Thank you for your prayers as we traveled to Malawi. Your commitment and prayers for us, is the greatest advantage we take with us.
As we arrived in Malawi we were so encouraged. Twenty-eight men from thirty-three villages traveled to meet us. With one voice, they said, "this ministry must continue." One after another, recounted for us how lives were being changed in their villages, and how the ministry of God's reconciliation and restored relationships were taking place. We evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the ministry over the past five months. As we did, God showed us where there could be improvements to strengthen the ministry.
As we presently have 33 villages in the central region of Malawi and 9 in the south we saw how we could continue to move to a model of greater sustainability. We believe God revealed to us how to decentralize the work; it allows greater empowerment to many more trained leaders. The priority of the ministry in the next months is to train our leaders to reproduce more trained leaders. In the past, we had more and more villages asking for this ministry, but the training has remained in the hands of a few. The ability to reach all the villages that were asking got clogged, and the expansion of ministry was not sustainable. As we refocus our energies, we believe that we will be able to do more, on less.
We desire to implement a model that has increasingly less dependency from outside Malawi, and transition more responsibility and ownership to those in Malawi through the multiplication of our Pigs for Pastors Program. We believe by selling our older vehicle, we can immediately purchase pigs for nine more villages, bringing our total to fourteen. Our leaders commitment is to then provide pigs to all of our villages in the next set of litters. Then the commitment and vision of our Pastors and village leaders, is to in the future tithe pigs out of each litter, to provide a funding revenue stream not only for the Pastors personally, but to give to the ministry.
There is a greater ownership then ever before, and a greater vision from our village leaders. They own that the ministry is theirs, and is in their hands for God to use. The role of our ministry leaders is now to empower and facilitate that vision.
We want to thank you for your faithfulness to support the ministry in Malawi. We now have a leadership team of four men who are functioning as overseers of the ministry and its expansion. Their primary focus is on leadership training, reproducing themselves, and giving the ministry away. As you have given to our ministry we know that our stewardship is a serious responsibility. As you continue with us, we believe we are putting into place a financial strategy that does more for less, and empowers the ministry towards a self-sustaining trajectory.
Your prayers, your financial giving, your notes and encouragement, have done more for us than you can ever imagine.
Gary and Elaine Norton