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Many women in most parts of Malawi have had very little or no formal education. There is very little hope of one’s potential and what their hands are capable of doing. Some of the women who come to the sewing class are either victims of early marriages or unplanned pregnancies.  Our class, Chiyembekezo “Hope,” is a place for such women. We exist to bring both physical and spiritual hope to the community. When we receive the ladies into the class, we welcome them with the love of Christ. It doesn’t matter where they come from, but our desire is to share the message of God’s grace.

 We look back at when we first met with the ladies. Our first class on the first day had only five women. Our journey wasn’t smooth – we walked through the cold, heat, and rain – sacrificing each day to meet. There were times when we felt we had reached the end, but the Lord would continue to encourage us in different ways. Other times we had no classroom to use and gathered under a tree, but we still remained grateful. The Lord has blessed this ministry with a classroom and shop. The ladies don’t have to worry about a cold or rainy day under the tree anymore. The number of women continues to increase with each intake.  

We thank God for the 2nd and colorful graduation ceremony of the sewing class held in Lilongwe, Malawi, on the 19th of January. This year we graduated 17 women whereas last year, seven completed the training. Our hope is to see these ladies transform so as to see vibrant communities. We continue to see the impact of this training among those that graduated last intake. Most of these are now able to contribute to family financial needs. With each year’s intake, we have been able to give each of the ladies a sewing machine to start with. This year, we were only able to raise funds for 10 sewing machines out of the 17 that graduated.

To ensure that their businesses run smoothly and they manage their finances well, Mercy taught a seminar (January 21-23) on starting and growing small businesses. 

We look forward to another intake beginning this April. We hope to enroll 20 women in the training based on our capacity to run the program. Our goal for 2021 is to see this project bringing in income to help with the running costs of the program as well as raise funds for the National women’s ministry in Malawi. Through this program the Grace church in Lilongwe has been able to connect with the community. We trust the Lord will use this program to expand the work and ministry of the church in the community. Our desire is to continue building and strengthening these relationships through follow-up seminars.

On behalf of the Grace church in Malawi and all the ladies who have been part of the program, our gratitude goes out to you, our partners in ministry. Thank you for the prayers and financial support.

Mercy Mango

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Grace Ministries International (GMI) began ministering in Malawi in 2000 when two Zambian Bible School graduates were sent as short-term missionaries to that country. In January 2005, Rev. and Mrs. Kennedy Simtowe, GMI missionaries to Zambia, moved to Malawi to strengthen the work by establishing a training center and expanding the evangelistic outreach and church planting ministries. In September 2009, Titus and Kristy Lloyd joined the team to work in leadership training and establishing a computer training center. Joseph and Emmanuela Asong came in June 2012 to work in theological training. Bill and Sue Vinton arrived from Congo in September 2013 and Eric and Mercy Mango joined the team in January 2014.

At the present time the training center in Lilongwe is running an English Bible school. The English program is in the process of being translated into Chichewa which will be offered in the different regions of Malawi. There are currently 30 Grace churches throughout the country.

Thank you to Stefanie Sherman of Mapped Media who spent the summer of 2018 traveling to several of GMI’s fields to capture our ministries on video so we can share them with you! The video of Malawi and our missionaries serving there can be seen right HERE.

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Grace Ministries International (GMI) missionaries endeavor to make sense in the community where Sylvia Nyakambiri has ministries with the women of Zimbabwe and Malawi. In the picture below, Sylvia is sharing groceries with Zimbabwean ladies. This ministry has now grown to also include Malawian women and helps the ladies to build small businesses to assist in the finances for their families.

The ladies with their newly purchased groceries on December 15, 2018

The ladies contribute a few dollars each month for a period of six months or more, and then groceries are purchased at wholesale price. Their money ends up buying a lot more than what individuals would have bought at retail price. The picture above shows the results of the shopping trip on Saturday, December 15, 2018.

Each lady goes home with a large amount of groceries which includes necessities such as sugar, wash soap, bath soap, toiletries, and cooking oil to list a few.  

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As many of you know, J-Nathan who is the son of Givemore and Sylvia Nyakambiri, was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2018 when he was 5 years old and began chemotherapy treatments in Malawi right away. He had not been feeling well for quite some time prior to the diagnosis but nonetheless it was quite a shock for Givemore and Sylvia. J-Nathan just turned 6 on December 1.

Below is an update that Givemore just wrote to keep us informed of J-Nathan’s progress. Please continue to pray for the whole family.

“J-Nathan Boyd is on his maintenance cycle 2 which is going on well. Praise be to God. He is getting tired of shots and chemotherapy. His immunity frequently drops to 0.250 which is very dangerous. Because of that he sometimes misses school. But the Lord is faithful. He is seeing us and the boy through. JB (as he is affectionately called) has many wishes and desires that as parents we try by all means to fulfill but some are beyond our reach. 

“We thank God for keeping us and the whole family strong. The boy celebrated his 6th birthday with friends around him. We believe and trust God for complete healing. 

“May you please pray that his body will be able to fight against opportunistic infections and reactions to one of the drugs he is getting. Pray that his immunity will not drop to below normal and that he adjusts well to school life. He is lagging behind in his school work but we are hopeful that he will be able to adjust and be able to learn. 

“Continue trusting for God’s healing with us. HERE is a link to a video that shows the hospital where J-Nathan goes for treatment.

“We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.”

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Stefanie Sherman, daughter of GMI missionaries Steve and Barb Sherman, started her travels for the summer making ministry videos for GMI missionaries by visiting all the missionaries in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. She took lots of video footage of their ministries and family life–enough for five videos!

Then she was off to Africa, the place that is very special to Stefanie because she was raised in Tanzania. She was very excited to return to that continent and do something special there. She is spending a total of five weeks between Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania with the missionaries who are like family to her. Here is her schedule:

Malawi: July 2-16

Zambia: July 17-23

Tanzania: July 24-August

Stefanie does have some prayer requests for what she calls her “crazy journey” so I would like to share those with you:

  1. Safe travels (luggage, connections)
  2. Good time management and scheduling
  3. Good work ethic for her
  4. Good health and adequate rest
  5. That God’s will and direction for these projects would be what she walks away with

One of the videos Stefanie did while she was in Paraguay can be seen below. As you enjoy this video created by Stefanie, consider being a part of the team to strengthen the church in Paraguay by giving to the Paraguay Land Project.

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GMI missionary Givemore Nyakambiri wrote to the home office saying he and his wife, Sylvia, are taking their 5-year-old son, J-Nathan, to the hospital today (June 6) to begin the Delayed Intensification Phase of chemotherapy for his leukemia. He will have to stay in the hospital for two weeks under close observation. The doctor says that this will be a very tough round of chemo for him. Sylvia will again be staying with him all night. Givemore will try to be there during the day so that Sylvia can go home and get some sleep.

Please pray for this family especially during the next two weeks:

  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they administer the chemo and help J-Nathan to be as comfortable as possible through the side effects.
  • Pray for strength and understanding for J-Nathan as he is so young and doesn’t know why he has to be so sick.
  • Pray for Sylvia as she stays in the hospital all night and sits upright in a wood chair to sleep or possibly can sleep on J-Nathan’s bed if he isn’t sharing it with another sick child.
  • Pray for Givemore as he tries to balance his schedule of working and taking care of his family that is separated for these 2 weeks.
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