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia, invited me to present and to share the Rafiki Sunday School resources at their annual Strategic Planning Conference. I brought with me Rafiki Mother Alice who is the Sunday school superintendent at the Anglican Diocese St. Mark’s Church in Mzuzu. I had already trained her to use the Rafiki Sunday School materials and she had in turn, trained her eight Sunday school teachers. They are already benefiting from the resources they received from Rafiki. At the CCAP session, God enabled us to team-share the Rafiki Sunday School resources and how they are to be used. A month later, the General Secretary of the Synod wrote to order 250 sets of the Rafiki Sunday School materials for ALL their Sunday school classes! This is a huge thanksgiving—the Gospel is going out to the next generation of Malawians via the Rafiki Sunday School materials.

Praise Panja arrived at Rafiki Village Malawi in 2011 when he was 2 years old. He has never had a family visit. On October 6, God enabled Praise and his Rafiki Mother Angela, to set out on a 4-day-long journey into the deep interior to his former home village to track down his family. Praise has found his grandmother, older sister, uncle and auntie, and many cousins. He thanks God for the success and is happy to get to know them. “Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices, who from our mothers’ arms, hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love and still is ours today” (from Now Thank We All Our God hymn).

Space does not allow me to write many more thanksgivings and praises to our great and mighty God. But I must share one need with you and ask you to please pray about how you can participate in Rafiki’s Africa Expansion Campaign. Our church partners, day students, and RICE students are extremely grateful, and they participate by paying nominal school fees to contribute towards the cost of the curriculum. However, we still need you, God’s people, to give in order that Rafiki may impact 50,000 children every school day with Bible study and the best education on this earth for the next few years. Your gifts will provide every child who can read with a Bible in at least 100 schools, print and ship the Sunday school materials and commentaries to 9,400 churches, and give start-up Rafiki curriculum to partner church schools. The target expansion amount is U.S. $2.6 million dollars—a 25% increase over Rafiki’s annual budget. The impact will be 10-fold. Won’t you help undertake this expansion for God who has kept us safe throughout the pandemic to carry on with His Rafiki work in Africa? “ I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Finally, I want to thank all of you, my friends, family, and supporters for partnering with me over so many years—23 years in Africa in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi. You truly are the long-term co-workers with me in various parts of the earth. Well done, good and faithful ones!

Please also pray for all 250 Rafiki Day Students to have sponsors and be fully funded soon.

Note : Rafiki is now able to accept non-cash gifts such as real estate or estate bequests. Contact for more information.